Windows

Poll: Which Windows XP/Vista shutdown option do you most often use?

Which of Windows XP and Vista's numerous shut down options is your favorite? Take this Windows shut down quick poll and let us know.

In an IT Dojo video, I show you how to use the Scheduled Task Wizard to wake an hibernating Windows XP machine.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

52 comments
Vineet369
Vineet369

I create a batch file with the shutdown command, and put it on the desktop. Then whenever I need to shutdown I just double click the file. Seems a lot easy then using start menu.

Irritated_User
Irritated_User

It depends very much on circumstances--the machine, job etc. Being an impatient SOB, even the 5-second BIOS power-off function can be too slow, so using a real* switch that O/Cs the power is about as fast as it gets. And usually NTFS doesn't complaint too much as FAT32 often does. Mind you, this is kind of behavior is usually restricted to my machines, on customer's machines or even my own ones (where they're being setup prior to backup), I'm extremely cautions about shutting down correctly. Essentially, it's horses for courses, as the situation dictates. ------------ * Besides, I don't like being dictated to by some software nerd whose trying to look out for my interests,it's my responsibility how I switch off. Moreover, these days I'm concerned about the sheer number of electronic appliances that no longer have real power switches. How this ever got past the electricity authorities in the first place beats me, it almost smacks of a pay-off or two. Presumably we'll have to have a few people electrocuted before authorities again accept responsibility and stop this nonsense.

mb96001
mb96001

Other. Windows needs a reboot every so often, but I only shut down to open the case for maintenance like hardware swap, cleaning, ect. My home desktop works all night. Whether it's a virus scan, defrag, or downloading bit torrents. The notebook hibernates. Restarts (at least the shut down portion) takes about a minute because I have security settings clear the pagefile upon shutdown / reboot. Its something I've allways done on all my XP machines.

eduramater
eduramater

At work, we're more or less required to log off at the end of the day, to permit config changes overnight. However, sometimes I'm just in a big fat hurry and will simply lock the computer. Getting back up in the morning isn't a factor because we still have that 10-character password hoop to jump through regardless. The speed is in the shutdown process. Locking is simple and straightfoward, whereas logging off requires waiting for synchonization to finish. If it gets interrupted, you have to start all over again, and sometimes I really need to be on my way. At home, I'm using Standby to save electricity and it has worked. In the past, any shutdown procedure caused me problems in starting back up, but so far, shutdown on my 3-year-old Dell desktop with XP is working fine. If it starts giving me trouble, I will go back to leaving it on 24/7.

kulwant.bhogal
kulwant.bhogal

With my old Athlon 3200 based XP machine, Standby always caused stability and functionality problems after resuming. So it was always "Shut-down" at the end of the day. With my new C2D 8400 based machine (dual boots Vista Home Premium and XP but mostly use Vista now) it's nearly always Sleep as resuming only takes a couple of seconds and everything still works flawlessly.

reisen55
reisen55

Tech republic ran a little note on the little known shutdown command. It's there, and all you do is keep it as a batch file, I call it "down.bat" and keep it on the C drive. shutdown -s -f -t 20 which shuts it down after 20 seconds. Now, just run that batch file AS A SCHEDULED TASK and you DO NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING AT ALL!!!!!!!

fw32
fw32

ALT F4 then U

bkleonard
bkleonard

At the office we're all single user stations(for the most part) and we'll log off daily and shut down at least once a week.(Better for the hard drives) At home we tend to all use multiple machines and logging off/switching user is more common although I continue the policy of at least weekly shutdowns.

steph2682004
steph2682004

I don't use the standard "shutdown" button. I created a shutdown shortcut on my desktop that eliminates the extra steps.

robsv1
robsv1

I use Turnoff-shutdown because: 1. Possible lightning strikes during frequent storms 2. Give the Laptop power supply a rest 3. I may have downloaded something that requires reboot anyway. 4. Save money on electricity 5. Hard drives don't spin forever

GingerLassy
GingerLassy

I use shutdown/restart 100% of the time on my work computer and 90% of the time on my home computer. The only time I really shutdown my home computer is when I am going to be away for more than a day.

zclayton2
zclayton2

at work it is agency policy for power saving - which is kind of dumb as there is no recognition of the power bricks for the laptops. but we shut them all down. At home, I shut down as it is just for games and I don't need to be a bot sending out spam from an untended machine. it is clean, but why run the risk of something getting in?

JethrodD
JethrodD

With XP, I use the shut down/turn off selection. With Vista I Turned Vista's Sleep Button Into a Power Button usingRick Broida of PC World's suggesion'... 1. Open the Control Panel and go to Power Options. 2. Click Change plan settings for your selected power plan. 3. Click Change advanced power settings. 4. Expand Power buttons and lid. 5. Expand Start menu power button. 6. Change the setting from Sleep to Shut down. 7. Click OK.

