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  • How to tell who is logged on to the server?

    Hi,

    I come from the Novell world, but I have been working with Win2003 server for a few years as well. One of the things I got used to working with Netware was being able to see immediately a list of users that are logged on (through the Monitor program). I have not been able to figure out how I can get that information in Win2003 server. I know that in Computer Management I can see Sessions and Open files, but that doesn't show most of the computers that I know are logged on, only those that are actually using server resources at that moment.

    Any ideas as to how I can see at a glance which computers are logged on?

    Thanks,

    -Michael

  • #2
    Re: How to tell who is logged on to the server?

    to see rdp users: the task manager users tab
    to see files accessed: computer management - shares
    ________
    Yamaha yzf-r1
    Last edited by DYasny; 6th March 2011, 17:54.
    Real stupidity always beats Artificial Intelligence (c) Terry Pratchett

    BA (BM), RHCE, MCSE, DCSE, Linux+, Network+

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    • #3
      Re: How to tell who is logged on to the server?

      Hi,

      AD works in different aspect. It issues tickets to the users and users use their tickets to get access to the objects. So there is no such macahnism to monitor the currently logged-in users.

      There is a utility called limitlogin.exe which keep track of concurrent user sessions so probablly it can provide the details of currently loggedin users. Although I have not tried it but you can just look at it:

      http://www.microsoft.com/technet/tec...litySpotlight/

      Regards,
      Kapil Sharma
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Life is too short, Enjoy It.

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      • #4
        Re: How to tell who is logged on to the server?

        you can also use the 'terminal services manager' in 'administrative tools' to see who is logged onto the computer either via console or RDP.

        you can also see if the session is idle, and kick them off if need be.
        its easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.
        Give karma where karma is due...

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        • #5
          Re: How to tell who is logged on to the server?

          Thanks to all those who responded.

          To James & DYasny - what you wrote about seeing RDP / Terminal Services users is correct. However, I am really interested in being able to see a list of users who are logged on to the server "normally" - for example, users who log on to the server from their Win XP computer (not via Terminal Services).

          To Kapilsharma - I understand what you are saying. However, I cannot believe that once the tickets are issued and the security token is sent to the user, that there is no periodic communication between the workstation and the server, even when the workstation doesn't request resources from the server. I would assume that the workstation logoff process does something at the server, and that the server is aware of the logoff. I would also assume that the server periodically checks that the workstation is still alive - that it didn't disconnect without logging off properly. If this is the case, then there must be an internal list on the server at all times that keeps track of workstations that have logged in, but have yet to log off, and that the server can still communicate with them. And if that is true, then I cannot understand why Microsoft didn't give us an easy way to see this list. After all, if we have to re-boot the server, how are we supposed to know if there are any users still attached to it even though at this moment they aren't using server resources?

          -Michael

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          • #6
            Re: How to tell who is logged on to the server?

            Check out psloggedon.exe:

            http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/s.../bb897545.aspx

            PsLoggedOn is an applet that displays both the locally logged on users and users logged on via resources for either the local computer, or a remote one.
            Michael
            Michael Armstrong
            www.m80arm.co.uk
            MCITP: EA, MCTS, MCSE 2003, MCSA 2003: Messaging, CCA, VCP 3.5, 4, 5, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, ITIL, MCP, PGP Certified Technician

            ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

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            • #7
              Re: How to tell who is logged on to the server?

              you can also set up logon audit, so you know who logged on and when

              and there are more advanced tools. my company, for instance, uses msn messenger for internal comms, over SIP protocol - very easy to spot who is online
              ________
              Aging Advice
              Last edited by DYasny; 6th March 2011, 17:55.
              Real stupidity always beats Artificial Intelligence (c) Terry Pratchett

              BA (BM), RHCE, MCSE, DCSE, Linux+, Network+

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              • #8
                Re: How to tell who is logged on to the server?

                Michael,

                I checked out Psloggedon, it is certainly interesting.

                However, in a quick test that I did on my server, it seems only to show those users who have an open session on the server, not all users who have logged in at some point during the day and have yet to log off. It only shows the same users whom I would see under Sessions if I go in to Computer Management.

                I started to read in the Help about Sessions, and perhaps the issue really is that sessions get automatically disconnected after 15 minutes if no server resources are used (they get automatically re-connected when the computer requests a resource from the server). I read some KB articles on changing the time interval before an automatic disconnection, and I will play around with that in the next few days. If I can get to a situation where Sessions will list all computers that have logged on to the server and have yet to log off, then that is exactly what I need.

