Disabling Win 2003 Shutdown Event Tracker

discusses how to disable the often annoying, at least from a developers
perspective, Shutdown Event Tracker in Windows Server 2003. Its basically a prompt
that makes you explain why the machine is being shut down and won’t
shut down until you type something into the comments box.  Anyone trying
to understand why my machine has been turned off will wonder if “asdf” is some
unnamed and unreleased MS prototype software:)  

You can find instructions for disabling this here,
and if you don’t have Group Policy Manager as a default in your Administrative Tools
(I didn’t), you can add this by:

  • Clicking start>>run…
  • type “mmc.exe
  • Select file>>Add/Remove Snap In…
  • Click Add…
  • Select Group Policy
  • Click Add
  • Click Close
  • Click OK
  • Then just follow the directions

Comments (8)

  1. Owen Allen says:

    Thanks for posting this, Dan. This was bugging me….

  2. Yuvraj says:


    I would like no all the evnts that occur when i issue shutdown command what to i do for it.

    One more thing, can write a script that shutdown the system and also displays when to turn of the system.

    Reply me

    Thanks and regards

    Yuvraj H saunshi

  3. Steve Foster says:

    How to bypass the Shutdown Event Tracker on any WS2003 system, without fuss:

    Open CMD

    Enter "shutdown -s -t 0" and hit RETURN.

    To restart a server, use "shutdown -r -t 0"

  4. Chris says:

    Does this also bypass the ridiculous "cannot log you in" error that comes up after unexpted shutdowns – where it forces you to enter a reason for the shutdown before it lets the system start back up?

    You gotta wonder – why is it more important to log why a server got unplugged, than for that server to start back up again automatically ????

  5. Nilkanth Desai says:


        I want to turn off the shutdown tracker while I am shutiing down my Windows Server 2003. Where can I find walkthrough.



  6. Microsoft is Ridiculous says:

    Microsoft can forward a single link?

    I’ve maintained websites for 10 years now, and not a single link I’ve ever created brought the user a page not found due to the fact that I’ve restructured my website.