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Windows: shutdown or reboot while preserving most of the running apps has been possible since…

Posted by jpluimers on 2022/05/26

Vista!

Shutting down or rebooting Windows allowing existing applications to reopen

Windows Vista introduced the /g switch in shutdown.exe and was unchanged in Windows 7:

    /g         Shutdown and restart the computer. After the system is
               rebooted, restart any registered applications.

I never noticed it until Windows 10 which began actively use it when applying system updates: then suddenly many of the previously running applications would reopen during startup.

Note that a nice overview of the various shutdown.exe help texts are at [Wayback] MS-DOS and Windows command line shutdown command. I put the Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 help in the below gist revisions.

The major differences:

  • Windows 8.x: “Shutdown” became “Full shutdown” in the /s and /g switches, added /hybrid and /o switches:
        /r         Full shutdown and restart the computer.
        /g         Full shutdown and restart the computer. After the system is
                   rebooted, restart any registered applications.
    ...
        /hybrid    Performs a shutdown of the computer and prepares it for fast startup.
                   Must be used with /s option.
    ...
        /o         Go to the advanced boot options menu and restart the computer.
                   Must be used with /r option.
  • Windows 10: amended help for /g switch with “Automatic Restart Sign-On” information and /a switch with /fw information, and added /sg and /fw switches:
        /sg        Shutdown the computer. On the next boot, if Automatic Restart Sign-On
                   is enabled, automatically sign in and lock last interactive user.
                   After sign in, restart any registered applications.
    ...
        /g         Full shutdown and restart the computer. After the system is rebooted,
                   if Automatic Restart Sign-On is enabled, automatically sign in and
                   lock last interactive user.
                   After sign in, restart any registered applications.
        /a         Abort a system shutdown.
                   This can only be used during the time-out period.
                   Combine with /fw to clear any pending boots to firmware.
    ...
        /fw        Combine with a shutdown option to cause the next boot to go to the
                   firmware user interface.

It appears that Windows Vista already understood the /s and g combination to perform a full shutdown, but remember the applications that started.

Preparing your applications for reopen after Windows shutdown or restart

There is the [Wayback] RegisterApplicationRestart function (winbase.h) – Win32 apps | Microsoft Docs that allows you to register your application to restart when Windows restarts. You can listen to events to save your application state right before Windows restarts.

Some links:

Jen Gentleman on shutdown.exe switches

Some posts by Jen Gentleman and replies to them via [Archive.is] @JenMsft shutdown – Twitter Search:

All of the above because of [Wayback] Thread by @jpluimers on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App:

I remembered that, when I was in hospital, @JenMsft a while back mentioning that you can manually shutdown and save apps for reopen after booting.

She did, multiple times: [Archive.is] twitter.com/search?q=from%

It’s the /g switch of shutdown.exe

I wondered how long ago that was introduced…
I still have Windows XP and Windows 7 VM’s for experiments like this. Windows XP shutdown.exe didn’t have it, but Windows 7 shutdown.exe had.

So when was it introduced?

… drumroll …

superuser.com/questions/1132091

Windows Vista!

I’ve been living under a stone for a long time (:

The superuser post also mentions docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/…RegisterApplicationRestart [Wayback]

I sense a blog post coming up about it.

Thanks @JenMsft for teaching an old fart something new!

/t 1 versus /t 0 and Windows XP shutdown.exe help

When writing this, I wondered why some people consistently use /t 1 (timeout ) and others /t 0, and even asked for explanation [Archive.is] Jeroen Wiert Pluimers on Twitter: “why /t 1 instead of /t 0 ?… “ (but no answer).

