Thursday, February 28, 2008

Remotely manage Windows systems from the command line

It seems like nearly every operating system has a lot of hidden tools; little gems that, if you know about them, make your life a lot easier by solving problems or helping your work more efficiently. Anyone who has attended one of my seminars knows I'm all about centralizing system management and working as efficiently as possible. In this blog post, I'm going to show you a group of Windows tools that do just that.

You're probably aware of Mark Russinovich's work in creating great tools to help manage Windows systems. You may not be aware, however, of his PsTools suite. This collection of command-line tools allows you to perform many functions on remote systems from your command line. They're lightweight, they're very easy to install on your system, they don't require any installation on the remote system, and they work very well. Here's a list of the tools and what they do (taken from the PsTools webpage):

  • PsExec - execute processes remotely
  • PsFile - shows files opened remotely
  • PsGetSid - display the SID of a computer or a user
  • PsInfo - list information about a system
  • PsKill - kill processes by name or process ID
  • PsList - list detailed information about processes
  • PsLoggedOn - see who's logged on locally and via resource sharing (full source is included
  • PsLogList - dump event log records
  • PsPasswd - changes account passwords
  • PsService - view and control services
  • PsShutdown - shuts down and optionally reboots a computer
  • PsSuspend - suspends processes

The name "Ps" comes from the UNIX/Linux "ps" command that lists running processes.

This collection of tools falls under the heading of, "What took me so long to find these?" Download them here.

I'll bet you find them helpful!

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