Automatic NAS Box shutdown – How to execute applications on Windows Shutdown (Part 2/2)

In Part 1 we looked at how to figure out what message was being sent from the web management page of my Netgear ReadyNAS Duo network storage box, and then how to replicate that to happy from a c# dot net console application. To finish this off, we now need some way of making that new console app run automatically when I shut down my Windows 7 PC.

I started in the Task Scheduler panel in Control Panel > Administrative Tools.

On the right hand panel you can then select “Create Task…”. From this dialogue you have a number of tabs along the top- the second one along, right after General is “Triggers” – switch to this and then hit the “New…” button which brings up a third window called “New Trigger”.  From the drop down list entitled “Begin the task:” check the selected option from the default “On a schedule” to “On an event”.  So you should now see something similar to this screen shot;

At this point I was kind of stumped- The other options in that “Begin the task:” list were things like “At log on”, “At startup”, “On work station lock” etc – there was no “On Shutdown”!! So I selected “On an event”. This gives you three new options in Settings – Log, Source and Event. From here it was down to taking an educated guess. I knew that shutting down Windows was likly to be logged as a “System” event, so in the first drop down I selected System.

What to choose in the Source drop down was not so clear- so to decide on an event source to use, I opened the Event Viewer, again from Control Panel > Administrative Tools. From the left hand panel, I opened the “Windows Logs” branch, then from within that selected “System”.  These are arranged by time, so it’s just a matter of going back to when you turned your computer on today, then going back a couple more to see the last things your computer logged before turning off when you last used it.

In the end I opted for the event shown in the above screen shot- by reading the description I noticed it mentioned shutting down explorer.exe (a main component in Windows) because of the “power off of computer”, which I figured, with out knowing the in’s and out’s of what this really meant, sounded pretty promising. So from the same window I noted the Source “USER32″ and Event ID “1074″.  Going back to the New Trigger window I found that USER32 did indeed appear in the list, so I selected that and entered 1074 as the event ID.  This is pretty much everything for the trigger, so hit ok, then move on to the Actions tab, and click “New…”

From here it’s pretty easy- the action we want is to “Start a program” then just use the browser button to find the program you want to run. Click OK and return to the General tab.

This final step may not be required, but I did it anyway just to be sure- on the general tab, I changed the radio button at the end and selected “Run whether user is logged on or not”. I also changed the “Configure for:” drom down at the bottom to be “Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2″. And that’s it- Shut down your computer to give it a go. If you are following on from my previous post and you pointed the action dialogue to run the .exe produced from the last post, you should see your computer shut down and then a few seconds later the NAS box will power down.

Drop me a comment if I’ve missed any critical details!

You can see the finished app here

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