Thursday, January 18, 2007

More on Script Logic

I guess I should provide some more detail about my scriptlogic problems, and I’ll through in a little bit more about why it just doesn’t work for me in my environment.

The organization I’m contracted is running with about 4,000 desktops on the domain that I manage. A little over a year ago, script logic was upgraded to version 6.52 and when customer started logging on, they were receiving some errors and their drives weren’t mapping. This was my first real experience with scriptlogic and it wasn’t good. It was decided recently to upgrade to the latest version 6.60. Recalling the problems that were experienced the last time, I contacted support for some guidance on the installation. The technician I spoke with assured me that simply running the product setup and installing it over the existing installation on the server would work. That didn’t happen. Almost immediately after the install, customers were getting these errors during logon: “The global variable file is not correctly signed and will not be processed!” & “The profile list is not correctly signed and will not be processed!”. I called support again, after troubleshooting for two and a half to three hours, we finally found the cause. The script logic binaries in the domain controller netlogon were not being updated when we told script logic to replicate, even though the servers would report a green check, which I took to mean that all of the files in the slscripts$ folder had been copied to all of the netlogon folders. I was pretty sure that the problem was solved, but then I got a call from one of the IT guys in one of our larger business units, they were still getting the error, even though it seemed to be working for everyone else. This group has a slightly modified desktop image with more security than most of the organization. I was able to resolve this in about an hour without contacting support by adding the script logic service account to that unit’s global group configured for their IT department.

The support technician that helped me resolve the problem was very helpful. It did take a while to get to the root cause, but the troubleshooting method was pretty thorough. Checking the version of the binaries in the netlogon folder should probably be up there on the list of things to check when getting these errors. But I’m no expert on the product, all of the steps we took to get there made sense.

Now, on to why I don’t really like the product or at least the implementation in our environment.

Scriptlogic, which seems to have been renamed, Desktop Authority Express would have been an awesome product in the mid to late ninety’s into the early part of this decade for those who continued to use Windows NT 4.0 domains. I don’t know much about the product’s history, but I expect that is exactly when the product was introduced. It looks like a powerful product to manage desktop settings, from simple registry changes to complete application configuration management, while NT4.0 had policy files and the policy editor, implementing them in an enterprise environment wasn’t exactly easy, if at all possible. Script logics functionality definitely filled a need back then. Microsoft fixed the NT 4.0 policy mess in Windows 2000 with Active Directory & Group Policy Objects, which provided much of the functionality that scriptlogic provided natively.

Scriptlogic is also pretty good at mapping drives, adding network printers, & running commands when a user logs on. This is all the organization I’m with uses it for, with the exception of a few registry settings, all of which can be accomplished with a couple of fairly strait forward scripts without the overhead of installing extra services on the domain controllers and all of the workstations, and certainly without the problems associated with managing and maintaining these services.

It could be just because I like the keep it simple method of systems management. I think to myself “why use a third party tool to do something that is already built into my operating system? It would be just one more thing to manage”

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

We've used Script Logic for some time at DPSCS. If I'm quick enough, I can close the little command box, then I don't have to wait for it. Too bad I can't do the same to Web Sense.

~mom~

Jason E. Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Joe, I enjoy your blog. We'd be honored to have you try Script Start instead. We even have an open source version. If you like it, please write about it in your blog. The solution is much more streamlined than the ordeal you mention above. www.scriptstart.com

Anonymous said...

Joe,

Saw your article on ScriptLogic on your Blog.

Curious, what did you do?

Thanks,

Wayne.....

Joseph Martin Durnal said...

I added the scriptlogic user to the admin group of the workstations.