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Scripting School: Using saved output

One problem with producing output from a script is that it's temporary. Here's how you can make your scripts write the output to a text file using the File System Object.

The output you'll most often need to save is inventory. The core tenet of troubleshooting is that, if you don't know what healthy looks like you can't identify sick. Assuming that you've got the scripts, you can use file system objects to store information about any of the following:

  • Drive inventory, including logical disk size, remaining free space and volume name
  • The services that are normally running on a particular computer, so you can check against this list when a remote computer is acting up
  • The printers that are installed on a particular computer

Another reason to collect data is for future planning. As one reader wrote in, he'd already figured out how to get the size of user home directories. What he wanted to know was how to preserve this information so he could find the average size of directories and set up a reasonable quota system. Since not all users had home directories, just taking an average of the user folder wouldn't provide an accurate picture.

Set dirFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

Set dirFolder = dirFSO.GetFolder("\\FOLDER\E$\users")

Set colSubfolders = dirFolder.Subfolders

For Each dirSubfolder in colSubfolders

oFileTxt.WriteLine (dirSubfolder.Name, dirSubfolder.Size/1000000)


Scripting School: Writing output to a text file
- Introduction
- Writing output to a file
- Using saved output
- Summary

Read all of Christa's scripting columns:
April 2005: Beginner's guide to scripting
May 2005: It's time to increase your scripting expertise
June 2005: Connect users to network resources
July 2005: More on connecting to network resources
August 2005: Find objects with Windows Scripting Host
September 2005: Windows Script Host arguments
October 2005: Scripting School: Turning the environment with WshShell
November 2005: Scripting School: Connect scripts to remote computers

When Christa Anderson began working with Windows Server operating systems in 1992, she became increasingly interested in finding more efficient and flexible ways of performing routine tasks. Christa has written extensively about administrative scripting and taught technical sessions on the subject at conferences such as Comdex and CeBIT, helping people who had never done any scripting to write their own scripts in half a day. In addition to her interest in scripting Windows management, Christa is an authority on server-based computing and the program manager for Terminal Services licensing in Longhorn. If you have a scripting question for Christa, please e-mail her at

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