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  • 1. The Best Free Tools for Windows Desktop Administration(Yes! Right Here! Right Now!)(You Are in the Right Session!)(You Have Made an Excellent Choice!)
    Greg Shields, MVPPartner and Principal
  • 2. This slide deck was used in one of our many conference presentations. We hope you enjoy it, and invite you to use it within your own organization however you like.
    For more information on our company, including information on private classes and upcoming conference appearances, please visit our Web site,
    For links to newly-posted decks, follow us on Twitter:@concentrateddon or @concentratdgreg
    This work is copyright ©Concentrated Technology, LLC
  • 3. Overview
  • 4. Agenda
    Part I: Server & Security Tools
    Part II: File & Disk Tools
    Part III: Network Monitoring & Troubleshooting
    The intent of this session is to dump on youas many FREE tips and toolthat I can in a short 75 minutes.
  • 5. You May Applaud Now.
    I must warn you.
    You may have used some of these tools before.
    You may have seen some of these tools before.
    This Game Is Interactive!
    When you see a tool that’s saved your kiester, you must HOWL GRACIOUSLY.
    Conversely, when you see one that’s kickedyour kiester...
    …I want to know! 
  • 6. So, Where am I Gonna’ Get all this Stuff?
    Process Explorer is freeware. Download from:
    Memtest86 is shareware. Download it from:
    WSName.exe is freeware (though the author begs you to click a few of his Google ads if you like it) and can be downloaded from:
    Systenance Index.dat Analyzer is freeware and can be downloaded from 
    Although Diskeeper’s flagship products are not freeware, Diskeeper Disk Performance Analyzer is. You can get a copy of it from: is an on-line resource accessible at KeePass is an open-source tool that can be downloaded from:
    LookInMyPC is advertising-driven, but freeware and can be downloaded from:
    NewSID is a freeware Sysinternals tool (man, they’ve got lots of tools…). Download NewSID at:
    PSTools are freeware. Download from:
    SetAcl is freeware. Download it from:
    AccessEnum is a SysInternals tool and is freeware. Download it at:
    You can access easyVMX from
    OpenFiler is an open source tool that can be downloaded from:
    WinSCP is a freeware tool and can be downloaded from:
    WinDirStat or “Windows Directory Statistics” is a freeware tool and can be downloaded from:
    DiskPart is part of the Windows Resource Kit.
    Daemon Tools appears to be freeware and available from:
    JDiskReport is freeware. Download at:
  • 7. So, Where am I Gonna’ Get all this Stuff?
    Notepad++ supports 44 languages, including some other useful ones like shell, SQL, batch, KIXtart, and XML formats. It can be downloaded from:
    FPort is a freeware Foundstone tool that can be downloaded from:
    TCPView is freeware. Download it from Sysinternals at:
    SpiceWorks is ad-driven but freeware and can be downloaded from:
    The Dude is freeware, has potentially one of the best names of any tool in this session, and can be downloaded from:
    Visionapp is a freeware product and can be downloaded from:
    Angry IP Scanner is a freeware tool and can be downloaded from:
    Wireshark is licensed as open source and can be downloaded from:
    HowNetWorks is freeware available from the VMware site. As it runs in a VMware virtual machine, it requires a version of VMware installed to host the virtual machine. You can download it from:
    M0n0wall can be downloaded either as a binary or as a pre-built VMware Appliance. Either are easy to set up and use, though the appliance is a little easier/faster. Download the binaries and documentation from: http://m0n0.chDownload the VMware appliance from:
    Hyper-V Monitor Gadget
    EventSentry Light
    SpecOps Software Gpupdate
  • 8. Part I:Server & Security
  • 9. Process Explorer tool
    Extensivelisting of processes
    Can use in place of Task Manager
    LOTS of features
    Individual performance graphs for each process
    Search for files, handles, named pipes, etc
    Takes a little practice
  • 10. Memory Issues
    Runs a thorough, stand-alone memory test for x86 architecture RAM
    Can build a bootable CD from an ISO image
    Allow to test for at least one full pass of all 9 tests
    If errors occur, try reseating or re-ordering RAM. If they still occur, replace.
