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Readers' Choice admin tool winner: Hyena

We recently asked readers to tell us what their favorite admin tools are -- the utilities that make their jobs easier and that they just couldn't live without.

The following is Tool #1 from "Readers' Choice: 15 admin tools you can't live without," a collection of top Windows admin tools nominated by readers.

Winner: Hyena
Nominated by: Doug Crist

This tool rates six stars on a 1 to 5 scale! We've been using Hyena for several years. I'll try to list all that it does, but we keep finding new stuff!

In an Active Directory domain, you can drill down either by servers or organizational units (OUs). For each server, you can drill into:

  • Users
  • Local Groups
  • Printers
  • Shares, both regular and hidden, and into the entire file system from there
  • Sessions
  • Open Files
  • Services
  • Devices
  • Event Logs
  • Disk Space
  • User Rights
  • Performance Counters
  • Scheduled Jobs
  • Registry
  • WMI stuff (Windows Management Instrumentation)

Hyena also handles NT domains, showing the same stuff. Almost all of these things are read/write, except for Disk Space. So you can do things like:

  • Copy local groups from one server to another, including the members
  • Start/stop services and change properties (login name, password, etc.)
  • Create a share on a remote folder, including permissions
  • Add/modify/delete user rights
  • Disconnect an open file connection
  • Filter event logs, change their size, etc.
  • Add/modify/delete scheduled tasks
  • Drill into the entire file system and Registry, with read/write capability

Right-clicking a server and selecting properties yields the following tabs:

  • General -- shows what type of server it is (DC, etc.), uptime, remote time
  • Hotfix -- shows all the hotfixes applied to this server, which can be copied to your clipboard and pasted into Excel. You can highlight a single fix and click a button that takes you to the Microsoft site for that fix.
  • Software -- basically, what you see in Add/Remove programs. Again, a copy to clipboard option.
  • System -- shows speed of the processors, memory, current logged on users, BIOS and so on
  • Environment -- shows all environment variables
  • Network -- shows the IP information for each NIC, DNS suffix search order

Other right-click options:

  • Account Policy
  • Audit Policy
  • Remove from Domain
  • Shutdown
  • View Logged On Users
  • Remote Control (you can set this up to launch VNC (virtual network computing), which will install the VNC stuff and open a remote session).

There are many AD functions. You can do a find and get properties for any AD object. You can drill down to an OU and add a machine account. There is an extensive export subsystem that can export a wealth of information to tab-separated files. I hope this gives you an idea of the power of this tool. It's definitely worth a look. The vendor is very responsive to both problems and suggestions for future releases.  

Readers' Choice: 15 admin tools you can't live without!

 Tool 1: Readers' Choice admin tool winner: Hyena
 Tool 2: Toad for Oracle
 Tool 3: Fastpush
 Tool 4: Belarc Advisor
 Tool 5: Angry IP Scanner
 Tool 6: Dameware NT
 Tool 7: Microsoft Computer Management Tool
 Tool 8: PC Duo and PC Duo Enterprise
 Tool 9: CheckIt Pro
 Tool 10: WinSCP 3.7.5
 Tool 11: Treepad
 Tool 12: Remote Administrator
 Tool 13: BartPE
 Tool 14: Sam Spade
 Tool 15:

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