WINDOWS SHUTDOWN & RESTART CENTER
TROUBLESHOOTING in 15 STEPS
Version 11.12 — Last updated May 9, 2005
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[The following article is based on many sources, including Microsoft Knowledge Base articles and input from individuals in the Microsoft news groups. In particular, several MS-MVPs in the Desktop Systems section have contributed to the contents and form of this article as it evolved. My thanks to all. Please note that you use this information only at your own risk — I am not personally able to verify, in advance, the consequences of any action on every computer of every type used by every user. — Jim Eshelman]
Shutdown problems in Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Millennium Edition can be caused by many factors including, but not limited to: a damaged exit sound file; incorrectly configured or damaged hardware; conflicting programs, or an incompatible, damaged, or conflicting device driver. This article can be used to troubleshoot the possible causes. (There may be multiple simultaneous causes in a given case.)
If you receive a specific error message during shutdown, please search my Error Messages page for a possible resolution before proceeding with the steps below.
|1: Disable Fast Shutdown||10: Advanced Power Management|
|2: Shutdown Troubleshooting Wizard||11: Windows File System settings|
|3: Damaged exit sound file||12: Windows device drivers|
|4: Clogged temporary file folders||13: Use Bootlog.txt to troubleshoot|
|5: AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS||14: Internal system problem|
|6: Virtual device driver / SYSTEM.INI||15: Other solutions|
|7: WIN.INI command lines||Internet Explorer scenarios|
|8. Programs loading from Startup folder||Windows 98-only scenarios|
|9: EMM386-related memory conflicts||Fatal Exception Errors at Shutdown|
Launch MSCONFIG. Click Advanced. Place a check mark in the box next to “Disable fast shutdown.”
NOTE: If the box is already marked, go to SECOND STEP. If the box is missing in Windows 98 SE, it means you have already applied the Shutdown Patch, which has permanently disabled Fast Shutdown and then removed the box.
Click OK, then OK again. Test Windows shutdown by restarting the computer. (For proper troubleshooting, click Start | Shut Down | Restart | OK. Give Windows three minutes to complete the process before concluding that it is hung. This same procedure is referred to in the following steps as, “Test Windows shutdown.”) Disabling fast shutdown may solve the problem; but if it doesn’t, go on to SECOND STEP.
NOTE: If your computer hangs at shutdown, it uses Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI), and the Win98 Fast Shutdown feature is disabled, see here.
A shutdown troubleshooter is built right into Windows 98 and Windows ME. It will take you through many, but not all, of the steps recommended below. You may prefer this kind of “walk-through” on-screen troubleshooter. To access it, click Start | Help. In the window, type Troubleshooting. Click on the Troubleshooting entry in the menu. Scroll down the new list provided and click on “Shutdown and Startup Troubleshooter” (Win98) or “Startup & Shutdown Troubleshooter” (Win ME). Microsoft’s on-line version, previously here, has been withdrawn.
You can try one or the other version of Microsoft’s troubleshooter as your next option if you wish; or simply continue through the steps that follow.
In Control Panel, double-click Sounds (or Sounds & Multimedia). In the Events box, click Exit Windows. In the Name box, click None. Click OK. Test Windows shutdown. If Windows does not hang, the problem may be a corrupt sound file. Restore the file from your Windows disk or from wherever you obtained it, then test Windows shutdown.
An interesting variation on this issue: Several correspondents have confirmed (in Windows ME) that if there is a shutdown problem and no Exit Windows sound, the shutdown problem was resolved by adding one! (I suspect this worked by slowing down their shutdown process, thereby circumventing some other problem.) If this describes your situation — give it a try!
Manually deleting the contents of various temporary file folders may solve the shutdown problem. Though these files can be relocated on a given system, their default locations are usually on the C: drive. Folders you might want to manually clean include: TEMP, Temporary Internet Files, and MSDOWNLD.TMP.
If you have not moved them on your hard drive, the following links will take you to your main temporary folders: TEMP, Temporary Internet Files, MSDOWNLD.TMP.
If there is neither an AUTOEXEC.BAT nor CONFIG.SYS file, or if both are empty in Win95/98, go to SIXTH STEP.
