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If I have a PowerShell window (at the PS command prompt) on display it prevents the computer shutting down.

i.e. if I open a powershell window and then try to shutdown the server, I get the End Program popup saying Windows cannot end this program

I get the same result if I start the powershell from the start menu, from a cmd prompt and from a shortcut with -NoExit specified.

Any ideas how I can get shutdown to automatically close a powershell window (if it is at the PS prompt) in the same way as it would for a CMD window?

Alternatively, is it possible for PowerShell to detect when a shutdown has been initiated and therefore close itself?


Going down the alternative route as suggested by pk. I have come up with this test code:

Write-Host "PowerShellBlockingShutdown.ps1 Started"

$global:shuttingDown = $false
$sysevent = [microsoft.win32.systemevents]
Register-ObjectEvent -InputObject $sysevent -EventName "SessionEnding" -Action {$global:shuttingDown = $true; Write-Host "  SessionEnding"} 
Register-ObjectEvent -InputObject $sysevent -EventName "SessionEnded"  -Action {$global:shuttingDown = $true; Write-Host "  SessionEnded"} 

do {
    Start-Sleep -Seconds 3
    if ($global:shuttingDown) {break}
    Write-Host "  Waiting for Shutdown"
} while ($true)

Write-Host "PowerShellBlockingShutdown.ps1 Finished"

Which seems to work

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'm blatantly cut/pasting this answer from another site (since linking is frowned upon and I don't have a better answer). I do believe this will resolve your problem. looks like you can set up a Event watcher using Register-ObjectEvent using [microsoft.win32.systemevents] and watching for either SessionEnding or SessionEnded. I haven't had time to test this out, but you could look at using something like this:

$sysevent = [microsoft.win32.systemevents]
Register-ObjectEvent -InputObject $sysevent -EventName "SessionEnding" -Action {"Shutdown/Logoff detected.";Get-Process -Name Powershell | Stop-Process -Force}

More information about this class can be found here:

share|improve this answer
Cheers. I saw that and was wondering what it all meant :-) I'll have a play and get back to you – FrinkTheBrave Apr 17 '12 at 6:53
I've added my solution to the question – FrinkTheBrave Apr 17 '12 at 7:51

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