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I would like to be able to prevent a shared computer from being shutdown by others, because I use WakeOnLan to wake the computer - however this doesn't work when it is off, and the other users of the computer usually forget about this and end up shutting it down.

The operating system in question is Windows 7, and I have tried to follow this guide http://www.online-tech-tips.com/windows-xp/xp-prevent-shutdown/ to no avail as one of the required policy options has been changed from prevent access to shutdown to prevent access to shutdown, sleep, restart and hibernate.

So ideally, I would still like to be able to use command prompt to shutdown and restart, but for them I would either like the shutdown option to be unavailable or for it to act as a sleep button - this includes on the login screen, the physical power button, and the start menu (which has already been changed to have sleep as the default).

Tl;dr - How can I prevent a computer from being shut down by non-tech savvy folk?

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I've tried many times to use technology to essentially solve a user problem, but usually the user wins (except in enterprise environments where I have more access to tools/OS features).

If I go with the presumption that your users want to buy into a collaborative environment (that is to say that if you can get them all to agree on something, they would do it) then have you considered:

  • Using a labeller and putting "Do not turn off" on the monitor?

physical button: In some BIOSes, you can configure the power button to mean "sleep" and only if you press and hold it for 4 seconds or more does it actually become the power button (and shutdown).

soft shutdown: I don't run Windows 7 at home (yet), but from other forums it seems like there is a User Management Policy that prevents non-administrators from shutting it down. (Start - Administrative tools - Local Security Settings - Local Policies - User Rights Assignment)

WoL: In windows 7, by default on some onboard NICs it shutsdown power to them when it turns off. This causes problems with some boards (like mine) and when it dual boots into Linux, the LAN cards don't come up (because the drivers for those RealTek NICs in Linux don't know how to turn it on). So perhaps check that setting.

See: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-networking-3/realtek-8139-8168-8169-on-2-6-21-3-or-newer-593495/

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If they physical access to the machines, that is going to be tough. Best bet is to educate.

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