After doing one of these procedures, test Windows shutdown. If it hangs, rename the files to the original names, or reset MSCONFIG to its prior status, and go to SIXTH STEP. If the system does not hang, rename the files and proceed with these steps:
Restart Windows and bring up the Boot Menu. Choose “Step-By-Step Confirmation.” Press Y at each of the following prompts if it occurs (press N for any other prompts):
NOTE FOR WINDOWS ME: The above list needs to be tweaked a bit to adapt it to Win ME. I have not yet done this, so things will look a bit different. However, if you follow the instructions literally, and keep your common sense awake, you will do this just fine.
After Windows finishes loading, test Windows shutdown. If the system hangs, go to SIXTH STEP. If it shuts down properly, the problem may be caused by a command line in the AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS file.
To determine which line is causing the problem, follow these steps: Restart Windows, bringing up the Boot Menu as before. Press Y for each of the prompts listed above, plus one additional command. Press N for all other prompts. (You will cycle through the additional lines, selecting a different additional command each time until you have gone through them all.) Each time, after Windows finishes loading, test Windows shutdown. Repeat the above until the shutdown problem occurs.
When the shutdown problem occurs, you will have identified the command causing the problem. Disable the command, using SYSEDIT to edit the file containing the command (in Win95 or 98), or MSCONFIG to remove the check mark in front of the problematic item (in Win98 or ME).
Launch SYSEDIT. Click on the SYSTEM.INI window. Examine the [386Enh] section. Place a semicolon (;) at the beginning of each line that begins with DEVICE= and ends with .386. Save the changes and exit SYSEDIT.
NOTE: In Win98 and ME, you can use MSCONFIG and merely uncheck such lines in the [386Enh] section.
Reboot, then test Windows shutdown. If Windows hangs, restore the SYSTEM.INI file to its original configuration. If Windows does not hang during shutdown, a virtual device driver may be causing the problem. Contact the driver’s manufacturer for assistance.
Launch SYSEDIT. Click on the WIN.INI window and look for any lines beginning with LOAD= or RUN=. Place a semicolon (;) at the beginning of these lines if they have entries following the equal (=) sign. Save the changes to the WIN.INI file and exit SYSEDIT.
NOTE: In Win98 and ME, you can use MSCONFIG and merely uncheck such lines on the WIN.INI tab.
If you did not make changes, go to EIGHTH STEP; otherwise, reboot and then test Windows shutdown. If Windows continues to hang, remove the semicolons, save the file and go to EIGHTH STEP. If Windows does not hang, one of the disabled program entries may be to blame. To determine the problem program, re-enable them one at a time by removing the semicolon and resaving the file (or reenabling in MSCONFIG). After each program is enabled, test Windows shutdown.
Restart Windows without any Startup folder programs loading.
FOR WIN98 or ME: Use MSCONFIG. Click Selective Startup. Remove the check mark from in front of “Load startup group items.” Restart Windows. FOR WIN95: Restart the computer and, as soon as the Windows desktop wallpaper appears, press and hold the SHIFT key until Win95 finishes loading. After doing one of these procedures, test Windows shutdown. If Windows hangs, go to NINTH STEP. If Windows shuts down properly, determine the culprit by ruling out the programs one-by-one:
IMPORTANT WIN95 NOTE: Holding down the SHIFT key as soon as Windows begins to load will launch Win95 in Safe Mode. (If you wait for the desktop wallpaper to appear, it only suppresses Startup items.)
If Safe Mode is used,
Therefore, for Win95 computers, if:
then Registry startup items, IFSHLP.SYS, and DoubleSpace or DriveSpace must be considered as likely causes of the problem. Detailed instructions for troubleshooting these items are not given in the present article; if you do not know how to test these steps, please seek help in the online peer support newsgroups for these specific tasks. See the well-titled Knowledge Base article “How Windows 95 Performs a Safe-Mode Start” for more details on the subject.
A memory conflict sometimes exists when EMM386.EXE is not loaded from the CONFIG.SYS file. To test for this, launch SYSEDIT. Click the CONFIG.SYS window. In the CONFIG.SYS file, make sure the following lines exist in this order, at the very beginning of the file:
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE NOEMS X=A000-F7FF
If you do not have a CONFIG.SYS file, create one with these three lines. Save the modified CONFIG.SYS file and close SYSEDIT. Reboot, then test Windows shutdown. If the system hangs, restore your CONFIG.SYS file to its original configuration. If it shuts down properly, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article: “Locating and Excluding RAM/ROM Addresses in the UMA”
Not all computers have APM features. If yours is one of them, go to ELEVENTH STEP.
