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General how to examples

This section includes a selection of example scripts as answers to scripting questions from customers that are of general interest.

Click a question to scroll to the related section:
-  How do we delete music and movies from network computers?
-  Can I collect installed memory to detect which computers needs be upgraded?
-  I don't know who owns which computer. Can this somehow be mapped?
-  Our office documents do not always have correct user information. Can this be fixed?
-  How can I backup SQL Server files?
-  Citrix XenApp Installation Manager was removed on Server 2008. Any ideas?
-  How can I detect old log files and email them to someone in a zip file?
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How-to examples

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Q: How do we delete music and movies from network computers?

A: These files can be removed with the DeleteSubFiles command like this:

DeleteSubFiles [UserProfileDir],*.mp3,*.avi,*.mpg,*.wmv

Simply insert a single line anywhere in the logon script for example and fill in your own desired file patterns. All directories in the users' profile will automatically be traversed in the example above. Click the play button below to watch a demonstration of using the DeleteSubFiles command.



Q: I don't have a management system. Can I collect installed memory to detect which computers needs be upgraded?

A: Information like physical memory, free disk space, operating system, last logged on user and such are all part of the information uploaded to SkyBox. Simply issue the UploadInventory command in your logon script, and you have all the information available in your inventory web. Click the play button below to watch a demonstration of using the UploadInventory command.


Please refer to this article for more information on SkyBox. You can also watch a live demo of the inventory web with fictitious data here.

If you have reservations using SkyBox or you would like to have the same information internally, there are other options. The simplest one is to use the InventoryXML function, which will produce an XML snippet that represents the same information that is uploaded to your SkyBox web. If we wanted to store this on a share called "Admin$" on the server "AcmeServer", the script line would look like this:

WriteFile \\AcmeServer\Admin$\Inventory\[ComputerName].xml,[InventoryXML]

This would produce an XML file for each computer on the network that is automatically overwritten at each logon. The content could look like this:

<Inventory>

  <Computer>

    <ComputerName>ACMEPC0001</ComputerName>

    <ComputerDomain>ACMEDOM</ComputerDomain>

  </Computer>

  <User>

    <UserName>PDH</UserName>

    <UserFullName>Paul David Hewson</UserFullName>

    <UserDomain>ACMEDOM</UserDomain>

  </User>

  <OperatingSystem>

    <OperatingSystem>Windows 7 Ultimate</OperatingSystem>

    <OSBits>64</OSBits>

    <OSMajor>6</OSMajor>

    <OSMinor>1</OSMinor>

    <ServicePack>Service Pack 1</ServicePack>

    <InstallationDate>04-05-2010</InstallationDate>

  </OperatingSystem>

  <FastTrackScriptingHost>

    <FSHMajor>7</FSHMajor>

    <FSHMinor>0</FSHMinor>

    <FSHRevision>0</FSHRevision>

  </FastTrackScriptingHost>

  <Manufacturer>

    <Manufacturer>LENOVO</Manufacturer>

    <Model>43145GG</Model>

    <SerialNo>R82978X</SerialNo>

  </Manufacturer>

  <Network>

    <LastIP>172.28.1.11</LastIP>

    <MAC>00:21:A7:2A:21:E2</MAC>

    <NICSpeed>1000</NICSpeed>

  </Network>

  <Hardware>

    <CPUSpeed>2267</CPUSpeed>

    <CPU>Intel Core i5 CPU M 430 @ 2.27GHz</CPU>

    <NoProcessors>4</NoProcessors>

    <ComputerType>Portable</ComputerType>

    <FreeDiskSpace>27</FreeDiskSpace>

    <DiskSize>99</DiskSize>

    <DiskStatus>OK</DiskStatus>

    <MemorySize>4080</MemorySize>

  </Hardware>

  <Monitor>

    <Width>1366</Width>

    <Height>768</Height>

    <Depth>32</Depth>

    <NoMonitors>1</NoMonitors>

  </Monitor>

</Inventory>

To see InventoryXML in action, please click the video below, which will also demonstrate how to upload events to your inventory.


Another option is to make a similar XML snippet that is created manually by using the WriteXML command. In the example below, we assume there is a writable share called \\AcmeServ\Collect$ that everyone can write to. Putting this single line in your logon script, will collect the memory installed in each client logging on:

WriteXMLValue \\AcmeServ\Collect$\ClientMemory.xml,Memory/[ComputerName],[TotalMemory]

As it is a single XML file for all computers, each machine will only be listed once, as the values are just overwritten when the same client performs another logon. This means that after an upgrade is performed, the value will be corrected at next logon for each computer, as it also would with the InventoryXML example. All XML files generated can easily be imported into excel for further processing.

