Data Centers

Restart Windows Server 2003 from the command line

When the Windows Server 2003 computer you are working on will not shut down and you don't have any luck using the Start menu or the [Ctrl][Alt][Delete] methods -- and you need to restart the server as quickly as possible -- Derek Schauland can help you. Here is a quick workaround that gets the job done -- and you don't even have to handle power cords or the power switch.

The Windows Server 2003 computer you are working on will not shut down. You don't have any luck using the Start menu or the [Ctrl][Alt][Delete] methods, and you need to restart the server as quickly as possible. There is a quick workaround that gets the job done — and you don't even have to handle power cords or the power switch.

From the command line, you can shut down or reboot any Windows Server 2003 computer (or even Windows XP or Vista machines) with the Shutdown.exe command. (Note: The exe file extension is optional for the Shutdown command.) Shutdown.exe contains a number of switches that allow you to specify different actions for the server when the Shutdown command executes. The Shutdown.exe switches are as follows:

/? Displays the Help listing
/i Displays the graphical user interface (GUI); it must be the first option
/l Logs off the current user; it cannot be used with the /d or /m options
/s Shuts down the computer
/r Shuts down and restarts the computer
/g Shuts down and restarts the computer and then restarts any registered applications
/a Aborts system Shutdown
/p Turns off the local computer with no timeout or warning
/h Hibernates the local machine
/e Documents the reason for shutting down the computer
/m Specifies the target computer; it is used with \\computername
/t xxx Where xxx is the number of seconds before Shutdown
/c "comment" Where "comment" is the reason for the Shutdown or restart
/f Forces running applications to close without warning users
/d [p|u:]xx:yy Provides the reason for the Shutdown action: p = planned; u= unplanned; xx supplies the major reason code; yy = supplies the minor reason code

When you enter a Shutdown with no arguments, the Help listing will display. The Help listing also includes the reason codes available for use with the /d switch. The reason codes are shown below:

Reasons on this computer:
E=Expected U=Unexpected P=Planned c=Customer Defined
Type Major Minor Title

 

 

 

 

U

0

0

Other(Unplanned)
E

0

0

Other(Unplanned)
EP

0

0

Other(Planned)
U

0

5

Other Failure: System Unresponsive
E

1

1

Hardware: Maintenance(Unplanned)
EP

1

1

Hardware: Maintenance(Planned)
E

1

2

Hardware: Installation(Unplanned)
EP

1

2

Hardware: Installation(Planned)
P

2

3

Operating System: Upgrade (Planned)
E

2

4

Operating System:

Reconfiguration (Unplanned)

EP

2

4

Operating System:

Reconfiguration(Planned)

P

2

16

Operating System:

Service Pack (Planned)

U

2

17

Operating System:

Hotfix (Unplanned)

P

2

17

Operating System:

Hotfix(Planned)

U

2

18

Operating System:

Security Fix(Unplanned)

P

2

18

Operating System:

Security Fix(Planned)

E

4

1

Application: Maintenance(Unplanned)
EP

4

1

Application: Maintenance(Planned)
EP

4

2

Application: Installation(Planned)
E

4

5

Application: Unresponsive
E

4

6

Application: Unstable
U

5

15

System Failure: Stop Error
E

5

19

Security Issue
U

5

19

Security Issue
EP

5

19

Security Issue
E

5

20

Loss of Network Connectivity

(Unplanned)

U

6

11

Power Failure: Cord Unplugged
U

6

12

Power Failure: Environment
P

7

0

Legacy API Shutdown

You can use many of these switches in conjunction with one another when issuing the Shutdown command. A usage example for the Shutdown command follows:

Shutdown /r /c "Hanging Application or service" /t 30

This example would restart the local machine storing the comment provided with the /c switch. Windows would wait 30 seconds before initiating the restart. You might also create a batch file to use when it is necessary to restart a server in a remote location. The batch file might look like this:

Shutdown /m \\computername /r /c "Remote Restart" /t 45

By saving this command in a batch file, it can save you time if you routinely restart the same remote server.

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About

Derek Schauland has been tinkering with Windows systems since 1997. He has supported Windows NT 4, worked phone support for an ISP, and is currently the IT Manager for a manufacturing company in Wisconsin.

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