Tweaking computer shut-down time

Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2007 02:51 am
My new computer takes about 20 seconds until complete shut down.

I know that it works faster - since all my previous did so.

Any idea, where I can tweak that?

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Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2007 05:34 am
The Gear Software Security Service (GEARSEC.EXE), which enables iTunes for Windows to read and burn CDs, has been reported by many users to cause Windows XP to hang at the "Windows is shutting down" screen for as long as 20-30 seconds. WORK-AROUND: Stop the service prior to shutdown.

The Event Log can slow down Win XP shutdown. If disabling event logging
works for you, then the real troubleshooting begins: finding out, by trial and error, what item that is being logged is causing the actual slowdown.

If you have Office XP installed, the culprit may be CTFMON.EXE. This module provides the Alternate Language Bar and provides text input service support for speech recognition, handwriting recognition, keyboard, translation, and other alternative user input technologies. When you close all Office programs, this module stays active. Removing it can cause serious problems with your Office XP products, but you can effectively disable it by setting the installation state to Not Available in Office XP Setup.

Typing 'long shutdown xp' into Google gives many hits including shutdown tweak pages including this one, (but many others also)

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Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2007 05:52 am
Thanks, I'll try that.

(And: you might be correct pointing at that "gearsec.exe")
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Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2007 06:40 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:
you might be correct pointing at that "gearsec.exe"

It gave me the same problem.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2007 06:48 am
But it isn't mine - nor do those tweaks work, it seems.

Well, not really a big issue. But since I was used to closing down faster ...

[I do remember that I had had this, too, with XP pro on my old maschine
I'd thought at first, it was due to XP home on this one ... .]
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Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2007 11:01 am
I think 20 seconds to complete shutdown is quite reasonable. Mine takes about 30 seconds. I don't really notice it because I usually click the shut down button and walk away from the PC.

I do not know how many programs you are loading at startup. They will all need to be stopped by Windows on shutdown if you do not stop them manually first.

Virtual memory settings can make a difference. If you have a swap file managed by Windows on your system drive ( usually C: ) and if it is fragmented this can cause a slight slowdown. However you say this is a new XP installation, so I would not suspect this. A fixed size swap file on a different partition (or drive, even better) can help I think.

But, Walter, when I was searching for information about long shut downs on Windows XP, one thing became clear: the problem times were being quoted in minutes, two, five or even ten. Many people who had solved the problem reported with satisfaction that their shutdown time was now "only" 30 seconds! So I would not worry too much. This is a new install and you are watching it carefully like a new baby and every little thing is noticeable...

Why don't you just hibernate? My system hibernates in about 5 seconds. XP is designed to work well like that.

However, some more tips:-

Long wait times at the "Saving your settings" screen when logging off is typically indicative of an application does not properly release resources when closing, and hence causes your machine to wait and eventually time out. Information on troubleshooting this specific problem can be found at


Windows XP Professional contains the Group Policy Editor which can be used to alter settings. One security option allows the page file to be cleared at system shutdown. When enabled, this same setting forces wiping of the hibernation file. Both of these processes can be lengthy, fooling the user into thinking shutdown has hung. To verify if this setting has been enabled (it has to be set manually), perform the steps listed.

[Start] [Run] and type [gpedit.msc] then click [OK]
Drill down to [Computer Configuration] [Windows Settings] [Security Settings] [Local Policies] [Security Options]
Verify the proper setting in the right pane under [Shutdown: Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile]
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2007 12:05 pm
Thanks again, contrex. You have been a great help.
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