Sony Vaio With Windows XP Has Become Unresponsive

by on December 23, 2007

Q: My Vaio with Windows XP has become completely unresponsive to shutdown. Trying to close it down the regular way, Start -> Shutdown -> Shutdown, does nothing, absolutely nada. It’s like I’ve never hit the shutdown button at all. Trying to shut it down through Start -> Run -> Shutdown -s gives me a notification window that my computer will shut down in 30 second and then again nothing happens. It will shut off when I hit the button but that’s as responsive as it will get. I’ve tried looking online for in hope for a cure. But all I can find are hugely complicated solutions which are (I think) also not completely compatible with my problem. What can I do?

A: Believe it or not, most versions of Microsoft Windows are rather fragile. So, Windows requires regular maintenance in order to function properly. Oftentimes, problems like your shutdown issue occur when these regular maintenance routines have not been done for a while. You should do the following to your system at least once per month:

  1. Go Start => My Computer.
  2. You should now see your computer’s main hard drive. Most computers use the letter C to indicate the main hard drive.
  3. Right-Click on the main hard drive => choose Properties => left-click on the Disk Cleanup button, the choose the Disk Cleanup tab. Put checkmarks in all of the boxes, except Compress old files. Choosing to compress the old files on your computer will make your problems worse, not better!
  4. Once that part of the maintenance is finished, navigate back to My Computer => Properties, Then continue on into Tools => Error-checking and put checkmarks in both boxes. When you click Start, a message should appear asking your permission to schedule this particular maintenance routine for the next time your restart your computer. Please accept the message, but do not restart yet.
  5. You will now need to go into Defragmentation. When your computer’s hard drive becomes fragmented, it is difficult for your computer to access files and folders on your system. These hard-to-locate files can include those responsible for turning your computer off. To correct this, you need to do a defragmentation. You can ignore the Analyze button. When you press the Defragment button, your hard drive will be analyzed automatically. Also, do not believe your computer if it tells you that you do not need to run defragmentation — that is often false information.
  6. Once the disk defragmentation has finished, restart your computer. This will cause the routine that you scheduled earlier to run.
  7. If you have never done a defragmentation of your computer’s main hard drive before, you might want to do it twice this time. So after you computer has restarted, defragment again.
  8. If your computer has more than one hard drive, repeat steps 1 through 7 on all of your computer’s hard drives.

Did that solve your problem? If not, consider reinstalling Windows. Sony most likely provided a system restore utility with your Vaio.

NOTE: This is not the system restore utility that is part of Windows itself — that is different. You may also have access to a true Windows XP operating system installation disc. If you do not want to reinstall all of the extra software that came with your Vaio, use the installation disc instead of the system restore utility. Remember to create backups of your important computer files before reinstalling Windows.

Good Luck!