The best of the bunch in the Windows 2000 Professional Resource Kit

Microsoft's Windows NT resource kits have always been rich sources of administrative utilities. The Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Resource Kit offers most of the tools available in the Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Resource Kit, as well as dozens of new utilities. Several of the new tools are full application-level utilities, whereas many others focus on Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and Internet connectivity. In this Top 10, I share my favorite new systems management utilities. (Check out Mark Minasi's This Old Resource Kit columns for more information about resource kit tools.)

10. RPC Ping (rpings.exe and rpingc.exe) is a network diagnostic tool that lets you verify that remote procedure call (RPC) services can respond to requests from RPC clients. To use this tool, you first run rpings.exe on the server, then use the rpingc.exe client tool to connect to that server.

9. Visual File Information (vfi.exe) displays vital OS information (e.g., path, path extension, size attributes) about files in a given folder. This tool's grid display lets you compare the contents of different directories. The tool can also write all the file information into a Comma Separated Values (.csv) file; therefore, you can process this file with scripts or other programs.

8. Registry Size Estimator (dureg.exe) lets you easily track the amount of Registry information that a given application uses. With this command-line utility, you can measure the amount of data that the entire Registry stores or that specific subtrees or subkeys store.

7. Duplicate File Finder (dupfinder.exe) lets you search a hard disk or a folder for duplicate files and display them in a graphical window. Multiple versions of an application or its subcomponents have always been the bane of developers and network administrators. Duplicate File Finder will ease your pain.

6. File Locator (where.exe) is the answer for those end users who, according to early Windows 9x user interface (UI) studies, spend a significant amount of time searching for files. Although long filenames have helped eliminate this problem, finding files in the ever-deepening network-storage black hole remains difficult. This command-line util-ity uses Uniform Naming Convention (UNC) search paths and environment variables to locate files.

5. Uptime (uptime.exe) is a command-line tool that reads the event log and reports a local or remote system's uptime. Occasionally, the ability to easily demonstrate your server's uptime is beneficial (e.g., when your boss wants to know how long the server has been available).

4. Quick Grep (qgrep.exe) is a valuable addition to your Windows shell-scripting toolkit. Like its UNIX-based progenitor Grep, Qgrep is a command-line tool that can search a file or list of files for a specific string or pattern and return the line containing the match.

3. Console User Manager (cusrmgr.exe) is for those administrators who like to manage through scripts and command-line utilities. You can call cusrmgr.exe from a command script to rename user accounts and groups, add user accounts to groups, and reset password and logon scripts.

2. File-In-Use Replace (inuse.exe) tags a file for replacement at the next system restart instead of immediately replacing the target file. If you've ever attempted to replace a DLL or other program that the OS is using, you'll appreciate File-In-Use Replace.

1. ActivePerl (activeperl.exe) is ActiveState's Perl implementation for Windows. ActivePerl is a powerful scripting tool that supports complex logic. The tool can also access the system's Registry and event logs. The resource kit includes PerlScript support for Windows Script Host (WSH) and the Perl Package Manager (PPM) for distributing Perl scripts. The build number distributed in the resource kit is 521.