Here is what I do on a frozen unresponsive Windows Server to help protect any active database application services that may be running on the server, like Microsoft Exchange or SQL. These steps are worth trying before you initiate a dirty shutdown (turn off the server w ‘the power button’)
1) Open services.msc on a different server, then connect to the server that is going to be shutdown. Stop critical database services like the Information Store (it may get stuck in a stopping state, but its worth a try).
2) run from an administrator command prompt on a different server from the one being shutoff:
shutdown /s /f /m \\NameOfFrozenServer
The above command will send a remote shutdown command to the frozen server. The /F stands for ‘force’ which will attempt force stuck applications closed.
In conclusion: if the box still doesn’t go off in a timely manner then I’ll eventually do a ‘hard shutdown’, however it’s always worth trying the above first.