Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tip #447: Putting PSLIST to Use

For those of you pushing software packages out using things like Altiris, System Center Config Manager, SMS, Tivoli, or whatever, one thing you should do (and probably already do) is push to a test computer to assess the results.  While you’re waiting for the package to deploy, you may want to keep an eye on the process queue to see what the deployment is doing (or not doing).

Easy.  On your own workstation, open a CMD console, change to the directory where your Sysinternals tools are kept, and type the following…

pslist –t –s 300 \\computer

Assuming you replaced “computer” with the name of the remote computer, and the “Remote Registry” service is running on that computer (Vista or 7 especially), and your firewalls aren’t configured by the Taliban, it should display a tree-structure view of the running Tasks on the remote computer for 300 seconds (5 minutes).  You can adjust this to whatever suits you.

With System Center Config Manager particularly, you want to watch the “ccmexec.exe” process and see when it spawns a subordinate “msiexec.exe” process or “setup.exe” (depending on whether the package is running an .EXE or an .MSI, etc.).  With products like AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011, or 3DS Max 2011, (ok, ANY current Autodesk product), you will see many such processes kicked off, closed and new ones started until the whole thing is done.

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