PowerShell Basics: Shutdown Command – Stop-Computer

PowerShell Basics_ Shutdown Command Stop-Computer

PowerShell Stop-Computer Cmdlet

If you want to use PowerShell to shutdown your machine, choose the Stop-Computer cmdlet.  The PowerShell Stop-Computer cmdlet is very similar to the operating system’s built-in shutdown command.  A likely scenario is that you wish to down a remote server.

Topics for PowerShell’s Shutdown Command

Simple Example of Stop-Computer

# PowerShell shutdown example
Stop-Computer -computerName ExchServer

Note 1: This command shuts down one named computer called ExchServer.

Example of Stop-Computer on Multiple Servers

$Victims =”SQLServer, ExchServer, GnomeServer”
Stop-Computer -comp $Victims -force

Note 2: This example shuts down multiple computers, the names of which are stored in a variable called $Victims.  You could extend this idea by employing Get-Content to read the names of the servers stored in a text file.  Incidentally, I have shortened the parameter -computerName to -comp, in PowerShell you can shorten parameters so long as the truncated word is unambiguous.

Stop-Computer – Basics of Shutdown

If you want to use PowerShell to shutdown your machine, choose the Stop-Computer cmdlet.  However, let us start by investigating PowerShell cmdlets containing the noun ‘computer’.  If you don’t see Stop-Computer among the results this will remind you to get the latest version of PowerShell v 2.0.

# Results should include, stop, restart and add.
# Else, try $Host to check you have PowerShell v 2.0.
Get-Command -Noun computer

Researching Stop-Computer Cmdlet

Before we stop our first computer using a PowerShell command, it’s well worth calling for help so that we can check the syntax and examine the parameters for Stop-Computer.

Get-Help Stop-Computer -full

Note 3:  I like to append the -full switch so that I can see the examples.  Two interesting parameters revealed with help are -force and -credential.  It’s also worth noting that Stop-Computer uses WMI, hence there are possible firewall restrictions on this command.

Note 4:  In the case of Stop-Computer, I can see many opportunities to add the -confirm switch.  Admittedly I reached this conclusion only after I had shot myself in the foot, and downed my local machine instead of the network server I was aiming at!

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Alternative to Stop: Restart-Computer

Perhaps you just want to restart the computer after apply a patch; in which case substitute ‘Restart’ for ‘Stop’, thus:

# Use PowerShell to reboot your server
Restart-Computer -computerName YourServer

Note 5: Once again the firewall may prevent the command, if so try turning off the firewall, or better still make an exception for WMI.

See more on PowerShell’s Restart-Computer »

Problems with Stop-Computer

RPC Server is unavailable

  • Error Message: The RPC server is unavailable. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x800706BA)
  • Cause: Firewall blocking the WMI / RPC command.
  • Solution: Turn off the firewalls, alternatively, open just the RPC ports 135 and 445.

Note 5: For this task I often use the local policy editor Gpedit.msc.  Then go to Windows Settings, Security Settings, Windows Firewall.  From that menu I right-click and create a New Rule seeking out ‘Predefined’, then scrolling down to WMI…

Access is Denied

  • Error Message: Access is denied. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED)).
  • Solution: append the -credential parameter, use the format MachineName\UserName

# PowerShell’s Stop-Computer with the credential parameter
Stop-Computer -computerName Serv1 -credential Serv1\Username

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Research More ‘Computer’ Cmdlets

Let us investigate which other PowerShell cmdlets contain the noun ‘computer’.

Get-Command -Noun computer

# Results for PowerShell 3.0


See also Restart-Computer »

Summary of Windows PowerShell Stop-Computer Cmdlet

Stop-Computer is very similar to the old shutdown command which has been built-in to generations of Windows operating systems.  The advantage of Stop-Computer is that it’s simpler than remembering whether you need a switch such as -s or -r, furthermore the backslashes can be troublesome with the shutdown command.

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See more PowerShell examples for Shutdown commands

PowerShell Home   • Syntax   • Stop-Computer   • Restart Computer   • Free CSV Import Tool

Get-Credential   • Windows PowerShell   • Windows 8 PowerShell 3.0

Please email me if you have a better example script. Also please report any factual mistakes, grammatical errors or broken links, I will be happy to correct the fault.