This is a problem I experience from time to time. I click Restart and then sit looking at a screen that says it restarting or shutting down for seemingly ever. Sometimes there’s an open program, say Outlook, that won’t shut down, and you get an opportunity to force a close. But even after those programs close, it seems the system has gone into an infinite loop. The problem is that I’ve no idea what’s happening.
To help, I’ve added a setting in the Registry to display some clues. Here it is:
Open RegEdit from Start > Run…
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
In the right side of the window you may see an entry called VerboseStatus with a value of zero. If so, click Modify and change it to 1. If not, you can create it by right-clicking on a blank area and select New and DWORD(32-bit) Value. Create an entry called VerboseStatus and set its value to 1.
Close RegEdit. Next time you restart or shut down, you’ll see some information about what programs and services are closing. It’s not as detailed as I would like it, but it helps.