Guy’s Best Practice and Litmus Test Ezine #14 – Resource Kit
This week I would like to feature the Resource Kit. Microsoft’s philosophy has been to use the ‘Resource Kits’ to trial programs that for a variety of reasons, they do not wish to release in their regular products. Some utilities like SetupMgr, XCals and User State Migration Tool have made the transition from Resource Kit to the Windows Server 2003 CD.
Contents for Ezine 14
There are over 150 Utilities in the Resource kit so there is something for everyone and for every occasion. The biggest puzzle about the resource kits are where do they come from? Probably the best answer is to download from Microsoft’s site (Search for Windows Deployment and Resource Kits in Google). Also, rest assured, I will put copies of all the executables I mention in the ezines on my website. As with so much from Microsoft, there are always three ways of obtaining your Resource Kits. Firstly, many of the operating systems have their own resource kit, secondly some come with a book (or visa versa!) Thirdly you may get a copy if you subscribe to TechNet.
After many heated discussions about the merits of various Reskit programs, I have come to the conclusion that it is a case of: ‘One man’s meat is another man’s poison’. Here is a tale about OH (Open Handles) that illustrates my point.
One training course that I took had the ‘delegates from hell’. About the only thing they could agree upon was that they loved to pull holes in anything Microsoft. At one afternoon coffee break the discussion drifted onto a banal argument about which utility had the shortest name. OH (Open Handle) got the vote and as ever, no-one had a good word to say about it. Well they had just about finished rubbishing Open Handles when one of their number, who had popped out for a sandwich, returned. He was unaware of the previous conversation and proceeded to say how wonderful OH was and that the secret was to use the OH +otl (Object Type Lists) switch. We all listened 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 ‘One man’s meat is another man’s poison’.
Guy Recommends: The Free IP Address Tracker (IPAT)
Calculating IP Address ranges is a black art, which many network managers solve by creating custom Excel spreadsheets. IPAT cracks this problem of allocating IP addresses in networks in two ways:
For Mr Organized there is a nifty subnet calculator, you enter the network address and the subnet mask, then IPAT works out the usable addresses and their ranges.
For Mr Lazy IPAT discovers and then displays the IP addresses of existing computers. Download the Free IP Address Tracker
WinExit is a special screen saver that logs off the current user if they are idle for say 30 minutes. In principle WinExit is just like any other screen saver. However it does have some rather good configuration settings, so before implementing, right-click, Configure and decide if wish to forcibly log off users even if it means they will lose work. My mate ‘Mad Mick’ loves the setting where he can set the user’s a Logoff message. For example, ‘You have been logged of by ‘Mick Franklin’.
Link Check Wizard (ChkLnks.exe) is a tool that scours all drives for broken links. When it finds a dead LNK file the Wizard gives you the option to delete the broken shortcut. This utility works equally well on Windows 2003 and XP machines. I am willing to bet you find at least 5 links when you run ChkLnks.exe.
OH (Open Handles) is a built-in tool that shows the handles of all open windows. This command-line utility is useful for troubleshooting sharing violations, what it does is find the process that has a file open when a sharing violation occurs. What you can do is discover information about a specific process, object type, or object name.
One drawback is that to get OH working you need to type OH +otl (Object Type Lists), then reboot.
Guy’s Litmus Test
Do take the trouble to get a copy of the Resource Kit for your operating system, I guarantee that you will find at least three new interesting programs.
Check out the WinExit, ChkLnks and OH executable hereGet these utilities online
Lots of useful computer tools