The reason is simple:

    /t xxx     Set the time-out period before shutdown to xxx seconds.
               The valid range is 0-315360000 (10 years), with a default of 30.
               If the timeout period is greater than 0, the /f parameter is
               implied.
...
    /f         Force running applications to close without forewarning users.
               The /f parameter is implied when a value greater than 0 is
               specified for the /t parameter.
  • /t 0 does not imply /f
  • /t 1 implies /f, but the time-out is so short that nobody can cancel, so it is sort of immediate

 

 

Looking at the Windows XP help for shutdown.exe, I realised two things:

  1. I never looked at the switches after Windows XP, so I totally missed the /f, /g and /sg ones
  2. People still use the minus sign (-) to prefix shutdown.exe switches instead of the slash (/) as that was the preferred prefix until Windows XP.
Usage: shutdown [-i | -l | -s | -r | -a] [-f] [-m \\computername] [-t xx] [-c "comment"] [-d up:xx:yy]

        No args                 Display this message (same as -?)
        -i                      Display GUI interface, must be the first option
        -l                      Log off (cannot be used with -m option)
        -s                      Shutdown the computer
        -r                      Shutdown and restart the computer
        -a                      Abort a system shutdown
        -m \\computername       Remote computer to shutdown/restart/abort
        -t xx                   Set timeout for shutdown to xx seconds
        -c "comment"            Shutdown comment (maximum of 127 characters)
        -f                      Forces running applications to close without warning
        -d [u][p]:xx:yy         The reason code for the shutdown
                                u is the user code
                                p is a planned shutdown code
                                xx is the major reason code (positive integer less than 256)
                                yy is the minor reason code (positive integer less than 65536)

–jeroen


Gist with Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 help for shutdown.exe.


Usage: shutdown [/i | /l | /s | /sg | /r | /g | /a | /p | /h | /e | /o] [/hybrid] [/soft] [/fw] [/f]
[/m \\computer][/t xxx][/d [p|u:]xx:yy [/c "comment"]]
No args Display help. This is the same as typing /?.
/? Display help. This is the same as not typing any options.
/i Display the graphical user interface (GUI).
This must be the first option.
/l Log off. This cannot be used with /m or /d options.
/s Shutdown the computer.
/sg Shutdown the computer. On the next boot, if Automatic Restart Sign-On
is enabled, automatically sign in and lock last interactive user.
After sign in, restart any registered applications.
/r Full shutdown and restart the computer.
/g Full shutdown and restart the computer. After the system is rebooted,
if Automatic Restart Sign-On is enabled, automatically sign in and
lock last interactive user.
After sign in, restart any registered applications.
/a Abort a system shutdown.
This can only be used during the time-out period.
Combine with /fw to clear any pending boots to firmware.
/p Turn off the local computer with no time-out or warning.
Can be used with /d and /f options.
/h Hibernate the local computer.
Can be used with the /f option.
/hybrid Performs a shutdown of the computer and prepares it for fast startup.
Must be used with /s option.
/fw Combine with a shutdown option to cause the next boot to go to the
firmware user interface.
/e Document the reason for an unexpected shutdown of a computer.
/o Go to the advanced boot options menu and restart the computer.
Must be used with /r option.
/m \\computer Specify the target computer.
/t xxx Set the time-out period before shutdown to xxx seconds.
The valid range is 0-315360000 (10 years), with a default of 30.
If the timeout period is greater than 0, the /f parameter is
implied.
/c "comment" Comment on the reason for the restart or shutdown.
Maximum of 512 characters allowed.
/f Force running applications to close without forewarning users.
The /f parameter is implied when a value greater than 0 is
specified for the /t parameter.
/d [p|u:]xx:yy Provide the reason for the restart or shutdown.
p indicates that the restart or shutdown is planned.
u indicates that the reason is user defined.
If neither p nor u is specified the restart or shutdown is
unplanned.
xx is the major reason number (positive integer less than 256).
yy is the minor reason number (positive integer less than 65536).
Reasons on this computer:
(E = Expected U = Unexpected P = planned, C = customer defined)
Type Major Minor Title
U 0 0 Other (Unplanned)
E 0 0 Other (Unplanned)
E P 0 0 Other (Planned)
U 0 5 Other Failure: System Unresponsive
E 1 1 Hardware: Maintenance (Unplanned)
E P 1 1 Hardware: Maintenance (Planned)
E 1 2 Hardware: Installation (Unplanned)
E P 1 2 Hardware: Installation (Planned)
E 2 2 Operating System: Recovery (Unplanned)
E P 2 2 Operating System: Recovery (Planned)
P 2 3 Operating System: Upgrade (Planned)
E 2 4 Operating System: Reconfiguration (Unplanned)
E P 2 4 Operating System: Reconfiguration (Planned)
P 2 16 Operating System: Service pack (Planned)
2 17 Operating System: Hot fix (Unplanned)
P 2 17 Operating System: Hot fix (Planned)
2 18 Operating System: Security fix (Unplanned)
P 2 18 Operating System: Security fix (Planned)
E 4 1 Application: Maintenance (Unplanned)
E P 4 1 Application: Maintenance (Planned)
E P 4 2 Application: Installation (Planned)
E 4 5 Application: Unresponsive
E 4 6 Application: Unstable
U 5 15 System Failure: Stop error
U 5 19 Security issue (Unplanned)
E 5 19 Security issue (Unplanned)
E P 5 19 Security issue (Planned)
E 5 20 Loss of network connectivity (Unplanned)
U 6 11 Power Failure: Cord Unplugged
U 6 12 Power Failure: Environment
P 7 0 Legacy API shutdown


