While most common, day-to-day tasks of Windows administration can be performed from the GUI, it's not always the best way, especially with complex or repetitive tasks. Scripts and command-line tools often provide a faster and more flexible approach, and Windows has grown more powerful in this area with the progressive addition of VBScript, Active Directory Services Interface (ADSI), Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), and dozens of new commands to each new version of the platform. Unfortunately, learning to leverage the power of these different features takes time?a precious commodity for today's busy system administrator.
That's why a large portion of this book consists of scripts and other tools that can make your life much easier as an administrator. These tools, or hacks?quick and dirty solutions to problems or clever ways of doing things?were created by other professionals who have had to struggle to find solutions to administering their own Windows environments, and you can benefit from their expertise in two important ways. First, you can use their scripts, tools, tips, and advice to save valuable time as you manage your own Windows-based network. Second, by studying the scripts and learning a little VB/ADSI/WMI, you can easily customize these scripts to create even more powerful tools that meet your own specific needs.