Sometimes Windows gets itself in a huff and won't shut down properly for some reason. You try to shutdown your system and nothing happens for a while, and then a dialog appears telling you that a task won't shut down and you can press End Now if you want to end it now, or you can wait for Windows to try and end it itself. Well you can avoid that hassle by making a simple registry tweak (but remember to backup your registry before editing it!). Here's how:
1. Open Regedit and navigate to HKU\.Default\Control Panel\Desktop
2. Double-click on AutoEndTasks
3. Change the value from 0 to 1
4. Reboot your machine
Now hung processes will end automatically when you try to shutdown or reboot your machine. One caveat: a hung process means something is wrong, and anytime you kill a hung process (whether manually or automatically) you risk possible data loss.
Cheers, Mitch Tulloch