How to force a full shutdown to reinitialize Windows 8

Microsoft has introduced a new way in Windows 8 to start your computer, called as Fast Startup, where, the kernel session is not closed, but it is hibernated. Unlike the full hibernate data, whose file size is very large, this “kernel only” data file is much smaller. Using this file during boot, gives a substantial time-advantage during startup.

windows shutdown icon How to force a full shutdown to reinitialize Windows 8

The Fast startup settings comes into play only when you are shutting down the computer and not when you are restarting it.

So then does this mean that the system does not get reinitialized completely when you shutdown Windows 8 – and then start it? Does it mean that Windows 8 will get reinitialized completely only when you restart the Windows 8 computer – since the Fast startup settings do not apply when restarting the PC?

The answer is, in a way – Yes! But Windows 8, will reinitialize itself automatically whenever needed and whenever a system or hardware change is effected - and whenever it is required.

Force Windows 8 to shutdown fully

But there may be times where you may want to perform a complete shutdown manually. For instance, if you have added or changed some hardware, you may want to force a full shutdown.

The Windows 8 UI offers an option to revert back to the old Windows full shutdown or cold boot behavior, by unchecking the option Turn on fast startup (recommended). Choosing Restart from the UI will do a full shutdown, followed by a cold boot.

Alternatively – Microsoft says that you can use the new /full switch on shutdown.exe. But I see no such switch for CMD on my Windows 8 Pro RTM x64.

What you can do is, open the command prompt (admin),  type the following command and hit Enter:

shutdown /s /f /t 0

This will make your Windows 8 computer shutdown ‘fully’.

The correct syntax thus for a full shutdown of Windows 8 should be: shutdown /s /f  /t 0 and for Hybrid shutdown should be: shutdown /s /hybrid /t 0. You can read my forum post here.

The post has been updated based on comments below.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com. Please create a System Restore Point before trying out any software & be careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware. Add me on Google+.
  • Martin

    Did yout tray that out?
    Doesn’t work here – the option /full leads to a syntax error

  • Martin

    oops – should mean: “Did you try that out”

  • http://www.thewindowsclub.com Anand Khanse

    You are right. This now does not work on my Windows 8 Pro x64 RTM too. I have edited the post – and also made a post at my forums here: http://forum.thewindowsclub.com/windows-tips-tutorials-articles/34495-new-cmd-switches-shutdown-exe-windows-8-includes-hybrid-but-not-full.html. Hope my understanding is correct.

  • Marc

    the command “powercfg -h off”, which disables hibernation, will also disable the fast startup on Windows 8.

  • Draclvr

    Fast Start was a problem with my dual boot (separate hard drives) with Windows 7 and Windows 8. After shutting down with Fast Start enabled, it would cause my Windows 7 drive to go through a disk check every time. Someone on the Windows 8 forums suggested disabling the Fast Start option in Windows 8 and that did the trick. Haven’t had a disk check when booting up Windows 7 after shutting down in Windows 8 since. This started last summer with the Release Preview and after seeing what would happen when I installed Windows 8 Pro found the same thing. Disabled Fast Start and problem was solved.

  • Nahar AlAli

    Thank you very much

  • Markus Ressel

    On my end it says:

    /f –
    Force running applications to close without forewarning users. The /f parameter is implied when a value greater than 0 is specified for the /t parameter.

    so it does not force a “full shutdown”, it only forces apps that take to long to close themselves get killed by the OS after a short amount of time.

  • T800

    And if you don’t have admin privileges? I just pluck it from the wall.

  • http://www.thewindowsclub.com Anand Khanse

    Hmmm, sure you can try that too, and let us know if it works! :D

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