Windows Tips & Tricks UPDATE--April 5, 2004

Windows Tips & Tricks UPDATE, April 5, 2004, — brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network and the Windows 2000 FAQ site
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FAQs

  • Q. How can I automatically display computer information on my desktop?
  • Q. How can I check the Flexible Single-Master Operation (FSMO) roles for the local server from the command line?
  • Q. How can I display local Flexible Single-Master Operation (FSMO) role information on the desktop?
  • Q. How can I display on the desktop information about whether the local server is a Global Catalog (GC)?
  • Q. What's the Microsoft Windows Security Update CD?

Commentary
by John Savill, FAQ Editor, [email protected]

This week, I tell you how to automatically display computer information on the desktop and how to check the Flexible Single-Master Operation (FSMO) roles for the local computer from the command line. I also explain how to display on the desktop information about the local FSMO roles and whether the local server is a Global Catalog (GC), and I describe the Microsoft Windows Security Update CD.


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FAQs

Q. How can I automatically display computer information on my desktop?

A. Sysinternals offers a free utility called BgInfo (short for "background information") that displays configurable system information on your desktop wallpaper. I find BgInfo very useful. I use Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 and VMWare Workstation sessions extensively and use BgInfo to display the machine information on the desktop, which helps me to remember exactly which environment I'm working on.

Because BgInfo runs as an application and not as a service, the utility can't automatically update configurable system information on the desktop. However, you can automate the update process by scheduling the application to run periodically, or you can run BgInfo at startup to update system information every time you log on. This figure shows the default information that appears on screen when you run BgInfo.

You can also add information to the BgInfo desktop image as output from a script, a registry subkey, file content, an environment variable, or a Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) query. Be aware that if you use wallpaper that isn't the full size of your desktop and you typically use the desktop settings to stretch the wallpaper, BgInfo stretches the image, making it appear more jagged than usual. For best results, use a full-size background (e.g., use a paint package to resize the wallpaper if necessary).

Q. How can I check the Flexible Single-Master Operation (FSMO) roles for the local server from the command line?

A. I've written a short VBScript script called localsrvroles.vbs that displays on screen the FSMO roles that the current server holds. (My script is based on a script that Microsoft created to list all the roles of a forest; I've changed the Microsoft script to compare these roles to the local server's roles and display only the roles that match.) Localsrvroles.vbs, which is available at the Windows & .NET Magazine Web site, is listed below.

Option Explicit
Dim WSHNetwork, objArgs, ADOconnObj, bstrADOQueryString, RootDom, RSObj
Dim FSMOobj,CompNTDS, Computer, Path, HelpText, LocalDNSName, strComputerDN,

objSysInfo, objComputer

Set WSHNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
Path = WSHNetwork.ComputerName

Set objSysInfo = CreateObject("ADSystemInfo")
strComputerDN = objSysInfo.ComputerName

Set objComputer = GetObject("LDAP://" & strComputerDN)
LocalDNSName = objComputer.dNSHostName

Set ADOconnObj = CreateObject("ADODB.Connection")

ADOconnObj.Provider = "ADSDSOObject"
ADOconnObj.Open "ADs Provider"

'PDC FSMO
bstrADOQueryString =
"<LDAP://"&Path&">;(&(objectClass=domainDNS)(fSMORoleOwner=*));adspath;subtree"
Set RootDom = GetObject("LDAP://RootDSE")
Set RSObj = ADOconnObj.Execute(bstrADOQueryString)
Set FSMOobj = GetObject(RSObj.Fields(0).Value)
Set CompNTDS = GetObject("LDAP://" & FSMOobj.fSMORoleOwner)
Set Computer = GetObject(CompNTDS.Parent)
if StrComp(LocalDNSName, Computer.dnsHostName) = 0 then
WScript.Echo "PDC"
end if

'Rid FSMO
bstrADOQueryString = "<LDAP://"&Path&">;(&(objectClass=rIDManager)(FSMORoleOwner=*));adspath;subtree"

Set RSObj = ADOconnObj.Execute(bstrADOQueryString)
Set FSMOobj = GetObject(RSObj.Fields(0).Value)
Set CompNTDS = GetObject("LDAP://" & FSMOobj.fSMORoleOwner)
Set Computer = GetObject(CompNTDS.Parent)
if StrComp(LocalDNSName, Computer.dnsHostName) = 0 then
WScript.Echo "RIS"
end if

'Infrastructure FSMO
bstrADOQueryString = "<LDAP://"&Path&">;(&(objectClass=infrastructureUpdate)
(FSMORoleOwner=*));adspath;subtree"

Set RSObj = ADOconnObj.Execute(bstrADOQueryString)
Set FSMOobj = GetObject(RSObj.Fields(0).Value)
Set CompNTDS = GetObject("LDAP://" & FSMOobj.fSMORoleOwner)
Set Computer = GetObject(CompNTDS.Parent)
if StrComp(LocalDNSName, Computer.dnsHostName) = 0 then
WScript.Echo "Infrastructure"
end if

