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Another way to shutdown Windows…

Windows Well, this theme doesn’t use a ‘featured icon’ and I can’t come up with something nicer at the moment so this will have to do. At least its familiar. I’ll try to come up with a nicer specific Windows logo for future posts though.

Did you know…  That you can shutdown your Windows environment from the command prompt ?  If you’re now wondering “Why would I want to do that?” then this could be an interesting read…

Shutdown on a Windows server

Screenshot of a Windows 2k3 shutdown.If you’re going to try and shutdown a Windows server then this is the screen you’re most likely going to see.

While this may appear odd at first it actually makes perfect sense. After all; while you may turn of your computer when you’re not working with it anymore, servers are made to continue to run 24 hours a day. It wouldn’t be fun if you suddenly wouldn’t be able to access this blog from, say, 1am to 9am, would it?

Because servers aren’t rebooted or shutdown regularly it is good practice to document these events.

This can help server administrators to keep an overview of such events. The information itself is stored in the so called event logs but I’m going to talk about those at a later time.

‘logged’ shutdown on Windows 7 (or XP)

Windows 7 (which I’m using) or Windows XP obviously behave differently. If you select the shutdown or reboot option then it simply does what you ask and that’s the end of it. However; if you’d want to you can use this “server shutdown routine” on your client as well. Here’s how you do it…


If you press Win-r (Windows button followed by ‘r’) then you’ll get a “Run” dialog; from here you can start programs using their name. If you fill in “shutdown /i” without “”) and press enter you’ll see the shutdown dialog screen appear:

Shutdown dialog on Windows 7.

Now all you have to do is specify the computer which you want to use (normally you can fill out the name of your PC or simply use “localhost” as name). Then tell it what you want to do (reboot or shutdown), how long it should wait before starting the procedure (default is 30 seconds) and finally the reason why you’re performing this action. Was is planned and what caused the need to reboot?

After you’ve started the procedure then your PC will reboot or shutdown, and log the event in the so called “event logs“.

Command prompt

Another option is to use the command prompt. Simply use Win-r (as explained above) but this time start “cmd”. Now you get the DOS prompt from which you can start both commandline and Windows applications.

For example, try typing in: “shutdown /? | more” (without the “”). This gives you the help screen of the ‘shutdown’ command. By pressing space you can continue to the next page and ‘q’ (no ”) quits.

As you might have noticed you can even shutdown your computer from here.

For example: “shutdown /g /m localhost” will shut down and reboot your PC in 30 seconds.

“shutdown /g /t 60 /m localhost” will reboot in 60 seconds.

And of course you can also supply a reason why you’re rebooting, for example by using the /c option as follows:

“shutdown /c “Demonstrating shutdown” /g /m localhost”.

Summing up

Quite frankly I don’t think many people would use this, but it using the GUI of the shutdown command can be useful if you’re trying to achieve something by resetting and would like the reset to be documented. That way you can check the event logs at a later time to recall when you performed this reboot (for example; perhaps because you installed new drivers and need to keep in mind when you installed them).


June 18, 2012 - Posted by | Tips and tricks, Windows | , , ,

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