This can be expanded to collect more information. Your Active Directory will provide information about the operating system, so no need to collect that, but these 4 lines will collect total memory, cpu speed, disk size and manufacturer in a single xml file:

WriteXMLValue \\AcmeServ\Collect$\SysInfo.xml,Clients/Memory/[ComputerName],[TotalMemory]

WriteXMLValue \\AcmeServ\Collect$\SysInfo.xml,Clients/CPU/[ComputerName],[CpuSpeed]

WriteXMLValue \\AcmeServ\Collect$\SysInfo.xml,Clients/Disks/[ComputerName],[DiskSize]

WriteXMLValue \\AcmeServ\Collect$\SysInfo.xml,Clients/Manufacturer/[ComputerName],[Manufacturer]

After the first two logons, the file could look like this:

<Clients>

  <Memory>

    <ACME0001>4080</ACME0001>

    <ACME0017>2040</ACME0017>

  </Memory>

  <CPU>

    <ACME0001>2267</ACME0001>

    <ACME0017>2267</ACME0017>

  </CPU>

  <Disks>

    <ACME0001>99</ACME0001>

    <ACME0017>252</ACME0017>

  </Disks>

  <Manufacturer>

    <ACME0001>LENOVO</ACME0001>

    <ACME0017>LENOVO</ACME0017>

  </Manufacturer>

</Clients>

There are built-in functions for collecting the most common system information. Most of these are listed under "Hardware" and "Operating System" in the Engine Browser tree in the script editor. This means that adding more lines to the above example, you can collect information like network adapter speed, age for the computer (Windows installation date), type of computer (desktop/portable), number of processors, free disk space, operating system, service pack version, etc. To collect uncommon information, use the WMIQuery function to perform a select operation through Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).


Q: I don't know who owns which computer, which is frustrating. Can this somehow be mapped?

A: This information is part of the information uploaded with SkyBox. Simply issue the UploadInventory command in your logon script, and you have all the mappings available in the inventory web. Please refer to this article for more information.

If you have reservations using SkyBox or you would just like to also have this information available elsewhere, you can update your Active Directory computer description with this information. This can be done with a single script line at logon (see Setting up logon scripts) like this:

Laptop owner

To achieve this, we need to elevate permissions to a domain admin user and execute another script to update the information, assuming domain users do not have permissions to update the information. We need to preserve the user name of the user logging, so this information must be passed at command-line. In this example, the domain admin is named "AcmeAdmin" and the password is encrypted in the script editor:

Run [FastTrackExe],/S ADComputerUpdate.fsh /P "UserName=[UserName]",AcmeAdmin,WxTKtLAWa6yGtHhIzD/KYw==

The script ADComputerUpdate.fsh located in the same directory will extract the passed command-line parameter "UserName" and set the Active Directory computer description field to this user name:

SetComputerDescription [ComputerName],Laptop owned by [CmdParam UserName]

A simpler solution could be to log the computer and user information at logon instead. Using an XML file for this type of logging will avoid the problems of large log files, as each machine will only be listed once, because the information will automatically be overwritten each time the information is written. Putting these few script lines in the logon script, will log user and ip information on laptops to an XML file:

WriteXMLValue \\AcmeServ\Collect$\Laptops.xml,Clients/[ComputerName]/Owner,[UserName]

WriteXMLValue \\AcmeServ\Collect$\Computers.xml,Clients/[ComputerName]/LastLogon,[DateTime]

WriteXMLValue \\AcmeServ\Collect$\Computers.xml,Clients/[ComputerName]/LastIP,[IPAddress]

After logging on to two computers, the xml could look like this:

<Clients>

  <ACME0001>

    <Owner>David Howell Evans</Owner>

    <LastIP>172.18.1.18</LastIP>

    <LastLogon>08-05-2011 14:11:42</LastLogon>

  </ACME0001>

  <ACME0017>

    <Owner>Paul David Hewson</Owner>

    <LastIP>172.18.1.16</LastIP>

    <LastLogon>10-05-2011 08:49:20</LastLogon>

  </ACME0017>

</Clients>

Click the play button below to watch a demonstration of the above examples.