'Schema FSMO
bstrADOQueryString = "<LDAP://"&RootDom.Get("schemaNamingContext")&_
">;(&(objectClass=dMD)(fSMORoleOwner=*));adspath;subtree"

Set RSObj = ADOconnObj.Execute(bstrADOQueryString)
Set FSMOobj = GetObject(RSObj.Fields(0).Value)
Set CompNTDS = GetObject("LDAP://" & FSMOobj.fSMORoleOwner)
Set Computer = GetObject(CompNTDS.Parent)
if StrComp(LocalDNSName, Computer.dnsHostName) = 0 then
WScript.Echo "Schema"
end if

'Domain Naming FSMO
bstrADOQueryString = "<LDAP://"&RootDom.Get("configurationNamingContext")&_
">;(&(objectClass=crossRefContainer)(fSMORoleOwner=*));adspath;subtree"

Set RSObj = ADOconnObj.Execute(bstrADOQueryString)
Set FSMOobj = GetObject(RSObj.Fields(0).Value)
Set CompNTDS = GetObject("LDAP://" & FSMOobj.fSMORoleOwner)
Set Computer = GetObject(CompNTDS.Parent)
if StrComp(LocalDNSName, Computer.dnsHostName) = 0 then
WScript.Echo "Domain Naming"
end if

To execute the script, at the command prompt type

cscript //nologo localsrvroles.vbs

The script output will look similar to the following:

PDC
RIS
Infrastructure
Schema
Domain Naming

Notice that the script doesn't output anything except the roles that the machine holds (in this case, the server holds all five FSMO roles).

Q. How can I display local Flexible Single-Master Operation (FSMO) role information on the desktop?

A. As I discussed in the FAQ "Q. How can I automatically display computer information on my desktop?", Sysinternals offers a free utility called BgInfo that displays configurable system information on your desktop wallpaper. To add local FSMO information to the BgInfo system information, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the script localsrvroles.vbs, which is presented in the FAQ "Q. How can I check the Flexible Single-Master Operation (FSMO) roles for the local server from the command line?".
  2. For the script to work in BgInfo, replace all instances of WScript.Echo with Echo and save the script.
  3. Start BgInfo (bginfo.exe).
  4. Click the Custom button, then click New.
  5. In the Identifier field, enter the identifier "FSMO Roles". Then, under "Replace identifier with," select "VB Script file," as this figure shows.
  6. Click Browse, navigate to the location of the localsrvroles.vbs file, then click Open.
  7. Click OK to close the Define New Field dialog box.
  8. Click OK to close the User Defined Fields dialog box.
  9. Select FSMO Roles from the Fields list, then click Add.

Now when you click OK to run BgInfo, the local FSMO roles appear on the desktop with the other system information. In this figure, notice that the domain controller (DC) doesn't hold any Schema or Domain Naming forest roles. The localsrvroles.vbs file and the server.bgi configuration file that I used to create the sample output are available at the URL above.

Q. How can I display on the desktop information about whether the local server is a Global Catalog (GC)?

A. As I discussed in the FAQ "Q. How can I automatically display computer information on my desktop?", Sysinternals offers a free utility called BgInfo that displays configurable system information on your desktop wallpaper. To add information about the local server's GC status, perform the following steps:

  1. Save the following VBScript code into a file called localgc.vbs:
    On Error Resume Next
    
    Set WSHNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
    
    Set objRoot = GetObject("LDAP://"&WSHNetwork.ComputerName&"/RootDSE")
    objDSServiceDN = objRoot.Get("dsServiceName")
    Set objDSRoot = GetObject("LDAP://"&WSHNetwork.ComputerName&"/" & objDSServiceDN )
    blnCurrentOptions = objDSRoot.Get("options")
    If blnCurrentOptions Then
    Echo "Yes"
    Else
    Echo "No"
    End If 
  2. Start BgInfo (bginfo.exe).
  3. Click the Custom button, then click New.
  4. In the Identifier field, enter the identifier "Global Catalog". Then, under "Replace identifier with," select "VB Script file."
  5. Click Browse, navigate to the location of the localgc.vbs file, then click Open.
  6. Click OK to close the Define New Field dialog box.
  7. Click OK to close the User Defined Fields dialog box.
  8. Select "Global Catalog" from the Fields list, then click Add.

Now when you click OK to run BgInfo, the local server's GC status appears on the desktop with the other system information. You can also run the script locally (i.e., outside of BgInfo) by replacing the Echo commands in the script with WScript.Echo.

Q. What's the Microsoft Windows Security Update CD?

A. Microsoft has released a CD-ROM that includes all service packs and fixes for the following OSs:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows Me
  • Windows 98 (and Win98 SE)

The CD-ROM is free (including the cost of postage for US-based customers), and you don't need to provide a credit card when you place your order. You'll actually receive two CD-ROMs in the mail--the first has all the fixes, and the second has trial antivirus and firewall products.

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