Looking for method to turn on and turn off large amount of computers across a network by schedule

Posted on 2009-05-18
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Good Day Experts,

I'm looking for a way to have all the PCs on my ethernet network(100Mbps) shutdown at night  and then boot up in the morning.  All PCs are Windows XP SP2 and SP3 with 3 Windows 2000 servers.
Question by:ellsworth2000
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LVL 97

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 200 total points
ID: 24417311
Why not just enable power management and have them hibernate after an hour of inactivity.

(And you want to do this with SERVERS to?  I suppose you can, but that means no one can work locally or remotely if the servers are powered off, at least in terms of that those servers offer).

Really, power management is the most appropriate method to shut down... then you can make sure they all support WoL - Wake on Lan and use a utility to run a small script and wake all the systems.

If you don't want to use power management, then you can run a tool like PSSHUTDOWN \\<computer name> and script that to shut down the systems.
LVL 93

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 800 total points
ID: 24419114
you could set the bios to wake on lan, and issue sequential lan messages to the different PC's.
never tried it myself though
LVL 93

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 800 total points
ID: 24419125
for shutting down, you can use the shutdown command
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Accepted Solution

fuzzer123456 earned 1000 total points
ID: 24420495
To shut them down at night , set a sheduled task to run pstools psshutdown comand and use Wake on lan to wake them back up again from an account with admin rights on the desktops and making sure their firewalls are turned off too.

use task sheduler on one of your windows 2000 boxes to run the following at night:

For example :
Create a batch file to run psshutdown @c:\allcomputers.txt -f -t 0

This will close down all the computers specified in the file allcomputers.txt located on the c:\ drive. This is just a list of computers like so:


The -f switch forces closure of programs. Force closure is important because if this is not used and for example a save prompt comes up on the screen and stops the remote shut down then you loose remote control of the pc as another shutdown comand cannot be sent as the computer still believes its being shut down and will sit in limbo waiting on user interaction for the prompt.

The -t switch specifies the time in seconds to shutdown ive got this as 0 because im impatient and want things to happen right away but this can be any time you choose . If the -t switch isnt used the default time is 20 seconds and the user gets a prompt with who's preforming the remote shut down and also how long before the system shuts down.

for waking back up , use the wake on lan utility listed below. You will need to harvest all the macs of the computer connected to your network. Use CCGETMAC for this, listed below.

Again create a batch to wake them back up in the morning as follows

WOL (mac address)
WOL (mad address)

Have the WOL.exe in the same folder as the batch is located and being run from.

The tools you are looking for can be found here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896649.aspx - download the ps suite which includes PSshutdown

http://gammadyne.com/download.htm - download the wol.exe at the bottom of the page.


Author Comment

ID: 24446161
Still working on everyone's suggestions thank you all so much!!!!

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31582814
I used the wake up in bios schedule bring the computers on and then the shutdown command through scheduled tasks.  I don't like using powermanagement being that the computer still uses a considerable amount of electricity as well as it tends to degrade over time and causes more problems.

Thank you all for your answers and time:)

LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 24647742
Using power management to set hibernate uses no power once the system hibernates.  And users don't potentially lose work.

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