Performing maintenance work isn’t always
easy, but it’s a necessary part of an administrator’s job. One of
the most important issues is correct timing. For example, it’s not
a good idea to schedule operating system updates during the day
when users are actively using resources.

Most network administrators consider it a best
practice to perform any necessary maintenance tasks after hours
whenever possible. However, the Internet has blurred the line
between working and nonworking hours, and you can’t be certain that
no one is working on the network just because it’s after 6 P.M.

To help you out, Windows NT 4 shipped with
Server Manager (Srvmgr.exe), a utility that tells you how many
users are using resources and allows you to notify them. You can
find Srvmgr.exe in the Administrative Tools folder.

When you open the utility, you’ll see a list of
computers on the network. Double-clicking a computer opens a dialog
box with additional options.

  • The Users button displays all users who are accessing resources on
    this computer.
  • The Shares button opens a new dialog box that lists all shares and
    the users accessing these shares.
  • The In Use button displays all opened resources (e.g., files) used
    by remote users on the computer.

Once you see how many users are accessing
computer resources, you can notify them of any actions you need to
take. For example, if you’re restarting the machine, make sure you
notify users so they have enough time to save their data. To do so,
select the computer, and go to Computer | Send Message in Server
Manager. Enter the message, and send it to all users who access
resources on the computer.