Windows will not shut down + explorer crashing.

Hey, so when I try to shut down my computer it just gets stuck on the shutting down screen and I have to switch it off by holding down the power button. I'm fairly sure this is because the system cannot end certain processes but I don't know which ones.
At first I thought it was iTunes because it wouldn't open but would start a process that wouldn't shut down. Then I got it uninstalled and it hasn't helped.
Now the other problem, maybe related? When I right click on the desktop explorer crashes (not IE). It doesn't just shut off but stops responding. For some reason i can still use the taskbar and start menu (I thought that was part of explorer).
And my computer is constantly running at 100% CPU usage. Its an HP laptop running Windows 7 and has had Windows on it for at least a couple months running fine.
 

Question Info


Last updated April 5, 2018 Views 1,394 Applies to:
Answer
The First Question Of Troubleshooting: If the problem is new, what changed between the time things worked and the time they didn't?

The Second Question of Windows Troubleshooting: what is the malware/virus status of the machine? If you think it is clean, what programs (and versions) did you use to determine this?

Be sure the computer is clean:
http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/page2.html#Removing_Malware

General shutdown troubleshooting:

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. Shutdown issues can also be caused by old/poorly written drivers so make sure all drivers are updated, particularly on Windows Vista and Windows 7.

A.The first step is always to make sure your computer is virus/malware free.

http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/page2.html#Removing_Malware

B. 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 - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/331796
How to perform a clean boot in Windows Vista or Windows 7 - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

C. If you need more information, here is an excellent shutdown troubleshooter - http://www.aumha.org/win5/a/shtdwnxp.htm

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.

MS-MVP - Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!
Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!

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