Posts Tagged ‘Utilities’

Service and Scheduled Task User Manager

July 19, 2010 35 comments

Sometimes, SOX regulations, customer agreement or your boss, forces you to have the password periodically changed for all service accounts and/or accounts running scheduled tasks. So either you have a detailed list of who (the user account) runs what (the service or scheduled task) where (on which computer), and manually change the password at the GUI, or you create a script to help you do the job.

A friend of mine, asked me to help him out and write the script he needed. I thought of creating a script that asks the user for input (account name, new password and a list of computers) and then runs against all the computers in the list and changes the password accordingly… but wouldn’t it be nicer to have a nifty application that does all that, and that you wouldn’t have to edit a text file, or type-in all the parameters each time you want to run the process but with a different set of arguments?

So I decided to write the application. The list of requirements included:

  • The computer list should be easy to manage, and the user should be able to easily add a computer to the list, or a pre-created list from a text file, or even directly from an Active Directory container.
  • The process results should be easy to understand, and even available to export and save for future references.
  • Have an option to manage only services, only scheduled tasks or both.
  • Have an option to restart the services after the password was changed.
  • Have an option to change the user account running the services and/or scheduled tasks.
  • Have a “dry-run” option that would only show the objects (services and scheduled tasks) that their credentials would have been changed.
  • Have an option to quickly connect using Remote Desktop to a selected computer in the list, and to edit the properties of scheduled task listed in the results.

The result from this list, together with other ideas and suggestions that came along the way is SSTUM (Service and Scheduled Task User Manager).

I think it’s easy to use, and the GUI is pretty much self explanatory:

Service and Scheduled Task User Manager

AddComputers ContextMenu


1. Add computers to the list. you can add a specific computer name, a list of computers from an Active Directory container or from a csv or text file) using the buttons in the Computer List box, right-click the list area and use the context menu, or drag-and-drop a csv or a text file to the computers list area.


Note: When using the specific computer option you can use a comma (“,”) to add many computers or an asterisk (“*”) to be used with a search filter to add computers from Active Directory. As a combined example: by typing in “SQL*,*TEST” in the Add a specific computer box, you will be adding to the list all computer accounts in Active Directory that start with “SQL” and all computer accounts that end with “TEST”.

2. Type-in the Current User that you want to change it’s password on all the listed computers, type in the New User if you want the change the user account running the services and scheduled tasks (or type-in the same account as in the current user text box, to leave the account information unchanged)

3. Enter the new password, and type it again in the validate field.

4. Select to Manage Scheduled Tasks, Manage Services and whether to Restart the services after the password was changed or not.

5. Click the Report Objects for a “dry-run”, or the Change Credentials to run the process and actually change the credentials for the selected objects (Services and Scheduled Tasks) on the listed computers.

Note: For the Report Objects option, you need only the Current User information.

Results ContextMenu


6. You can right-click the Results pane to quickly connect to a computer using Remote Desktop, to open the Task Properties window, or to export the results report to a CSV or an XML file to be later opened as an XML table in Excel.



SSTUM uses TaskScheduler.dll from and dsuiext.dll from the Active Directory Service Interfaces, both included in the downloadable zipped file.

Please note it requires you to have at least .NET Framework 2.0 installed



January 16, 2010 36 comments

Updated to version:!

Lets say you have many exported EventLog (evt/evtx) files, and need to search for specific event entries on all of them. how do you do it?
Yes. Of course you can use Microsoft Log Parser 2.2 but then you have to write the cumbersome query yourself. bummer.

EvtLogParser EvtLogParser to the rescue!

EvtLogParser uses the LogParser.dll from Microsoft Log Parser 2.2, and provides a simple UI for the query.


All you need to do, is drag-and-drop or right-click and select Add EventLog Files...  to add your files to the list, select the query filter using the query filter panel, and click Query.

EvtLogParser: Query Filter Panel

Then, you’ll be able to see the query results in the grid view below.

EvtLogParser: GridView and Context Menu

Right-click to view a specific event, save it as a text file or export all the data to an XML file.

EvtLogParser: View Event

Note that Windows Vista, 7 and Server 2008 uses the new evtx format for event log exports.
Since Log Parser uses system APIs to read event log exports, and the old .evt event log format is not "native" any more on these OS’s you’ll probably get an error message saying "The event log file is corrupted".

So if you want to read evt files on Windows Vista, 7 or Server 2008, you should convert them old-school EventLog files into the shiny new format. You can accomplish this using any of the two methods described below:

1. Through the user interface
just double-click the evt file, wait for it to open, then right-click, select Save Event As, enter the location and filename, click Save and OK.

2. Using the Windows Events Command Line Utility (WevtUTIL)
It’s built in the OS and it’ll convert those old EventLog files from the command line:

wevtutil epl application.evt application.evtx /lf:true

Also, you can copy the text below into Notepad, save it with the .reg extension, and merge it into your registry.
After restarting your system, you’ll be able to right-click an .evt file and select the "Convert to evtx" option from the context menu.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="Convert to evt&x"
@="\"wevtutil.exe\" epl \"%1\" \"%1x\" /lf:true"


Please note it requires you to have at least .NET Framework 2.0 installed

Media Files Renamer

January 9, 2010 Leave a comment

A college of mine showed me a utility he was using to rename his pictures.
Although he was very happy with it (simple UI and easy to use), he complained that it wasn’t renaming pictures that he took with his cell phone and he didn’t understand why.
I explained him about EXIF, And told him I’d write him a similar utility that would rename all his pictures (the ones without EXIF information would be renamed according their last modified time stamp).


Media Files Renamer

Download MediaFilesRenamer.exe
Please note it requires you to have at least .NET Framework 2.0 installed.

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