Starting and Stopping Windows

While it's easy to turn your computer on and off, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when you do.

Turn the Screen on First

When you turn on your computer, be sure to turn on your monitor first. The reason for this is that your computer will do some diagnostic tests and load some programs as it comes up. If a problem is detected, the information displayed on the screen might be helpful in figuring out what is wrong with your computer.

<F8> Boot Options

If you want to modify the system startup procedure, press <F8> when you see the message that says Starting Windows 95 and you will get a menu of different options. For example, if you wanted to bring the system up in DOS rather than in Windows, option 5 from the menu would allow you to do this. Windows 98 and above don't give you a message like Windows 95 does. <F8> works with Windows 98 and up the same as it does with Windows 95, but it's not easy to know exactly when to press <F8>. As a result, I would recommend that you just try pressing <F8> repeatedly as your system is booting up.

System should come up ready to use

Under normal operation, your system should come up into Windows and be ready to use. If it doesn't for any reason, seek help unless you know what the problem is and how to correct it.

Shut the System Down Properly

Finally, when you're ready to turn your computer off, be sure to shut it down properly. Windows maintains a lot of information in memory in order to do the things it does for you. If you just turn power off without shutting it down properly, you stand a good chance of losing some information or doing damage to your system. To properly shut your system down, click on the Start button and then click on Shut Down... (Turn Off Computer in Windows XP). The underlined letter in the preceding is the key you can use instead of the mouse to select this. You'll get a window asking for confirmation before your system shuts down.

If, for some reason, you need to restart your system, you will follow this same procedure for shutting the system down except that you will change the option on the window that pops up.

Now, I can already hear you complaining about this procedure for shutting your computer down so I thought I would share this little tidbit with you I. I apologize for not knowing the original author.

Costello: "Hey, Abbot!"

Abbot: "Yes, Lou?"

Costello: "I just got my first computer."

Abbot: "That's great Lou. What did you get?"

Costello: "A Pentium 4 2GHz, with 256-Megs of RAM, a 40-Gig hard drive, and a DVD CD-ROM."

Abbot: "That's terrific, Lou."

Costello: "But I don't know what any of it means!"

Abbot: "You will in time."

Costello: "That's exactly why I am here to see you."

Abbot: "Oh?"

Costello: "I heard that you are a real computer expert."

Abbot: "Well, I don't know-"

Costello: "Yes-sir-ee. You know your stuff. And you're going to train me."

Abbot: "Really?"

Costello: "Uh huh. And I am here for my first lesson."

Abbot: "O.K. Lou. What do want to know?"

Costello: "I am having no problem turning it on, but I heard that you should be very careful how you turn it off."

Abbot: "That's true."

Costello: "So, here I am working on my new computer and I want to turn it off. What do I do?"

Abbot: "Well, first you press the Start button, and then-"

Costello: "No, I told you, I want to turn it off."

Abbot: "I know, you press the Start button-"

Costello: "Wait a second. I want to turn it Off. I know how to start it. So tell me what to do."

Abbot: "I did."

Costello: "When?"

Abbot: "When I told you to press the Start button."

Costello: "Why should I press the Start button?"

Abbot: "To shut off the computer."

Costello: "I press Start to stop."

Abbot: "Well Start doesn't actually stop the computer."

Costello: "I knew it! So what do I press?"

Abbot: "Start."

Costello: "Start what?"

Abbot: "Start button."

Costello: "Start button to do what?"

Abbot: "Shut down."

Costello: "You don't have to get rude!"

Abbot: "No, no, no! That's not what I meant."

Costello: "Then say what you mean."

Abbot: "To shut down the computer, press-"

Costello: "Don't say, 'Start!'"

Abbot: "Then what do you want me to say?"

Costello: "Look, if I want to turn off the computer, I am willing to press the Stop button, the End button and Cease and Desist button, but no one in their right mind presses the Start button.

Abbot: "But that's what you do."

Costello: "And you probably Go at Stop signs, and Stop at green lights."

Abbot: "Don't be ridiculous."

Costello: "I'm being ridiculous? Well. I think it's about time we started this conversation."

Abbot: "What are you talking about?"

Costello: "I am starting this conversation right now. Good-bye."

Hughes Glantzberg

Last Revised: 02/24/2005

Created by
The PC Help Desk
(Hughes Glantzberg)