Command Prompt Saves a Trip

A few days ago I checked a Windows server and its robocopy backup routine was hung (a command prompt showed me where the backup was but it was not progressing). I tried to end all robocopy processes, but they would not close. I tried to do a normal restart from the Start button, but that just kicked me out of my remote session. When I reconnected to the server, nothing had changed. I tried ending the winlogon process because I had read in Technet magazine this would cause a reboot, but the server still would not reboot (maybe that action caused rebooting in pre-2008 servers).  Then I remembered another trick to try. I had also recently read in Windows IT Pro magazine about an administrator using the sc.exe command remotely to solve a hung service problem. I opened a command prompt and used the shutdown command to force a restart. It didn’t happen right away so I thought it wasn’t working, but I checked the server later and it had rebooted. My alternative was having to drive to the office and manually shutdown or restart. So don’t forget that command prompt tools can sometimes work better than GUI tools and might save you a trip one day.

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