To suppress or not suppress a computer restart when deploying software and software updates that is the question. No matter what you do, you most likely will not win the “best colleague of the Month” award.
If you do not force a computer restart you might face problems like:
- Non-compliant computers
- Computers being in reboot pending mode which might prevent them from installing new software and software updates
If you do force a restart you might face problems like:
- Very unhappy users
- Scenarios where you restart while the end-user is using the computer for a demo or presentation
- End-users calling Servicedesk and complaining about a virus that’s shutting down their computer
- Restarting computers that are already compliant
To mitigate those problems we have developed a Shutdowntool that allows you to control the process of restarting computers in a user-friendly way.
Click here to download the tool.
The tool takes a few command-lines where you can specify:
Usage: ShutdownTool [/t] [/d] [/m] [/e] [/r | /l] [/f] [/c]
Display help, same as typing /?
Configures the countdown time to xx seconds (default 60).
Configures the description to xx.
/ Configures the maximum allowed minutes the end-user can postpone (default 10080).
Only run if last shutdown time was more than xx hours ago.
Change action to Reboot instead of default Shutdown.
Change action to Logoff instead of default Shutdown.
Forces the chosen action.
Disables the option to abort.
ShutdownTool /d:"Your computer is non-compliant and a restart will be initiated!" /t:1440 /m:1440 /e:1440 /c /f
The argument /e:1440 will prevent the program from running on computers that have restarted within the last 1440 hours.
/m: is used to configure the number of minutes an end-user can postpone the action. This is done by selecting a value corresponding to the number of minutes/hours from the drop-down list. The list of values will change according to the number of minutes left to postpone.
How to configure the tool in Configuration Manager
In order to use the tool you need to follow these simple steps in Configuration Manager:
- Copy the shutdowntool.exe to the local computer. You can do that using a script
- Create a Configuration Manager package without any source files.
- Create one or more programs in the package to control the Shutdowntool. You MUST configure the program to allow End-User to interact.
- Create an advertisement with recurrence according to you needs. In my environment I have an advertisement running every Monday morning.
That’s it, after a few days you will start seing an increase in the number of compliant computers in your environment.
Credit goes to Claus Codam, who has been the main developer on this project.