BadBonezBJ
BadBonezBJ

Co. policy is just hit Restart and leave 'em running - all (corporate and home) are configured and scheduled to receive updates (MS Updates, Virus updates, etc.) and do virus/spyware/etc. scans during the night.

philshuman
philshuman

Co. laptop - Pointsec won't allow hybernate, so shutdown every night Pers. laptop - hybernate until patch Tuesday then reboot Home Desktop - always on, reboot once a week

melekali
melekali

At home I either shut down or logoff so my wife can use it. At work I either restart (not an option) or logoff. I only use logoff if I am remoted into a machine to patch it as a secondary user.

justal33
justal33

I use a free utility call Super fast shutdown, and it also has option, Super fast reboot.

rwcarruthers
rwcarruthers

It seems to me that a complete Shutdown is the only way to ensure a complete flush of RAM.

jayal
jayal

windows remote shutdown tool

gavin.brebner
gavin.brebner

My Windows XP laptop doesn't like moving between docking stations - screen resolution gets very mixed up. Networking (DHCP) also stops hibernate being an option.

jda
jda

GPO Prevents as many of the above as possible to avoid terminal servers being inadvertently shutodwn by administrators in remote desktops - we use batch files to run "shutdown /s" or "shutdown /r" as required.

rogerfaucher
rogerfaucher

The results will be inaccurate since one of the more commonly used is not listed (RESTART). Even though this option is covered by the 'Other' selection, the results will still be skewed, I believe.

kdust111
kdust111

Work PC - Logoff & Reboot at end of each day, corporate policy is for always on. Primary home PC - Always on for remote access

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Home machine. Everytime I'm going to be away from it, barring vacations when I shut down. I reboot monthly, otherwise it's always on. I also shut down during nasty lightning storms. Home wiring isn't 3-strand grounded. Work? Shut down. The wiring in that office is worse than my home wiring. Campus? Shut down. Policy is everything shuts down for weekends. etu

bshetland
bshetland

I was using Standby for about 6 months then I kept getting "$MFT" File errors on my external USB drive - coming out of standby; now I just shut down every nite...

TheShawnThomas
TheShawnThomas

work computer gets locked or a reboot. always on so that I can remote in. home computer is always on as well.

JimInPA
JimInPA

Why do you ask? I lock mine more often than not. Even at the end of the day I will lock my computer instead of logging off. Main reason? With all the goofy startup scripts that run before I can work. Reboot about once a week give or take.

laserbrian
laserbrian

If it is a laptop I Hibernate (XP). If it is a corporate desktop, I log out or lock out. If it is a home PC, I shut it down.

reisen55
reisen55

Call it "down.bat" shutdown -s -f -t 20 And I also use it as a scheduled action so I DO NOT NEED to worry about shutting down and, secondly, I run that after a late evening backup of primary data to a redundant system is run, so I do not have to worry. Works great, too, if you are on vacation. Dell systems in particular allow you to automatically turn ON at a specific time and day, plus if you eliminate the login CTL-ALT-DEL requirement, everything becomes automatic indeed. START, RUN CONTROL USERPASSWORDS2 Allows you to change that. So your systems become entirely automatic.

reisen55
reisen55

I have an old DOS box, Win98 really without the Windows installed, and it is always amazing to remember that we could just turn them off with the power button. No pause, no waiting for shutdown. They just instantly DIED... AND REMEMBER PARKING THE HEADS ON OLD HARD DRIVES????

mroerdink
mroerdink

So you run this batch of this "little known" shutdown command as a scheduled task... ...what happens when the time for the scheduled task comes around and you're still working? Sure you could open the command prompt and kill the shutdown with that same "little known" command. But, what if you're grabbing a cup of your beverage of choice for those 20 seconds? Seems to me like it would be easier/more efficient to just do a Ctrl+Alt+Del then "S" when you're done working... simple as pie.

RichardKP
RichardKP

Snip I use Turnoff-shutdown because: 1. Possible lightning strikes during frequent storms unSnip Reason 1 not valid. PSu is still operational, standby power still flowing through motherboard, still get fried in the event of a power surge due to electrical storm. Only safe power olff is mains power off or unplug.

dryd
dryd

Good point. I tend to switch off the router. That stops the little blighters' getting in. And also saves our systems from the hot and cold wear and tear they would otherwise have to endure.

dryd
dryd

That's my approach as well. Great Vista trick that one, I really like it. But we usually never shut down any of our systems unless there is a good reason to do so. They definitly last longer that way. Most of the time when not actually in use, they sit at the log in screen, with the blank screen, screen saver enabled. It helps stop little fingers from playing around with them when no adults are about. The only exception is my wife's laptop. Which doesn't get used any where near as much, and is usually shut down. I had to (show her how to) disable hibernate on it, as it was tending to flatten the battery. Funny thing, she came home one day and wanted to know what I had filled her hard drive up with, and why the battery was half flat. But once I had showed her around the advanced power settings and explained how and what hibernation does, she has never looked back. (:

Ardvark77
Ardvark77

Nobody is concerned about potential fire risks and wasted power consumption? Do you all leave your monitor on as well?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I recommend my users log their Dells off before undocking, especially if they're going to redock somewhere else or if they're going to go wireless. I've found it prevents many lost connection / reconnecting issues.

