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I just have ended up in a situation where I have lots of noisy computers in my office that I want to be able to shut down remotely in an automated way. I'm currently not running using a domain but a workgroup and I would prefer to keep it that way if possible. When using the shutdown command line tool it says I computername: Access is denied.(5)

How do I get the permission to do this? Is it possible to do without having a domain setup? I'm not very bothered about security for these particular computers so if a solution involves something that is generally considered bad security practise it's not problem.

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Yes you can do this without a domain setup. The credentials that you supply for the shutdown command have to exist on the remote computer. To make it easy, you'll have to make sure that at least one account with the same username and password exists on each computer that you're going to run the command against.

Do the remote PCs have their firewall turned on? If so, turn off the firewall for one of them and see if the command works. If so, you've narrowed it down to a firewall issue and you'll need to open the correct ports (and probably want to narrow it down to only accepting traffic on that port from one IP address, namely your workstation's address).

You might find it easier and more powerful to use the Windows SysInternals tool PSShutdown.exe. That way you can maintain a list of PCs that you want to shutdown in a text file and merely edit that file when you want to add or remove the effected computers.

Furthermore, you might want to look into the Edison power management utlity. It can automate quite a bit of power options for you and save some cash for the office.

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psshutdown did the trick! – Laserallan Mar 5 '10 at 16:54
Thanks for the update! – Wesley Mar 5 '10 at 17:07

It all boils down to running the command as a user with appropriate permissions. If the Win7 version of shutdown doesn't support specifying a user and password get a copy of psshutdown, which does. That way you can supply the name and password of an admin user on the remote machine on the command line.

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I had the same "Access is Denied.(5)" issue on a Server 2008 and solved it by setting UAC on the lowest level : "never notify"

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This basically disables UAC, which is a security feature best left enabled. – Chris S Jul 11 '11 at 18:36

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