    While Vista & Server 2008 have their own memory diagnostic tool built in, this works well for older O/S’s.
    Like XP, you crazy XP hold outs!
  • 11. Rename en masse
    Easy to use tool to rename workstations, in Workgroups and in Domains!
    Rename remote machines
    Use batch files or VBScript along with this tool to rename multiple machines or an entire network.
    Very handy for migrations. Vista aware, W7 soon.
  • 12. oldCmp.exe
    An ancient JoeWare tool that remains useful today!
    Command-line AD tool used to identify and remove stale computer accounts.
    Computer accounts reported on or removed based on last DS access.
    HTML reports
    DHTML reports
    CSV reports
  • 13. ShellRunAs
    Windows Vista and Server 2008 no longer natively have the Run as… context menu item!
    Replaced with the Run as Administrator item.
    An omission that happens because of UAC.
    Lacking this, no way to run processes under alternate credentials.
    Get it back with ShellRunAs.
    GUI and command-line exposure
  • 14. Diskeeper Disk Perf. Analyzer
    Intended to drive you to Diskeeper’s for-cost defragmentation tools
    …but good for finding disk-based performance bottlenecks.
    Target multiple systems or entire network.
    Results show perf. loss reports based on fragmentation.
  • 15. IOmeter
    Designed to measure disk subsystem performance.
    With disk being a major bottleneck for many applications, provides an understanding of relative speed.
  • 16.
    Generates difficult to crack passwords.
    For users and administrators.
    Point your users to this web site when they complain.
  • 17. KeePass
    Highly secured (AES & Twofish) password tool.
    Stores passwords in encrypted format, requires master password to unlock the contents.
    Can use master password plus separate encryption key
    Copy/Paste toclipboard capabilitywith timed wipe
    Nifty passwordgeneration tools
    Hide & unhidepasswords
  • 18. Completely Disable UAC
    UAC had great intentions, but let’s be honest – it is truly annoying.
    Not that I’m recommending you ever do this. But if you wanted to completely disable UAC, split tokens, virtualization, and all the other new security features…
    Computer Configuration | Windows Settings | Security Settings | Local Policies | Security Options | User Account Control
    User Account Control: Admin Approval Mode for the Built-in Administrator account (Disabled)
    User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode (Elevate without prompting)
    User Account Control: Detect application installations and prompt for elevation (Disabled)
    User Account Control: Only elevate executables that are signed and validated (Disabled)
    User Account Control: Run all administrators in Admin Approval Mode (Disabled)
    User Account Control: Switch to the secure desktop when prompting for elevation (Disabled)
    [This is under “other”] User Account Control: Only elevate UIAccess applications that are installed in secure locations (Disabled)
  • 19. The RAID 1 Undo
    Personally, my favorite little “trick”
    Most server-class equipment includes hardware RAID
    However, most admins are used to RAID 5 for its expandability
    Use “The RAID 1 Undo” immediately prior to major software changes, like patching. Here’s the trick:
    Just before the patch, yank one of the drives.
    If the patch goes well after the reboot, reseat the drive and let the RAID rebuild.
    If the patch doesn’t go well, then power down the machine, pull the now “bad” drive and drop in the “good” drive.
    Once the system restarts, reseat the “bad” drive and let the RAID rebuild.
  • 20. SpecOps Gpupdate
    Tool that augments ADUC with additional right-click functionality for managing computers.
