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.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

Comments (7)

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  1. norma says:

    I am not sure what you are talking about but I will copy and send it to my computer teacher.I think she will know about it and it might be helpfull to her.

    Posted April 26, 2004 @ 2:07 pm
  2. Andi says:

    I know what he is talking about and indeed, this is a major (in my opinion) bug that has not been addressed in more than 1 year. Official explanation (from Microsoft) – as Scott points is that Active Directory shuts down and Exchange is left hanging.
    Indeed, Microsoft discourages people installing Active Dir and Exchange on the same computer but it never say why. As many small companies rely on a single server but they don’t want to be confined to SBS, I think this is a marketing lie.

    Posted November 2, 2004 @ 3:14 pm
  3. tez says:

    I’ve just completed my install of exchange2003 on a win2k server and get the same problems.

    If I leave it to shutdown itself it takes 10-15 mins but if I do it manually it takes about 2-3 mins to shutdown all the exchange services and then 4-5 mins to shutdown the system.

    I’ll edit the registry next time I get the chance and post the results.

    Nice one for the post!

    Posted November 28, 2004 @ 5:01 pm
  4. Michael says:

    I’ve just installed clean copy of windows server 2003 and Exchange 2003. After applying SP1 for Exchange, all is ok. But after I installed patches:
    KB841561, KB883522, KB883543, KB883652 and KB894549, it hangs for ages. Maybe SP1 for server 2003 will fix it?

    Posted June 3, 2005 @ 6:38 am
  5. vishal sharma says:

    I have also face the shut down problem in exchage 2003

    Posted October 6, 2005 @ 1:51 am
  6. Michael B says:

    Brand new install of Win2K Server, service packed it up…installed Exchange 2K3, service packed THAT til the cows came home…started running into shutdown issues..

    MSKB was NO help at all, and Google pulled up this page – all I did was edit the registry setting and changed it 30000 (default was something like 600000) and it worked like a charm!

    Thanks for the help!

    Posted December 14, 2005 @ 2:37 pm
  7. Steve says:

    You have not put up a website, can you please put the article up that you saw?

    Posted February 20, 2010 @ 6:55 am

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