gpupdate and psexec, and a moment of D’oh

I had to do a security change today which required each XP machine to first update its policies, and then reboot to make sure that the required changes went into effect immediately.

To do the update I used psexec in conjunction with gpupdate /force to tell each machine to update its policies remotely, and I discovered something funny: if no user is logged on to the remote machine, you’ll get an error that the user settings could not be updated. Which is fair enough I suppose, except that it took me a while to figure out.

To do the reboot I used psshutdown. Mental note to self: ‘If I want to use psshutdown again to reboot all client machines on the network, I should not forget to specify -r’ The maintenance people entered the server room just as I thought ‘Hm, why is it taking so long for the computers to come back online…?’ [^o)]

Of course when manufacturing noticed that they went down and didn’t come back up, they were ‘worried’. Luckily all our client machines are located in the server room, with kvm cables running through the plant so booting all of them back on was done in a minute.

It was really cool to have the diagnostics window open and then ‘BAM’ drop every client node from the network at the same time.


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