Right-click on My Computer, select Properties, and click the Device Manager tab. Double-click the System Devices branch to expand it. Double-click Advanced Power Management Support in the device list. Click the Settings tab. Click the Enable Power Management check box to clear it. Click OK until you return to Control Panel.
WIN98 SE NOTE: This box does not exist in Win98 SE. Disable APM from Control Panel | Power.
Reboot, then test Windows shutdown. If Windows shuts down properly, the problem may be caused by APM, so contact the computer’s manufacturer for assistance.
NOTE: For additional information about shutdown problems with APM enabled, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article: “Shutdown Hangs After ‘Please Wait While...’ Screen”
Also, it makes sense to troubleshoot your power management functionality per se. Microsoft has provided an excellent tool for this, PMTShoot, or Power Management Troubleshooter. The latest version (which is much better than the one shipped with Windows) can be downloaded here.
Right-click on My Computer and select Properties. Click the Performance tab. Click File System. Click the Troubleshooting tab. Mark all the check boxes, click OK, click Close and click Yes. Reboot, then test Windows shutdown. If Windows shuts down properly, the problem is related to the File System settings. Go back and uncheck each box one at a time. Reboot and test Windows shutdown after each change to identify which item is the problem.
See if a Windows device driver is causing the problem or if an installed device is configured incorrectly or is improperly functioning. Right click on My Computer and select Properties. Click the Hardware Profiles tab. Click the hardware profile you are currently using, and then click Copy. Type “Test Configuration” in the To box. Click OK. (You may have to reboot and select this configuration before proceeding.) Click the Device Manager tab. Double-click any device, then click the Test Configuration check box to clear it. Repeat this step until you have disabled all devices but DO NOT disable any system devices. When you are prompted to restart Windows, select NO.
NOTE: If you disabled a PCI hard disk controller, choose Yes to restart Windows. PCI hard disk controllers cannot be unloaded dynamically.)
Restart Windows and you will receive the following message: “Windows cannot determine what configuration your computer is in. Select one of the following:” Choose Test Configuration from the list of configurations. As Windows starts, you will receive the following error message: “Your Display Adapter is disabled.” To correct the problem, click OK to open Device Manager. When the Display Properties dialog box opens, click Cancel.
Test Windows shutdown. If Windows hangs, go to THIRTEENTH STEP. If Windows shuts down properly, the problem may be caused by a Windows device driver or a device installed in your computer that is configured incorrectly or is not functioning properly.
To determine which device driver or device is causing the problem, go back into Device Manager. Double-click a device that you disabled previously, then click the Test Configuration check box to select it. When prompted to restart Windows, click Yes. Test Windows shutdown. Repeat this with each device until the shutdown problem recurs. If the problem recurs, you have identified the device or device driver causing the problem.
NOTE: If the shutdown problem is being caused by a Plug and Play device that is configured incorrectly or is not functioning properly, removing the device from the current hardware profile will correct the problem. After you remove the device from the current hardware profile and restart Windows, the drivers associated with the device are removed from memory and the shutdown problem does not occur. However, as Windows restarts, the Plug and Play device will be detected automatically and installed in the current hardware profile. When you restart Windows a second time, the drivers associated with the device are again loaded in memory and the shutdown problem returns.
If Windows continues to hang on shutdown after you complete the above steps, reinstall Windows to a different folder to rule out the possibility of damaged files. Click the correct link following for instructions on how to do this in: Win95, Win98, or Win ME. If your computer has a Plug and Play BIOS, reinstall Windows using the setup /p i command to rule out a defective Plug and Play BIOS.
If Windows still hangs during the shutdown process after you reinstall it, your computer may have faulty hardware or faulty system components including RAM, the CPU, the motherboard, or an internal or external cache. Contact your computer’s manufacturer for assistance.
