Here's the quick and dirty way to TURN OFF or DISABLE the "Shutdown Event Tracker" on Windows Server 2008 for all your test, development and virtual servers.

[Note: For Windows Server 2003, Look here: Turn off Shutdown Event Tracker  ]

1. Start...Run...Open: type: gpedit.msc


2. Of course...


3. Find: Local Computer Policy, Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, System:

4. Select: Display Shutdown Event Tracker [Note: It's "Not Configured" by default.]


5. Double Click it and select the Disable radio button.


Result: Here's what we want...


If you're like me, you have a bunch of development servers or virtual images running Windows Server 2003 in one of several flavors.  The brief description of my problem and solution is that when I go to shut down or restart my server(s) several times a day due to OS tweaks and several installs and/or service packs, I get this questionnaire asking for a reason.  The simple answer is usually "None of your business!" but it never matters what I type.  So I asked around and found out the simple way to take care of this annoyance.

[Note: For Windows Server 2008, Look here:
Disable Display Shutdown Event Tracker on Windows Server 2008  ]

Here is what it looks like by default...

Here's what we want to see.

The way to correct this is very simple, yet not intuitive.

First: Goto Start...Run...and type: gpedit.msc, the click OK.

Second: in the Group Policy Object Editor navigate to:
Computer Configuration...Administrative Templates...System...
and select Display Shutdown Event Tracker properties, or double click.
set it to Disabled and click OK.

Now try to shutdown or restart.