This isn't related to shutting everything down, but it is related to religiously following instructions. This happened in about 2008 - a customer of ours had some particularly tech-phobic staff and we got a call one morning from one of them saying that her email had "disappeared". She couldn't find the remote support icon either. I tried to talk her through starting Outlook, and she said it just says something about setting up your email account. They were local so I drove out to have a look. Sure enough, everything was wiped off their computer, and it looked like it had been factory reset.
I asked the lady what happened when she started up the computer in the morning. "Oh, nothing special" was the reply, "just the usual stuff when it starts". Then she added, "I did what it said". I began to get suspicious. I went through the startup procedure with her. The screen flashed up its usual "Press F11 for recovery" screen, and she interrupted "Yes, so I hit F11". I asked why and she said, "because it said to press F11". I pressed F11 it to see what it does. It came up with a screen asking if you want to continue with recovery to factory settings and to press Y to proceed with that. She said, "Oh yes, it told me to press Y so I did".
And so she actually told the computer to wipe its settings and data (even though it warned her that all data would be lost!) because "I thought that's what it wanted me to do. It said to press Y to wipe all my data".
I asked her if it had occurred to her that she shouldn't wipe everything, and all she had to say was that it shouldn't have told her to press F11 in the first place.
She left the job shortly after that and the company folded a few months later.