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Is there a way out there, whether through configuration of windows server 2008 or third party software to monitor a computer?

Say, I have a computer on my network named WORKSATION01. I want to have a status that tells me its currently on/off, if someone has logged on to that computer and who, if the account is idle, locked, etc.

I am guessing there will be something installed on each machine and relays status back to a centralized location. But would be great if its all web base, where i can log in and see all that.

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There are so many possible variations to this, it's hard to provide an answer...

In short, yes, there are ways to get that information, and some applications can provide web-based insight into it, but the configuration of your network (AD, OSes, etc) weighs heavily on possible configurations.

It's also possible to easily script something like this for Active Directory, which keeps all the information you've asked for stored in it.

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PSTools, specifically PSLoggedOn can do this on a machine by machine basis. Wrap it around some more code in a language you know and you will be off to the races.

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Spiceworks works pretty good, free, web based and probes the computers every so often. Its not very realtime (think network checks are 15 minutes) but you can see the status as of the last check. I'm also currently testing out AdminArsenal ($400 per admin seat, 30 day free trial) which doesn't have as in depth of reporting as Spiceworks but does have some other remote deployment tools that I'm interested in. Admin Arsenal also seems to be quicker because its not scanning the IP ranges but instead is just probing the computers listed in Active Directory directly. Of course this is balanced by Spiceworks also being able to pickup network devices, printers, routers, etc.

both are non-agent based so there is no other installs or components that you need to install or manage making them easy to use. Install on a computer and run it from there.

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You could turn on the SNMP client software. Then monitor it through one of them many free or pay products available.

You can also monitor some software on the workstation this way.

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