Remote Restart Windows Server
You can remotely reboot your Windows server with the built-in Shutdown.exe utility.
Topics For Remote Server Restart
This shutdown utility is available at the command line in Windows Server 2008 and earlier operating systems going right back to XP. Start by typing cmd; remember to 'Run as Administrator'. Once the DOS box launches your first real decision is do you want to reboot (-r), or shutdown (-s) that server in another part of the network?
Note 1: The default with -r is the local machine! Thus introduce the -m switch if you want a remote restart.
Note 2: While your 'victim' is probably a Windows Server, you can launch the command from Windows 7 or earlier Microsoft clients.
Warning: Despite what anyone tells you, nobody gets to be an expert with Shutdown without accidentally downing the local machine instead of the target computer. To recover from this mistake pay close attention to the syntax of Shutdown's abort switch -a.
When you attempt to restart a remote Windows server always remember that the default computername is the local machine, therefore to access a remote server you need to append -m ComputerName.
The full command would
Note 1: There is no space between the
double backslash and the computername
Note 2: If you substitute -s for -r that would mean shutdown.
testing -m on the local machine, try 127.0.0.1
Examples of Shutdown switches
shutdown -r -m \\YourSrv - Reboots a remote machine called 'YourSrv'.
shutdown -s -m \\Laptop - Shuts down, or stops a remote machine called 'Laptop'.
While you probably want to reboot a Windows server, Shutdown works on all modern Microsoft client operating systems.
Note 3: For once the sequence of switches is vital, hence shutdown -m -s \\Laptop does not work.
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This is often a permissions problem, or to be precise a lack of the user right to 'Force shutdown from a remote system'.
One solution is to launch Secpol.msc and adjust the settings as follows:
Trap : You typed Secpol, and forgot the .msc extension thus: Secpol.msc. See more on Secpol
Here is addition information about the optional commands to remotely restart your Windows Server.
Avoid overthink, you don't need the -m switch or the machine's name.
-f is for force. 'Mr Nasty', is coming - ready or not! Shutdown -r -f as you may have guessed, restarts the machine, and closes any programs without warning.
-c is for a comment. Would you like to put your stamp on the shutdown? Let people know who is in charge, who is restarting their server? -c "Guy is shutting you down"
-d p:4:1 reason. Personally, I would avoid this switch, the syntax is tricky the numbers obscure, and it does nothing exciting. That said the idea is sound, it enters a reason for the shutdown in the event log. If you activate shutdown's help, then you will get a whole list of major and minor reasons that you could employ with this switch. For me, this switch is an option, an option that I do not take.
Note 1: The shutdown command line switches work equally well with a
forward slash, for example, /d, /r or /a
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You could just click on the Start orb and type: 'Shutdown -i'.
Consider making a shortcut to shutdown. The advantage is that you can include the -i (/i) for interactive switch. The benefit is that you have a GUI to control your remote server restarts.
Just right-click the desktop, New, Shortcut, type
A shortcut is born. (See screenshot above right).
Usage: shutdown [/i | /l | /s | /r | /g | /a | /p | /h | /e] [/f]
/i Display the graphical user interface (GUI). This must be the first
As an alternative to the built-in Windows Server shutdown command try PowerShell. It has a family of cmdlets such as Stop-Computer and Restart-Computer. A likely scenario is that you wish to automate the reboot of a remote server. With a tiny substitution to the cmdlet's verb you could change the command so that it simply shuts down the computer. See more about using PowerShell's restart-Computer cmdlet.
Summary of Remote Restart Windows Server
It's fun to learn the Remote Restart Windows Server, and one day they will save you a long walk when you want restart or stop a remote computer. My advice is to perfect the -a (abort) switch, that way you won't panic if you issue a command to shutdown the local computer instead of the network machine.
For beginners, shutdown -i helps you to check the options in a GUI.
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