Friday, 11 September 2009

Control Windows services of a remote computer using the command line

You can control Windows services of a remote computer just using the command line.
There are some options around there, but the one I use is psservice. This is a command line utility, part of PsTools, that allows you to control services. (See at the bottom a short description of PsTools).
The syntax is very simple:


HOST - is the hostname or ip address of the host to control (local or remote)
USERNAME - a user with permissions to control services of the HOST
PASSWORD - the password of the user
COMMAND - the action to take with the service. The most commonly used are: query, stop, start, restart
SERVICENAME - the name of the service to control

For example, to restart IIS service of a remote server:

psservice.exe \\192.x.x.x -u user -p ******* restart W3SVC

If you receive an error like:

Unable to access Service Control Manager on \\192.x.x.x:
Access is denied.


Unable to connect to \\192.x.x.x

It's because pstools relies on $admin share access. A way to open it is:


HOST - is the hostname or ip address of the host
PASSWORD - the password of the user
USERNAME - a local or domain user with permissions to map a folder in the host
if USERNAME is a local user, type it as HOST\USERNAME,
if USERNAME is a domain user, type it as DOMAIN\USERNAME

For example:

net use \\192.x.x.x\admin$ ****** /USER:DOMAIN\USERNAME

You can remove the connection using:

net use \\192.x.x.x\admin$ /DELETE

Whith this base, you can create a batch file to restart services of a remote host with just a double-click


PsTools description

This tool is a set of command line utilities that allow you to manage local and remote systems
PsTools is a set of commandline utilities that allow you to manage local and remote systems.

All of the utilities in the PsTools suite work on Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. The PsTools download package includes an HTML help file with complete usage information for all the tools.

The tools included in the PsTools suite are:

· PsExec - execute processes remotely
· PsFile - shows files opened remotely
· PsGetSid - display the SID of a computer or a user
· PsKill - kill processes by name or process ID
· PsInfo - list information about a system
· PsList - list detailed information about processes
· PsLoggedOn - see who's logged on locally and via resource sharing (full source is included)
· PsLogList - dump event log records
· PsService - view and control services
· PsShutdown - shuts down and optionally reboots a computer
· PsSuspend - suspends processes
· PsUptime - shows you how long a system has been running since its last reboot (PsUptime's functionality has been incorporated into PsInfo)