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Command file is not running within PowerChute: How to check correct syntax usage.

Published date: 22 October 2019

A command file is not running within PowerChute.

Product Line:
PowerChute Network Shutdown
PowerChute Business Edition 

All supported Windows Operating Systems.

Incorrect syntax


NOTE: The command file runs using the local system account. PowerChute cannot execute programs that require interaction with the desktop; only command line enabled programs are supported e.g. if you try to launch Notepad it will fail. In earlier versions of Windows all services run in Session 0 along with applications. This situation poses a security risk. In Windows Vista, and later versions of Windows, the operating system isolates services in Session 0 and runs applications in other sessions. PowerChute is run in Session 0 so if a command file launches a .exe that .exe will be launched in Session 0 and not visible to the logged in users. To verify that the .exe has launched open Task Manager and review the list of Processes running. More information on Windows Session can be found at

To execute command files from PowerChute, you must use the correct syntax.
If the command file contains statements to run executable files (.exe), you must use the command called @START in the statements.

The @START command uses the following syntax rules:

The following examples illustrate the correct use of syntax for use with APC shutdown utilities as executables:

Example: An executable program with no spaces in the full path name.
No quotes are required:

quotes required:

You can test that the command file is operating correctly by running a simple command file.
1.      Create a directory, named apctest, directly to the C drive.
2.      Type the following line in a command file  to create a file named cmdtest.txt, and the time that the file was run, in the apctest:
time /T >> C:\apctest\cmdtest.txt

NOTE: When attempting to power down a remote system the PowerChute service account must be changed from Local System account to an account that has permissions on the remote system to power it down.
In this screenshot the account has been changed to wkadmin for PowerChute Network Shutdown service. The same would need to be done for the PowerChute Business Edition Agent service. 

The command file syntax used to shut down a remote server is
shutdown /s /f /m \\server ip /c "PowerChute has initiated a system shutdown" /t 0 Users should enter the proper ip address of their server and should adjust the /t (time delay) to meet their needs. 

See Microsoft TechNet for more information on running the shutdown command

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