Why does my Exchange 2003 server take 10 minutes or more to shutdown?
It seems that most users that install Exchange Server 2003 on a Windows Server 2003 machine that is also configured as a Domain Controller may experience a slow shutdown when they try to reboot/shutdown the server.
This is because the Active Directory related services shut down before the Exchange services, thus causing the Exchange services to fail repeatedly while looking for the DS. Exact and detailed explanations for this behavior and restrictions can be found in the KB articles listed below.
There are 2 known solutions for this problem (besides listening to me and NOT installing Exchange on a DC in the first place…). One is to change the timeout for a failed service to shutdown itself, and the second is to manually stop the Exchange services BEFORE shutting down the server.
Method #1: Services kill timeout
Follow these easy steps:
Run Regedit and navigate to
The default value of WaitToKillServiceTimeout is set to 600000. Change it to 20000.
Exit the registry editor and reboot the server.
Note: Changing the WaitToKillServiceTimeout value may have some undesired effects on other services, use this method at your own risk.
Method #2: Manually stop Exchange related services
The best choice is to manually shutdown the Exchange related services before trying to shutdown or reboot the server. You can do so manually by going to the Services snap-in in the Administrative Tools menu and stopping the specific Exchange related services, or, you could use a script.
Source: Daniel Petri