Computer Information Displayed on Desktop

We are looking for a way to *neatly* display computer information (hostname and IP address) on the desktops of our 150+ users.  We are running Win2K and WinXP.  We are thinking of something along the lines of BGINFO's capabilities (see sysinternals site), plus we would like to be able to easily deploy it to all users through an msi or similar method.  (We are having difficulty deploying BGINFO as an msi.)  We would like users to have the ability to glance at their desktop and tell us what their computernames are so we can remotely access their PCs.  (We want to avoid physically tagging computers.)

Suggestions?  Anyone have a different solution to produce the same results?

Thanks a bunch!!!

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meade470Asked:
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smallpygmyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
We use this exact system at work.  We have group policy setup to copy the files over to the users' machines.  We use two login scripts (see below) the machine startup script copies both the bginfo.exe file and a config file over to the users machine.  The user login script runs bginfo with a command line switch to enable it.  You'll have to run bginfo locally and save the settings to generate the config file.

Machine startup script:
md c:\progra~1\bginfo
copy /y %0\..\bginfo.exe c:\progra~1\bginfo\bginfo.exe
copy /y %0\..\config.bgi c:\progra~1\bginfo\config.bgi

User login script:
c:\progra~1\bginfo\bginfo.exe /ic:\progra~1\bginfo\config.bgi /timer:0


bginfo.exe is the actual executable, no need to use an msi file to deploy it.
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katacombzConnect With a Mentor Commented:
how about putting this into a batch file adn placing it on the users desktops

##############
ipconfig /all

pause
###########

then if you are working with a user and ned thier IP have them click the batch file and read what comes up, and no need to purchase more software.
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EricConnect With a Mentor Commented:
you might be able to use a vp script to get the information for you ..

try:

-- start file getIP.vbs --

On Error Resume Next
 
strComputer = "client1"
Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:" _
 & "{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" & strComputer & "\root\cimv2")
Set colNicConfigs = objWMIService.ExecQuery _
 ("SELECT * FROM Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration WHERE IPEnabled = True")
 
WScript.Echo VbCrLf & "Computer Name: " & strComputer
WScript.Echo " IP Addresses & Subnet Masks"
 
For Each objNicConfig In colNicConfigs
  WScript.Echo VbCrLf & "  Network Adapter " & objNicConfig.Index
  WScript.Echo "    " & objNicConfig.Description & VbCrLf
  WScript.Echo "    IP Address(es):"
  For Each strIPAddress In objNicConfig.IPAddress
    WScript.Echo "        " & strIPAddress
  Next
  WScript.Echo "    Subnet Mask(s):"
  For Each strIPSubnet In objNicConfig.IPSubnet
    WScript.Echo "        " & strIPSubnet
  Next
Next

-- end file --

see if that works on your local machine to display the IP addresss of the computer..  then what you might be able to do i just have that run on the machine with the logon scripts, and it'll popup a window with the information..

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katacombzCommented:
egiblock

questoni for you on this subject, could this be incorporated to run as an active desktop item instead of being in a window the user could close?
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EricCommented:
i don't know if this would be possible to do, but if you run the above, and write the output to a html file, and then on the active desktop, display the html file ?  it s just a theory, and i'm not too good at VB code, so i wouldn't be able to help you there.  i just have a bunch of vbs scripts around here to help me do certain things with our network ..

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Hammadian2Connect With a Mentor Commented:
all u need is to change their desktops to an active desktop showing a webpage that displays there IP...

let me be clearer...
1. Open display properties
2. goto "desktop tab"
3. "customize desktop"
4. web tab
5. new
6. type the URL of a page that displays the user IP (eg. http://www.whatismyip.com)

I was just trying to make my idea clear, this is a bad implementation as it needs internet access and the IP displayed will be the proxy IP instead of the users IP

to do it in a clean way
u'll have to host a small ASP page that displays both the use IP and hostname in an elegant way

I'm sure u have someone able to write this 2 lines page and deploy it on the server

You'll be then able to change all users desktop to that page simply by changing the Group Policy from your domain... and again I'm sure your network admin is able to do this

This way u'll need to install nothing on their PCs :)
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meade470Author Commented:
Hey, thanks for all of the responses.  Smallpygmy, what do these lines do?

copy /y %0\..\bginfo.exe c:\progra~1\bginfo\bginfo.exe
copy /y %0\..\config.bgi c:\progra~1\bginfo\config.bgi
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meade470Author Commented:
BTW, what is config.bgi and where would I find it?
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smallpygmyCommented:
the config.bgi is the file generated when you run bginfo.exe and choose Save As...  you can call it anything you like.

The copy lines are there to copy the bginfo.exe and config file over to the target computer on startup (in case the files aren't there already.)  In our organisation the files are being copied over from the Domain Controller's sysvol folder but you could copy it from any computer on the network.  I'm not sure of the reason behind the %0\..\ part as the script is running from within the same folder as the files.  i'll check with the person who actually wrote the script tomorrow when i'm back at work.

you could also change the copy lines to:
copy /y \\server\share\bginfo.exe etc...

The two batch files in my last post are the actual ones that we use so i can testify that it does work for what you are attempting to do!
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Netman66Connect With a Mentor Commented:
This should do the job - we use it and it's free:  http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/freeware/bginfo.shtml

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Netman66Commented:
Oops...sorry.  Completely missed that you knew about this in your post - my bad.

What difficulties are you seeing while trying to deploy?

Another method you can use is creating a ZAP file:  http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;231747

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smallpygmyCommented:
ok, i've figured out why you need to put %0\..\   The %0 is a variable that holds the full UNC path to the batch file that you are running (in this case, the machine startup script) and the \..\ strips out the filename of the script and just leaves the UNC path to the folder that the files reside in.

In effect, the actual command to copy the bginfo.exe file looks like this (in my case anyway):
copy /y \\Domain Controller\SYSVOL\Domain Name\Policies\{B945D101-898E-42F9-9AEC-0425946A2A5C}\Machine\Scripts\Startup\bginfo.exe c:\progra~1\bginfo\bginfo.exe

All you have to do is create a new group policy, link the computer startup script and place the bginfo.exe and config.bgi file in to the correct folder for the policy and it should work ok.
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katacombzCommented:
hmmm,

how about this for being simple

place this ins the start up on each system

###############
ipconfig /all >c:\systemip.html

#################

this will at startup create a hml document on the c: drive or waht ever directory you specify, then configure active desktop to display this file...

simple and no need to buy anything
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AsafGCommented:
I made a small utility named DispCompInfo that does exactly what you need.
You can download it from my site  - www.ganotools.net (but it will be update only on monday)
If you need it sooner, please mail me and I'll reply with the utility.
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meade470Author Commented:
These are all great comments.  I'll try to distribute the points evenly.  Thanks!
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tspaCommented:
Btw, you don't deploy bginfo as an msi, you put the file on a share and fire it off with a GPO'd script...
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