If Windows still hangs during the shutdown process, create a BOOTLOG.TXT file by restarting the computer, bringing up the Boot Menu, and selecting the option to create a boot log. Let Windows load fully, then reboot normally. Examine C:\BOOTLOG.TXT for Terminate= entries. These entries are located at the end of the file and may provide clues as to the cause of the problem. Each Terminate= entry should have a matching EndTerminate= entry on a successful shutdown. If the last line in the BOOTLOG.TXT file is EndTerminate=KERNEL, Windows shut down successfully.
WIN98 SE NOTE: For Win98 SE, if the BOOTLOG.TXT file ends on EndTerminate=KERNEL and the computer still hangs at attempted shutdown, there is significant reason to believe it will be fixed by the CONFIGMG.VXD solution given in the Win98 Second Edition section. (Tip from Allan Smith.)
If the last line in BOOTLOG.TXT is one of the following entries, check the listed possible cause:
Launch MSCONFIG. On the General tab, click Advanced. Under Settings, click to clear the following check boxes: (1) Disable System ROM Breakpoint; (2) Disable Virtual HD IRQ; (3) EMM Exclude A000-FFFF. Click OK. Restart the computer. If the computer restarts correctly, repeat the above steps, restoring one of the disabled boxes each time. Continue repeating these steps, selecting an additional check box each time, until your computer fails to restart correctly. Once your computer fails to restart correctly, repeat the above steps again, but click to select all the check boxes except the last check box that you selected; click to clear this check box.
ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE PROBLEMS
If your anti-virus software is set to scan your floppy drives on shutdown, this can result in various symptoms including the computer hanging on shutdown. Often (but not always) a clue will be that the floppy drive light comes on during shutdown. The solution is to disable this particular feature in the anti-virus program.
Additionally, Win95 can hang and generate a Windows Protection Error at shutdown if both antivirus software and a PCMCIA adapter are installed on the computer. The driver PCCARD.VXD can cause a memory corruption during shutdown, which forces the antivirus program to hang. Microsoft has a supported fix for this, available in Knowledge Base article 233322.
PC SPEAKER DRIVER PROBLEMS
The PC Speaker driver (SPEAKER.DRV) can cause Windows to stop responding at shutdown or startup. To disable the PC Speaker driver, disable the wave=speaker.drv line in the SYSTEM.INI file, then restart the computer.
BIOS EXPECTS IRQ 12 TO BE USED BY PS/2 PORT
On a computer with a BIOS that expects IRQ 12 to be in use by a PS/2-style mouse port, but instead has a software-configurable hardware device (such as a Plug and Play adapter) using IRQ 12, Windows can hang on shutdown. To work around this problem, reserve IRQ 12 in Device Manager, or change the IRQ for the software-configurable device in Device Manager. (You may also want to consider upgrading the BIOS in your computer to a later version.) To reserve an IRQ with Device Manager: Right click on My Computer and select Properties, click the Device Manager tab, double-click Computer. On the Reserve Resources tab, click the Interrupt Request (IRQ) option, and then click Add. In the Value box, click the IRQ you want to reserve. Click OK until you return to Control Panel.
NETWORK CARD PROBLEMS
If a network card is installed in the computer, do the following: Remove the network adapter from Device Manager. (To do this, right-click on My Computer, click on Properties, click on Device Manager, double-click on Network Adapters, double-click the first device in the list, select the “Disable in this hardware profile” check box, then click OK; repeat for each device listed under Network adapters.) Click Close. Restart your computer. After your computer restarts, test Windows shutdown.
A variation on this is the following: Remove the network in Device Manager. Shut down Windows. Physically remove the network card. Restart Windows. Shut down Windows (observe whether it shuts down normally). Reinstall the network card. Restart Windows and let it detect the card as new hardware.
A further variation is to remove the network card and place it in another slot. MS-MVP Mark Phillips reports repairing almost all shutdown problems in his office environment by moving the network card. In fact, when he had their OEM begin setting up the systems so that all PCI/AGP boards are installed in every other slot, he completely wiped out the problem (except on one machine that had a defective hardware problem).
MAPPED NETWORK DRIVE PROBLEMS
When you shut down Windows 95 or 98 with a significant number of mapped network drives, the computer may stop responding. The more mapped network drives, the more likely the problem. Microsoft reports that the most commonly reported threshold for this problem is eight (8) mapped network drives. Users have reported that the number can be much lower than this.