    Shut Down
    Start (via WOL)
    Immediatelyinstall WSUSupdates
  • 21. Extremely
    The PSTools
    SysInternals Suite of Tools
    Should be an important component of any administrator’s quiver
    UNIX-like tools
    Psexec –Remote command execution
    Psfile –List files opened by remote systems
    Psgetsid –Get computer or user SID’s
    Psinfo –Get local or remote computer information
    Pslist –List local or remote running processes
    Psloggedon – Lists logged on users
    Psloglist – View local or remote Event Logs
    Pspasswd – Change local or remote passwords
    Psservice – Views/Modifies local or remote service config
    Psshutdown – Shutdown/Reboot local or remote machines
    Pssuspend – Suspend local or remote processes
  • 22. PSExec
    Easily the most useful of all the PSTools
    Launch remote processes:
    Psexec <ComputerName> iexplore.exe
    Start remote command shell:
    Psexec <ComputerName> cmd
    Verify Terminal Server logged-on users:
    Psexec <ComputerName> quser
  • 23. Hyper-V Monitor Gadget
    Once Hyper-V is installed, it is challenging to determine the state of virtual machines from the server console
    This sidebar gadget shows virtual machines and their status
    Enables Turn Off | Shut Down | Save | Start functionality
    Can monitor multiple serversreport on status, and RDP.
    Install to your managementVista workstation.
  • 24. Part II:File & Disk
  • 25. icacls
    Icacls > xcacls.vbs > xcacls > cacls
    Configuring perms at the command line is harder than you’d think.
    This is due to how Windows permissions themselves are now very complex.
    Icacls can configure DACLs, SACLs, and now Integrity Levels
    Must set permission on (OI)(CI) for object and container.
  • 26. icacls
    Icacls C:Shared /inheritance:r /grant:r “Domain Users”:(OI)(CI)R /grant:r “File Admins”:(OI)(CI)F
    Icacls C:SharedFinance /inheritance:r /grant:r “Finance Users”:(OI)(CI)R /grant:r “File Admins”:(OI)(CI)F
    Icacls C:SharedFinanceBudget /grant:r “Budget Users”:(OI)(CI)M
    Icacls C:SharedFinanceMetrics /grant:r “Metrics Users”:(OI)(CI)M
    Icacls C:SharedMarketing /inheritance:r /grant:r “Finance Users”:(OI)(CI)R /grant:r “File Admins”:(OI)(CI)F
    Icacls C:SharedMarketingProduct /grant:r “Product Users”:(OI)(CI)M
    Icacls C:SharedMarketingRestricted /inheritance:r /grant:r “File Admins”:(OI)(CI)F /grant:r “Restricted Users”:(OI)(CI)M
  • 27. Visual Tool for ACL’s
    Visual tool for seeing ACE’s in ACL’s
    Good at finding differing ACE’s in down level ACL’s
    Useful for locating long paths
  • 28. Recuva
    Freeware undelete program
    Identifies files that have been deleted and can be restored. Does not need to be present when the file was deleted.
    Capable ofsearching medialike digitalcamera cards,etc.
    Shows recoverableand unrecoverablefiles.
  • 29. OpenFiler
    Looking for a low-end iSCSI target for a file server?
    Useful for ESX datastores. Win2008 cluster support soon.
    OpenFiler “appliance” is configured via web interface.
    Can also be used as a NFS or NAS device.
  • 30. StarWind iSCSI SAN Software
    Windows-based iSCSI Target.
    Works with ESX and Hyper-V hosts
    Fully Windows Failover Clustering capable
    (I like it better than OpenFiler…)
  • 31. WinSCP
    Transferring files between UNIX/Linux and Windows machines is challenging from the command-line.
    Linux “smbclient” tool, but without all the command line nastiness.
    WinSCP is a graphical tool to do this.
    Like FTP, but with security.
    Also supportsSFTP.
  • 32. WinDirStat
    Graphical representation of file sizes across the disk.
    Pac Man Rocks!
    Assists users/administrators with eliminating files.
    Odd looking at first, but the graphical view immediately draws the eye toproblem spots onthe disk drive.
    Easy to distributeto users to havethem do theirown cleanupactivities.
  • 33. Daemon Tools / Virtual CloneDrive
    Service for mounting ISO images
    Resides in system tray and creates mounted drive letters
    Generates/uses software CD’s for virtual machines
    Can emulate some forms of copy protection
    Daemon Tools: Like CloneDrive, but with Malware!
  • 34. Disk Usage Reporting
    Java-based tool that scans a file tree and reports statistics on use.
    Can scan large areas, but tends to crash with very large scans
    Can report on usage by extension, size, location.
