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12Ghosts ShutDown

12Ghosts - ShutDown


What does it do for me?

Easy to use interface with powerful features. Shut down with just one click! Never forget to run backup and clean up programs before shut down. Just one click, then leave your computer and it will power-off automatically when everything is done! This includes termination options that guarantee a shut down!

Initiate an "auto-logon as a different user" and go away: when you're back the other user is logged on. No waiting for the enter-password-now screen, then waiting again for all settings to load. Dual-boot directly into a parallel installation of Windows, which also restarts without further user intervention.

You may set it to log off automatically after a certain time of inactivity. Restart your computer daily at a specific time. Save time by automating the shut down process, and even terminate not responding programs automatically!


What's so special about it?

     You save two clicks every day: Usually, you have to click three times:
    1. START
    2. Turn Off Computer
    3. Turn Off
With 12-ShutDown you click once on an icon in the tray. That's it.
     Never again forget to run backup and clean up programs at the end of the day. 12-ShutDown starts programs automatically before shut down!
     Shut down is guaranteed with three increasingly powerfull termination options!
     Supports turn off, logoff, restart, hibernation, and even screen saver lock as well as SUPER FAST shut down!

You can:

    Shut down with different hotkeys, or a click on the tray icon
    Turn off, Restart, Log Off, Hibernation, Restart Shell (Explorer)
    Optional confirmation and countdown
    Run programs before, e.g. backup and clean up programs
    Lock settings with passwords
    Restart computer at a certain time, daily or weekly
    Start screen saver and immediately lock workstation, or prevent screen saver for a certain time during a slide show or paused game.
    Auto-logoff and logon as different user without waiting!
    Dual-boot into different Windows installations without waiting!
    Terminate not responding programs or just exit Windows without shutting down
    Auto-logoff the user after a certain idle time


Where should I start?

You will find the red 12-ShutDown icon in your taskbar tray beside the clock after the installation. Click with the right (second) mouse button on the icon to open its context menu. (Note, a left-click will initiate a shut down countdown, however, you may still stop the countdown.) In the context menu, select the first command to open the 12-ShutDown Settings.

The first tab, Actions, serves as your main control panel for shutting down and setting up options. In the Actions tab you may change the default action, and enable or disable programs to run before. (Tip: hold down CTRL to quickly disable all programs!)

Click on Change Default Actions to permanently change the default action, as well as to add and remove entries, or change the sequence of entries in the actions list and in the context menu. Here you also find three drop-down lists where you can control what happens when you left-click the tray icon, right-double-click it, or when you press the hotkey (the hotkey can be changed in the tab 'General').

For all other options please right-click on any control in the options dialog to bring up a context sensitive help. You will find a short explanation and if applicable tips how to use each option.


More Than The Usual

Turn off, Restart, and Log off are the same commands that Windows offers when you click START - Turn Off Computer. But wait, there is more: a Super Fast shut down may be the last solution if Windows just doesn't want to shut down. However, beware: this works like the power off button at your computer, no data is saved and Windows is not shut down properly.

Restart Explorer Only (Shell) comes in helpful if explorer.exe is hanging or locking a file: no need to log off and applications keep running. You may also initiate Hibernation mode (or Standby depending on your computer's BIOS settings).

Did you ever wonder why the screen saver doesn't start immediately when you lock the workstation? Now you can do just that with Start screen saver and lock workstation. With another command you may prevent the screen saver from starting while you are running a slide show, or to keep visible a paused game.

For Windows 95/98/ME there are also the commands Reboot to MS-DOS (Tip: enter "win" at the command prompt to restart Windows) and a Restart Windows Only available.

Auto-logon as a predefined user without waiting. Handy, if the computer is used by more than one person. Predefine the user name and password. One click to initiate a logoff and automatic logon without waiting to type in the password, and then waiting again until user settings have been loaded.

Boot into any operating system listed in your boot.ini with just one click without waiting for the boot menu. One click, and two minutes later the other operating system is loaded. No longer wait for the shut down, then the boot menu to appear, hit the right key, then wait even more for the reboot to finish.

