Archives » April 25th, 2004

April 25, 2004

Windows 2003 won’t shut down

I’ve been working with Windows 2003 and Exchange 2003 all weekend, so I guess I better toss out a tip about what I’ve learned.

If you have Exchange 2003 running on a Windows 2003 computer, especially one that is a domain controller, the computer may never shut down. Well, it will shut down eventually, but it could be ten or twenty minutes. Personally I never had the patience to wait for it, and just did a hard power off.

I’e heard a couple of reasons for why it sits there so long shutting down. One is that LDAP gets shut down before Exchange, and then Exchange hangs searching for LDAP. That puts it into an endless loop until the system gets tired of it and stops the services. Another explanation is that the ten-minute wait is built into Windows, and it will sit there whether it needs to or not. This is because it doesn’t want to accidentally kill Exchange while Exchange is still cleaning house.

Each one of those theories has its own solution. One thing to do is to manually stop Exchange before you shut down. That way you know how long Exchange is taking and when it’s done. This can be done manually, or scripted. The other way is to adjust the wait period that Windows has built it. It’s set for ten minutes, but by editing the registry you can change it to anything you want.

I did both of those just for good measure, and now my server shuts down in about 45 seconds. Much much better.