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Controlling a server that was powered up without a keyboard/mouse plugged in?


        We have a "situation" that we can use help with. Here is the scenario:
We have a server that has windows server 2003 running, and it does NOT have remote access
enabled...for security purposes.

It was powered up without a keyboard or mouse plugged in, and the boss wants to
use it.  Well-- there is no way that we know of to control it...because it was booted without any
input devices installed. Well, he doesn't want to turn off the server first--he wants a way to
access the server--now...BEFORE turning it off.

Question: is there a way to access this powered on server, now...without turning it off first?

Question: Is it possible to use a usb keyboard? I mean, can we plug in a usb keyboard NOW---and
will the server recognize it, and allow us to use that newly plugged in  keyboard?

Thanks in advance.

1 Solution
It is possible that it will recognize a USB keyboard, but not guaranteed.  Some need settings in the BIOS changed, and you would definitely have to have the USB ports enabled in the BIOS.  Right now, I think it's your best bet.
A USB keyboard should work. It certainly won't hurt, since you can plug USB devices in at any time.

For the future, once you get a keyboard working, you could also try adding a REG_DWORD value called Headless to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\i8042prt\Parameters and set it to 1. That will disable the check for a PS/2 keyboard and mouse on boot in the future and will prevent i8042prt errors from showing up in the event viewer and would even let you plug a PS/2 keyboard in after booting (though I'd recommend USB if you have it, since it's safer to hot swap).
By the way, if the USB keyboard doesn't work, what is it that the boss needs to do on the server? There may be a way to do it remotely, even if remote desktop is disabled.
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TeamMISCBCAuthor Commented:

Good question...

 The boss just wants to be able to power off the server in an orderly fashion....then plug in the mouse/ keyboard.
Then just use it as normal.

Generally speaking,turning it off won't screw anything up.

Does your boss have a clue as to how computers work ,or is he just paranoid?
Does pressing the power button initiate a controlled shutdown?  Some computers are setup for this function.  Is the computer attached to a UPS with control software installed?  Unplug the UPS and it should properly shut down the computer.
this will work ... i stole it from this post: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Q_21053744.html

Remote Shutdown

Shutdown.exe is available in the Microsoft Windows 2000 Resource Kit. It is a command-line tool that you can use to shut down or restart a local or remote computer that is running Windows 2000 or Windows NT 4.0. If you want to schedule a computer to shut down and restart at a specific time, use Shutdown.exe in combination with the at command or Task Scheduler.

HOW TO: Use the Remote Shutdown Tool to Shut Down and Restart a Computer in Windows 2000


PsShutdown is a command-line utility similar to the shutdown utility from the Windows 2000 Resource Kit, but with the ability to do much more. In addition to supporting the same options for shutting down or rebooting the local or a remote computer, PsShutdown can logoff the console user or lock the console (locking requires Windows 2000 or higher). PsShutdown requires no manual installation of client software.
Syntax: "psshutdown -u username -p password -r \\computername"

EMCO Remote Shutdown 1.4 is a Freeware utility to Shutdown/Reboot one or many machines on a NT network's. It works only under Administrator rights.

Multi-Remote Shutdown Manager is an easy and fast way to shutdown the computers you administer

remote SHUTDOWN by Apteryx is a Windows Service that allows an administrator to logoff, shutdown* or reboot individual and/or grouped networked computers on demand from an easy to use interface. remote SHUTDOWN can also be used to route logoff, shutdown or reboot requests to individual or groups of other computers on the network also running remote SHUTDOWN

The new direct download link for poweroff 3.0 is:
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