Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Script to Update Computer Description

A while ago, a colleague asked me if there was a way to centrally update the "Description" fields of workstations with their users' names. The desktop support team was remotely managing a couple of different organizations, and some of them had no method or documentation for matching the user names and the computer names. Although as an alternative approach, Bginfo from sysinternals (now part of Microsoft - could be used to display the information on each desktop, the other way for desktop technicians was to look at the description of the computer from the network browser.

As a solution, I wrote a script. I started with a vbscript file, then ported it to HTA to make it reusable. It basically checks the current logged-on user, determines the user's logon name and display name from AD and updates the computer description field either with the logon name or with the display name.

It requires read rights from AD and local administrator rights on the workstations. It only updates if the "Description" is empty. It does not do any changes if no logged-on user can be detected on the workstation. It lets the admin to choose from Display Name or samAccountname attributes of the user to update the Computer Description field.

Please remember that this script is written for and tested on Windows XP systems. If workstations are protected by windows firewall, file sharing exception should be enabled.
Even before attempting to use the script, make sure you read and understand the disclaimer section in the right column. Do not even think of using this script in your production environment before testing and approving in a lab.

If you're ready for download and agree with the disclaimer terms, click on "I Agree" to reach the download page. Copy this file to your test environment and start testing. It requires an input file which lists of computer names, and of course your AD (test) domain name. Test it and if you have any ideas or questions, feel free to contact me using the comment link.

I hope you find this script useful. I will try to post similar scripts for various tasks.

Update to the post:
Somehow, the old free file hosting company decided that these utility scripts cause "abuse/copyright violations" and decided to remove them. Instead of trying to convince them that these scripts belong to me and has nothing to do with abuse, I simply moved them over to another (and better) file hosting service. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for warning me about the dead links.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

First post

I have been planning on creating a blog and sharing my experiences with the IT community for a while - for almost two years actually. Finally, I found the time and the will to create this blog.

Although I will try to include some details about myself in the "profile" section, here's some brief information about me: I have been working in the IT market for fifteen years. I have always worked in technical positions and mostly with Microsoft Server technologies. I have collected (and still collecting) a considerable amount of experience with Windows Server, Active Directory, Exchange Server, Desktop Management. I am also a great fan of scripting technologies like vbscript, batch files (yes, why not?) and powershell. For the last couple of years I have produced a number of vbscript files for automating different tasks.

In this site, I will try to share my sample scripts as well as some tips and tricks on Microsoft technologies. Check back often to see the new entries, and I hope you'll find some useful information here. Please do not hesitate to send your comments and questions.