August 8, 2022

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This is a hidden emergency stop for your Windows

This is a hidden emergency stop for your Windows

Everyone knows it: your computer freezes completely, and nothing works anymore. The final solution then is the reset button on your housing, or holding down the on/off button. This will completely shutdown your system in one go, without having to complete all kinds of operations. reddit user Smits I found a similar emergency shutdown in Windows, and it turns out there is very little documentation available.

The option can be found in the security screen that appears when you press the Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys. At the bottom right is the power button with the usual options for restart and sleep mode. If you press Control and press this button, you will see an emergency restart window. Below the warning about losing unsaved data and this functionality should only be considered as the last hope, there are buttons to go forward or back. If you press OK, the rotating charging circuit is displayed for a moment, after which the system turns off immediately. This takes a maximum of three seconds.

user bow down It is mentioned in Ycombinator Hacker News that this may be useful on laptops, where the reset button is generally missing. If you want to test this yourself, it is recommended to save and close all previously opened files and complete important operations. The safest thing is to do it in a virtual environment.

The Windows event log records the shutdown as unexpected. So the function works by stopping the kernel without warning. There does not appear to be a documented command available for this functionality. By importing kernel-api ntdll.dll, you can use the NtSetSystemPowerState command. This immediately sends a shutdown signal, without clearing the cache and saving it to the hard disk. For those who would like to know more details, the process is described in the 2009 article “Implementing Emergency Shutdowns” in CodeProject.

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