3. Shut It!
Shut It! is a bit of a dual mode shutdown utility because in addition to the standard monitoring function of intercepting shutdowns and restarts etc, it can also watch for specific application processes or windows and perform a different action for those that match. For example, you could let the system shutdown normally if none of the checked programs match, but cancel the shutdown or warn you beforehand if something matches from the predefined list.
The number of actions you can perform on a shutdown check is slightly different depending on your operating system. Windows XP and newer have Do nothing, Cancel and Show warning dialog available, while XP alone also has Abort/Continue on timeout and Standby/Hibernate on timeout options where you can set a timeout in seconds. To select a task to check, simply click the Task list button and find the running process or open the Wnd list choose an open window. You can also use matching text for the process or window using exact, contains or compare options.
In the tray menu is also an option to schedule a shutdown/logoff and there’s quick access to all the standard shutdown options. Although official compatibility only goes as far as Vista, it also works fine on windows 7.
4. Free USB Guard
As you can probably tell from the name, Free USB Guard isn’t a generic program to stop anything shutting down Windows, but is a more focused tool that will actually warn you and halt a shutdown/restart/logoff attempt if you have a USB flash drive or another type of removable drive such as a portable hard drive still attached to the system. There’s also the added ability to prevent a shutdown and remind you if a CD or DVD disc is present in any of your optical drives.
Although the program is portable and donationware, it does come bundled with optional adware which needs to be opted out of during the initial launch. Once you run USB Guard, it will sit in the system tray and do nothing until you try to shutdown, logoff, sleep or hibernate the computer with a USB removable drive attached. At this point, it will halt the shutdown process and popup a window similar to above and warn a device is still attached. If you’re happy to leave it connected, simply choose one of the options to end the session from the window.
You can also choose to open the safely remove dialog window so USB devices can be ejected safely. Do note that the optical drive monitoring is not enabled by default and it needs to be turned on by right clicking the tray menu, specific drive letters can also be monitored from the same menu. Free USB Guard requires .NET 3.5 and works on Windows XP and above.