Because of budget cuts, layoffs, reduced work hours, and other hardships caused by the sluggish economy, having to do more work in less time and with fewer resources seems to be the norm. One way you can save some time is to use HTML Applications (HTAs) when possible. Basically, HTAs are scripts with a UI. You use that UI to enter information that the script needs to run. After you enter that information, you click a button to run the script and the script automates some task.
Over the years, we've published quite a few articles that present HTAs created by IT pros. Below you'll find a list of some of those HTAs and a description of what they do. To help you save money as well as time, you can download these HTAs for free. After you find an HTA you're interested in, click its link to go to the article that explains how to use that HTA. You can download the HTA file by clicking the Download the Code Here button near the top of the page.
- RandPass.hta lets you generate a list of random passwords in seconds. You can make the passwords as long as needed (up to 128 characters) and as complex as needed (you can use uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and/or symbols).
- ElevateScript.hta lets you run a VBScript or JScript script under administrative privileges with just a few clicks. This HTA was written to reduce the scripting headaches brought on by Vista's User Account Control (UAC) Although this HTA was written to work on Vista, it also works on XP.
Information Gathering HTAs
- EventLogQueryUtility.hta retrieves four types of events (error, warning, audit failure, and informational) from the event logs on one or more computers for a specified number of days. You can retrieve all events or narrow the search by event type or event code. You can even use a filter to create a detailed custom query.
- UserQuotaUtility.hta lets you retrieve information about users' disk quotas on local and remote Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP computers. You can also use it to set users' disk quotas.
- GetADsPath.hta returns the ADsPath strings of Active Directory (AD) objects when you enter an object's name (CN, sAMAccountName, or GroupName attribute). It can save you time because you don't need to search through AD looking for a particular ADsPath. Even if you do know a complete ADsPath, the utility can save you the hassle of typing the long path and possibly avoid problems that might occur because of typos.
- IP Ranger.hta takes a starting IP address and an ending IP address as input and writes all the IP addresses within that range to a text file. This is handy when you don't have a complete or accurate IP address list. It also provides a quick way to create a text file of IP addresses to use as input for other administrative scripts.
- GetIPs.hta obtains the IP addresses for the computers you specify. Conversely, it returns computers' names based on their IP addresses. This HTA works with IPv4 only.
- SysInfo.hta collects every property available in 15 Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Win32 classes and delivers the information for each class in its own Microsoft Excel worksheet.
- SysInfoLite.hta is a "lite" version of SysInfo.hta. Although periodically performing a complete inventory of computer systems is a necessary task, sometimes administrators just need to retrieve only specific pieces of information. SysInfoLite.hta accommodates this need.
- Winutil.hta retrieves information about the local computer's startup commands, OS (including service pack data), and BIOS. With some minor editing, you can use it to retrieve information from a remote computer and retrieve different types of information (e.g., information about the processes running on a machine).
- Install_Printer.hta makes installing printers on a print server easy and consistent. It uses the PrinterAdmin (prnadmin.dll) tool to create the printer port, share the printer, publish it to AD, and record the printer information in the printer’s properties page.
- Install_Service.hta installs a script as a service so that you can run the script as a service. Running a script as a service is helpful when a script needs to run continuously or when you need to know immediately if it fails.
Monitoring, Mapping, and Messaging HTAs
- CheckProcess.hta lets you monitor crucial processes on a local or remote computer. Every second the HTA checks to see whether the specified processes are running. It continually updates a table that's displayed on screen. When a process is running, the Status column reads UP. When a process isn't running, the Status column reads DOWN and the cell's background color changes to red.
- MapDrive.hta determines the next available drive letter (even when Z is already mapped), then maps that drive letter to the specified network share. You can make a mapping persistent and create a mapping under alternate credentials.
- MOTD.hta lets you create a customizable message that users will see when they log on to their computers each day. With this HTA, you can easily get important information out to users in a timely manner.
- CSVviewer.hta is a convenient tool for anyone who needs to view a comma-separated value (CSV) file but doesn't need a data-analysis tool, such as a spreadsheet or a database. You can specify how many CSV file records you want to display at a time. You can also sort and filter file records.
- LogSplitter.hta splits mega-sized text and log files into smaller files that you can easily open in Notepad and easily work with when writing a script. You can split up the file by the number of lines or number of pages.
Personal Planning HTAs
- SuperTuesday.hta was originally created to find the second Tuesday of each month in order to get the dates for when Microsoft releases its patches (aka Super Tuesdays). However, you can use it to find the dates for any repeating event (e.g., a meeting that's held every third Thursday of each month) or even a one-time event (e.g., the first Friday of September.)
- TimeOffPlanner.hta can help you keep track of how much vacation time you have left. As you enter the vacation time you're taking off, it automatically deducts those hours from your vacation-hours balance. If you're an on-call staff member, the HTA color-codes the weeks you're on-call so that you can avoid scheduling time off during those weeks.