How To Schedule Windows Shutdown with ‘Vista Shutdown Timer’

Some of the latest versions of Windows have a command ‘shutdown.exe‘,which can put your system on hold, log off, restart, and shutdown. But probably you would want this to happen only at some particular time and to make this happen automatically use Scheduled Tasks tool.

1> Go to Control Panel > Scheduled Tasks.
2> Double-click Add Scheduled Task to launch the Scheduled Task Wizard.
3> Click Next and then click the Browse button.
4> Access the Windows\System32 folder, select Shutdown.exe, and click Open.
5> Follow the wizard through the next two screens to give the task a name and choose a schedule.
6> Enter your user account name and password and click Next.
7> Select Open Advanced Properties and click Finish.

In the task’s Properties dialog box, add the /r parameter to the end of the command line in the Run text box and click OK. (Be sure to include a space between the last character in the command name and the first character in the parameter list.)

Enter your user account name and password and click OK.

When the Shutdown utility runs, you’ll momentarily see a small dialog box on your screen before the system restarts.

The above process works fine, but there is an easier way to achieve this. Vista Shutdown Timer, is a simple application which allows users to achieve the same with ease. The auto shutdown process has a limitation. Scheduling cannot be done for more than an hour. With Vista Shutdown Timer this limitation can be used to overcome.

Vista Shutdown Timer is a free application that allows the user to time the machine to shutdown at their time. This currently supports support Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista. Another interesting feature is that Vista Shutdown Timer does not mess around with the registry and doesn’t introduce any .INI files, it is just a single .exe file.

Vista Shutdown Timer
Vista Shutdown Timer

The program can be configured using command line parameters. This means that we can create a batch file to automate the tool to shutdown or restart at a scheduled time. Click the windows icon at the top right of the program to know about the command line parameters. If this confuses you, use the built-in Shortcut wizard which is simple to use and hassle free.

Vista Shutdown Timer Shortcut Wizard
Vista Shutdown Timer Shortcut Wizard

Vista Shutdown Timer at times is flagged as a suspicious file by some antivirus software such as Sophos, QuickHeal, ClamAV, and eSafe. This happens for a lot of other applications even though the applications are safe and do not pose any threat to the users system. Such an alarm is called ‘False Positive’, which meant the anitvirus software is just throwing a warning of possible threat, which in reality is an innocuous file/application. This kind of incorrect flagging may be because the virus signature in the vault or database of the antivirus software may be corrected or not updated.

Related reading: Shutdown, restart, logoff windows Vista / XP remotely from any computer

Problem with Office.dll in plug-in for Microsoft Outlook.

A team I know was working on an application, which was a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook.

With Win XP SP2 they were able to successfully run the plug-in application they had developed, inside Outlook. But they were unable to run the application with Win 2K SP4.

On Win2k SP4 the application gave an error message saying missing “office.dll”. However, if the Microsoft office.dll was copied from XP to Win2k the application worked fine, but this workaround was not the perfect solution as they were restricted from distributing Microsoft office.dll along with the developed application because of Microsoft License issues.

The solution for this was a simple one. Microsoft Office plug-ins depends upon the version of office in which it is loading and that is the reason I found the plugin of XP was not working on 2K (assumption is the plugin was developed and compiled on XP and was being deployed on Win 2K).

If a developer ensures the office versions on XP and 2K are same, and compiles the plugin, then one should not face this issue.

If any of you have a suggestion, please do share…

Update (05/05/08):

This gets even more interesting now. Microsoft seems to have licensing issues and hence we cannot distribute office.dll, however, Microsoft understands that such situations might arise and have a solution for it. Microsoft has, in the interest of developers who like to develop custom applications has released a MSI called “Redistributable Primary Interop Assemblies” . Download it and extract to find the MSI and run the MSI file that’s extracted.

As you can infer from the first part of the post, the team initially mistook it to be a problem occurring only on Win2K machines. Only later did they figure out that the problem was happening on machines having “Typical” installation. And again, if the machine previously was installed and uninstalled with Office “Complete” and second time installed a “Typical” installation you won’t face this problem. That’s because on the first installation of Office Complete, Windows copies the office.dll into the virtual directory, which will not be removed on uninstalling of Office “Complete“.