Using shutdown.exe to reboot all clients on a domain

kaspermadeira used Ask the Experts™
Hello hello,

I have a domain of around 30 workstations (running XP pro) running on one windows 2003 server std. server. I have read quite a few answers to questions like this here, but without finding THE answer I need...
I need help (and examples) on how to create a batch file that on a scheduled time will force reboot ALL clients on the domain, no matter if they are logged in or not. (alternatively to rebooting, log off is ok as well).
For testing I've tried to run this on the server "shutdown -r -f -m \\mybox-01", but I get "The entered computer name is not valid. Check the name and then try again or contact your system administrator.(53)" returned, eventhough I KNOW computer is working fine in the domain, so I have no idea why this error should occour.

Anyway, help on batch file for all clients force reboot. And correct shutdown parameters to use in commandline from server to all clients.


Thanks :-)
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make sure the client' server and browser services are running if you receive system error 53. this case study may help, quoted from

Can’t restart remote computer using shutdown command

Situation: when you access the Office LAN via VPN and try to restart a remote XP computer using shutdown command, you can’t and receive this message “A required privilege is not held by the client”. Note: is you use a Windows 2000, you may receive this message: “Unable to shutdown the specified server”

Analysis: You may not have administrator rights to shutdown/restart the remote computer or you have not cached the credentials.

Resolution: 1. use the runas command. To do this, type runas /u:domainname\username “shutdown –r –t xx –f –m \\remotepcname”, for example, runas /u:chicagotech\bob “shutdown –r –t xx –f –m \\ms-mvps”. Note: domainname can be domain name, workgroup name or computer.

2. Alternatively, you may use this command: net use \\remotepcname password /u:domainname\username and then shutdown –r –t xx –f –m \\remotepcname.

3. If above commands don't work and you receive System error 67, make sure you type the correct commands and computer name. If you receive system error 53, make sure the Server service and Computer Browser service are running.

Related Topics

How to use the runas command
RunAs' GUI Feature
How to perform administrative tasks while logged on as a regular user

Top Expert 2005

Microsoft recommend this syntax:;en-us;317371

I prefer using psshutdown from sysinternals since it uses as input a list of computers.

The syntax I use is

psshutdown @complists.txt -n 120 -t 120


Thanks for the article blin2000! I tried a few different uses of it now, but I still don't get anything restarted... Well, I can use the command locally, but as soon as I try to send the command to another client, or try to use it from the server, nothing happens... Also the article doesn't talk about how to restart all clients on the domain, only single users are explained.

Crissand - I was thinking of psshutdown actually, but am not to familiar with their commands. Your solution sounds interesting, maybe you can give me more details? psshutdown.exe must be on all clients (in drive root?) and then I can run the "psshutdown @complists.txt -n 120 -t 120" command from the server?? And the complests.txt file I suppose holds a list of all the computernames? How should these be formated/separeted? Please if you have samples or more detailed info on this solution, and it's commands and batch capabilities. This could very well be the answer!

Thanks again guys!
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Top Expert 2005
No psshutdown is on administrator's computer only, or on server, if you launch it from the server.

The list of computers is like this:


what's the error when you tried?


No error blin2000 - just no action... Nothing happens. I made the psshutdown tool work - but not very stabile, and not from a file, only if I punch in fx. my own computer name... Will have to work a bit more on this later. SOOO strange/annoying that it has to be THIS difficult to restart a pc huh :-)

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