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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Utility for Computer Management -> Open Files?

    I need to have a user check all open connections to a particular file on a Windows 2000 Server. She has the permissions to use Computer Management and connect to the desired computer. She can then select System Tools -> Shared Folders -> Open Files and then export. I would like to automate this.

    Does anyone know of a command line utility that would do this?

    If the utility outputs all open files, I can take it from there.

    TIA,

    Joe

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Utility for Computer Management -> Open Files?

    I'm not sure how to do the export, but you can do the rest with.

    Start > Run > "MMC"
    File > Add / Remove Snap-in
    Add...
    Shared Folders > Add
    Another Computer > (Enter the correct computer name)
    View > Open Files
    OK
    Save As - give it a name and save it to their desktop

    When the user double clicks this console it will open showing the correct list ready to export
    You can prevent them from changing it by accident using File > Options and changing from Author mode to User mode

    StuartR

  3. #3
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    Re: Utility for Computer Management -> Open Files?

    Thanks Stuart (Wolfman?)!

    Your suggestion goes a long ways towards the level of automation I am seeking. I had not thought about a custom MMC console. I built it easily and will use it unless some more complete utility suggestion shows up.

    One question: Once I change the the console fro Author mode to User mode, is there a way to reverse it?

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Utility for Computer Management -> Open Files?

    > Once I change the the console fro Author mode to User mode, is there a way to reverse it?

    I don't think so. You should make a copy and keep the original.

    StuartR

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Utility for Computer Management -> Open Files?

    You asked for a command line utility
    NET FILE will give you a list of all open files, but I don't know how you could run this remotely.

    StuartR

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    Re: Utility for Computer Management -> Open Files?

    Windows 2000 Resource Kit:

    File Spy:

    (Direct from it's intro
    This tool allows you to monitor both local and network drives to see what types of I/O Request Packets (IRP) and Fast I/O operations are executing in the system. It is a general-purpose diagnosis tool for anyone who wants to understand the file activity in a system.

    FileSpy aids Installable File System (IFS) filter driver writers in understanding the I/O that is occurring in the system. FileSpy was developed as a useful example of how to write an IFS filter driver. This driver sits in the I/O stack and records the relevant information for the I/O operations that are happening, such as the starting time, the completion time, and return status.

    I read a bit further into it, and it looks like it can be easily set to dump it's info into a file, and it can be set to look at a particular file. So, in essence, you can scrap remote Admin, just make a sure to the resulting dump file.

    Just a thought......

  7. #7
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Utility for Computer Management -> Open Files?

    Thanks for the idea, Drew.

    I am really looking for a snapshot of current connections to a file rather than any history.

  8. #8
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    Re: Utility for Computer Management -> Open Files?

    Actually that utility shows current activity, so a log would show both live and historical usage. I used that utility once to fix a problem on our network. We made a change to our main data server, with security settings. When the changes were made, our Hours program stopped working for normal domain users. Our Hours program is what is used for payroll, so that was a bad thing. What I did, was I ran that utility, then opened Hours, and watched what files that program used. I was then able to track down which files people needed access to. Turned out there were a few within a folder that we had set permissions for our Accounting and Domain Admin users only.

  9. #9
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    Re: Utility for Computer Management -> Open Files?

    I read about FileSpy, but have never used it. I am reluctant to install something on the server without more review. Does FileSpy provide a snapshot of file connections as well as capture activity on the file. Say at some moment all activity on a file ceases. Can I then launch FileSpy and get a list of who has the file open? Can I get this list to a file? Can this be done with fewer keystrokes and less privileges than the corresponding operation using Computer Management?

    For my purposes I need a snapshot of the situation and am not interested in activity other than open/close. At infrequent, unanticipated moments I need to determine who has a particular file open. The times are unanticipated so I would have to run a continuous log if I used something just tracked activity. The times are infrequent enough to make a continuous log unattractive. A log of open/closes might provide better information, but I suspect that the to gather and maintain the information would be greater than the benefit.

  10. #10
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    Re: Utility for Computer Management -> Open Files?

    Joe, Try poking around at http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/utilities.shtml. There are several file related utilities + PsTools are command line tools. One of those may do what you wish.

    Joe
    Joe

  11. #11
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    Re: Utility for Computer Management -> Open Files?

    Interesting questions. Filespy hooks into the file system, essentially. That allows it to only 'fire' when a file event occurs. It looks like you can set it to watch a specific file too, instead of everything. Quite honestly, I have only used it in that one occasion I mentioned earlier....it's part of the W2k resource kit, which means it is 'supported' by M$.

  12. #12
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    Re: Utility for Computer Management -> Open Files?

    Thanks to all who responded.

    I ended up with a combination of Stuart's custom MMC suggestion, manual steps to export the list of files, and a script to filter the list and present the files of interest. The other options that worked on a remote computer were oriented more towards activity than snapshots.

    Joe M

  13. #13
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    Re: Utility for Computer Management -> Open Files?

    I know this is an old thread, but I needed to monitor file usage on a computer, and I ran into the ReadFolderChangesW API. It's pretty slick, you can set it to watch file activity on a particular folder (and/or it's sub folder tree). Let me know if you're interested.

    Drew

  14. #14
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    Re: Utility for Computer Management -> Open Files?

    Thanks Drew, but I am interested in a snapshot of who has certain files open and not activity. I need the snapshots very infrequently and am not interested in "integrating" activity over weeks or months to calculate a snapshot. I implemented Stuart's (hope name is right, I cannot see thread while I am replying) suggestion of the custom MMC and that is working out fine.

    Joe

  15. #15
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    Re: Utility for Computer Management -> Open Files?

    Okay, I'm glad you're good to go. Just checking in on this, since I found a programatic way of watching the file usage.

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