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Sending message to all users on domain regarding software upgrade with out using net send

For those of you that work in schools, you will know about the SIMS program (Schools Information Management System) that run on SQL.
I'm trying to find a way of alerting users when we have to run patch updates / dbase upgrades as it is a pain to have to keep on working late to ensure all people are off the system.
Logic would say that as long as users are informed of the times for upgrade then there will be no problem but in reality the site is large, and people don't always follow instruction. The consequences (I have experienced both), the users loses the data they input due to the stopped SQL services...or the database upgrade goes pop due to open threads and a lengthy restoration begins.
The frustration being that SIMS is an extremely powerful program but no one had the foresight to include a table of currently logged in users, so you have no way of knowing.
Basically I want a way to first of all send a message to staff users logged on to the machines, I can export a list of SIMS stations and would want to broadcast to these. Then I'm experimenting with TASKILL to close the program although I'm not sure how successful this will be. The plan to say the program will be upgraded at xx:xx and then remotely shutdown the program however the remote shutdown may not be neccessary if they have a clear time it is unavailable as the service cycle cuts them off anyway. Then send a message around saying this is back up again after upgrade completes.

I know about the messenger service but as we have Vista clients this is no use. I have tried to get this clear in my head and was thinking about nested  batch files, ie a batch file to call a local batch file to display a message but wanted to see if anyone had an bright ideas??
Any ideas how I can achieve this?
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SeventhZen
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SeventhZen
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1 Solution
 
SysExpertCommented:
How about using a sceduled task that is set automatically via a login script.

This task runs a popup screen or message notifying the users, once in the morning and again 30 minutes before your down time window.

Win XP and mew can have scheduled tasks easily via  a batch file or maybe even the AT command.

I hope this helps !
 
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SeventhZenAuthor Commented:
Ok, but the down time will change dependent on the day. I'll look into this though as it does sound like a way forward. How do you call a pop up message from a scheduled task?
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SeventhZenAuthor Commented:
There seems to be no solid solution to this problem which is disappointing. With all the complicated things we can do within a network I would have thought that alerting users through the system would have been a must. Can anyone tell me why the built in messenger service is so bad?
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SeventhZenAuthor Commented:
... having said this, Sysexpert's solution would work.

I just haven't managed to find the code to create a pop up window...yet!
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