Getting Remote Shutdown to Work

I’ve been having trouble using XP’s remote administration features with my new computer. I checked and double checked all my settings and permissions, but I could never get a remote desktop connection or remote shutdown to work. I could make a remote desktop connection using my admin account, but not with the account I use on a regular basis. It didn’t make sense because the account is a member of the admin group. Remote shutdown never worked regardless of the account. I always received an access denied message.

After checking in Microsoft’s knowledge base, I discovered that the likely culprit was fast user switching. It’s a feature in XP where you can switch between users without logging off. It’s mostly used by home users. I never bothered to disable it because I figured it was no big deal. All my accounts were password-protected. After I disabled fast user switching, all my remote features magically worked.

Well, not exactly. I can’t use remote shutdown via Computer Management. I receive an RPC error. But I can use the shutdown command, which is what I really want to do anyway. Now I have a batch file that I can execute in the evening to shut down my machines.