Automated DFSR Backlog email

If you’re using DFSR for branch office replication, chances are you’re concerned about the number of files in the backlog queue. This page details a script I’ve been using to automate sending of emails, using a combination of blat and dfsrdiag.

To begin you’ll need to download Blat.

I suggest placing the Blat files within C:\Windows so that it’s automatically added to the system path; you could just use the full folder path when calling it though.

Here’s an example batch script I’m using for one replication group:

dfsrdiag Backlog /receivingmember:hub-server /sendingmember:branch-server /\files\departments /rfname:Departments >C:\users\administrator\documents\backdept-from-branch-server.txt
FOR /R "C:\users\administrator\documents\" %%F IN (backdept-from-branch-server.txt) DO (
       IF %%~zF GTR 3000 (blat C:\users\administrator\documents\backdept-from-branch-server.txt -to  -server -f -subject "Backlog exists: Departments incoming from Branch-Server"))


Here’s a quick rundown on what this is doing:

dfsrdiag Backlog: this command generates a backlog report for the specified sending and receiving server, for the specified replication group, and outputs it to a text file.

This report looks like this:

Member  Backlog File Count: 1367
Backlog File Names (first 100 files)
     1. File name: DSC03752.JPG
     2. File name: DSC03786.JPG
     3. File name: DSC03794.JPG
     4. File name: DSC03796.JPG
     5. File name: DSC03809.JPG
     6. File name: DSC03810.JPG


The next line in the script beginning with “FOR /R”, looks for the text file just generated, and runs logic on it.

IF %%~zF GTR 3000: If the size of the backlog report text file is greater than 3KB, then generate an email to the specified people, with the text file as the message body.

Scheduling the commands

So I’ve got 16 batch files that generate reports; 2 replications groups in two transfer directions to 4 separate locations. To reduce the number of scheduled tasks, and ensure that all 16 backlog reports aren’t run at the same time, I’ve got separate batch files that call 4 at a time, and are scheduled 5 minutes apart.

Find Hyper-V VM GUID

While creating and converting VM’s using SCVMM puts the configuration files and VHD’s in a nicely structured set of folders, if you create a VM through Hyper-V Manager or convert using disk2vhd, the files will be stored based on the GUID for the VM, which isn’t found anywhere in the GUI tools for Hyper-V.
Luckily I came across this blog post to which I owe full credit for the solution:

Save the VBS script below as guid.vbs, copy to your Hyper-V host, and use psexec to execute it with this:

psexec \\hyperv cmd.exe

cscript c:\guid.vbs

You are using PSexec right?

Option Explicit
Dim WMIService
Dim KvpComponents
Dim VMList
Dim VMSettingList
Dim VM
Dim item
Dim setting
Dim component
'Get instance of 'virtualization' WMI service on the local computer
Set WMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:\\.\root\virtualization")
'Get all the MSVM_ComputerSystem object
Set VMList = WMIService.ExecQuery("SELECT * FROM Msvm_ComputerSystem")   
For Each VM In VMList  
 if VM.Caption = "Virtual Machine" then      
  WScript.Echo "========================================"      
  WScript.Echo "VM Name: " & VM.ElementName      
  WScript.Echo "VM GUID: " & VM.Name     
  WScript.Echo "VM State: " & VM.EnabledState   
  ' Now get the BIOS GUID for this VM
  Set VMSettingList = WMIService.ExecQuery("SELECT * FROM Msvm_VirtualSystemSettingData")   
  For Each setting In VMSettingList
   Dim tempVMname
   tempVMName = "Microsoft:"  + VM.Name
   if setting.InstanceID = tempVMName then      
    WScript.Echo "VM BIOS GUID: " & setting.BIOSGUID  
   end if
 end if

Silent Printer Deployment in Windows

If you don’t use a print server in your Windows environment (for which there are many valid reasons) then printer management can be a major frustration. We don’t use a print server, but rather create static printers with local TCP/IP ports.
Installing these one by one, or updating drivers had become a drain on time, so I set about finding out how to silently deploy them to our client PC’s.

Getting Started

You’ll need a few support files to get this deployment working. The first are 3 vbs scripts:

  • prndrvr.vbs
  • prnmngr.vbs
  • prnport.vbs

You can find these in C:\Windows\System32 on a Windows XP machine.

You’ll also need PSEXEC from here:

Place the VBS scripts on a network share, perhaps where you’ll be storing the deployment batch files.

The Script

Below is the contents of a single printer install batch file. You can also combine multiple printer commands into one file, so that all printers in one office would be deployed at once.

This batch file should be run from somewhere other than the client PC you’re deploying to. Make sure you have PSexec somewhere in the path on that machine.

