Why are there always programs that will not respond while shutting down
Windows? Having to end them manually to shut down Windows is very annoying. Oh,
and this does not happen when I have Macrium Reflect shut down Windows after
completion of an image backup. I’m using Windows XP Pro, Service Pack 3.
In this excerpt from
Answercast #48, I look at a machine that regularly throws an error on shut
down; often, waiting is the right answer.
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Errors shutting down
So, when your system tries to shut down, what it’s really doing is it’s
asking each individual program that’s also running on your machine, “Would you
please start shutting down now?” After some amount of time, if the program is
still running, you get that error message that says basically “This program
isn’t responding. Do you want me to force it to shut down now?”
While I see that message from time-to-time;
Very rarely do I actually have to force the program to close.
It depends on specifically what program it is that this error is being
But in most cases, I just wait.
Sometimes, I wait for a minute or two and the program that it’s waiting for
that hasn’t closed yet does close.
So, my sense is that either of two things are happening:
- One is simply that Windows is too impatient.
It’s throwing this error message too quickly because the program that you’re
waiting to close is actually having to take longer to clean itself up… or
whatever it does when it closes the program.
- Or, the other side of the coin is that Windows is being perfectly
reasonable about these things, but the programs themselves are simply taking too
long to close.
In either case, the solution, my first recommendation, is the same – wait
awhile. Wait another minute or two and see if things don’t resolve themselves
Macrium closes fine
Now, as to why this wouldn’t be in an issue when Macrium does the close?
Macrium is probably going to do either of two things:
Either, it’s waiting longer, like I just suggested you do;
Or it’s automatically throwing that “force option” onto the shut-down
request – that basically tells Windows, “You know what, shut this down, force
everything that isn’t responding to shut down and get the heck out of
So, I really don’t read a lot into Macrium Reflect’s ability to do this
without throwing an error message.
Macrium Reflect, realize, has to be able to do this unattended, which means
the intent is that you can start your Macrium Reflect backup and walk away and
know that, when Macrium Reflect is done with the backup, it will shut down your
machine. That means:
That it can’t assume you’re going to be there.
It can’t assume that you’re there to say yes, wait, or kill, or
It has to assume that one way or another, it needs to take care of the
Like I said, it’s going to do that either of two ways:
It’s going to wait longer;
- Or it’s going to tell the operating system from the start to go ahead and
do the shut down, but force everything down.
So, that’s my recommendation – wait a little while longer. If you can’t,
if it really gets to the point of being excessively long, then try and identify
which program it is that the operating system is waiting for. That program,
then needs to be investigated as to why it’s taking so long to shut
Next from Answercast 48 – How do I back up to a memory stick?