computer status

Is there a way to know if a computer in my domain is turned on or off?
I tried to ping a list of computers, and many of them dont give a reply...My task is to remove this machines from our DNS server, but first of all we need to know if those machines are in use or not (they could be not responding either by firewall or something else)...
Those machines are far away from us...
Ercélio Pedro MabotaAsked:
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Steve KnightConnect With a Mentor IT ConsultancyCommented:
I don't know of an AD attribute which records the last usage time of a computer?

As you say you can't rely on being able to PING.
Same goes for connecting to the computer through share etc.
And it may be genuinely off, especially if in different time zone say.

Both of those would give you a "still in use" but can't give you a "not in use" of course.

Some suggestions and a free util here for checking based on when the computer account last changed it's password -- around once a month.

Other than that you could set all computers to run a GPO startup script say which then drops a log file in a share that computers can write to, e.g. \\server\dfs\info\%computername%.txt

If users have laptops that connect rarely, or only through VPN say then these also confuse the issues.

Interesting one, listening to see if anyone else has any better ideas -- have been lucky enough to be in fairly controlled environments where machines are (mainly) checked in and out and procedures followed for removing them.. not to say people don't bother with procedures of course :-(


You can use some tool like nmap in some versions of linux (backtrack4). It can scan for ip addressess, ports, operating systems etc. etc. Command line is pretty simple and understandable.
Steve KnightIT ConsultancyCommented:
You could also just disable the computer accounts if you suspect they are, and wait for complaints!
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