Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Windows 8 / Server 2012 Shutdown Safety Tip

I really don't want to try to reinvent the many articles out there on how to make your own "Shutdown" and "Logoff" shortcuts on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, but I feel I need to add just a little bit more.

In case you aren't aware of what I'm talking about, I will describe it, sans screen captures.  The issue is how the Windows 8 "Metro" UI makes it feel like you have to click-click-click-click-click to the stupid "Charms" bar in order to Shutdown or Restart your computer.  Let's digress...

The Dilemma

Finding the Shutdown and Restart links in Windows 8 (and Windows Server 2012) for the first time can be a little confusing. I say "little", but that's like saying rednecks are a "little" upset that Obama won the election. Basically, you move the mouse cursor (or your finger or other body part, if you have a touch-screen) to the bottom right corner of the screen.  This brings up the transparent sidebar menu which contains five (5) icons, called "Charms".  You can also press WINKEY+C to do the same.

In case you expect this sidebar thing to be called a "Charms Bar", stop right there!  Microsoft has told some people, including Paul Thurrott, that this is not what it's called.  But in let's move on...

Then you click the bottom icon, which looks like a gear.  This is the "Settings" link.  Because we've gotten used to going through "Settings" to do "Shutdown" and "Restart", right?  This makes NO sense to me, nor to most other people I've talked with, but Redmond knows what we want.  So when you open the Settings panel, you click "Power" and then you get options for "Sleep", "Shutdown" and "Restart".  I'm sure this is because three gestures/clicks is faster than two.  Geez, I'm a real smart-ass tonight.

Band-aid Workaround

The easiest workaround to avoid all this crazy finger-straining is to make your own Desktop or Taskbar shortcuts to "shutdown.exe" with various options (for shutting down immediately, doing a restart, etc.):

"shutdown -s -f -t 0" (shutdown immediately)
"shutdown -r -f -t 0" (restart immediately)

Careful!  Let's add a Safety Button

The danger to using the above commands is the "-t 0" part.  Yes, it means "do it now!!!" (say that with your best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression).  I prefer t use "-t 10" (delay ten seconds), for both of those commands.

But Wait! There's More!

(My respects to Billy Mays)  This is especially relevant to Windows Server 2012:  In addition to adding a delay time, you might want to add one more shortcut:

"shutdown.exe -a" and label it "Abort Shutdown!"

If I really need to explain why this could be helpful, well, I'll let you ponder this for a few more minutes. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt.  Okay, I'll tell you:  It's like cutting the green wire when the bomb is about to detonate in a few seconds.  It's your safety abort switch.  From here you can right-click on these shortcuts and Pin them to Start or the Taskbar, or both.

Post a Comment