Showing Server Uptime with uptime.exe

It’s been almost 15 years since Microsoft released the first NT-based operating system, Windows NT 3.1, on July 27th 1993. So it came as a bit of a surprise to me that not even the brand-new Windows 2008 ships with an easy way to show the current uptime of the OS.

Linux/Unix users are probably quite familiar with the convenient uptime command, which shows how long the OS has been running and also includes a current load average.

Windows still doesn’t ship with such a tool (I will refrain from posting sarcastic assumptions as to why they might not want to do that) which makes it difficult for any SysAdmin to quickly determine how long a machine has been up and running. One can of course dig through the System Event Log to find the 6009 event or create a script, but I’d hardly call that convenient.

That’s why, a while back , we developed the free uptime.exe application which is included in our free NTToolkit. Simply run uptime.exe and it will show you the uptime of the system you are logged in as, and keep counting until you abort with CTRL+C:

  Uptime:  11 days,  4 hours, 33 minutes,  4 seconds

Uptime.exe also accepts the /onetime parameter which just displays the current uptime and returns, and you can also display the uptime in seconds with the /secs command line switch. This might be useful if you want to use uptime.exe in batch files for example.

You can download uptime.exe from, and if you choose the version without the installer then you don’t even have to log in. The setup version of the NTToolkit allows you to extract the MSI however, which you could automatically deploy to all of your servers. You could then take advantage of all the tools in the NTToolkit without having to download or install anything.

The upcoming 2.90 release of EventSentry will also be able to track the uptime of all monitored servers, so that you can easily view and compare the uptime of one or more servers through our web reporting interface.

Are you looking for a small tool that would make your life as a SysAdmin easier? Just send an email to suggestions {{AT}} netikus [[DOT]] net.

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