::This Script installs the following: ## denotes commented out by default
:: Printer Name

:: If you do not wish a certain printer to be installed, make a copy of this file, comment out the specific printer, and run the file

:: Define computer to push to, and the password to use for psexec authentication
set computername=TestPC
set password=pa55w0rd

:: Printer1 ::
:: Deletes previously installed printer of the specified name
cscript "\\server\Deploy\prnmngr.vbs" -d -s %computername% -p "Old Printer" 

:: Deletes static port of previous printer, in case of mis-configuration
cscript "\\server\Deploy\prnport.vbs" -d -s %computername% -r IP_192.168.0.42

:: Creates TCP/IP port with specified IP address
cscript "\\server\Deploy\prnport.vbs" -a -s %computername% -r IP_192.168.0.28 -h -o raw -n 9100

:: Copies driver for printer from server to local directory
psexec \\%computername% -u domain\adminaccount -p %password% xcopy /E "\\server\Printer\HP 4500ps W2K-WXP\*.*" "c:\printdrv\"

::Install printer driver to computer from specified location.
cscript "\\server\Deploy\prndrvr.vbs" -a -s %computername% -m "HP Designjet 4500ps HP-GL/2" -v 3 -e "Windows NT x86" -h "c:\printdrv" -i "c:\printdrv\dsgj4500.inf"

:: Removes local directory containing print driver
psexec \\%computername% -u domain\adminaccount -p %password% cmd.exe "/C rmdir /S /Q "c:\printdrv\""

:: Install the printer, using the print driver specified prior.
cscript "\\server\Deploy\prnmngr.vbs" -a -s %computername% -p "Plotter3" -m "HP Designjet 4500ps HP-GL/2" -r IP_192.168.0.28 -u domain\adminaccount -w %password%

:: Sets the Printer Properties according to a template created prior
psexec \\%computername% -u domain\adminaccount -p %password% regedit.exe /s \\server\Deploy\Preferences\SurveyPrinter-WinXP.reg 

If you’re deploying to Windows 7 x64, make sure you’re using x64 drivers, and then in the driver install section, change this: -e “Windows NT x86” to this: -e “Windows x64”

As shown in the last command, you can set printer properties (such as including a duplexer, stapler, additional paper trays) by installing the printer on a test machine, configuring the options you want, and then exporting this registry key:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Print\Printers\Printer Name\PrinterDriverData]

You can also modify Printer Preferences using the same method. The registry key to export there is:


If you’re doing this, you’ll want to remove the extra printers from that key, and it must be run by the user who needs the preferences. Because of that I haven’t found a way to deploy the Printer Preferences directly to a user. Instead I just distribute the .reg file for them to run.

HP Printer Drivers

Recent versions of the HP printer drivers have been having problems installing using the VBS script. Because of this, a different command is used to install them:

psexec \\%computername% -u domain\adminaccount -p %password% rundll32.exe printui.dll PrintUIEntry /ia /f c:\printdrv\hpcu109u.inf /m "HP Universal Printing PCL 6"

Adobe Flash GPO Deploy error “InstallAx.exe”

Update: An updated script has been posted with some improvements, here.

“The file ‘installax.exe’ is not marked for installation”

This post details how to fix this issue, when Flash won’t uninstall correctly from a GPO deployment.

Adobe Flash PlayerThe Problem

I deploy the latest Flash versions through Group Policy, because it’s quick and simple. Some time ago, there was a version of Adobe Flash Player (10.1.5xx I think) that began causing problems with later versions.

What would happen is upon upgrades to Flash being pushed out, when updating the previous version an error would be logged. The GPO would successfully update the player, however it would continue to try updating every day, every time the computer started.

This occurred for both Windows 7 and Windows XP, and got to be quite annoying for my users.

When trying to update manually, the error that appeared was:

"The file 'installax.exe' is not marked for installation"

Here’s how I resolved it:

Based on various forum reports ( it seemed to be a problem with Flash leftovers.

On a test machine, I uninstalled all Flash versions, and then did a registry search, and removed these items:


These keys are a mix between Windows 7 x64 and Windows XP.

After that I manually installed the latest version, and it was successful. Now I needed to write a script that would remove these values and install the latest version.

The Script

I wanted to run this as a Shutdown script through group policy, rather than trying to push it out to all our clients through a scheduled task or something. This way it would eventually get applied to everyone. I think I’ll wait a period of time, and then disable this script and go back to a GPO msi install.

I made extensive use of echo and pause statements to ensure it was being applied correctly. Because I didn’t want a script for Windows 7 x64 and a separate one for Windows XP, there’s a bit of logic thrown in to check for version.

