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  1. #1
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    Looking for a Utility

    Good Morning Everyone,

    I have a remote astronomical observatory that is running multiple PC's with Windows 7 Professional. These PC's each are running various applications that are critical to the operation of the observatory and I need a Utility that scans to insures that all of this software is alive and running. I'm hoping this is more than just that the task is active. Anyone seen any utilities of this type for Windows?

    Thanks!
    Bill Edwards

  2. #2
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    You would probably have to define what "alive and running" actually means?
    Perhaps that the task is increasing its CPU time, and/or I/O Reads and/or I/O Writes?
    Or something different?

    TASKLIST /V might be a start.
    Last edited by BATcher; 2012-09-24 at 11:33.
    BATcher

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    Thanks for reply "BATcher",
    What I have happening are applications that crash or hang and since I'm remote I have no way of knowing that this has occured.
    So I'm looking for a Utility that can monitor on a PC that an application/task is actively running. That may mean that it is in the task list, that it is a task that normally consumes CPU time and or I/O. If it customizable by transaction that would be great. But most importantly when it finds an applications that has been defined not active, etc., that it take action. Like sending me a message that the Application has failed on the Remote PC.

    This allows me to restart the application and troubleshoot the abend.

    Make sense?

  4. #4
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    You could look at a product call PC Monitor. It's free for up to 5 machines and has a reasonable subscription level after that.

    Among many other things, with PC Monitor, you can setup automated alerts if particular services or applications stop responding or close. You can route these alerts through to another workstation, or use a iPhone or android App to monitor on the go. You can start or stop services, run commands, check memory, PUm and disk utilisation and lots of other low level stuff.
    Last edited by Tinto Tech; 2012-09-24 at 13:47. Reason: typo
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Yes, it does make sense. A quick look at TASKLIST /V on my Windows 7 box shows most tasks with a status of "Unknown", with the others being "Running". But what status "your" failing task has would have to be determined empirically.
    And something like BLAT could be used to send an email, but NET SEND or MSG seem to have bitten the dust. There will be third-party equivalents, undoubtedly.
    But there's probably less need for this, since with TASKLIST you can monitor a remote machine from your own PC. However, not the Status!

    Here's the Help info:
    Code:
    TASKLIST [/S system [/U username [/P [password]]]]
             [/M [module] | /SVC | /V] [/FI filter] [/FO format] [/NH]
    
    Description:
        This tool displays a list of currently running processes on
        either a local or remote machine.
    
    Parameter List:
       /S     system           Specifies the remote system to connect to.
    
       /U     [domain\]user    Specifies the user context under which
                               the command should execute.
    
       /P     [password]       Specifies the password for the given
                               user context. Prompts for input if omitted.
    
       /M     [module]         Lists all tasks currently using the given
                               exe/dll name. If the module name is not
                               specified all loaded modules are displayed.
    
       /SVC                    Displays services hosted in each process.
    
       /V                      Displays verbose task information.
    
       /FI    filter           Displays a set of tasks that match a
                               given criteria specified by the filter.
    
       /FO    format           Specifies the output format.
                               Valid values: "TABLE", "LIST", "CSV".
    
       /NH                     Specifies that the "Column Header" should
                               not be displayed in the output.
                               Valid only for "TABLE" and "CSV" formats.
    
       /?                      Displays this help message.
    
    Filters:
        Filter Name     Valid Operators           Valid Value(s)
        -----------     ---------------           --------------------------
        STATUS          eq, ne                    RUNNING | 
                                                  NOT RESPONDING | UNKNOWN
        IMAGENAME       eq, ne                    Image name
        PID             eq, ne, gt, lt, ge, le    PID value
        SESSION         eq, ne, gt, lt, ge, le    Session number
        SESSIONNAME     eq, ne                    Session name
        CPUTIME         eq, ne, gt, lt, ge, le    CPU time in the format
                                                  of hh:mm:ss.
                                                  hh - hours,
                                                  mm - minutes, ss - seconds
        MEMUSAGE        eq, ne, gt, lt, ge, le    Memory usage in KB
        USERNAME        eq, ne                    User name in [domain\]user
                                                  format
        SERVICES        eq, ne                    Service name
        WINDOWTITLE     eq, ne                    Window title
        MODULES         eq, ne                    DLL name
    
    NOTE: "WINDOWTITLE" and "STATUS" filters are not supported when querying
          a remote machine.
    
    Examples:
        TASKLIST
        TASKLIST /M
        TASKLIST /V /FO CSV
        TASKLIST /SVC /FO LIST
        TASKLIST /M wbem*
        TASKLIST /S system /FO LIST
        TASKLIST /S system /U domain\username /FO CSV /NH
        TASKLIST /S system /U username /P password /FO TABLE /NH
        TASKLIST /FI "USERNAME ne NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM" /FI "STATUS eq running"
    Last edited by BATcher; 2012-09-24 at 14:00.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks for the reply "Tinto Tech",
    I'm looking at the PC Monitor Utility that you mentioned and it provides a lot of the functionality that I was looking for, except I don't see a way of monitoring applications. I'm lookng for documentation for the product now. But have you used this product yourself? Do you know for sure that it monitors applications?

    Thanks again !
    Bill Edwards

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    Yes Bill, I use the tool myself. Perhaps not for the fine-grained requirements that you set out, but for an overview of suported systems and critical services. I can then react using either PC Monitor, or RDP, Logmein etc, if required.

    Among other things, you can monitor processes, triggering on started, stopped, unresponsive etc. You can choose any process on the machine.

    For example, below is a screen shot of the configuration on one supported machine that sends an alert if Internet Explorer is stopped:

    PC Monitor process alerts.JPG

    and the response from the the console dashboard when IE is closed:

    Dashboard Response.JPG

    Which was also routed through to my Android mobile device to play an alert sound and vibrate. The mobile device then shows the same alert in the App:

    SC20120924-234017.png

    The remote machine is about 6 miles away and is both accessed and monitored over a 3G mobile broadband network.
    Last edited by Tinto Tech; 2012-09-24 at 19:00. Reason: to add mobile notification example
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

  8. #8
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    Thank you!
    This looks to be just want Im looking for, I'll play around with it and see if it does what I need. Thank you again for responding !

    Bill Edwards

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