The cause for this is that, during the shutdown process, a WM_DEVICECHANGE message is broadcast to all top-level windows, informing each window of a DBT_DEVICEREMOVECOMPLETE event. If a window does not respond to the broadcast system message, the computer may hang. When there are many mapped network drives, the operating system kernel may shut down while broadcast messages are still queued for delivery. This causes all input processing operations to stop, precluding any windows from responding, and causing MSGSRV32 to hang.
As a work-around, one can disconnect all mapped network drives before shutting down Windows. Additionally, Microsoft has provided a supported fix for this problem in the Knowledge Base article, “Windows Stops Responding During Shutdown with Mapped Drives.” (The fix itself, originally available only only by contacting Microsoft directly, now can be downloaded here.)
DISABLED NUMERIC DATA PROCESSOR
MS-MVP Ron Martell reports that a disabled numeric data processor can cause shutdown problems. To check this, launch System Properties (right-click on My Computer and select Properties). Click on the Device Manager tab. Select “View Devices by Connection” at the top. Click the + next to “Plug and Play Bios” to expand that section. Click on “Numeric Data Processor,” then click Properties. Click the Settings tab. Make sure “Never use the numeric data processor” is NOT selected at the bottom.
RETURN CMOS TO FACTORY SETTINGS?
If the previous steps do not resolve the problem, try resetting CMOS settings back to factory defaults. For information about changing CMOS settings in your computer, consult the computer’s documentation or manufacturer.
WARNING: Before you reset the computer’s CMOS settings back to the factory defaults, make sure to write down the CMOS settings. WARNING: Do not try this step unless you know what you are doing — mistakes in this step can result in your computer not working at all!
(1) If Internet Explorer 4.01 is installed, and one or more network drives are mapped on your computer with the Desktop Update component installed, update to Internet Explorer 5 or apply the IE4.01 Service Pack 1.
(2) If any version of IE is installed and your user profile contains a large Temporary Internet Files folder (cache), Windows can hang on shutdown. Please note that this includes ALL versions of Windows later than Win95, since IE is an intrinsic part of Win98 and Win ME. To work around this behavior, use any of the following methods:
CISCO TCP/IP SUITE 100 PROBLEM
If you are using Cisco TCP/IP Suite 100 as your TCP/IP stack, remove it and install Microsoft TCP/IP. For step-by-step instructions, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article “Computer Stops Responding When Shutting Down Windows 98.”
NORTON ANTIVIRUS AUTO-PROTECT
If you are using Norton AntiVirus with the Auto-Protect feature enabled, disable Auto-Protect, then obtain the latest LiveUpdate for NAV from Symantec’s web site. If these steps do not resolve the issue, Symantec recommends that (after backing up the Registry!) you delete the following Registry line:
After reading the Symantec support article on this topic listed below, click here to download a Registry patch to effect this repair.
See the Symantec support article or the Microsoft Knowledge Base article on this topic.
ACPI with FAST SHUTDOWN DISABLED
If your computer hangs at shutdown, it uses Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI), and the Win98 Fast Shutdown feature is disabled, you may receive one or both of the following messages: Windows is shutting down. [-OR-] It’s now safe to turn off your computer. See the Knowledge Base article, “Computer Stops Responding When You Try To Shut It Down” for details on a supported fix that corrects this problem. It has not been fully regression tested and should be applied only to computers experiencing this specific form of the shutdown problem. (Microsoft reports that this problem was repaired in Win98 SE.)
NOTE: Previously this problem was also identified as affecting computers with a Matsonic BIOS and the “USB Function for DOS” option is enabled in the BIOS. The Matsonic BIOS issue is not mentioned in the present version of the Microsoft support article. However, users have reported other shutdown problems with Matsonic motherboards even on Win98 SE, particularly if the default “Poweron by PCI card” setting is left enabled. Disable it in the CMOS (under Power Management Setup | IRQ/Event Activity Detect).(Tip from George Keyes.)
