For some time now I've been asking for more 'machine actions' in the KBOX. These are the two little buttons on the hardware inventory screen that can launch a program targeted to the machine you are interested in. It seems to me that it would be great to have more than two utilities linked here. So here is what I came up with. ManagePC is a script that can do many remote management tasks using standard windows tools on the PC. It can be launched in a targeted mode, directed at a particular machine.

ManagePC has a toolbar with links to: Launch "Computer Management MMC", Remote Desktop, Remote Assistance, Registry Editor, VNC, GPEdit, Scheduled Tasks, Shutdown, and some deeper tools like change the administrator password. It does a query of the WMI data, similar to the KBOX computers information, but it also has a neat way to store history of previous queries, and a WMI query builder which looks cool. It has a nice tab that shows group memberships of all users as well as windows updates, services and processes, and more.

The script needs to be loaded on the workstation your browser is running from. By launching the script from the machine action as follows, under Kbox settings, Control Panel, set machine action 2 to: "C:\Program Files\ManagePC\ManagePC.exe" /name KACE_HOST_NAME, the ManagePC utility will be launched pointing at a machine of your choosing.

Usefulness: This is limited to Windows, and machines that you can browse through the network and have permissions on. You have to install the utility on any PC you want to use to manage another machine. It takes a minute to load while it does a WMI query on the remote machine. But it saves me a lot of time every day!

So, to sum up, here is a way to directly manage your remote PCs in cases where you don't need or want to script an automated solution ala KBOX.

All the best,

Rich Snow

ManagePC is Open Source and available from managepc.net


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At the KACE Konference, someone brought this up and the expert panel stated that they probably weren't going to expand upon the machine actions. Their reasoning was that the requirement to tweak IE settings is a huge hassle for customers. So, I wouldn't get my hopes up that they'll add the ability to have more than 2 machine actions.
Answered 12/16/2009 by: airwolf
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The reasoning behind restricting further machine actions doesn't make a lot of sense. You only have to tweak the IE settings once regardless of the number of actions. The only item that requires any sort of per-action work is ensuring the executable is in the system path.

I'm more interested in seeing actions that are internal to the KBox. I'm dying to see icons for shutdown, restart, and wake for each machine, items that don't require an external program to launch. I honestly don't understand why the benefit of this is so hard for people at Kace to see, or why it's deemed difficult to implement.
Answered 01/11/2010 by: sdickenson
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You only have to tweak the IE settings once

... Per machine. Their reasoning makes sense to me - most people don't use the custom actions because they aren't worth the trouble of tweaking IE on each help desk worker's system. It's really personal preference, and we don't use them at all. I can also see the flip-side where a company would rely on this feature. According to KACE, the majority of their customers don't use it or don't like the reduction in browser security required to run the custom actions.

Now, I'm only referring to custom actions in their present form (i.e. launching an external application from within the browser). What you have suggested sounds like a great idea to me - replace current machine actions with KBOX server-client custom actions such as remote shutdown, reboot, application launch, etc. These would be set to trigger on the client and the server could push the instructions or the client could pull them during a normal check-in interval.

EDIT: Btw, what I've described above would basically add the ability to use KBOX Scripting on a per-machine basis as custom actions.
Answered 01/11/2010 by: airwolf
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Now, I'm only referring to custom actions in their present form (i.e. launching an external application from within the browser). What you have suggested sounds like a great idea to me - replace current machine actions with KBOX server-client custom actions such as remote shutdown, reboot, application launch, etc. These would be set to trigger on the client and the server could push the instructions or the client could pull them during a normal check-in interval.

EDIT: Btw, what I've described above would basically add the ability to use KBOX Scripting on a per-machine basis as custom actions.


Correct, what I'm looking for is the same sort of interactivity I can get from my old Altiris console, whereby right-clicking on a computer in the console would give a litany of actions, all of which were based on server-to-client communication. From this right-click menu I could perform power actions (shutdown, restart, wol, etc) remote control, execute, copy file, as well as launch jobs (which could be software installations, images, scripts, etc). All inherent functionality of the existing KBOX, just lost in slow-to-navigate menus. See the attached screen shot for what I'm talking about. To take a step further, I should also be able to select multiple computers from the Inventory list (by clicking the checkbox) and perform similar bulk-actions using the current Action menu that allows me to set or delete labels.

Hopefully someone from KACE is reading these forums...

- Steven


Answered 01/11/2010 by: sdickenson
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Definitely reading - we've seen similar suggestions and this will help in the prioritization - we'll be taking a look at these areas
Answered 01/11/2010 by: kross
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Yeah, ManagePC is great tool.

Except Rich Snow didn't "come up with it". I did. I'm the sole developer of ManagePC, though I admit things have been slow lately :)

Just wanted to clear that up
Answered 01/07/2011 by: ginolard
Senior Yellow Belt

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Sounds like ManagePC has great enhancement potential for KACE today. At my company some of us use 'machine actions' for a quick VNC or RDP connection but more built in choices for immediate actions would be nice for things like reboot, shutdown, WOL, rename and more...

Does ManagePC work with Windows 7?
Answered 01/07/2011 by: RichB
Third Degree Green Belt

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