Yeah, I like bragging about how I cut down the bootup time of my computer from 4 minutes to just over one. But part of having a faster starting computer is also speeding up how quickly it shuts down. I implemented this trick months ago and couldn't remember where I'd gotten it from, but this post by My Digital Life sums it up quite well.
It basically asks you to change the following Registry entries:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\WaitToKillServiceTimeout (to a value between 5000 to 1000)
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WaitToKillAppTimeout (between 5000 to 1000)
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\HungAppTimeout (around 1000)
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\WaitToKillAppTimeout (between 5000 to 1000)
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop\HungAppTimeout (around 1000)
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\AutoEndTasks (to 1)
A much more detailed tutorial can be found on the origina
What these registry entries do is wait less time before totally killing an application and restarting. The scare in this is that applications won't have the time to save any unsaved data; however, in my case I've found that I'm not stupid enough to shutdown without saving my own data, and I've yet to lose any important information.
Remember though that editing your registry can be dangerous work, so back up your registry before you start.