USR 56K USB vs. ATI RAGE 128
There is an incompatibility with some US Robotics 56K USB modem drivers and earlier ATI Rage 128 video drivers. Therefore, if you have an ATI Rage 128 installed, and then connect an external USR 56K USB modem to your computer and install certain drivers, you may not be able to shutdown Win98. You may receive fatal exception errors or general protection faults during shutdown. Microsoft identified this problem in Knowledge Base article 255715, advising that you install version 4.11.6114 or later of the ATI Rage 128 video drivers.
Alps Electric USB Server: Fatal Error 0E
An 0E error condition can be caused on shutdown on those Compaq computers with an Alps Electric USB Server. During shutdown, Win98 does not stop this program, causing the system to generate the error message. Microsoft identified this problem in Knowledge Base article 200692, advising that you contact Compaq for a solution, or simply disabled the software.
In early 2001, an entirely new class of shutdown problem emerged. Being previously almost nonexistent, it now has become one of the most commonly reported shutdown problems. This problem consists of a Fatal Exception error condition (usually 0E) at time of shutdown. Although it has taken a while to get a handle on these, it now seems clear that these usually are hardware issues. Most of the time, they are video driver issues, but this is not invariable.
These new problems are most common in Windows ME, but do sometimes occur in earlier versions of Windows. This makes sense, given their usual relation to device driver problems, because Windows ME, at this late date, is still plagued by hardware manufacturers’ failure or refusal to provide proper drivers for it. Driver-related problems would, therefore, occur more often in Win ME.
If you receive a Fatal Exception or other error messager at shutdown, examine it first purely from the point of view of the error condition. That is, look for it on the Windows Error Messages page first.
Many error messages occur not only at shutdown, but at startup or during use of the computer, so it is all but impossible to catalogue them separately just for shutdown troubleshooting purposes. Also, you may not find the exact error message catalogued. In that case, look first at the general information provided regarding the type of error message (e.g., Fatal Exception 0E) and examine the overview information given about that type of error. You may also wish to search the page for other error messages (or other types) involving the program or module named in your error message. Sometimes, this gives a clue to the type of conditions that erupt into problems for that module. You may also widen your search for the error message using a search engine such as Google to see the circumstances in which other people have had the same sort of problem, and what previously was suggested to them as a solution.
It’s worth repeating: If you can’t find a specific reference to your error message, your best clue is probably the type of error message more than any other detail concerning it.
The articles below discuss a few specific shutdown error conditions and their causes. Perhaps more importantly, they give us an overview of the type of conditions that create these problems.
Error Message on a Blue Screen (BSOD) When Shutting Down or Restarting Windows Win95, Win98, Win98 SE
On a Compaq Presario, if you upgrade to Windows 98 (either edition), and if you have an FX500 or FX700 monitor with an incompatible monitor driver, a BSOD error condition may exist at shutdown. The solution is to get a new driver from Compaq. The article gives a link for this, plus a list of the computer models that are involved.
Exception 0E at 0028:C00082CD in VXD VMM(01) Win98, Win98 SE, Win ME
If you have an incompatible or early version of a Matrox video driver installed on your computer, you may get the above error message at shutdown. The solution is to download and install the latest video driver from www.matrox.com.
Errors When Shutting Down Windows with Compaq FX-Series Monitors Win98
The USB support software included with some Compaq FX-series monitors is not fully compatible with Windows 98. This may cause an error condition at shutdown: A Fatal Exception 0E has occurred at 0028:C001AEEB. The solution is to get and install updated USB support software from Compaq.
Cannot Shut Down Windows with USR USB Modem & ATI Rage 128 Video Adapter Win98
There is an incompatibility with some US Robotics 56K USB modem drivers and earlier ATI Rage 128 video drivers. You may receive fatal exception errors or general protection faults during shutdown. The recommended solution is to install version 4.11.6114 or later of the ATI Rage 128 video drivers.
MSGSRV32.EXE caused a general protection fault in module CM8330SB.DRV
EXPLORER caused a general protection fault in module CM8330SB.DRV
IEXPLORE caused a general protection fault in module CM8330.DRV Win95, Win98
If your computer uses a sound card or modem based on the C-Media CMI8330 sound chip, you may get any of the above error messages. A driver update is required.
MSGSRV32 Caused a General Protection Fault in USER.EXE Win98
This can occur if you have faulty computer hardware or a damaged driver or program, or if your Windows core files are damaged. Detailed procedures are given for addressing these various possibilities.