Q: Our office documents do not always have correct user information. Can this be fixed?

A: Yes, simply insert these three static lines in the logon script for Office 2007 or newer. If the user edits the information, it will be overwritten at next logon. For Office 2003 or older, the user information is stored in the a version sub-key instead of the "Common" sub-key.

  WriteRegistry HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\Common\UserInfo\UserInitials,[UserName]

  WriteRegistry HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\Common\UserInfo\UserName,[UserFullName]

  WriteRegistry HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\Common\UserInfo\Company,Acme Corp

Click the play button below to watch this demonstrated live.



Q: How can I backup SQL Server files?

A: There are a number of ways to backup SQL Server files. The easiest way is to simply use the ExecSQL command. To learn about how to interact with SQL Server and use the ExecSQL command, please refer to the Interacting with SQL Server page.

In most cases, a history of X days of backups is preferred, to be able to restore partial data inside a database. If a backup runs every night and there is only one backup set, then it's not possible to restore data that were deleted the day before. The example below is an example, where a new backup is created on each run and sets are deleted, when they are older than a configurable number of days.

Note that the script below is available directly in the script editor. Go to the "Documentation" tab and select "SQL Server Backup" under the "Insert Example Script" submenu.

'' ======== SETTINGS ========

Set BackupDestDir = \\AcmeServer\Admin$\Backups

Set DaysToKeep = 2

Set SqlInstance = .\sqlexpress

 

''==== BACKUP DATABASES ====

Set BackupFolder = [Var BackupDestDir]\[DateSerial]

MakeDir [Var BackupFolder]

ExecSQL "BACKUP DATABASE AcmeMusic TO DISK = N'[Var BackupFolder]\AcmeMusic.bak'",[Var SqlInstance]

ExecSQL "BACKUP DATABASE AcmeTravel TO DISK = N'[Var BackupFolder]\AcmeTravel.bak'",[Var SqlInstance]

 

'' ======== CLEANUP OBSOLETE BACKUPS ========

Loop Dir,[SubDirectories [Var BackupDestDir]]

  If [DirLastWriteTime [Var BackupDestDir]\[Var Dir]]<[SubtractDays [Var DaysToKeep]] Then

    DeleteDir [Var BackupDestDir]\[Var Dir]

  End If

End Loop

To make the script run at certain times, simply create a new scheduled task on the server and point it to the script file.

Another approach is to stop the Sql Server and simply backup the database files with SyncDir in a service window. This approach could be preferred when there are many databases located at the same location, as there would be no administration on backup scripts. It may also be the only realistic option on huge databases, because SyncDir will do block-level copying of changes.

This example will temporarily stop the Sql Server service and back up all Sql Server databases located in the C:\Databases folder on the local machine for an Sql Server instance named SQLExpress (service name can be found in Services under Administrative Tasks in the Control Panel):

StopService MSSQL$SQLEXPRESS

SyncDir C:\Databases,\\AcmeServer\Backup$\SQL Backup

StartService MSSQL$SQLEXPRESS

The script could run from a scheduled task. If a scheduled task is undesired, this example will perform the operation every night at 02:00 without using a scheduled task and will log an event for traceability:

:Restart

SleepUntil 02:00

StopService MSSQL$SQLEXPRESS

SyncDir C:\Databases,\\AcmeServer\Backup$\SQL Backup

StartService MSSQL$SQLEXPRESS

LogEvent Backup,SQL Server backup successfully complete.

Goto Restart


Citrix XenApp Installation Manager was removed on Server 2008. Any ideas?

Our recommended approach is to deploy a bootstrapper script through an MSI package via Group Policies to your servers. To avoid re-deploying the package each time there is a change in the script/installation logic, we would recommend calling a central script and then use the bootstrapper script (located locally on each server) solely as a bootstrapper to establish credentials and execute the central installation logic script. The local bootstrapper script could look like this:

ConnectShare X:,\\AcmeServer\citrixadm$,Acme\Install,Akut3sRS6e3kJHztyeqg9w==

SetCurrentDir X:\Installers

Include Controller.fsh

DisconnectShare X:

In this case we are from each server connecting a share located on \\AcmeServer\CitrixAdm$, where there is a script called Controller.fsh in the "Installers" folder in the root. This script would contain the actual logic to install applications that are not already installed and could optionally publish the applications to users from executing command-line commands on successful installation. Automated installations for such a script are explained on the general installations page.