Usage: shutdown [/i | /l | /s | /sg | /r | /g | /a | /p | /h | /e | /o] [/hybrid] [/soft] [/fw] [/f]
[/m \\computer][/t xxx][/d [p|u:]xx:yy [/c "comment"]]
No args Display help. This is the same as typing /?.
/? Display help. This is the same as not typing any options.
/i Display the graphical user interface (GUI).
This must be the first option.
/l Log off. This cannot be used with /m or /d options.
/s Shutdown the computer.
/sg Shutdown the computer. On the next boot, if Automatic Restart Sign-On
is enabled, automatically sign in and lock last interactive user.
After sign in, restart any registered applications.
/r Full shutdown and restart the computer.
/g Full shutdown and restart the computer. After the system is rebooted,
if Automatic Restart Sign-On is enabled, automatically sign in and
lock last interactive user.
After sign in, restart any registered applications.
/a Abort a system shutdown.
This can only be used during the time-out period.
Combine with /fw to clear any pending boots to firmware.
/p Turn off the local computer with no time-out or warning.
Can be used with /d and /f options.
/h Hibernate the local computer.
Can be used with the /f option.
/hybrid Performs a shutdown of the computer and prepares it for fast startup.
Must be used with /s option.
/fw Combine with a shutdown option to cause the next boot to go to the
firmware user interface.
/e Document the reason for an unexpected shutdown of a computer.
/o Go to the advanced boot options menu and restart the computer.
Must be used with /r option.
/m \\computer Specify the target computer.
/t xxx Set the time-out period before shutdown to xxx seconds.
The valid range is 0-315360000 (10 years), with a default of 30.
If the timeout period is greater than 0, the /f parameter is
implied.
/c "comment" Comment on the reason for the restart or shutdown.
Maximum of 512 characters allowed.
/f Force running applications to close without forewarning users.
The /f parameter is implied when a value greater than 0 is
specified for the /t parameter.
/d [p|u:]xx:yy Provide the reason for the restart or shutdown.
p indicates that the restart or shutdown is planned.
u indicates that the reason is user defined.
If neither p nor u is specified the restart or shutdown is
unplanned.
xx is the major reason number (positive integer less than 256).
yy is the minor reason number (positive integer less than 65536).
Reasons on this computer:
(E = Expected U = Unexpected P = planned, C = customer defined)
Type Major Minor Title
U 0 0 Other (Unplanned)
E 0 0 Other (Unplanned)
E P 0 0 Other (Planned)
U 0 5 Other Failure: System Unresponsive
E 1 1 Hardware: Maintenance (Unplanned)
E P 1 1 Hardware: Maintenance (Planned)
E 1 2 Hardware: Installation (Unplanned)
E P 1 2 Hardware: Installation (Planned)
E 2 2 Operating System: Recovery (Unplanned)
E P 2 2 Operating System: Recovery (Planned)
P 2 3 Operating System: Upgrade (Planned)
E 2 4 Operating System: Reconfiguration (Unplanned)
E P 2 4 Operating System: Reconfiguration (Planned)
P 2 16 Operating System: Service pack (Planned)
2 17 Operating System: Hot fix (Unplanned)
P 2 17 Operating System: Hot fix (Planned)
2 18 Operating System: Security fix (Unplanned)
P 2 18 Operating System: Security fix (Planned)
E 4 1 Application: Maintenance (Unplanned)
E P 4 1 Application: Maintenance (Planned)
E P 4 2 Application: Installation (Planned)
E 4 5 Application: Unresponsive
E 4 6 Application: Unstable
U 5 15 System Failure: Stop error
U 5 19 Security issue (Unplanned)
E 5 19 Security issue (Unplanned)
E P 5 19 Security issue (Planned)
E 5 20 Loss of network connectivity (Unplanned)
U 6 11 Power Failure: Cord Unplugged
U 6 12 Power Failure: Environment
P 7 0 Legacy API shutdown


