Correctly shutting down a Windows computer is very important. One error that is common to new computer users is turning off the computer without saving your documents and closing the applications. They just turn off the power switch and that can be dangerous to your work and your hard drive!
To correctly shutdown a computer, click on the Start button, click Shut Down and then select Shut down from the list and click OK. However, there are times we want the computer to be turned on because some important programs are running. Here are a few example scenarios. If you use multiple desktops and VMWare, you wouldn’t want to shutdown while leaving the VMware session running in the background. You can also prevent the user from shutting down it’s PC while a backup is running and also prevent shutting down while Windows updates or service pack is installing.
I found a total of 3 free tools which is able to give the computer user a “last chance” before shutting down by preventing the user from inadvertently shutting down their PC.
1. Shut It
Shut It is a shutdown monitor. In essence it monitors system shutdown requests via the WM_QUERYENDSESSION windows message. When it detects a shutdown, it will temporarily stop the shutdown until user interaction or a timeout period has elapsed. Shut It runs from a small icon in the system tray (beside the clock if visible).
During a Shutdown request, Shut It will scan (most of) the system process names and window titles. If any of these match existing user defined matches the system will perform the Shutdown Check detected Action (Do Nothing, Cancel the Shutdown, Show Warning Dialog, Abort on Timeout, Continue on Timeout, Hibernate on Timeout, Standby on Timeout). Otherwise the system will perform the No Shutdown Checks detected action. Here is how a shutdown warning notification looks like.
You can even schedule a Windows shutdown with Shut It. A Scheduled Shutdown allows you to specify a time in minutes or a specified time to attempt a system shutdown (or logoff, hibernate or suspend). Additionally you may specify an idle timeout. If you do, the idle timeout is only checked after the Scheduled Shutdown (timer) has triggered. For instance if you register a Scheduled Shutdown for 30 minutes and an Idle Timeout of 10 minutes, the idle count will only start once the 30 minute timeout has expired. Subsequently the idle timeout will stay active until it executes or is cancelled.
Shut It works only in Windows 2000 and Windows XP. The author of Shut It plans to upgrade to a new version in the foreseeable future, and subsequently test Shut It on Vista.
[ Download Shut It ]
2. Shutdown Monitor
Shutdown Monitor uses a fairly simple trick to prevent the user from inadvertently shutting down their PC. After you start shutdown monitor, it tells windows that it was one of the first programs that was started on the PC, so it will be the first notified if a user initiates a shutdown, reboot, log off etc. When it receives the shutdown notification it checks to see if the program you want the user to interrupt is still running, if it is, it pops up a message box and tells the user why they can’t shutdown and halts the shutdown process. (Logging off and Shutting down the PC is temporarily disabled during software installation. Shutting down before the installation is complete would damange the computer. Thank you for your patience.)
Shutdown monitor doesn’t have an interface to the program and configuration is done using command. To Prevent the computer from shutting down while a process is running, use the following:
"shutdown monitor.exe" file.exe
To stop Shutdown Monitor from monitoring or removing from memory, you can either end the task in Windows Task Manager or use the command
"shutdown monitor.exe" quit
LastChance is a desktop utility that provides the facility to run programs when the machine is shutting down. Once the user chooses Shutdown from the Start menu, LastChance will intercept the shutdown request and optionally run the configured programs, waiting for them to finish before continuing the shutdown procedure.
LastChance can also run programs when it detects that a resource has become available. This facility can be used in a variety of situations. Particularly, it allows programs to be run when a notebook is docked . See How to configure programs to run on resource availability. Additionally, LastChance can be configured to automatically shutdown a system at a specified time of day.
Works on Windows 95 to Windows XP. This tool is REALLY old (released 10 years ago on July 1998). This tool is slightly different than the first two tool above but it is related. It doesn’t prevent or cancel the shutdown but it allows you to run a program or command before shutting down.
ShutdownGuard prevents Windows to shutdown, reboot or log off. When it prevents a shutdown it will pop up in the tray and ask you if you want to continue. ShutdownGuard can even prevent the Windows Update prompt from rebooting your computer. Not tested in Vista.