How to disable the shutdown event tracker in Windows 2003 / 2008 (R2)

The Shutdown Event Tracker, a new Windows Server 2003/2008 feature, is an uncomplicated GUI application that allows administrators to monitor shutdown events on the server. This tool is enabled on Windows Server 2003/2008 by default. The Shutdown Event Tracker collects information on the reasons why the server was shut down, and then logs this information in Event Viewer. The command-line utility equivalent to the Shutdown Event Tracker is Shutdown.exe.
The Shutdown Event Tracker requires you to provide a reason whenever a server is shut down or restarted. When a server is expectedly shut down, a dialog box or page is displayed, requesting you to specify the reason for the server being shut down. When a server is unexpectedly shut down, the following user to log on to the server has to specify the reason for the server shutting down. Shutdown events can be viewed in Event Viewer, and can be useful when you need to improve uptime.

If you want this very useful, but yet annoying, option disabled. Please take the steps explained below.


  1. Click Start, Run, and then enter gpedit.msc. Click OK.
  2. The Group Policy Object Editor console opens.
  3. In the left pane, expand Computer Configuration, and then Administrative Templates.
  4. Click System
  5. In the right pane, find and double-click the Display Shutdown Event Tracker.
  6. When the Display Shutdown Event Tracker Properties dialog box opens, select one of the following options:
      • Not Configured
      • Enabled
      • Disabled
  7. If you select the Enabled option, you can choose between the following options to specify when the Shutdown Event Tracker should be displayed:
      • Always: This option is self explanatory.
      • Server Only: When selected, the Shutdown Event Tracker is displayed for only Windows Server 2003/2008 servers.
      • Workstation Only: When selected, the Shutdown Event Tracker is displayed for only Windows XP Professional workstations.
  8. If you want to view help information on the Shutdown Event Tracker application, click the Explain tab.
  9. Click OK, and then close the Group Policy Object Editor console.

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