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In the last part of this series, I covered AutoAdministrator's remote execution features. Today’s post will describe the remote editing functions.
Note: 4sysops readers get a discount on AutoAdministrator of $20 USD until the end of 2010, which means that you pay only $49 USD instead of the regular price of $69 USD. indicating that you are a 4sysops reader.
Remotely manage passwords ^
This is one of my favorite AutoAdministrator features. It allows you to verify, change, and reset passwords remotely on multiple machines. This function is especially useful if you want to change the local administrator password on all your machines. Since managing local passwords on multiple machines is somewhat cumbersome, most admins don't change local administrator passwords often enough.
With AutoAdministrator, you can perform this important security task with a few mouse clicks. The verify function enables you to check if all computers received the new password.
The difference between changing and resetting the password is that with the first option you need to specify the current password of the corresponding account, whereas with resetting a password, you don't have to know the current password. I recommend the use of the change function always because, after a password reset, the user will no longer be able to access security-related data such EFS encrypted files or Internet Explorer credentials.
Remote Registry editing ^
Another useful feature of AutoAdministrator is its remote Registry editing function. You can add or change the value of the Registry key types REG_DWORD, REG_SZ, and REG_EXPAND_SZ on multiple machines, regardless of the Windows version they employ. You can also read, delete, or copy REG_DWORD keys or values. AutoAdministrator doesn’t, however, allow you to browse the Registry. That is, you have to know the exact key name you want to edit. I recommend using the copy key name function of the Windows Registry editor. That way, you can just copy and paste those long key paths. Make sure that you delete the main key in the copied key path (for example, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE), which AutoAdministrator provides.
Remote file copy ^
AutoAdministrator’s File Management feature doesn’t really allow you to remotely edit files; however, you can copy files and folders to multiple remote computers, which serves the same purpose. Similar tasks are usually accomplished by using login scripts. The advantage of using AutoAdministrator instead is that you can copy files with admin rights to any location without much hassle. Moreover, you can be sure that the files reach their destination without delay. AutoAdministrator can create a directory structure automatically if it is not yet available on the remote machines. You can also configure the tool to overwrite existing files or delete files on multiple machines.
Remote edit ODBC configuration ^
Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) is a standard for moving data from one type of database to another. You can use AutoAdministrator to query, copy, and delete a System DSN (Data Source Name). The System DSN, you want to manage, has to be installed on the PC where you are running AutoAdministrator. It is also possible to copy the corresponding drivers to remote computers, overwrite existing settings, and replace locked files during the next reboot. Be careful with this feature because AutoAdministrator has no "undo" function.
AutoAdministrator’s functions are fairly varied and help you solve many different Windows administration problems. It is like a spanner set. You might not know what you will need it for next, but you do know that it is an essential part of every toolbox. Considering AutoAdministrator’s low price, it is almost like a free tool. I think, it belongs in every Windows admin’s toolbox.