You may set up an unlimited number of Programs to run before shut down. Each program allows for an adjustable time to wait (not only to wait until it's finished). Some programs start yet other programs which 12-ShutDown doesn't know of. Here you can set a time how long to wait for such programs before continuing.

You may Terminate programs not responding automatically. Set up three time-outs for not responding applications: a second friendly request to close, then terminate all programs, and if it still hangs: just quit Windows! Shut down guaranteed!

The Options tab (see below) allows you to configure what to do before the shut down process continues. You may want to show a confirmation, which proceeds automatically after a countdown of 5 seconds, giving you enough time to cancel in case you clicked the wrong icon.

Why eject the CD? Imagine you just did a backup to a CD-R. Now you have turned off your computer to go home and would like to take the CD-R with you. If it sticks out you can't forget it!



Shut down NOW without running programs, etc.

Just hold down CTRL when selecting a shut down command in the context menu. It will continue immediately, without any previous actions (confirmation, countdown, running programs, etc.)

The "End Task" dialog box prevents the shut down process to continue

The "End Task" dialog box appears after about 20 seconds. By setting termination options to 5 seconds each, these functions can end the task before Windows even shows the "End Task" dialog box. The shut down continues smoothly. (However, using the termination options may result in loss of data!)

Try 12-WinControl to close and terminate applications automatically.

Close a DOS box after it has finished

There's an easier way than to change the default PIF of cmd.exe: start cmd.exe (or command.com) with the parameters = '/c batchfile.bat'. This closes a DOS box after it's finished.

Use the free movable icon with 12-ShutDown

A good reason to use the free movable icon with 12-ShutDown is that you may restart the shell even if the taskbar is no longer available. Use the command "Restart Explorer Only" which includes the taskbar with the tray and the desktop. If Explorer stopped for whatever reason and there is no taskbar and no tray icons, you can still access the 12-ShutDown flying icon!

Setting up Kiosk Mode

(This is actually in use by kiosk mode computers at St. Pauls Cathedral, London.)

If you only have one program allowed to run on a computer, for example in a visitors area, you may set up 12-ShutDown as the shell, which, in turn, starts your one program. It will make sure that once the program is closed the computer reboots and starts a fresh version of the program.

To set up 12-ShutDown as the shell add the path to 12shutdown.exe to the value "Shell" in:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Winlogon   (95/98/ME)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon   (NT/2000/XP/Vista)

Since no spaces are allowed, you need to set up 12-ShutDown in a path without spaces. Add the parameter "/action" right behind the path without a space. The parameter will make sure that the shut down process will be started right after booting. But if a program is set to "run before", that will be executed instead. Once the program stops working or is closed 12-ShutDown automatically initiates a reboot.

To completely hide 12-ShutDown set it up to not ask for confirmation, not display the 'Action' window, and disable 'FlyingIcon' in General Options.


Family Logon: On Windows 95/98/ME, Auto-Logon does not work together with "Microsoft Family Logon". Please install (START - Control Panel - Network - Add - Client - Microsoft -) "Client for Microsoft Networks". As "Primary Network Logon" choose "Windows Logon".

Administrator rights: On Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista, Administrator rights are required to change the necessary Windows logon values. Instead of giving users admin right, however, you could give a user or group of users the right to change the auto-logon values: Log on as administrator, open regedt32.exe (START - Run - enter "regedt32") and go down to this key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

In the Security menu choose Permissions. Add the user or group and select 'Full Control = Allow'.

Domain Logon: This does not seem to work on some installations. However, you may cache the password as described here: http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q140/7/09.asp

Reboot a Windows server every night despite a screen saver with password protection

The short answer is, there's no way, and it's not recommended anyway. Here is why: You could stop a screensaver with 12-ScrnMan, but you cannot logon and enter a password from any program (except with the Auto-Logon feature which itself is build into the Windows winlogon module). Even if it were possible you would have to store the password somewhere, even if encrypted, but stored on the computer. Now, if one program can decrypt the password, other programs can, too (a hacker barely needs to copy the decryption part of the program and paste it into his program). Conclusion, if the password to access the system is stored on the system itself it hardly makes sense to use a password at all.

