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Can you automate PC Law maintenance, in particular a VDI?

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Erik Hammarlund Posted: Mon, Jul 5 2010 3:29 PM

I have a relatively small office with  workstations and a server.  For various reasons, I need to run a verify data integrity with some frequency.

It seems like it must be possible to do this via some sort of scheduler.  Is there some way to set it to run nightly so long as nobody is in the system?  If not, can one do this via a command line prompt, so I can include it in a batch file?

It seems like this would be worth doing; i never have anyone working on PC Law in the wee hours of the morning, so why not automate data maintenance....

Thanks,

Erik

Erik Hammarlund

Hammarlund Law Office

PO Box 2487

18 State Road, Unit B

Vineyard Haven, MA 02568

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The necessity to run the VDI routine more than once a year suggests the need for heavy-duty network/hardware analysis. I have 20 to 60 user firms who have used PCLaw for over a decade and have never needed to run VDI even once.

Your need for frequent usage begs the question of what is causing such a need. One day it may not "fix" whatever is broken at all.

Steve Miller, JD
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Eric,

I'm certainly not a PC Law CIC but I think what you ask can be accomplished IF there is a command-line structure to automate the maintenance tasks.

Example: http://maximumpcguides.com/windows-vista/windows-xp-automated-system-maintenance/

(Examples provided are for general WinXP workstations, but you can see how basically they're using a command-line and pushing this through the Task Manager)

The danger with any automated maintenance is negligence.

You'll have to also have an automated task to report back to you on irregularities in the log files or other conditions (application/system log errors, etc.).

I know the program I use to monitor and "self heal" my client's networks is called N-Central, but chances are it's not something you'll want to purchase for this task as start-up fees usually are around $20,000.00.

However, you may well find a Managed Service Provider (MSP) that does use something like N-Central or similar and would set up a single (or more) agents to run these automated tasks and report back to you regularly.

There may be something else out there that would run these tasks as well as report back to you - but I have not had the need to pursue that as N-Central streamlines what I do so much.

You can probably get an MSP to offer a contract for one computer for about $30.00/month, but you'll most likely have to write the code to script the automation tasks yourself - it really depends on how much that particular MSP offers.  Typical monitoring just reports what Windows already reports to you, but in a more useful fashion than what Windows does.  Less looking around for problems - the MSP offers a report that simplifies the results.

You'll want more than just monitoring - you'll want the "Professional" or "Premium" monitoring/self-healing package.

Hope that this helps - I'm offering my 2c as simple automation can get you into trouble :)

pb

 

Peter Barclay MCP, MS Small Business Specialist TM11 CIC PCN, Anchorage, AK * Win Svr 2008/7/Vista Business/Vista Ultimate x64 * Microsoft Partner * Citrix Partner * Dell Premier partner

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