I frequently do a lot of testing inside Virtual Machines (VMs) using Server 2003 and Server 2008 and one thing I’ve grown to dislike is having to type in a reason why I decided to shut down or restart my machine.

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Even though I’ve grown accustomed to simply typing in a period (.) for the shutdown reason, and clicking OK, even that gets old, therefore, below is the registry key to use for disabling it altogether in Server 2003/2008:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Reliability]
"ShutdownReasonOn"=dword:00000000

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Ahh, much better!

Note:  If you want this same functionality in Windows XP, there is a different registry location for that which is referenced here.