Tech Tip: Speed up NT shutdowns

When shutting down your NT box, the Service Control Manager uses the value set in a registry key to determine the number of milliseconds to wait to see if a service has shut down. You can modify this value to speed up the shutdown time of NT.

Note that you must provide enough time for the services to shut down, so setting the value to 1 will be of no use. A value of 15000 or greater (15 seconds) is probably acceptable.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Registry Editor (Regedt32).
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\ Control.
  3. Edit the value of WaitToKillServiceTimeout to change the amount of time NT waits before shutting down. The default is 20,000 milliseconds.
  4. Close the Registry Editor, and restart the system.

Occasionally, for troubleshooting purposes, you may need to know when your NT machine last rebooted. For example, you may want to know if there was a power loss or an unscheduled reboot.

You can determine this by typing NET STATISTICS SERVER at the command prompt. The first line returned (e.g., Statistics Since 10/21/2003 9:00 PM) will tell you the last time the machine restarted (provided you had no reason to issue the NET STOP SERVER and NET START SERVER commands).

Note: Editing the registry can be risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before you begin.

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