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Downing a NetWare Server Gracefully

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Peter Wau

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Posted: 6 Aug 2003

I cannot bring down my NetWare server even after typing the command DOWN and hitting ENTER button. This can be a problem because some people will resort to powering off the server to take it down, causing all kinds of problems ranging from Server not rebooting at all or corrupted Server.

SOLUTION: In cases when the DOWN comand does not help you bring down the NetWare server gracefully, hold the CTRL + ALT + ESC keys all at the same time. After this key combination is depressed, NetWare allows you to select the option to bring down the server.

I have used this key combo countless times, luckily before others have the chance to try the power-down way. (Of course, I always educate them so they can do it themselves the next time around.) Thought you might like to know it too.

If you have any questions you may contact Peter at

Other Suggestions

Daniel M. wrote: There is another last resort sequence LAlt+LShift+RShift+Esc that brings you to the debugger. You can then hit Q for quit, which will shut down the server. A bit drastic, as the server is halted, but not quite as drastic as power off, at least from a hardware perspective.

An anonymous reader wrote: I've often had the system hang totally after Ctrl+Alt+Esc and had to resort to poweroff. This usually occurs after the system has abended and partly recovered. I'll try the debugger next time if I can get there.

Note about SHUTDOWN: There is an important difference between NetWare 4.11 and 5.1 (I haven't tried 6 yet). In NetWare 4.11 SHUTDOWN is not a system action, so a SHUTDOWN.NCF should include the DOWN command at the end to bring the system down by typing SHUTDOWN. In NetWare 5.1 SHUTDOWN is an automatic system action; if you type DOWN and SHUTDOWN.NCF exists, it will execute SHUTDOWN.NCF automatically first, then DOWN, so SHUTDOWN.NCF must NOT include the DOWN command at the end. There is no hidden SHUTDOWN.NCF or SHUTDOWN command in NetWare.

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