How to disable, and enable, the Shutdown Event Tracker

The Shutdown Event Tracker is a means of recording why the system was restarted or shutdown, or why it had shutdown without warning. It pops up every time you attempt to shutdown the machine manually via the Start menu or when the system restarted or shutdown unexpectedly; due to a software crash or power failure for example. For reasons of annoyance you may want to disable it.

The Shutdown Event Tracker is a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Windows XP feature that you can use to consistently track the reason for system shutdowns. You can then use this information to analyze shutdowns and to develop a more comprehensive understanding of your system environment."

The idea behind the shutdown event tracker is that a server isn’t meant to be restarted or shutdown regularly. Therefore, when it is, Administrators should keep a log of exactly why the machine was powered down. Essentially, this can be a good thing since it allows you to store a database of shutdown events for future reference. For some people, especially those that use Windows 2003 as a client operating system or in a test environment - where restarting or shutting down a machine can be a common procedure - it might get to be quite annoying.

This feature does come with Windows XP Professional as well, but is disabled by default.

When you click on Shut Down… from the Start menu, the Shutdown Event Tracker pops up asking whether you want to Log Off, Restart or Shut down the computer.

1. Type gpedit.msc in RUN dialog box and press Enter.
2. It'll open Group Policy Editor. Now expand:

Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System

3. In right-side pane, look for "Display Shutdown Event Tracker" option.
4. Now double-click on "Display Shutdown Event Tracker" and select "Disabled". Now Apply it and the annoying dialog box will disappear.Double Click this setting to open the Properties page. You are now given the option to leave it in a default state of Not Configured, set it to Always Enabled, Enabled for Servers/Workstations (Windows XP Pro) or Disabled completely (as the image below demonstrates).

NOTE: You can also use this method to enable Shutdown Event Tracker in Windows client OS like Windows XP, Vista, etc. Just set the option value to "Enabled".