Here’s the script:

:: Adobe flash giving "installax" errors when updating from GPO :: This batch file will remove those errors and install
:: This batch file should be run from a shutdown or startup script

:: Check if Windows 7 or Windows XP, and goes to the proper section IF EXIST "C:\Program Files (x86)" goto :Win7Check
goto :WinXPCheck

:: Check if the latest version is installed already in Windows 7. If so, exit. Otherwise install Set "AdobeVersion=" & setlocal & Set "$V="
:: Look in the Uninstall area of registry, where the installed version of Flash player is listed Set "RegKey=HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Adobe Flash Player ActiveX"
Set "RegItem=DisplayVersion"
:: Take the output of a REG QUERY to the location above, and put it into the AdobeVersion variable
For /f "tokens=3*" %%! in (
   '2^>nul Reg.exe QUERY "%RegKey%" /v "%RegItem%" ^|(
   Findstr.exe /ri "\<%RegItem%\>"^)') Do Set "$V=%%!"
endlocal & call Set "AdobeVersion=%$V%"

:: If what is currently installed matches latest version, exit. Otherwise, go to install section
if "%AdobeVersion%" == "" goto :exit
goto :Install

:: Check if the latest version is installed already in Windows XP. If so, exit. Otherwise install Set "AdobeVersionXP=" & setlocal & Set "$T="
:: Look in the Uninstall area of registry, where the installed version of Flash player is listed Set "RegKeyXP=HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Adobe Flash Player ActiveX"
Set "RegItemXP=DisplayVersion"
:: Take the output of a REG QUERY to the location above, and put it into the AdobeVersion variable For /f "tokens=3*" %%! in (
   '2^>nul Reg.exe QUERY "%RegKeyXP%" /v "%RegItemXP%" ^|(
   Findstr.exe /ri "\<%RegItemXP%\>"^)') Do Set "$T=%%!"
endlocal & call Set "AdobeVersionXP=%$T%"

:: If what is currently installed matches latest version, exit. Otherwise, go to install section
if "%AdobeVersionXP%" == "" goto :exit
goto :Install

:Install ::Uninstall current versions of Flash from DFS share start /wait \\\apps\Public\General\adobeflash\uninstall_flash_player.exe -uninstall

:: Remove offending registry entries causing the error (mentioned below) regedit /s \\\apps\Public\General\adobeflash\flash_remove_fix.reg

:: Install latest version of Flash start /wait \\\apps\Public\General\adobeflash\install_flash_player_10.1.102.64.exe -install
goto :exit


The registry file mentioned contains this (what is at the top of this post, with the removal switch):


This script successfully runs on Windows 7 and Windows XP, and merely exits when the latest version is already done.

Check what version of Adobe Flash Player you have, and what is current:

Uninstall Utility used to remove Flash Player

.NET Function to produce link to UNC path

The following code is not mine, but from personnel within our company who really helped me out. Thanks Dan!

We have a few reports built within SQL Reporting Services 2005. One of these reports lists financial information for our projects. A request was made to create a link between the project on the report, and the project’s folder within our DFS share.

This is the custom code used on the report to produce those results. Depending on how folders are stored, it could be very useful for others as well.

For this to make sense, here’s a quick primer on how we store our files:

Each project has a 5 digit unique identifier within our DFS. It looks like this: “34321 deptcode short description”. These are organized by the major ‘ten thousandth’ value. For example:

Jobs >

Now for the code. To begin, you need to add the custom code to your report:

Report Properties

Use the “Code” tab, and paste the code in. Here’s the code I used, with comments:

'Start the function, with the value passed from the reportserver as jobnum Public Function Extract_jobs_path(ByVal jobnum As String) As String  'Find the first two digits of the folder name by taking the last 5 digits of the record and keeping first 2     Dim Prefix_job As String = Strings.mid(jobnum,5,2)     Dim Result As String = "" 'Make Director1 equal to the root folder of the job number (ie 33000), using the first two digits grabbed  Dim Director1 As New System.IO.DirectoryInfo(\\\files\Jobs\ & Prefix_job & "000")      If Director1.Exists = True Then  'Grab the first 5 characters of the job number   Dim job_number As String =strings.mid(jobnum,5,5)  'Set Folder1 as the root folder, same as Director1   Dim Folder1 As String() = System.IO.Directory.GetDirectories(\\\files\Jobs\ & Prefix_job & "000")  'For every subfolder of the root, search the first 5 digits and see if they match job_number   For Each subFolder As String In Folder1    If Strings.Mid(subFolder, 27, 5) = job_number Then        Result = subFolder            Exit For          End If         Next     End If 'If there was a match, switch around the slashes, add in the file:/// to build the link, 'and return the value     If Result <> "" Then      Result = Replace(Result, "\", "/")        Dim Poz1 As Integer = InStr(Result, "")         If Poz1 > 0 Then          Return "file:///" & Result            End If         End If     End Function

Now all you need to do is call the code within a spot in your report. We have a table with a specific cell that has the code inserted into the “Navigation” properties of that cell, using this:



Clicking on that cell automatically opens the UNC path in Windows Explorer.