Remote Reboot of Windows 7

I ran into an interesting problem recently where I was (admittedly) too lazy to walk upstairs and reboot my desktop that I use as a home server.

I connected via remote desktop only to discover that I was not able to reboot the machine from the start menu via a RDC. 

Curiosity, persistence (and laziness) prevailed and I spent some time researching to figure out how to get around this pesky issue.

Being a lover of most things related to the command prompt, I fired one up in admin mode (since like a good user, my account is not an administrator by default) and tried to reboot using

shutdown /r /t 0 only to be thwarted with aAccess is Denied(5). message. 

Researching this told me what was already plainly obvious, it was a permissions issue and I did not have permissions to do what I wanted.

Digging a little further, I came across the solution.

  1. Open the policy editor (secpol.msc)
  2. Expand Local Policies
  3. Select User Rights Assignment
  4. Find the Force shutdown from a remote system policy and add your account.
  5. Once this is done, go to a command prompt and run gpupdate

Now, when you run shutdown /r /t 0, your remote computer will promptly heed your wishes and restart.