Several months ago, I solved a Windows XP slow shutdown problem that had been plagueing me for about three months on my notebook.
Since I normally let the notebook run overnight or close it to let it hibernate, I wasn’t able to identify when the problem happened, so I wasn’t able to identify the change that occurred.
But, shutting down the system took between 1.75 minutes and 2.5 minutes, whether it was a reboot or an actual shutdown. All the lost time was spent while WinXP said it was “saving your settings.”
Then, I solved it!
I spotted some DLL files in C:\windows\system32 that I didn’t recognize: dartftp.dll, dartsock.dll, dartzip.dll and dartweb.dll.
My first effort with Google resulted in near panic — many sites were reporting that files with several of these names were used by IAmBigBrother spyware. I was surprised because CounterSpy, AdAware SE, and SpyBot Search & Destroy hadn’t identified these files as spyware.