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I have a large set of unattended Windows XP machines who are not connected to a domain or even to each other. I am struggling to find any tools out there that I can use to deal with them in one application.

I am hoping to find software that I can perhaps install a client on each machine, then have it essentially proxy out configuration information and possibly commands (install, uninstall, stop service, etc) across the whole network.

The closest I've come is Nagios and its client, but it cannot be used to push files through and run commands remotely.

Any suggestions?

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The question was more about a combination monitoring and software management solution. We have a method for installing software alone, but we are looking for a more full featured solution that can can alert us when the installed software changes or the cpu is maxed out. –  Marcus Jun 22 '11 at 4:15

2 Answers 2

This is what domains are for.

Alternative:
if computers are all the same (like computer lab) could use disk/file-system cloning (e.g. Ghost)

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Ghost or similar imaging tools are fine for making changes to one system, and then applying those changes to others through reformatting and such, but I'd consider WPKG as well.

From their overview page:

  • fully automated software deployment solution for Windows
  • deploy software in any format - MSI, EXE, etc.
  • deploy software to different groups of computers or single workstations
  • easily install, upgrade or remove software
  • a "pull" psexec equivalent
  • run custom scripts to set printers, synchronize time, manipulate permissions, add registry entries, change Windows settings etc.
  • management/administration of end-user workstations
  • WPKG works in a domain, in a workgroup, or even over the Internet or VPN (no domain controller needed)
  • WPKG works with Linux (Samba), Windows servers, or any other systems supporting Windows Network Neighborhood
  • WPKG works with Windows 2000, XP Pro/Home, 2003 and Vista clients, but also 9x and Me (selected functions only)

I'm working on setting up WPKG for in-domain software deployment currently. For making consistent settings across a group of systems, I'd still never give up a proper domain with Group Policy and Group Policy Preferences, but if you can't afford that for whatever reason, WPKG is worth a shot.

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