I have a (physical) Server with Windows Server 2003 which is currently locked by the Administrator account and no one has the password.

It should be straightforward to reset the password using one of the bootable tools that are available, but to use them, the server obviously has to be shut down first.

ACPI shutdown (via power button) is disabled on this server, shutdown from the lock screen is disabled as well.

Since we do not want to pull the power, is there another way to force a graceful shutdown?

  • 1
    You could obtain the password, and unlock the console. Jul 20, 2020 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


Since the server login screen is desingned to keep anyone without working credentials from shutting it down or do other potentially harmful stuff, no you can not.

But you should always be able to login remotely with a user that is allowed to do so. It doesn't even have to be the (RDP) console, just RPC permission are enought for shutdown -r -f -m <MACHINE> -t 0

If there is no user on that machine (and/or the AD it is maybe sitting in), you will have to turn it off the hard way.

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