Usage: shutdown [/i | /l | /s | /r | /g | /a | /p | /h | /e] [/f]
[/m \\computer][/t xxx][/d [p|u:]xx:yy [/c "comment"]]
No args Display help. This is the same as typing /?.
/? Display help. This is the same as not typing any options.
/i Display the graphical user interface (GUI).
This must be the first option.
/l Log off. This cannot be used with /m or /d options.
/s Shutdown the computer.
/r Shutdown and restart the computer.
/g Shutdown and restart the computer. After the system is
rebooted, restart any registered applications.
/a Abort a system shutdown.
This can only be used during the time-out period.
/p Turn off the local computer with no time-out or warning.
Can be used with /d and /f options.
/h Hibernate the local computer.
Can be used with the /f option.
/e Document the reason for an unexpected shutdown of a computer.
/m \\computer Specify the target computer.
/t xxx Set the time-out period before shutdown to xxx seconds.
The valid range is 0-315360000 (10 years), with a default of 30.
If the timeout period is greater than 0, the /f parameter is
implied.
/c "comment" Comment on the reason for the restart or shutdown.
Maximum of 512 characters allowed.
/f Force running applications to close without forewarning users.
The /f parameter is implied when a value greater than 0 is
specified for the /t parameter.
/d [p|u:]xx:yy Provide the reason for the restart or shutdown.
p indicates that the restart or shutdown is planned.
u indicates that the reason is user defined.
If neither p nor u is specified the restart or shutdown is
unplanned.
xx is the major reason number (positive integer less than 256).
yy is the minor reason number (positive integer less than 65536).
Reasons on this computer:
(E = Expected U = Unexpected P = planned, C = customer defined)
Type Major Minor Title
U 0 0 Other (Unplanned)
E 0 0 Other (Unplanned)
E P 0 0 Other (Planned)
U 0 5 Other Failure: System Unresponsive
E 1 1 Hardware: Maintenance (Unplanned)
E P 1 1 Hardware: Maintenance (Planned)
E 1 2 Hardware: Installation (Unplanned)
E P 1 2 Hardware: Installation (Planned)
E 2 2 Operating System: Recovery (Planned)
E P 2 2 Operating System: Recovery (Planned)
P 2 3 Operating System: Upgrade (Planned)
E 2 4 Operating System: Reconfiguration (Unplanned)
E P 2 4 Operating System: Reconfiguration (Planned)
P 2 16 Operating System: Service pack (Planned)
2 17 Operating System: Hot fix (Unplanned)
P 2 17 Operating System: Hot fix (Planned)
2 18 Operating System: Security fix (Unplanned)
P 2 18 Operating System: Security fix (Planned)
E 4 1 Application: Maintenance (Unplanned)
E P 4 1 Application: Maintenance (Planned)
E P 4 2 Application: Installation (Planned)
E 4 5 Application: Unresponsive
E 4 6 Application: Unstable
U 5 15 System Failure: Stop error
U 5 19 Security issue
E 5 19 Security issue
E P 5 19 Security issue
E 5 20 Loss of network connectivity (Unplanned)
U 6 11 Power Failure: Cord Unplugged
U 6 12 Power Failure: Environment
P 7 0 Legacy API shutdown


