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Windows 7/shut down taking too long

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Question
Hi,
  You have helped me a lot in the past.  I hope you can help me here.  I have an Averatec all in one with Win 7 that is about 3 years old.  For the last year it takes a very long time to shut down, like 3-5 minutes.  Sometimes I wonder if it will every turn off.  I use programs like Advanced System Care, Disk defragmentor and CC cleaner but that does nothing to help shut down.  This has been a great computer but now I am starting to wonder.
  Can you tell me what to do.  Is the computer dying?  Or is it software related.

Answer
Hi Don!

At this point, while most likely software-related, it could certainly be hardware too.

Hardware - most likely a hard drive issue, if hardware at all.  When a hard drive is dying, blocks become difficult to read, and the number of them usually continues to increase, increasing the symptoms you see with your drive.  If it is hardware, however, it should not affect just shutdown - startup, file access, etc. would most likely also be affected.

Software - this is the most likely cause.  This could be corrupt/damaged Windows files, drivers, services, or programs.  

Boot to Safe Mode with Networking by booting up the computer, and start tapping the F8 key as soon as the PC logo comes up.  Tap it once or twice per second until you get Windows' text boot menu.  If you see the Windows logo, it is too late.  See if it shuts down quickly/normally from Safe Mode.  If so, then you can use System Configuration (msconfig) to start narrowing down services/programs that are causing it.  This can be a lengthy process.  If you need more help in using msconfig, then let me know.

If Safe Mode also has this problem, then you may be looking at deep Windows problems or hardware.  There are several ways you can try to repair, based on what you find, so let me know what happens.

Good luck!

Windows 7

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Expertise

I can answer nearly all questions about Windows 7 - installation, upgrade, virtualization (XP Mode and beyond), configuration, how to get the most out of it, how to buy it, etc. I won't pretend to know it all - nobody can - if I don't know, I will try and find the answer. If I can't find it, I'll tell you.

Experience

I worked as an analyst in Dell server support for 2 years, and have since worked with many Dell PowerEdge servers. I am currently employed as IT Manager. I have been using Windows 7 since the early Beta days.

Education/Credentials
I have a BS in Computer Science and have earned the following certifications: CompTIA Security+, A+, Project+; CIW Web Design, Database Specialist; Microsoft Windows 7; Dell DCSE Server. I am also an expert in Windows 7, Servers, and Hard Drives (I don't normally do XP - not because I don't know it inside and out, but because I have "retired" personal support for XP, and I want to see it die :)).

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