Posted by & filed under Windows / Server.

Many people have had some problem with shutting down Windows XP from time to time. Sometimes it hangs, other times it throws a blue screen, and probably the most annoying: it restarts!

Before I get into the less common fixes, check to see if the “Restart on System Failure” feature is enabled. Right-click on My Computer -> click Properties -> click the Advanced tab. Under Startup and Recovery click settings and under System Failure, uncheck the box beside “Automatically Restart.”

While this may fix the issue with your computer automatically restarting, it doesn’t fix the issue that is causing it. All we have done is prevented the system restarting on a system failure: the system failure is still present. It could be something as simple as a USB device that is hanging the system (not critical) or something more important such as a memory, processor, or BIOS error. Sometimes getting these things diagnosed is much like going to the mechanic with a “ticking noise” that never quite ticks when it’s supposed to.

Other Causes:

  1. You have ROXIO Easy CD Creator 5 on your system. I won’t go into the details of what it does; all you need to know is a patch is available to fix it. Go to Roxio’s site and download the latest version of 5.x
  2. Windows XP APM (Advanced Power Management). This issue can go either way. Some people report that having it enabled causes problems; while others report having it disabled causes problems. I believe the solution lies in having the operating system AND BIOS having the same/compatible settings. Turn APM on and off to check for the solution. Check for the motherboards latest BIOS and APM drivers for Windows. Go to Control Panel -> Display Properties -> Screensaver tab -> Power -> Advanced. You may have APM issues if you also have problems shifting the system in and out of standby and hibernation. About half the systems I have come across have issues with standby and hibernation.
  3. Wake on LAN, USB, Modem settings causing the system to restart. Consult your motherboard manual for the settings to find in your BIOS. Typically it is self-explanatory once you are in the BIOS: look for the lines that say “Wake on” Enabled/Disabled. Disable these, a home user 99.99% of the time will never need these let alone know what they are. Some Ethernet cards have the Wake-On settings in the Device Manager. Right click My Computer -> click Properties -> Hardware tab -> Device Manager -> and click on the Ethernet card and select Properties -> Advanced to find the setting.
  4. USB. Some USB hubs have problems letting the system shutdown properly. Also try disconnecting any USB devices before shutdown to see if this corrects the problem. If this is the problem, well, not much of a solution other than to get up-to-date USB/Motherboard drivers, updated USB device drivers, and possibly add a different USB card or HUB to your system.
  5. Logitech YSB3 Keyboard, Mouseware 8.6, 9.0, 9.1, and Webstar USB cable modem all seem to have problems. Check for latest updates.
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