How To's & GuidesTech Tips on a Tuesday - How to Restart...

Tech Tips on a Tuesday – How to Restart your Windows Home Server over Remote Desktop


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I am on vacation and my Windows Home Server Console stopped responding. I can still upload, download and stream but the console screen (after login) is just gray and blue. Something is borked so what do I do? If I could get to the WHS Console I would just use the Restart button. Ugh. Restarting WHS should fix it, but how?

Restarting Windows Home Server

Interestingly enough, except for the WHS Console, every other function works properly including the WHS Health Add-In over my Blackberry. Even though my WHS Console was not working I could still upload and download files so this was not an emergency. Had my vacation only been a few days I probably would not have even messed with it but since this was the start of a week in Kona I knew it would drive me nuts.

Restarting Windows Home Server

Windows Home Server Website Access

You have two ways of accessing your WHS while on the road. Both ways of access require you to have remote access turned on (and working) and you must at least be able to get to your WHS login screen via your home page.If you cannot access your WHS website then you are SOL.

What then?

You better call up a friend or relative to break into your house and restart your machine with the power button! You also better have them reboot your router just in case while they are there drinking your beer and ordering skin flicks on your pay-per-view.

Access the Windows Home Server Desktop

The two ways to access your WHS are as follows:

1.) You can login to the server via the webpage and then access the console and use the Advanced Admin Add-In to access the desktop. This way is the easiest and fastest but since my console is frozen blue I am borked.

Restarting Windows Home Server

2.) Access one of your client PCs on your network and use Remote Desktop from THAT computer to gain access to your WHS. This of course requires you to have XP Professional or one of the higher end Vista/Window 7 machines. If you look at the Computers tab after login to your WHS you will see which PCs are available for connection.

Restarting Windows Home Server

I will take what is behind door number two Monty. Since I am out of town, and the console is non-responsive, then I have to log into another PC on the network and then use the Remote Desktop on THAT computer to access the HPSERVER locally.

How To Restart

Now that you have access through Remote Desktop your first though is to go to the Start Menu and select Restart. I will wait while you try it. Ok, so now you see that Restart is not one of the options. Now what?

Well again you have two choices:

1.) Type shutdown.exe from the command line (not the easier way)

Total List Shown

2.) Hold down the Alt and F4 keys while on the Desktop

Look at your keyboard to see if you need a third key for F4. My Dell keyboard requires the Fn key to get to F4 so I actually need Fn-Alt-F4. Ugh.

Hold down the Alt and F4 keys while on the Desktop

Restarting Windows Home Server

Windows Home Server Restarted

Give your server about five minutes after the Restart and then log back in to the website. Access the console as normal and you should be ready for good times.

Windows Home Server can do so much but it all starts with access.

See you next Tuesday,


Timothy Daleo
Timothy Daleo
Timothy Daleo is a Project Resource Analyst and Oracle Applications Trainer in Pasadena, California. In addition to financial analysis, Tim has been developing training materials since 2003 and supporting direct projects through various auxiliary databases since 2005.


  1. "Shutdown /r" is what you'll need for restarting from the command line, and I usually thought the /f on there just to be safe.

  2. shutdown.exe gives you the list of options and is not the faster option. I will add the screenshot to the article.

  3. HI Timothy,

    Add a third way to get the system to reboot remotely. If you have the add-in P80 installed and you can still get to the remote web site you can use P80 to reboot the server. With the new security features of P80 and the fact you can put it on the

  4. Tim,

    This won't help you on vacation (well maybe it will)

    RDP into the server

    goto task mgr

    goto users

    a user will show disconnected

    log that user off

    you are fixed

  5. Tim,

    I was rdp into the server last night and checked out your comments of not being able to restart. If you go to start shutdown it brings up the option to restart.

    "now you know"


    • You are correct that Remote Desktop directly to the WHS allows a restart.

      However, this article was based on the WHS not being accessible (frozen console and being away from home) and having to use a Remote Desktop of a networked PC over the website to Remote in to the WHS.

      If you have an available PC over the website try it and let me know about your experience.

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