(BTW, Windows does not store passwords, but only a unique hash (a kind of sum of the digits) that is computed from the password. When you enter the password the hash is calculated again and compared with the stored one. At no time Windows knows your logon password. Only the user typing it in knows it.)

One solution is to remove the screen saver password and physically protect the room where the server is located. The best solution is to not reboot your server at all. Rather, particularly in high-risk environments, it should run stable at all times...

One more argument: Let's say a burglar has access to your server while the computer is not locked, this can only happen when he is sitting in front of it. But while he sits in front of it he has physical access to the computer. He may as well trash away at it, or remove the hard disk and install it into his own computer and would have full access to all files from a parallel installation of Windows NT. (Except, maybe, to encrypted data on Windows XP/Vista.)

More Hotkeys

Create several shortcuts for different actions, each using a different hotkey. For example, create one shortcut to shutdown with previous actions:

          C:\Program Files\12shutdown.exe /shutdown /previous

and one to log off without previous actions:

          C:\Program Files\12shutdown.exe /logoff

See Command Line Options for more. (For the hotkeys to work place them on the desktop or in the Start menu.)

Control Settings with a .12G file

Should you plan to use 12Ghosts ShutDown with your own programs or a batch file, you can set the options directly with your program or import them in a 12Ghosts Settings .12G file. To create the appropriate settings file, choose all options accordingly, then open General Options and click on the button 'Save'. You may edit the .12G settings file with Notepad, for example, delete entries that you don't want to change. When you double-click a .12G file, or call it from a batch file, the settings will take effect immediately. Use the parameter "/s" for silent.


Command Line Options

Set up one or more shortcuts on your desktop for fast shut down, log off, or restart. You may also shut down unattended from a scheduling program like 12-Timer, a batch file, or from your own programs. 12-ShutDown accepts the following command line options:

/action or /default Shut down with the current settings as if you clicked the tray icon, show confirmation, count down, and run programs before, according to your settings.
/previous or /confirm Run previous actions, ask for confirmation, count down, run programs before, etc. Use in conjuction with /turnoff, /logoff, etc.
/turnoff Turn off the computer (without previous actions unless you also use /previous)
/shutdown Do a standard shut down (again, without previous actions unless you also use /previous)
/restart Restart the computer, without previous actions
/logoff Log off as the current user, without previous actions
/hibernate Enter Hibernation (only if available and enabled in Control Panel - Power Options)
/restartwin Restart Windows only, without previous actions (95/98/ME only)
/bootdos Shutdown and boot into MS-DOS, without previous actions (95/98/ME only)
/bootnt:N Boot into any Windows installation listed in boot.ini, where N is the boot.ini submenu index, 1 for the first entry ("/sos" entries are ignored). To easily switch between parallel Windows installations you should install 12-ShutDown on each Windows version.
/defaultnt:N Set the default in boot.ini but do NOT shutdown or do any other action. By adding this shortcut in the Startup group you can restore the default no matter what was selected before. N is the boot.ini submenu index, 1 for the first entry.
/domain:'domain' /action   
Log off as current user and automatically log on as a different user. Predefine the user name and password. This may come in handy if the computer is used by more than one user. One click is enough to initiate a logoff and automatic logon without waiting to type in the password, then waiting again until user settings are loaded. You may add /action, /restart, or /restartwin. Log off is the default.
/fastturnoff SUPER FAST turn off: just end Windows (without properly shutting it down). Warning: This may result in loss of data and should only be used in emergency situations!
/fastshutdown SUPER FAST shut down. See above.
/fastrestart SUPER FAST restart. See above.
/s "Silent", don't show a dialog box at startup (this is supported by all Ghosts). To show a dialog box just start 12-ShutDown again without /s.


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