Schedule A Shutdown Using AMP WinOFF

Published Date
01 - Feb - 2006
| Last Updated
01 - Feb - 2006
Schedule A Shutdown Using AMP WinOFF
There are times when you need a tool that can automatically shut down your system at a prescribed time. Say you have an application running, and it's night-time. You want to go to bed, but you also want to shut down the system within three hours, since you know that the running application will not take more than that to finish. This could happen in the case of a download, a virus scan, or something of that sort.

We found an interesting tool on the Internet that can be used to schedule a shutdown of your Windows system. And that's not all-you even have other options, such as taking a screenshot of the desktop before the system turns off. And the app is free!

STEP 1. Download And Install
The application, AMP WinOFF, is available at www.ampsoft. net/utilities/WinOFF.php.

Download it and double-click the setup file (WinOFFSetup.exe) to start the installation. All you need to do is follow the installation Wizard. The installation creates a desktop icon; you can also access the tool from Start > All Programs > AMP WinOFF > AMP WinOFF.

Step 2. Understanding The Interface And Options
When you start the utility, an error pops up, which you can ignore-this is a bug (the first time you run this utility, you won't see the error). The interface has three tabs: 'Shut Down Programming', 'Options', and 'Administration'.

The first tab, 'Shut down Programming', has settings that can be used to choose a method or mode of shutdown, and the other options specify when a machine should initiate the selected mode. You need to select both a mode of shutdown (i.e. Power off, Hibernate, Restart, Lock screen, and more) and the time or the interval at which the chosen action is to be performed.

The settings in the 'Options' tab are in two categories ? 'Shut down options' and 'Basic options'. 'Basic options' deals with the settings for the utility, while 'Shut down options' are the main thing, used for scheduling the shutdown.

The 'Administration' tab is similar to the first tab, except that it has certain administrative rights, for instance, setting a username and password. You don't really need this tab-shutting down can be done without using it.

STEP 3. Scheduling A Shutdown
You first need to set a time and date at which you want the machine to turn itself down. Or, you can specify an interval, say, 45 minutes. Let's use the date and time feature.

Date settings can used to turn off a machine at a distant date and time

Open WinOFF, and under the first tab, enable 'Shut down system at'. You'll notice that the Hours, Minutes and AM/PM sections can now be edited. Clicking on 'Use current date and time plus N minutes' will add N minutes to the current time for the shutdown (or whatever action you've chosen). Let's manually enter the time instead.

If the time now is 10:00 AM, and you want the system shut down at 12:30 in the afternoon, enable "AM/PM time", and type in "12" in the hours box and "30" in the minute(s) box. Lastly, choose "PM". You can choose the date by enabling the 'date' checkbox, and then choose a date from the small calendar that drops down on clicking it. Our example doesn't need a date for shutdown.

STEP 4. Selecting A Shutdown Mode
Now that we have the shutdown time, you need to select the shutdown mode. Since our example talks of anti-virus scanning, you would like to see the results of the scan, and also perform a "quarantine" or "delete file" task if malicious content has been detected. It would therefore be wise to choose "Hibernate" as the shutdown mode.

Set WinOFF to take a screen shot of the desktop before shutting down

The 'Options' tab has some nifty features. Let's use one of them ? the Desktop image capture feature. This could turn out to be useful if your computer doesn't wake up from Hibernate, or if you chose to shut down the PC.

STEP 5. Other Options
Check the box next to 'Capture the desktop before shut down', and choose the JPEG format. You may also add a timestamp to the image by checking the box next to 'Add date and time to the image file name'. That's not all-you can increase the quality of the image, under 'Other options'. Increase the image quality to, say, "70%" in the box against 'Desktop capture JPEG quality'. Click 'OK' to activate the schedule.

Apply the scheduled turn off settings, and an LCD-like interface shows up

You will notice a LCD-like panel displaying information about the scheduled turn-off just above the system tray. It is, by default, set to stay on top of all other applications.

Say you've set a download and also want your system to shut down at some time. The modem or other Internet connection will be active when the PC is being turned off. You can use the option 'Hang up before shut down' to disconnect a modem-based connection. And, if you use an Internet connection that needs to be logged off using a client, you can use the 'Execute a program before shut down' option. Both these are under the 'Options' tab.

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