Why Does My Computer Freeze Up During Startup or Shutdown

December 11, 2008

Does your computer startup to slow down or hang when you shut it down or start it up?

The boot or startup process seems to be such a system resource intensive task that causes errors, prevents programs from closing or you may even get the dreaded blue-screen-of-death. At shutdown of your PC do you have an uneasy feeling about walking away from your computer because it takes so long to shut down or it may display an error message? Many computer users face the same issues so you are not alone.

Do you ever turn on your PC and it just takes forever to startup or does it ever give you an error message when it finally gets to the desktop screen? Many of these issues are a result of a newly installed driver, software program or hardware configuration conflict.

I can remember when my system would not shut down due to the Roxio Easy CD Creator application. It seemed to be a well-known issue amongst many PC users. Today it seems to be more along the lines of driver or hardware issues. People can resolve a startup or shutdown issue just by simply tracing their previous steps. If your computer had no issues during startup or shut down just before you added a new hardware device, installed new driver or even installed a new application then 9 times out of 10 the “new” change is your culprit. In other situations it is not that easy to identify the issue. Your computer may have had a boot or shutdown issue for some time now. Before you jump ahead I must say reinstalling Windows is your last resort so you may want to try a few other things first.

Pay attention to any error messages on your screen during startup or shutdown. Try to notice the point where your computer hangs or freezes if that is the specific issue that you are trying to resolve. If it is a specific program that you are able to identify on the error message then you may want to uninstall the application and/or reinstall it with the latest and greatest edition.

During your system boot does it hiccup before or after Windows starts to load? Right there you could identify if it is a software or hardware issue. If it happens when Windows starts to load then it may be a software driver or Windows component. It an issue occurs before Windows load then it could be a hardware issue. In this case recheck all of your connections of peripherals and any newly installed cards, memory, drives or media in a removable drive.


If Windows starts to load, comes up and then freezes it could be a problem with your boot or autoloading sequence. In this event you will want to run "eventvwr" (start > run > type eventvwr > press enter). Select “System” and then double click any events with a red flag and the word “error”. Read the dialog box and see if it provides any useful information to help resolve this issue.


Other steps that can be taken is reviewing all loading applications within MSCONFIG. MSCONFIG (start > run > type msconfig > press enter) provides a list of programs that load at startup. If you are able identify ones that are not necessary then you could do a process of elimination to resolve startup conflicts in addition to speeding up the boot for Windows.

You may want to consider Google searching an error message. If you experience a problem with Windows more than likely someone else has posted something online about the issue. This is a good step to take in doing research before you resort to the dreaded task of reinstalling Windows.


  • Jerry says:

    I’ve learned a lot from your blog . fixed my pc freezing issues. much much thanks!

  • Netevia says:

    Excellent web site. Lots of useful info here. My PC was locking up with each boot. Somehow it cleared up after reinstalling windows. Would have been great to see this post before then. good stuff. thanks though.

  • Carroll B. Merriman says:

    my computer kept freezing randomly. it was so annoying. had to take it to tech guy. paid 80 dollars for repair. Wish I could have found your solution sooner. Thanks for the help with fixing my laptop!

  • Catherine Calma says:

    my computer in inccidentally shut down because of black out. when i try to start again the computer show me the configuration setting,a choose last known cofiguration…my computer display that message again and again …in that manner i can’t use my computer… help me…how can i solve my problem??

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