It's not only end of support that Windows 7 diehards have to contend with. Late last week a new problem emerged – systems that refuse to shut down.
Complaints have been widespread on Reddit, Microsoft's official Answers forum and on on SevenForums. Some users also reported other issues, such as not being able to view their documents folder in Explorer.
Fortunately the problem seems to be fixable in most cases. The favourite solution is to tweak the UAC (User Account Control) settings with the Group Policy setting "Run all administrators in Admin Approval Mode" or the equivalent registry setting. Then run
gpupdate/force, and everything goes back to normal.
There are other workarounds, such as using shutdown from the command prompt, or logging off and then shutting down.
This does not explain the reason for the problem, which appeared mysteriously on or around 7 February. There may be a clue in two other popular fixes.
One is to disable a service called Adobe Genuine Monitor Service. This gets installed with Adobe software and presumably attempts to verify that you are not running hacked, cracked or stolen key versions.
Another theory is that it was security software Bitdefender wot dunnit. "I'm afraid it looks like BitDefender is responsible for this WORLDWIDE CRISIS!!!" said one disgruntled user.
We are not convinced since it appears that not only Bitdefender users have suffered on this occasion.
El Reg suggests changing the UAC setting, which is probably a good plan anyway. No, Microsoft has not been resorting to dirty tactics to force users to upgrade to Windows 10 (or migrate to Linux); but it would not be surprising to see increasing numbers of mysterious issues with Windows 7 as it becomes less well supported not only by Microsoft but also by third parties. ®