                -Michael

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                • #9
                  Re: How to tell who is logged on to the server?

                  Originally posted by mlerner View Post
                  ... it seems only to show those users who have an open session on the server, not all users who have logged in at some point during the day and have yet to log off. It only shows the same users whom I would see under Sessions if I go in to Computer Management.
                  Which, interestingly, proves what Kapilsharma was saying IMHO and therefore leads you to examine the sessions as you suggest, as long as you can get the session to last for ever (or a reasonably long period of time).
                  Best wishes,
                  PaulH.
                  MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008

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                  • #10
                    Re: How to tell who is logged on to the server?

                    Uh...well....OK, I guess that would support what Kapilsharma was saying.

                    I made 1 change to domain's Group Policy which I see gets to the workstations registry OK (something like "MS Network Server: Idle time before disconnecting" set to 240 minutes instead of undefined), but that doesn't seem to do the trick - probably because WinXP isn't a server. Winlogon.log on the workstation says that that's a "mismatch" and while it loads that into the registry of the WinXP computer, in actuality the sessions gets disconnected after a short time as usual. So I assume that its not the server that it doing the disconnection, its the workstation, so this policy isn't the correct one. I am still experimenting on how to best configure the session disconnection time.

                    -Michael

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                    • #11
                      Re: How to tell who is logged on to the server?

                      Had an idea, which I think may be worth kicking around.

                      Make a logon script and a logoff script. The logon script writes a file to a network share, that filename (and/or its contents) being indicative of the username and or PC name. The logoff script deletes that file. The files that are, at any one time, on the share, will indicate who is logged on and even onto which PC too.

                      OK, I realise that users who do not logoff (e.g. crash) will leave the file there, wrongly indicating they are still logged on, but it's a start, and pretty easy to implement, I'd have thought.

                      You could schedule a task on each PC to update the file every 15 minutes with a timestamp, to make it even more sophisticated, and if the timestamp is too long ago, you will deduce that the PC has crashed because it has not "recently" written the timestamp.
                      Best wishes,
                      PaulH.
                      MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How to tell who is logged on to the server?

                        Hi,

                        Interesting idea, Paul. But I finally figured out how to get what I want!

                        I used MS Knowledge Base article 297684, but there's one paragraph there which has some English grammar mistakes (I was surprised by that), and therefore it wasn't clear to me when to use the 2 registry keys listed there. I did a Google search and found some articles on other sites that clarified & reinforced what's mentioned in that MS article.

                        In a nutshell - on my Win2003 server I changed 2 registry entries. The first is
                        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\lanmanserver\parameters\AutoDisconnect, and I set that to 600 (minutes, which is 10 hours). Then I set HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic e\lanmanworkstation\parameters\KeepConn to 14400 (seconds, which is 4 hours). I re-booted a workstation, had it access a share on the server and then sit idly, and then kept looking to see when it's Session disappeared from the Shared Folder-Sessions window in Computer Management. Sessions still remained open only for the default time of 15 idle minutes. (Note that one of the column headers in that window is Idle Time). It wasn't until I rebooted the server that idle sessions would last a full 10 hours before being disconnected.

                        So now, if a computer logs in and then doesn't access server resources, the session will still be listed there for up to 10 hours. That's exactly what I want - now I know which computers are logged on. If the computer accesses a server resource again at some point, the idle time count starts again from zero.


                        Since the MS article was hard to understand, I don't know if the 2nd registry entry (for 14400 seconds) is really needed or not - after all, the time length is defined by the 1st parameter. I have a feeling that it is, since the first parameter was actually defined a while ago via Group Policy, during some early experimentation. I don't have many opportunities to reboot this server, so now that I have it working, I am not going to play around with it any more.

                        Thanks once again for everybody's help and suggestions. And yes, Kapilsharma was apparantly correct - if the workstation is idle, the server doesn't check that it still exists, unlike Novell which sends "watchdog" packets to make sure the workstation is alive. Interestingly, I think there's a paradox here - in a Windows domain network, where a workstation must be authorized to in order to use the domain's resources (by joining the domain by an authorized user), the server doesn't attempt to verify the continued existence of a workstation on the network. In a Novell network, which doesn't require pre-authorization for workstations, the server does verify that a workstation which has logged in is still around. Interesting...

                        -Michael

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