Microsoft

Pop Quiz Solution: Why Windows 98 won't shut down

We received nearly 600 responses to this quiz. Find out how TechRepublic members explain why Windows 98 won't shut down.


This pop quiz topic was submitted by TechRepublic member MarieCampbell. If you’d like to submit a topic for our weekly pop quiz, please drop us a note. If we use your suggestion, we’ll send you a TechRepublic T-shirt.
Everyone who submitted a solution to this pop quiz was eligible for our drawing for a $25 gift certificate from Fatbrain.com, one of TechRepublic’s e-commerce partners. Congratulations to our winner, DanielUson.
The situation:
Here’s the situation Marie described: “How do you solve the Windows 98 shutdown problem? We have several computers that will not shut down or restart—they just sit on the shutdown screen.”

The challenge:
What in the world could be causing the machines to hang and not shut down completely?

The solutions:
This quiz is one for which there is no single correct solution. Windows 98 is a pretty stable operating system, but no two IT departments configure their machines exactly the same way, and solutions that work in some shops won’t work in other ones. Thanks to TechRepublic’s Ed Engelking for helping whittle down the list from the nearly 600 solutions we received.

Get the update from Microsoft
GeorgeSchleicher recommends getting the Windows 98 Second Edition Shutdown Supplement from Microsoft.

Update the video driver
Davetaxman wrote: “Update your video driver. I updated mine (Compaq FX500 Monitor Driver), and my machine shuts down like Microsoft tells you Windows 98 is supposed to work.”

Check the virus scan settings
DennisMontgomery, technology consultant, wrote: “If you are using Windows 98SE and you are running McAfee or Norton antivirus programs, be sure you disable Scan Floppy Disks On Shutdown. There are several other shutdown problems, but this seems to be the major one.”

It could be a sound problem
JanVossen had this suggestion: “Launch the System Configuration Utility (shown in Figure A) by clicking Start, then Run, and entering the command msconfig. Check which programs are used/loaded on startup/shutdown. The most common reason for this problem is when Windows wants to play a sound to accompany the shutting down, but the .wav file is deleted, moved, or anything else, so it can't be found. Windows is waiting for the sound card to execute the command. Under the Win.ini tab, check the Sounds configuration and select an existing sound for shutdown or make sure no sound will be played.”

Greg A. agreed: “One thing I have found is that if your Windows 98 shutdown sound file (.wav) is corrupt, Windows 98 will hang up at the shutdown screen. To fix it, use Control Panel to turn off or change the Windows “exit” sound.”

Figure A
Use the System Configuration Utility to make sure the system isn’t trying to play a sound file that no longer exists.


It’s a power thing
DanielUson wrote: “In a word (or two words): powermanagement! Windows seems to have recurring problems with it. Disable it in CMOS and in Windows. Also, do the usual, no corrupt exit sound file, no corrupted .dlls, etc.”

StaceyNielson agreed: “It happens when the computer uses Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) and the Fast Shutdown feature is disabled. Windows 98 Second Edition doesn't have this problem. Obtain the latest service pack from Microsoft for Windows 98.”

Shutting down isn’t allowed
ChristianN. wrote: “Your network connection doesn't allow you to shut down, therefore unloading the driver results in a lockup of the system, or there are other drivers or programs that are hanging at the moment you're shutting Windows down. Sometimes important Windows 98 files are corrupt, which can be resolved by running Scandisk or re-installing Windows 98. Another cause is when programs are still open when you shut down the system, and closing down running programs in a particular order can result in a program hanging.”
To comment on these quiz solutions, please post a comment below or send us a note.
This pop quiz topic was submitted by TechRepublic member MarieCampbell. If you’d like to submit a topic for our weekly pop quiz, please drop us a note. If we use your suggestion, we’ll send you a TechRepublic T-shirt.
Everyone who submitted a solution to this pop quiz was eligible for our drawing for a $25 gift certificate from Fatbrain.com, one of TechRepublic’s e-commerce partners. Congratulations to our winner, DanielUson.
The situation:
Here’s the situation Marie described: “How do you solve the Windows 98 shutdown problem? We have several computers that will not shut down or restart—they just sit on the shutdown screen.”

The challenge:
What in the world could be causing the machines to hang and not shut down completely?

The solutions:
This quiz is one for which there is no single correct solution. Windows 98 is a pretty stable operating system, but no two IT departments configure their machines exactly the same way, and solutions that work in some shops won’t work in other ones. Thanks to TechRepublic’s Ed Engelking for helping whittle down the list from the nearly 600 solutions we received.

Get the update from Microsoft
GeorgeSchleicher recommends getting the Windows 98 Second Edition Shutdown Supplement from Microsoft.

Update the video driver
Davetaxman wrote: “Update your video driver. I updated mine (Compaq FX500 Monitor Driver), and my machine shuts down like Microsoft tells you Windows 98 is supposed to work.”

Check the virus scan settings
DennisMontgomery, technology consultant, wrote: “If you are using Windows 98SE and you are running McAfee or Norton antivirus programs, be sure you disable Scan Floppy Disks On Shutdown. There are several other shutdown problems, but this seems to be the major one.”

It could be a sound problem
JanVossen had this suggestion: “Launch the System Configuration Utility (shown in Figure A) by clicking Start, then Run, and entering the command msconfig. Check which programs are used/loaded on startup/shutdown. The most common reason for this problem is when Windows wants to play a sound to accompany the shutting down, but the .wav file is deleted, moved, or anything else, so it can't be found. Windows is waiting for the sound card to execute the command. Under the Win.ini tab, check the Sounds configuration and select an existing sound for shutdown or make sure no sound will be played.”

Greg A. agreed: “One thing I have found is that if your Windows 98 shutdown sound file (.wav) is corrupt, Windows 98 will hang up at the shutdown screen. To fix it, use Control Panel to turn off or change the Windows “exit” sound.”

Figure A
Use the System Configuration Utility to make sure the system isn’t trying to play a sound file that no longer exists.


It’s a power thing
DanielUson wrote: “In a word (or two words): powermanagement! Windows seems to have recurring problems with it. Disable it in CMOS and in Windows. Also, do the usual, no corrupt exit sound file, no corrupted .dlls, etc.”

StaceyNielson agreed: “It happens when the computer uses Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) and the Fast Shutdown feature is disabled. Windows 98 Second Edition doesn't have this problem. Obtain the latest service pack from Microsoft for Windows 98.”

Shutting down isn’t allowed
ChristianN. wrote: “Your network connection doesn't allow you to shut down, therefore unloading the driver results in a lockup of the system, or there are other drivers or programs that are hanging at the moment you're shutting Windows down. Sometimes important Windows 98 files are corrupt, which can be resolved by running Scandisk or re-installing Windows 98. Another cause is when programs are still open when you shut down the system, and closing down running programs in a particular order can result in a program hanging.”
To comment on these quiz solutions, please post a comment below or send us a note.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox