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I have a server machine that I don't have physical access to at the moment. I needed to do a restart so I remote connected to the server and hit restart... it's been down a while.

If I try and remote connect again I am not able to as it is currently in either a shutdown, powered off, or start up state.

My question: is there any method to remotely check the current restart state? For example, I am looking to know if it's still shutting down, or if it's past that point and is starting back up again.

As a side note, I was pinging the server during the process, and I did get "unreachable" which was eventually followed by a reply. So my assumption is that it did shutdown and is currently starting back up again. As a bonus it would be useful to know what the delay is, for example if it's doing windows update configuration.

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    I always use PING -t <IPAddress>... You will start that from a different machine before the restart the server, and you'll see it timeout and then come back up. You can also look in the event viewer as well and there will be logs in there indicating it restarted. – Pillsbury IT Doughboy Jan 22 '16 at 12:37
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    That's why you need iDRAC on a production server especially on remote machines – pulsarjune Jan 22 '16 at 12:38
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    If you're having trouble connecting to this REMOTE ONLY machine then hopefully you have someone else on the other side to confirm if it had a reboot issue where it's on a screen before WIndows boots--this is a downside to restarting remotely with no physical access but a KVM over IP switch would be nice to see the screen regardless if Windows boots or not. We have KVM over IP switch in our data centers for these sort of issues although it is physically access both local datacenter and remote DR hot site. Otherwise the Event Viewer will have logs indicating that it indeed restarted. – Pillsbury IT Doughboy Jan 22 '16 at 12:41
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    Note that the IP stack starts before most services in windows, so you will get ping responses as the system comes back up, but before the system will respond to remote access utilities. This is normal. There is no good way to tell the boot state of a physical system without low level remote access like ilo/idrac/ikvm/etc. I do the same thing you describe with ping, and make the same assumptions you do; theres not a lot more you can do without implementing technology specific to this purpose. – Frank Thomas Jan 22 '16 at 12:52
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    Thanks for the advice guys, looks like im stuck with wait and see. Just for some extra info, our IT guys are out onsite today and the place they are at has very limited internet connectivity (so they are as good as useless). Our servers are behind locked doors that I cannot access (hence remote access only for now). BTW if somebody wants to write an answer about idrac (etc.) suggestions then that would probably satisfy my question – musefan Jan 22 '16 at 13:03
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How to check the restart status of a remote machine?

My question: is there any method to remotely check the current restart state?

Hopefully you have someone else that has or could have physical access to confirm if it's experiencing a reboot issue where it's stuck on a screen before Windows boots, etc.; this is just a downside to restarting remotely with no physical access yourself otherwise or for others.

Having technology such as a KVM over IP switch, Integrated Lights Out, iDRAC, etc. could allow you to see the screen regardless (or confirm the status at this level) if Windows isn't booting, etc.

The IP stack will usually start before other services start in Windows so this is normal to see the machine be network PING reachable before you're able to connect via other protocols such as RDP, etc.

The Event Viewer will also give some clue in its logs to indicate the server restarted.

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