Ezine 132 – SrvInfo and Resource Kits

Ezine 132 – SrvInfo and Resource Kits

Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll buy a funny hat. Talk to a hungry man about fish, and you’re a consultant.  Scott Adams

My speciality is getting people started.  In the last Ezine we looked at BgInfo, which is a great utility in its own right; however, I hope that you found time to look around the Sysinternals site because it contains dozens of other useful tools, and gems of information.

Windows Server Resource Kit

This week I want to point you in the direction of the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit.  While I have singled out SrvInfo, my real objective is to cajole you into researching Microsoft’s ResKits (Resource Kits). 

Server Info Tool (SrvInfo.exe)

Interesting information (Over and above information displayed by utilities such as BgInfo):

  • Computer Site Name
  • System Bios Version
  • System Uptime
  • Hot Fixes
  • Base Source Path (Installation path)
  • Protocols (Full list)
  • Services Status


My friend ‘Barking’ Eddie told me in no uncertain terms that I should not be boring you my reader with this old NT technology.  I replied that the killer benefit of SrvInfo is the ability to interrogate other machines on the network: for example:

SrvInfo \\ machineName

Eddie’s reply was the remote switch would not work on his network, but then Eddie has blocked almost every single port on his custom firewall.  With normal firewall setting, the remote SrvInfo command works perfectly.

Incidentally, there are more SrvInfo switches such as -s (shares) and -ns (don’t display the services).

I also tried to explain to Eddie that if you want more control, then you could use PowerShell and WMI to create your own custom version of this type of server information.

One man’s meat is another man’s poison.

The scene is a training course, the delegates and I are just chatting informally waiting for stragglers to arrive before I start the afternoon session.  We are discussing which Resource Kit tool had the shortest name.  It was agreed that OH (Open Handle) probably had the shortest name, furthermore all those present agreed that it was a rubbish utility.

Then, one of the stragglers returned from his lunch, he was unaware of the previous conversation and proceeded to say how wonderful OH was.  He went on to explain that the secret was to use the OH +otl (Object Type Lists) switch. The rest of the delegates were entranced while he regaled us of how Open Handles had helped him cure a file sharing / violation problem.  I could not help smiling and thinking to myself, hmm… ‘One man’s meat is another man’s poison’. 

My point is this, you may find that SrvInfo is not the sharpest tool in the box, but if you look at the rest of the utilities in the Windows Server Resource Kit you WILL find a tool to solve a problem or speed up a task.  At an even higher level, realize that other Microsoft products also have ‘ResKits’, for example,  Exchange 2003 and SQL.   Perhaps you now realize why I exhort you to look around the Microsoft Download area and fill you boots with goodies.

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DST (Daylight Saving Time)

You may remember that 95% of America changed its dates for Daylight Saving Time.  This week sees the second half of that change, clocks fall back on November 4th 2007 (and not October 28th).  The overall plan is to increase daylight hours in April and October and thus save energy.  The initial computer problem was that Microsoft released operating systems programmed with the old dates.  To be fair to Microsoft, nobody knew in 2002 that the USA would bring in laws to change DST.

Most likely nothing will happen on November the 4th, just like nothing happened on March 11th when the clocks went forward 3 weeks early.  However, if something strange has happened to the server clocks when you get into work on November 5th, it may not be Guy Fawkes, but DST.

For the rest of the world, I suggest that we sit back and observe whether DST creates computer fireworks, or more likely, it turns out to be a damp squib.

Will and Guy’s Humour

At this time of year Halloween celebrations seems more important than Guy Fawkes bonfire parties.  As ever Will and Guy have topical Halloween pictures and jokes.

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