Bad Boys Drive Audi
Bad Boys Drive Audi

If it's my home laptops/desktops, I hibernate. If it's my work laptop and I'm taking it home, I'll hibernate. If I leave the laptop at the office because I'll just remote into it later, I'll lock it. I don't shut down because hibernate works so well. I get it back up and running much faster than I would if I had to start it from scratch and all browser sessions, code in dev environments, etc. are already open and where I left off. I just don't see any value in shutting down.

davechilds_2000
davechilds_2000

Doesnt everybody shut down from the start menu?(except in emergencies)?

1101doc
1101doc

I use a shortcut to the command: %windir%\System32\shutdown.exe -s -f -t 00

cyndi
cyndi

If it is a laptop I put it in Stand By mode rather than hibernation. I find that hibernating eventually eats up the resources and requires a reboot more often than Stand By. It's easier to just save what I am doing and throw it in stand by mode. My home machines (desktops) have a 50/50 chance of either being shut off or logged out of, depending on the time of day. The corporate desktops I just log off of.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

My primary work machine gets hibernated when I go home, and shut down on the weekends. My home system gets hibernated some evenings, shut down others; mostly depending on how long I expect before I use it again, and whether I've recently installed any patches / service packs.

reisen55
reisen55

The "little known" command also works very well for remote control sessions, inclusive of servers.

reisen55
reisen55

I have a medical house I support and the staff, terrific people, are brain dead when it comes to systems procedures. They would leave systems on with the patient management program running which screwed my backups and for two years I used every trick in the book to get them TO JUST EXIT OUT OF THE THING. They never would. My task as an independent consultant is to work with or around my clientele. If they would not do it, then I would. Here is what I have instituted there for over two years hence. 5:00 am - systems turn on, DELL BIOS 5:30 am - systems perform antivirus sweep 7:30 am - systems initialize two programs for general office use 8:00 am - staff arrives 9:30 pm - systems initiate antivirus update 10:30 pm - systems shutdown via batch file 11:55 pm - backups run in redundancy mode I avoid every single issue in the world by these methods. On my home network, my system works the same in conjunction with other systems downstairs. On a vacation, my systems turn on and shutdown on a timed basis so I can RDP in through DYNDNS.ORG remote control client. No worry there.

Bad Boys Drive Audi
Bad Boys Drive Audi

I used to hibernate the laptop before undocking and going to a conference room to use wireless, and vice versa. However, I recently tested stand by, and it works just as well. Before hiberating, I would just hit the undock button and would occasionally experience problems going to the conference room but would always experience problems when connecting back to the docking station. The video card would get confused and wouldn't support my dual monitors and other weird things. It would always force me to reboot to get things working again. Once I tried hibernating and it worked back and forth, I stuck with it (and recommended it to others). Try going on stand by. It works just as well and allows you to get up and running faster than hiberation.

davechilds_2000
davechilds_2000

Doesnt it save you money on electricity bill? and its greener?

jwildhair
jwildhair

Put a shutdown &/or restart on your desktop.

jwildhair
jwildhair

I'm just too lazy to go through all the steps (Start>etc.) I also use a desktop icon substituting -r for -s to reboot...patience is a waste of time.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Hibernate should use fewer resources than Stand By, although it should take longer come back out of suspended animation.

reisen55
reisen55

And I had some snotty tech from Japan chase after me, telling me to always do a manual shutdown at the end of the day. Shutdown is a great, little advertised command. shutdown -s -f -t 20 is great and -r gives you a reboot. Works on servers too.

Bad Boys Drive Audi
Bad Boys Drive Audi

I prefer just using the built-in cmd line utility for shutdown or restart the machine. It's also come in handy when I had trouble connecting via RDP to the target machine.

reisen55
reisen55

In the professional world, a cold boot for system diagnostics is more in line with the thought of this thread. The shutdown batch file I have written about is a wonderful utility for remote desktop connection support.

Bad Boys Drive Audi
Bad Boys Drive Audi

Ok - so I hibernate and stick the laptop in the bag. Or it sits there on the table unplugged just like it was when I was working on it. How is that drawing any power or less green than turning it off? And it can sit there for days in hibernation before I REALLY need to plug it in to charge the batteries. So like I said earier, there isn't much of a difference.