If you are using a remote desktop connection to access one of your systems you may have noticed Windows 7 removes the shutdown option from the start menu. Lucky for us there is an easy way around it using an old school shutdown command. Let’s get to know it.
What is the Windows 7 shutdown command?
The shutdown command in Windows 7 is just that, shutdown. However simply typing shutdown will render no results, it needs to have a letter (argument) typed after it. Here’s the easy to understand example given by Microsoft:
Usage: shutdown [/i | /l | /s | /r | /g | /a | /p | /h | /e] [/f]
[/m \computer][/t xxx][/d [p|u:]xx:yy [/c “comment”]] i
To translate, the command is:
or a more specific example:
However there are some letters that have variables after them, such as /m which allows you to type the address or name of a network computer you want to remotely shutdown.
There are really quite a few of them so here is a list of the available shutdown options for the command.
/i Display the graphical user interface (GUI).
This must be the first option.
/l Log off. This cannot be used with /m or /d options.
/s Shutdown the computer.
/r Restart the computer.
/g Shutdown and restart the computer. After the system is
rebooted, restart any registered applications.
/a Abort a system shutdown.
This can only be used during the time-out period.
/p Turn off the local computer with no time-out or warning.
Can be used with /d and /f options.
/h Hibernate the local computer.
Can be used with the /f option.
/e Document the reason for an unexpected shutdown of a computer.
/m \computer Specify the target computer.
/t xxx Set the time-out period before shutdown to xxx seconds.
The valid range is 0-315360000 (10 years), with a default of 30.
If the timeout period is greater than 0, the /f parameter is
/c “comment” Comment on the reason for the restart or shutdown.
Maximum of 512 characters allowed.
/f Force running applications to close without forewarning users.
The /f parameter is implied when a value greater than 0 is
specified for the /t parameter.
/d [p|u:]xx:yy Provide the reason for the restart or shutdown.
p indicates that the restart or shutdown is planned.
u indicates that the reason is user defined.
If neither p nor u is specified the restart or shutdown is
xx is the major reason number (positive integer less than 256).
yy is the minor reason number (positive integer less than 65536).
For /d – 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)
E P 0 0 Other (Planned)
U 0 5 Other Failure: System Unresponsive
E 1 1 Hardware: Maintenance (Unplanned)
E P 1 1 Hardware: Maintenance (Planned)
E 1 2 Hardware: Installation (Unplanned)
E P 1 2 Hardware: Installation (Planned)
E 2 2 Operating System: Recovery (Planned)
E P 2 2 Operating System: Recovery (Planned)
P 2 3 Operating System: Upgrade (Planned)
E 2 4 Operating System: Reconfiguration (Unplanned)
E P 2 4 Operating System: Reconfiguration (Planned)
P 2 16 Operating System: Service pack (Planned)
U 2 17 Operating System: Hot fix (Unplanned)
P 2 17 Operating System: Hot fix (Planned)
U 2 18 Operating System: Security fix (Unplanned)
P 2 18 Operating System: Security fix (Planned)
E 4 1 Application: Maintenance (Unplanned)
E P 4 1 Application: Maintenance (Planned)
E P 4 2 Application: Installation (Planned)
E 4 5 Application: Unresponsive
E 4 6 Application: Unstable
U 5 15 System Failure: Stop error
U 5 19 Security issue
E 5 19 Security issue
E P 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
How do I use the shutdown command?
In Windows 7 there are a few ways to enter commands like the shutdown one. The easiest is going to be by using the Start Menu to enter it.
1. Click the Start Menu Orb and then simply Type in the shutdown command such as:
Then Press Enter.
Windows will go ahead and shutdown, even if the computer you are working on is a remote desktop client! This is a groovy technique and one I use frequently to quickly restart pesky virtual machines running on my Windows servers. Just one thing to note, don’t run that command unless you really mean it… It’s not easy to stop and it WILL reboot your system after about 20 seconds.