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Windows 98 Second Edition Shutdown Problems


There are many users who are reporting problems with Windows 98 SE's shutdown routine. For some the routine just doesn't work, for others a shutdown result in a reboot.

Below are some things to try that worked for some people, however keep in mind that this list is not complete, and these suggestions might not work for you. Before you start, make sure you have the latest BIOS update for your computer.

IRQ Steering and Device Enumeration

  1. Select Start > Settings > Control Panel
  2. Double-click the System icon, and select the Device Manager tab
  3. Select View Devices by type and double-click System Devices
  4. Select PCI bus and click on the Properties button
  5. Adjust or Disable the settings under the IRQ Steering and/or the Settings tab to get the desired results. Make note of how you found these settings before you attempt to change them as a precaution

    • FIRST try changing the Device Enumeration under the Settings tab from Hardware to BIOS. This does the trick in many cases for various problems.

      If Not....

    • Experiment with enabling or disabling all the combinations of possible settings to try to get the desired results. At times, the BIOS setting that you may or may not have, PnP Aware OS, also has a bearing on these settings....(See below for more info)

Make sure you do a full reboot after every change while testing.

IRQ Steering

Use IRQ Steering - Specifies that Windows programs use IRQ steering. If you select the Use IRQ Steering check box, PCI bus devices behave more like Plug and Play devices. If you click to clear the Use IRQ Steering check box, then BIOS programs dictate IRQ steering.

IRQ steering is determined by one of four routing TABLEs. Windows searches for one of the selected routing TABLEs in the order listed and uses the first one it finds.

  • Do not change the default settings for IRQ steering unless there is a problem with a PCI device
  • If there is a problem, click to clear the Get IRQ TABLE using ACPI BIOS check box and restart Windows
  • If the problem persists, select the Get IRQ TABLE from Protected Mode PCI BIOS 2.1 call check box and restart Windows
  • Select the Get IRQ TABLE from Protected Mode PCI BIOS 2.1 call check box only if a PCI device is not working properly

One combination that worked for a number of people was to go into your system's BIOS, and make sure that ACPI I/O Node is set to Enabled, and to set the IRQ Steering to Get IRQ TABLE using ACPI BIOS, while unchecking all others.

For some others unchecking the Get IRQ TABLE from Realmode PCIBIOS 2.1 Call, while leaving all other options as they where did the trick.

Assign IRQ for your Video Adapter

Another fix that worked for some people is to go in your systems BIOS, and assign an IRQ for your Video Adapter (you might not have this option in your BIOS). This also solves problems with not being able to Restart in MS-DOS mode.

Enable USB

In some BIOS'ses you can enable/disable USB (by assigning an IRQ to USB). A number of people where able to fix their problem by enabling USB this way, even if they did not have any USB devices attached to their system.


Windows 98 SE has Fast Shutdown turned off by default in msconfig.

For information on how to access your computers BIOS, consult your computer's manual.

For more information, see this Microsoft Knowledge Base Article No. Q238096 How to Troubleshoot Windows 98 Second Edition Shutdown Problems

Microsoft has released a Shutdown Supplement to combat Windows 98 Second Edition Shutdown problems

The Windows 98 Second Edition Shutdown Supplement addresses shutdown issues on systems with specific hardware/software configurations running Windows 98 Second Edition. These issues include systems restarting when selecting shutdown and systems hanging on shutdown.

Microsoft recommends the troubleshooting steps outlined in the KB article above. If, after following the steps outlined in the article, the system continues to exhibit shutdown problems, then Microsoft suggests applying the Second Edition Shutdown Supplement.

Updated Windows 98 Shutdown Supplement (23 October 1999)

Microsoft quietly updated the Windows 98 Shutdown Supplement. It was found that for some people the original Shutdown Supplement was not working.

The update is only to the install & uninstall .INF file, apparently a file was not copied during install which affected a small number of users.

If you installed the Windows 98 Shutdown Supplement, and it's working for you, there is no reason to install this new one. But if you are having problems with the original Shutdown Supplement patch installed, we recommend that you try this new version.

You can identify the new version by it's size. The original Windows 98 Shutdown Supplement is 491KB, while the updated one is 489KB. The updated .INF files have a time stamp of 27/09/99, but according to sources, the update was only posted this week.

If you want to install the new Shutdown Supplement, and you have the original one installed, you should uninstall that one first.

You can do this by following these instructions:

You should save and close all open documents and close all programs before attempting to uninstall this update. Then click on Start > Find > Files or Folders and search for 239887UN.INF. Once this file is displayed, right-click on the file and choose Install. You will need to have your original Windows 98 Second Edition CD available to uninstall this update.

Shutdown problems can also occur if you are using Symantec Norton AntiVirus with the Auto-Protect feature enabled. Usually shutdown stops responding (hangs).

To work around, or fix this behavior:

  1. Disable the Norton AntiVirus Auto-Protect feature (workaround)
  2. Obtain the latest LiveUpdate for Norton AntiVirus (Symevnt.exe) from Symantec's Web site. For more information about how to obtain LiveUpdate files, contact Symantec Technical Support. (fix)

Intel I820 Chipset

Intel has found that there may be some noise disturbances that occur in communications between the Motherboard components and the Memory Translator Hub(MTH), causing PC's to intermittently shut down or stop responding.

To resolve this problem, download the Intel utility found at the this Intel Web site. This utility determines if the MTH chip exists in the computer. If the MTH component is detected, this is most likely a hardware issue and you should contact your PC's supplier.