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Auto update client computer files

By maxwell edison ·
I want to write a Windows script or batch file, or something similar, to include in the boot-up process on all my client computers. I want to automatically update various files (particular files) on each client machine upon boot-up whenever the master files, which reside on a server, are changed. I suppose to be more accurate, I want the client files updated whenever they are different from the master files. I save these master files on a server, change them on occasion, and currently have to update each client computer manually and individually. Moreover, a user might change these files on his own (the ones on his computer, not the master), even though that's a major no-no. So I want my master files to rule, regardless of the date that might appear on the user's files. However, I don't want to simply overwrite the files upon every boot-up, as there are hundreds, maybe even over a thousand files. So I want to overwrite only the user files that are different than the master files.

I'm just starting to look into writing a script or batch file for this, but does anyone have some proven code or, perhaps, another idea to accomplish the same thing? (Windows 2000 Professional and Server, by the way.)


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by maxwell edison In reply to Auto update client comput ...

Point value changed by question poster.

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by Chris910 In reply to Auto update client comput ...

Look into a product called Deep Freeze

I dont think this will get you all of the way to your goal but it may get you part of the way there.

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by maxwell edison In reply to

Thanks for the suggestion. I was looking for some free code, but your suggestion looks like something that could come in handy some day.

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by darts32 In reply to Auto update client comput ...

File Replication of data between servers and workstations. Can try here.

For some free options (Robocopy) from the Microsoft resource kit try here.

Some other options found here:

Hope this helps.

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by maxwell edison In reply to

Thanks for the suggestion and the links. Yes indeed, Robocopy might be the ticket.

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by DarinR In reply to Auto update client comput ...

It sounds like you're trying to accomplish what Microsoft is now doing with Windows XP and the .dlls and systems files. They have a setup so that even if the user deletes the file it automatically gets re-written. There was also some discussion via their discussion groups of automating this application to not only check itself but to check a central repository, either before it logs off or when a login occurs. The plan was to have a master copy in a repository that was updateable from administration yet to the end user it was transparent even if they messed with the file deliberately or accidentally. There was mention of several other respository products that do something similiar, but I have no exp with these.try querying knowledge base on these various topics.

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by maxwell edison In reply to

Thanks for the comments. Something good about XP????

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by Joseph Moore In reply to Auto update client comput ...

Howdy Max.
I looked at the options for ROBOCOPY.EXE from the Resource Kit. There was this line in the help for it:

/XC | /XN | /XO : eXclude Changed | Newer | Older files.

So, you could set up a BAT file using ROBOCOPY, and have it exclude Older files (/XO switch). I haven't tested this one yet, but it might do what you want it to do.
When a file changes in the source directory, in theory this switch would then allow the new file to be copied to the destination, while not copying the older unchanged files.

What do you think?

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by maxwell edison In reply to

Joseph, Thanks for the suggestion. By the way, do you have a minute for a VPN question? Send me an email at if you do. I had something rather interesting happen, and you just may know the solution. If not, you'd be interested in hearing about it. (If you have a solution, I'll pay you a bunch of points for your trouble :~)........)

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by voldar In reply to Auto update client comput ...

Hello Max,

Here what I sugest you:
use a bat file in a GPO policy, at the machine level, that will create each time a user starts his computer or restart it, the file will be copied over the existing one on the client computer.
I had also implemented this, and I used a .bat file containing the following line:
copy \\server\retea\test.doc "%userprofile%"\desktop
or wherever you want to copy the file (in my case was on the desktop).

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