From the Kenosha News on 9-2-07

You can diagnose your startup and shut-down errors

      Some of the most frequent questions I get from readers concern error messages that they get every time they start up or shut down their computers.  These often include “File ??? not found” when starting up or “Program ??? needs to be shut down” when shutting down the computer.  You can diagnose either type of problem with roughly the same steps.  The instructions below are for Windows XP, but other versions of Windows should be very similar.

      First, make sure you note the file or process name in the error message.  You’ll need that information for all of the subsequent steps.  In general, most of these errors come from software that has been installed and either is not running properly or has been uninstalled incorrectly.  Therefore, they create registry errors so that Windows looks for software that doesn’t exist or tries to shut down before all of the software is closed.

      Next, when your computer is running, press Ctrl-Alt-Delete and then click the Task List button.  Next, click the Process tab.  Look for the item that you saw in the error message.  If you normally get an error message on shut-down, you may well see that process running.  You can click on it and then click the End Process button.  Now try shutting down and see if the error no longer occurs.  Even if it does, the next time you start up, the process will almost certainly restart, so we’ve only really determined which process causes the error, but not how to prevent it.

      A web site that can be of great help is Processlibrary.com.  On that site, you can type in the name of the process from the error message.  Since the site lists primarily system processes, if your item is related to application software, it may not be listed. 

      From the site, you will be given the opportunity to perform a free scan of your system using a product called “RegistryBooster.”  I do not recommend that you download and install this software.  The trial of the software will detect registry errors (it found 667 on my computer) but will only repair up to 15 of them unless you purchase the full version.  Also, it installs in such a way that it runs on each startup and stays running, making it difficult to uninstall.  If you have registry errors that are causing these problems, I’d recommend a free trial of System Mechanic from Iolo.com; it will scan for and remove all of your registry errors, but only for 30 days.  Removing registry errors should resolve most start-up errors since most come from software that has been uninstalled incorrectly and therefore is still looking for files it can’t find.

      Another web site that can help you diagnose this type of error message is www.techsupportforum.com.  Logins are free, and you can either search previous forum discussions or enter a question of your own.  One reader asked about a shutdown error concerning “PTAWIA.”  While it was not found in Processlibrary.com, this forum suggests it is related to Kodak’s EasyShare software.  Uninstalling the software resolved the person’s problem on the forum.

by Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 9-2-07