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Archive for the ‘Windows Server 2003’ Category

Reboot Windows Server 2003 Using Remote Desktop (RDP)

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Since Microsoft updated their Windows Server 2003 software, administrators relying on their Remote Desktop Connection are having difficulties rebooting.

When connected via RDP, if you reboot normally you will be disconnected from the server and all will appear well.  Sometimes, however, the server won’t actually reboot!  Furthermore, it will block all incoming connections to RDP, and to everything else.  The only means of recovery is rebooting from the console.


It is possible to use our knowledge of the command line to perform a proper system reboot using the shutdown command.

The relevant switches are:

/f – Force the shutdown even if other users are connected

/r – REBOOT, rather than shutdown

/t 0 – Set the timer to 0 seconds, i.e. perform the command right away


reboot /f /r /t 0

I hope this helps prevent some head-scratching!