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When I go to reboot my laptop (one that I access remotely often), a lot of the time it will hang and a process will completely prevent it from shutting down or rebooting. Is there any registry hack or anything that I can throw on my Windows 7 system that will force those programs to close?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can create a command script like this..

@echo off
shutdown -f -s -t 0

And save this script on desktop with the name of shutdown.cmd. And this will shutdown your PC immediate.

And if you are using it remotely then you can try the command

Shutdown -f -s -m \\ComputerName

Or you can set the time to shutdown your remote PC too...

Shutdown -f -s -m -t 0 \\ComputerName

Replace the -s with -r to restart the PC.

Replace the 0 with your time limit. For more information see this article. You also see create shortcut for shutdown.

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Instead if creating a batch for, just create a new shortcut with the shutdown command. You can also get rid of the black flash, and choose an icon easier – Canadian Luke May 27 '12 at 1:43
@Luke good idea to get rid of from black flash. :) – avirk May 27 '12 at 1:48

Registry setting to auto-end tasks at shutdown: Type regedit in run command and navigate to following path

HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Control Panel > Desktop > create string key called AutoEndTasks > set value to 1

WARNING: this will always shut down Windows, even if an application is open with unsaved changes.

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This solution doesn't work! – nikhil Jul 9 '12 at 8:29
Since you are not the original poster, your issue should be submitted as a new question, with a link to this question, saying something like "I tried that suggestion, but it didn't work", and explain what did or didn't happen. You can check if the Registry key was setup correctly with this DOS command: reg query "HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop" /v AutoEndTasks – Tom Jul 9 '12 at 13:43
I had the exact same question and found this thread so I though better not to post a duplicate. That command shows the value to be set as 1. – nikhil Jul 9 '12 at 16:26
Is the 2nd column REG_SZ? – Tom Jul 13 '12 at 12:19
The following page suggests some additional registry settings that might help. It even has a .reg file that you can download and run to make those changes for you.… – Tom Jul 15 '12 at 0:33

What worked for me to avoid pop-up with buttons Force shut down or Cancel:

  1. Set registry keys:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System add key: AllowBlockingAppsAtShutdown with dword value: 1.
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control add key: WaitToKillServiceTimeout with string value: 1.
    • HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop add key: AutoEndTasks with string value: 1.
  2. Reboot.

It may be however dangerous not to give enough time for services or applications to shut down gracefully.

Here the following is also proposed: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management, key name:ClearPageFileAtShutdown, dword value: 1. It is not needed for my Windows 7 to be shut down without any popups and furthermore, setting that key may result in very long shut downs.

If that does not work, try also: HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop with key name WaitToKillAppTimeout and string value: 1.

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