Disable the Shutdown Event Tracker service in Windows Server 2003

Learn how to shut down Windows Server 2003's Shutdown Event Tracker service, which keeps track of the reasons for shutting down a server.

Windows Server 2003 introduces a new feature that helps keep track of the reasons for shutting down a particular server. The Shutdown Event Tracker service interrupts a server shutdown and queries the administrator about the reason for bringing down the server; it then writes an event to the logs.

When a server powers off due to a power failure or a hardware failure, the Shutdown Event Tracker service asks for the reason the next time the server boots up. While useful in environments where admins track every shutdown reason, this feature can become an annoyance in other situations.

However, you can disable the Shutdown Event Tracker service using the new Group Policy Management Console with Service Pack 1, which you can download from Microsoft's Web site.

After downloading this tool, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Start | Administrative Tools | Group Policy Management.
  2. Navigate to the Default Domain Controllers Policy. (Go to Forest | <your forest> | Domains | <your domain> | Domain Controllers | Default Domain Controllers Policy.)
  3. Right-click the Default Domain Controllers Policy, and select Edit.
  4. Go to Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | System.
  5. Double-click Disable Shutdown Event Tracker.
  6. Select Disabled, and click OK.
  7. Go to Start | Run.
  8. In the Open text box, enter gpupdate to refresh the group policy on the affected servers.

You can also reboot the machines to make your changes take effect. At the first reboot, the Shutdown Event Tracker will still be active because Windows hasn't loaded the new policy yet.