Usage: shutdown [/i | /l | /s | /r | /g | /a | /p | /h | /e | /o] [/hybrid] [/f]
[/m \\computer][/t xxx][/d [p|u:]xx:yy [/c "comment"]]
No args Display help. This is the same as typing /?.
/? Display help. This is the same as not typing any options.
/i Display the graphical user interface (GUI).
This must be the first option.
/l Log off. This cannot be used with /m or /d options.
/s Shutdown the computer.
/r Full shutdown and restart the computer.
/g Full shutdown and restart the computer. After the system is
rebooted, restart any registered applications.
/a Abort a system shutdown.
This can only be used during the time-out period.
/p Turn off the local computer with no time-out or warning.
Can be used with /d and /f options.
/h Hibernate the local computer.
Can be used with the /f option.
/hybrid Performs a shutdown of the computer and prepares it for fast startup.
Must be used with /s option.
/e Document the reason for an unexpected shutdown of a computer.
/o Go to the advanced boot options menu and restart the computer.
Must be used with /r option.
/m \\computer Specify the target computer.
/t xxx Set the time-out period before shutdown to xxx seconds.
The valid range is 0-315360000 (10 years), with a default of 30.
If the timeout period is greater than 0, the /f parameter is
implied.
/c "comment" Comment on the reason for the restart or shutdown.
Maximum of 512 characters allowed.
/f Force running applications to close without forewarning users.
The /f parameter is implied when a value greater than 0 is
specified for the /t parameter.
/d [p|u:]xx:yy Provide the reason for the restart or shutdown.
p indicates that the restart or shutdown is planned.
u indicates that the reason is user defined.
If neither p nor u is specified the restart or shutdown is
unplanned.
xx is the major reason number (positive integer less than 256).
yy is the minor reason number (positive integer less than 65536).
Reasons on this computer:
(E = Expected U = Unexpected P = planned, C = customer defined)
Type Major Minor Title
U 0 0 Other (Unplanned)
E 0 0 Other (Unplanned)
E P 0 0 Other (Planned)
U 0 5 Other Failure: System Unresponsive
E 1 1 Hardware: Maintenance (Unplanned)
E P 1 1 Hardware: Maintenance (Planned)
E 1 2 Hardware: Installation (Unplanned)
E P 1 2 Hardware: Installation (Planned)
E 2 2 Operating System: Recovery (Unplanned)
E P 2 2 Operating System: Recovery (Planned)
P 2 3 Operating System: Upgrade (Planned)
E 2 4 Operating System: Reconfiguration (Unplanned)
E P 2 4 Operating System: Reconfiguration (Planned)
P 2 16 Operating System: Service pack (Planned)
2 17 Operating System: Hot fix (Unplanned)
P 2 17 Operating System: Hot fix (Planned)
2 18 Operating System: Security fix (Unplanned)
P 2 18 Operating System: Security fix (Planned)
E 4 1 Application: Maintenance (Unplanned)
E P 4 1 Application: Maintenance (Planned)
E P 4 2 Application: Installation (Planned)
E 4 5 Application: Unresponsive
E 4 6 Application: Unstable
U 5 15 System Failure: Stop error
U 5 19 Security issue (Unplanned)
E 5 19 Security issue (Unplanned)
E P 5 19 Security issue (Planned)
E 5 20 Loss of network connectivity (Unplanned)
U 6 11 Power Failure: Cord Unplugged
U 6 12 Power Failure: Environment
P 7 0 Legacy API shutdown


Usage: shutdown [-i | -l | -s | -r | -a] [-f] [-m \\computername] [-t xx] [-c "comment"] [-d up:xx:yy]
No args Display this message (same as -?)
-i Display GUI interface, must be the first option
-l Log off (cannot be used with -m option)
-s Shutdown the computer
-r Shutdown and restart the computer
-a Abort a system shutdown
-m \\computername Remote computer to shutdown/restart/abort
-t xx Set timeout for shutdown to xx seconds
-c "comment" Shutdown comment (maximum of 127 characters)
-f Forces running applications to close without warning
-d [u][p]:xx:yy The reason code for the shutdown
u is the user code
p is a planned shutdown code
xx is the major reason code (positive integer less than 256)
yy is the minor reason code (positive integer less than 65536)

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