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How to remotely (and automatically) shutdown thousands of PCs at night

The example below illustrates the use of a predefined System Action to ensure the automatic shutdown of all workstations. The time you choose for switching off your computer must coincide with your company business needs.

Take note that:

  • A user might be working on the target machine.
  • A session can be opened on the target machine without a user in front of it, but with documents opened or applications running.
  • A session can be locked on the target machine with some documents opened or applications running.

Our goal in this example is to shutdown all computers, even those with documents unsaved or applications running. You should communicate this as part of your global Green Charter to your users.

How to shutdown all computers

  1. Open RemoteExec and go to Remote Jobs/New Remote Job/System action through the Configuration tree.

    RemoteExec configuration tree

  2. In the first section «Settings», choose in the combo list System action named Shutdown.

  3. RemoteExec can check if a user is currently working on the target machine, and can process the System action differently in this case.

    Choosing the option Immediate execution, notify otherwise means:

    • If there is no user connected on the workstation, the shutdown will be initiated immediately.
    • If there is a user connected on the workstation, a Notification will be displayed to the connected user. The shutdown will be initiated depending on the mode defined in step 4 for this Notification.
  4. Notification mode
    Two options to define how the shutdown will be initiated:

    • Execute after showing notification during
      The shutdown will be executed after displaying the message during the number of minutes typed. The Notification displayed can be hidden by users, but it regularly pops in foreground.
    • Indefinitely notify every
      The Notification is displayed indefinitely until users click on the button to initiate the shutdown. Users can hide the Notification, but it will pop again every number of minutes you’ve defined.

    As we defined in the preamble, we want to shutdown all workstations. We will choose here to execute this System action after the Notification period. We will set a sufficient delay allowing users to finish their current work.

  5. Leave the third combo list on the Don’t wait for the end of the execution option. (This option is pertinent in multi action mode, not in our example here).

  6. Check the Force applications to close option.

    We will be sure that all sessions kept opened will be closed. Although users have been informed about this Green Charter action, there will be always some thoughtlessness.

  7. Set your Notification message to explain the imminent shutdown and provide instruction to avoid losing documents/work recently modified.

  8. We want to power off all workstation from our network. That’s why in Target Computers section we have selected the whole domain. As we don’t want servers to be concerned by this Remote Action, we will set the Filter section option named OS level only to workstation.

  9. The remote shutdown job is now ready and fully set.

    This is how the Notification will be displayed to users connected on the target machines:

  10. Click in Quick Access Pane on

  11. Enter a name on the Schedule Wizard for this new task.

  12. Once validating the new task name, the Windows scheduler pop-up will appear. Set the task to Daily and the hour settings in according to your company hours. Validate by clicking OK. You will be prompted to set an administrative account for this task.

    In this example setting 09h30 PM means that the computers will be powered off by 10:00 at the latest. (9h30 + 30 minutes countdown).

    The RemoteExec Scheduler now displays our new scheduled Job.

Want more?

In this example, all computers have been shut down during the night. In the same way, you may decide to automatically switch on computers on allowing users to work immediately upon their arrival. This is also possible through RemoteExec Wake up System action.

The computers using the Wake-on-line technology (available on most computers today) can be remotely powered on if this option is enabled. You just have previously to scan the Mac addresses and Subnet of your network machines using the System action Get wake up info (which can also be scheduled). Then using the same concept, you can choose to wake up users’ computers automatically.

During your tests

If for any reason you remotely launch a shutdown that you want to abort, you can use the specific System action.

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