Shortcuts for Startup and Shutdown

Filed under: Windows XP 

We all know we need to restart Windows XP more frequent than we would like to. Whether is after installing software, drivers or due to problems, restarting is often a requirement.

If you feel that the standard steps you need to go through to shut down Windows are too slow, you might want to consider creating a desktop shortcut to shut down Windows. Windows XP uses an application named shutdown.exe which can be invoked directly. Together with the many command line parameters of the shutdown application, we can control shutdown and restart behavior of Windows.

To create a shortcut for Windows shutdown, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click your desktop.
  2. In the popup menu, select New and then click Shortcut.
  3. Next, type: shutdown.exe –f –s –t 0 in the textbox and then click Next.
  4. Type a name for the shortcut and click Finish.

If you click the new shortcut, your computer will shut down immediately. The –t 0 parameter tells the shutdown application to shut down after 0 seconds, so immediately. The –s parameter actually instructs the application to execute a shutdown of the computer. The –f parameter instructs the shutdown application to force the termination of any running applications. So make sure you close any applications and save work before you click the new shortcut.

In the same way you can make a shortcut that will restart your computer. Since this is required in many of the scenarios listed above, this shortcut will be very handy. Basically you repeat the steps above, but change the command to: shutdown.exe –f –r –t 0. The –r parameter instructs the shutdown application to restart the computer rather than shut it down.

For laptop and notebook users there is another handy variant, and that is to hibernate the computer. Again, follow the steps above, but now type: shutdown.exe –h –f –t 0.

These shortcuts also work in Windows Vista. The need to restart in Vista is less than in Windows XP, but it still happens. The shutdown and hibernate shortcut are useful in both XP and Vista of course.


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