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Administering Your Network - Managing a Remote Computer

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3/14/2011 9:21:11 AM
The Computer Management snap-in is a great tool for managing many different aspects of your system, from devices to users to services and much more. But perhaps the most incredible thing about Computer Management is that you can also use it to manage some aspects of a remote network computer, too. Here’s a list of just a few of the things you can do:
  • For each shared folder on any remote computer, find out the users that are connected to the folder, how long they’ve been connected, and the files they have open.

  • Disconnect users from a shared folder or close files that have been opened on a shared folder.

  • Change the properties of a remote shared folder, including its share name and the access rights to the folder. You can even stop sharing a remote folder.

  • Set up a new shared folder on any remote machine.

  • Add, modify, and delete user accounts and security groups on a remote computer.

  • View (but not modify) a remote computer’s Device Manager.

  • Start, stop, and configure services.

These are powerful, not-to-be-wielded-lightly techniques. I won’t describe them all here. Instead, I’ll focus on three techniques that are most useful for network administration: viewing connected users, working with remote shared folders, and working with remote open files.

Connecting to a Remote Computer

To get started, you need to open a remote computer in the Computer Management snap-in. Here are the steps to follow:

1.
Open the Computer Management snap-in by selecting Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Computer Management. (Alternatively, select Start, Run, type compmgmt.msc, and click OK.)

2.
Select Action, Connect to Another Computer. The Select Computer dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Use the Select Computer dialog box to specify the name or IP address of the remote computer you want to manage.


3.
Activate the Another Computer option.

4.
Use the text box to type the computer name or IP address of the remote computer you want to manage.

5.
Click OK. Computer Management connects to the other computer and displays the computer name or IP address in the console root, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Computer Management connected to a remote computer.

Viewing the Current Connections

To see a list of the users connected to any shared folder on the remote computer, select System Tools, Shared Folders, Sessions. Figure 3 shows an example. For each user, you get the following data:

UserThe name of the user
ComputerThe name of the user’s computer
TypeThe type of network connection, such as Windows, NetWare, or Macintosh
Open FilesThe number of open files in the shared folders
Connected TimeThe amount of time that the user has been connected to the remote computer
Idle TimeThe amount of time that the user has not been actively working on the open files
GuestWhether the user logged on using the Guest account

Figure 2. The Sessions folder shows the users currently connected to shared folders on the remote computer.

Note

To ensure that you’re always viewing the most up-to-date information, regularly select the Action, Refresh command or click the Refresh toolbar button.


Although in the interest of network harmony you’ll want to let users connect and disconnect as they please, at times you might need to boot someone off a machine. For example, you might see that someone has obtained unauthorized access to a share. To disconnect that user, right-click his name in the list and then click Close Session. When Windows XP asks for confirmation, click Yes.

Working with Shared Folders

Computer Management also makes it possible for you to view the connections to a server by its shared folders. To get this display, select System Tools, Shared Folders, Shares. As you can see in Figure 4, this view provides the following information:

Shared FolderThe share name. Note that the list includes hidden shares.
Shared PathThe drive or folder associated with the share.
TypeThe type of network connection, such as Windows, NetWare, or Macintosh.
# Client ConnectionsThe number of computers connected to the share.
CommentThe description of the share.

Figure 4. Computer Management can display a server’s connections by its shared folders.

Here are the techniques you can use to work with the shared folders:

To change the properties of a shared folderRight-click the folder you want to work with, and then click Properties (or press Alt+Enter). The property sheet that appears enables you to modify various share options, including the name, comment, share permissions, and security.
To stop sharing a folderRight-click the shared folder and then click Stop Sharing. When Windows XP asks whether you’re sure, click Yes.
To add a shared folderClick the Shares branch and then select Action, New File Share, or click the Create New File Share toolbar button (pointed out in Figure 22.28). This launches the Create a Shared Folder Wizard, which takes you step-by-step through the process of sharing a folder.

Working with Open Files

Computer Management can also display the files that are open on the remote computer’s shares. To switch to this view, select System Tools, Shared Folders, Open Files. Figure 5 shows the result. Here’s a summary of the columns in this view:

Open FileThe full pathname of the file
Accessed ByThe name of the computer that’s using the file
TypeThe type of network connection, such as Windows, NetWare, or Macintosh
# LocksThe number of locks on the file
Open ModeThe permissions the user has over the file

Figure 5. Computer Management can also display a remote computer’s open files in its shared resources.

Again, you’ll usually want to let users open and close files themselves so that they don’t lose information. If you need to close a file, however, you can do so by right-clicking it and then clicking Close Open File. When Windows XP asks for confirmation, click Yes.

Other -----------------
- Administering Your Network - Monitoring Performance on a Remote Computer
- Administering Your Network - Connecting to a Remote Registry & Connecting to Remote Group Policies
- Sharing Resources with the Network
- Accessing Network Resources - Mapping a Network Folder to a Local Drive Letter
- Accessing Network Resources - Adding a Network Place
- Accessing Network Resources - Using My Network Places
- Setting Up a Peer-to-Peer Network : Working with Network Settings
- Setting Up a Peer-to-Peer Network : Implementing Wireless Network Security
- Setting Up a Peer-to-Peer Network : Configuring a Wireless Gateway
- Setting Up a Peer-to-Peer Network : Running the Network Setup Wizard
 
 
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