    Pie charts, bar charts.
    Show your users how much space they’re wasting!
  • 35. Notepad++
    Multiple-language markup and editing tool
    Supports VBScript among others
    Numerous built-in text manipulation macros
    Neat zooming, highlighting, and level collapsing features
  • 36. Part III:Network Monitoring& Troubleshooting
  • 37. FPort
    Foundstone tool for “enhanced netstat”
    Does a better job than netstat at mapping ports to processes, PID’s, and process paths
  • 38. Tcpview
    GUI view of TCP/UDP connections
    Shows opening and closing in different colors
    No service or permanent footprint
  • 39. DSL Speed Testers
    On-line speed testers, intended for DSL users can be helpful for any network connection. stest
    Be aware of firewalls and proxies
  • 40. DSL Speed Testers
  • 41. EventSentry Light
    Very basic Event Log, log file, and system health management across multiple machines.
    System health monitors for disk space, software installs/uninstalls, limited performance counters.
    Alerts and notifications through numerous mechanisms.
    Limited capabilities, designed to whet the appetite for the full version.
  • 42. SpiceWorks
    Surprisingly full-featured multi-platform help desk/ management utility in a small 6M footprint.
    Designed for the < 250 machine networks.
    Built-in help desk ticketing system.
    Built-in over-the-network automated inventory system.
    Built-in reporting system with canned and administrator-created reports with smartly-designed reports.
    Built-in remote control.
    Built-in SMS/email/alerting.
    Scanning can be resource intensive.
  • 43.
  • 44. The Dude
    Freeware network scanning and mapping utility.
    Discovers numerous device types
    Even found my printer!
    SNMP device enumeration/manipulation.
    Syslog, Alerting, Probing, the NMS gamut.
  • 45. NetWrix AD Change Reporter
    Reports changes to AD.
    Delivers reports with summary and detailed (before/after) information via email.
    Handy for maintaining compliance.
    Part of NetWrix family of products.
  • 46. visionapp Remote Desktop
    Central console for all Terminal Services connections.
    Create credential stores for auto-login.
    Central management of all your Windows servers
    Nice screenauto-adjustmentfeature.
  • 47. Angry IP Scanner
    Super-fast tool for scanning IP and port ranges ranges
    Can identify any IP range for scanning.
    Utilities for showing target network info and opening/viewing remote computer.
  • 48. RDP Port Trickery!
    Need to connect to your home network, but don’t want to expose RDP through your firewall?
    Reconfigure RDP to listen on a non-standard port!
    Outbound firewalls often don’t filter/scan non-80/443 TCP ports
    Use 444/tcp to bypass outbound filters
  • 49.
    Remote access to any machine from any network.
    Requires the target machine to have functioning Internet access.
    One of a suite of remoting products (of increasing cost).
  • 50. Wireshark
    Powerful and freeware protocol analyzer
    Open source
    Many packet parsers for identifying traffic
    Continuously updated and very commonly used
  • 51. HowNetWorks
    Graphical Ubuntu-based VMware-homed Ethereal wrapper
    Makes Ethereal much easier to use
    Groupings of flows, identities, and protocols
    Interesting flows can be further packet-inspected in Ethereal
    Captures all incoming traffic. Must mirror port of interest to HowNetWorks virtual system.
  • 52. m0n0wall
    Graphical VMware appliance software firewall
    VMware has capability of connecting machines in private networks, but no built-in firewall.
    m0n0wall is a small-signature, easy to setup firewall that can serve that purpose
  • 53. The Best Free Tools for Windows Desktop Administration(Yes! Right Here! Right Now!)(You Are in the Right Session!)(You Have Made an Excellent Choice!)
    Greg Shields, MVPPartner and Principal
  • 54. This slide deck was used in one of our many conference presentations. We hope you enjoy it, and invite you to use it within your own organization however you like.
    For more information on our company, including information on private classes and upcoming conference appearances, please visit our Web site,
    For links to newly-posted decks, follow us on Twitter:@concentrateddon or @concentratdgreg
    This work is copyright ©Concentrated Technology, LLC