> It's been happening ever since the re-install: Vista freezes when
> logging off. It doesn't matter which user profile, or if I'm simply
> logging off to switch to a user or shutting the whole computer down.
> The thing that's got me is--the only piece of software I use is Spyware
> Doctor, I haven't had time to reload all my crap.
> I'm guessing that the lack of software on the machine would point to
> hardware as causing the problem. But how can I see which device it is?
General shutdown troubleshooting - take the bits that are applicable to
you (and for you, I'd start with drivers):
Shutdown issues are generally caused by a program and/or process that is
refusing to exit gracefully. The program and/or process can be from
malware or can be legitimate (such as an invasive antivirus like Norton
or McAfee). If you are using a Norton or McAfee product, uninstall it
and replace with a better program such as NOD32, Kasperksy, or Avast
(free). The Windows Firewall is adequate for most people. With Vista,
shutdown issues can also be caused by old/poorly written drivers so make
sure all drivers are updated. See Step B. below for general driver
A.The first step is always to make sure your computer is virus/malware free.
B. Drivers - The First Law of Driver Updates is "if it ain't broke,
don't fix it". Normally if everything is working you want to leave
things as they are. The exception is that heavy-duty gamers will usually
want to update their video and sound drivers to squeeze every last bit
of performance out of the hardware to get the fastest frame rates. If
you're not one of those people, you don't need to update your drivers if
there are no problems you are trying to solve.
Never get drivers from Windows Update. Get them from:
1. The device mftr.'s website; OR
2. The motherboard mftr.'s website if hardware is onboard; OR
3. The OEM's website for your specific machine if you have an OEM
computer (HP, Dell, Sony, etc.).
Read the installation instructions on the website where you get the drivers.
To find out what hardware is in your computer:
1. Read any documentation you got when you bought the computer.
2. If the computer is OEM, go to the OEM's website for your specific
model machine and look at the specs (you'll be there to get the drivers
3. Download, install and run a free system inventory program like Belarc
Advisor or System Information for Windows.
- Belarc Advisor
- System Information for Windows
C. If the computer is virus/malware-free, drivers are current, and no
Norton or McAfee programs are installed, then do clean-boot
troubleshooting to see which program/process is the culprit:
How to perform a clean boot in Vista and XP -
D. If you need more information, here is an excellent shutdown
Standard caveat: If troubleshooting the issue is too difficult - and
there is absolutely no shame in admitting this isn't your cup of tea -
take the machine to a computer repair shop. This will not be your local
BigComputerStore/GeekSquad type of place. Get recommendations from
family, friends, colleagues.
Elephant Boy Computers
MS-MVP Windows - Shell/User