To deploy the bootstrapper script above to all your servers, the script must be compiled into an .msi package. Compiling a script into a scheduled task inside an msi package is explained on the msi generation page. Note that the compilation supports randomization hours to spread the load. It would be a good idea to set the randomization hours to for example between 1am and 5am, meaning that each server will call the central script at a random time within this timespan.

Once the bootstrapper is compiled into an msi, simply assign a software installation through a group policy to all your servers.

How can I detect old log files and email them to someone in a zip file?

You can insert the below example in the script editor by selecting "Zip/EMail Old Files" in the "New Script" window. The script will look for files older than the number of days specified in the "AgeInDays" variable, in the folder specified in the variable "FileFolder". These files are moved to a temporary folder (variable "WorkingFolder") and zipped (variable "ZipFile"). The zip file is then emailed using the settings defined in the second section.

''==== VARIABLES ====

Set FileFolder = C:\LogFiles

Set WorkingFolder = C:\LogFiles\Temp

Set ZipFile = C:\Out.Zip

Set AgeInDays = 14

 

''==== EMAIL SETTINGS ====

Set Port = 25

Set Server = mail.acme.com

Set Sender = maildemon@acme.com

Set SenderName = "Acme Corp"

Set Username = maildemon@acme.com

Set Password = mailpass

Set Recipient = maildemon@acme.com

Set Header = Zipped files

Set Body = Please find files older than [Var AgeInDays] days attached.

 

''==== KILL OLD ZIP FILE AND WORKING FOLDER ====

DeleteDir [Var WorkingFolder]

DeleteFile [Var ZipFile]

MakeDir [Var WorkingFolder]

 

''==== COPY NEW FILES ====

Set NoFiles=0

ForEach File in [Files [Var FileFolder]]

  Set FullPath = [Var FileFolder]\[Var File]

  If [FileLastWriteDate [Var FullPath]]<[SubtractDays [Var AgeInDays]] Then

    SmallSplash Moving [Var File]

    Set NewFilePath = [Var WorkingFolder]\[Var File]

    CopyFile [Var FullPath],[Var NewFilePath]

    DeleteFile [Var FullPath]

    IncVar NoFiles

  End If

End ForEach

 

''==== SANITY CHECK ====

If [Var NoFiles]=0 Then Exit

 

''==== ZIP NEW FILE ====

SmallSplash Creating [Var ZipFile]

Zip [Var WorkingFolder],[Var ZipFile]

 

''==== KILL TEMP FOLDER ====

DeleteDir [Var WorkingFolder]

 

''==== EXEC SEND MAIL WITH ZIP FILE ATTACHED ====

SmallSplash Sending email to [Var Recipient]

SendMail [Var Server],[Var Port],[Var Sender],[Var SenderName],[Var Recipient],[Var Header],[Var Body],[Var UserName],[EncryptPassword [Var Password]],[Var ZipFile]

If you do not want to email the file, you can strip the example of email related lines and change the zip file name to a unique name, for example using this line as the script line defining the zip file name:

Set ZipFile = C:\Out-[Date].Zip

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Rating: 5 out of 5

"Use this as a replacement for VBScript and PowerShell"

"It's easy to include attractive GUI elements in FastTrack scripts, beyond the basic dialog boxes and text input that VBScript offers ... Another powerful feature is the ability to distribute scripts as Windows Installer (.msi) or standard .exe files. Although interesting in its own right, this ability results in a much more intriguing capability: to repackage -- or wrap -- software installers as .msi files without using snapshots. If you've ever created an .msi installer file from before-and-after system snapshots, for use with a software distribution system such as Group Policy or System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), then you know how hit-and-miss the results can be."

Read full review


Rating: 8 out of 10

"Faster than the rest"

"We found the FastTrack syntax to be more transparent and easier to learn than Microsoft's PowerShell – the editor in particular provided good support in this regard. the Script Editor offers a large number of options from the command set through to simple output of graphical elements, which cannot be achieved at all with PowerShell or other solutions or only with a significantly greater level of effort."

"Anyone wanting to tackle the many hurdles in everyday admin and especially anyone for whom logon scripts and client automation is a priority will benefit from the variety of functions offered by FastTrack."

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Kill your local admin accounts! Let users request access by request under full audit. Check this page for more info.