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Help! I'm new to IT management

By simon ·
I'm a chemical engineer by training with a passing interest in PCs and programming. Due to cut backs I now find myself as IT manager for a small organisation of ~25.
I keep reading the articles in the hope of finding something not full of jargon &acronyms that I might understand and be useful.
I have just had a letter from Microsoft wanting to audit my company's software. Anybody know where I stand legally, do I have to respond?

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Check with legal dept.

by Malcolm R In reply to Help! I'm new to IT mana ...

Many times, those letters only appear to be from Microsoft and they actually come from a vendor partner. So, it may be possible to ignore the letter. I'd check with your legal dept first, though. It may be different where you are.


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Check with Legal dept??

by simon In reply to Check with legal dept.

Unfortunately we are a small research and production company, we don't have a legal dept.
Thanks for taking the time to reply.


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Do you know where you stand?

by houston.ross In reply to Help! I'm new to IT mana ...

When I was responsible for getting my company compliant right before the new licensing schemes from Microsoft I got those letters as well. Just like you I was then new to the position. What it made me realize is that if I did not have an answer I was in trouble. The first step is to actually find out where you stand in terms of systems/applications and corresponding licenses. Depending on the size of the company are you in a licensing program or have purchases been made one at a time. Alsofind a software vendor to work with you, even if you are buying onesy twosies they will understand licensing schemes a heck of alot better than you will and can assist you as you sort through licensing.

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new to IT

by susieb In reply to Do you know where you sta ...

I'm new to the IT administrators job too. I work for a government dept with a network of 90 computers. In my situation, the IT administrator is the person who is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the licences exist for each program loaded onto each machine. She and I manage the network. She is taking leave for a year soon so I will have the job without her. I will miss her because we work very well together and have developed half an IT brain each. We have a mandatory profile, user name and password logins and only the administrator can load programs. This makes the job of software licences very easy because we store all the disks centrally and no-one else can load or share programs. We only load programs that we have licences for. We remove the run command, control panel and network neighbourhood as a group policy. This nails down the desktop.

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New to IT

by simon In reply to new to IT

This sounds really useful, now comes the 64 million dollar question, how? Is it something I can do in house or do I have to get somone in? I'm resonably happy wandering around Win98, 2K and NT. Did you just remove the links from the desktop?

Thanks for taking the time to reply


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removing icons

by rtlinux In reply to New to IT

Removinf the icons from your systems is relativly simple. If you are employing active directory you can simply create a policy and have it applied when users log in to the network. If you are going to touch each machine all you need do is edit the registry. Here is an example:


"NoNetHood"=dword:00000001 (removes network neigborhood from the dekstop)
"NoRun"=dword:00000001 (remove the run command)

Theses work in nt/2000.

There are countless resources available simply by searching Microsoft's site or even doing a google search! In the recent past I have found Google to be an excellent resource for locating tips/tricks for modifying Windows!

Good Luck!

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Cart before the Horse

by dmacdonald In reply to New to IT

Hi Simon,

I'm a mid-range Admin, experience-wise (~5 yrs) and the first Golden rule I've learned is "Plan It...don't panic." I too have inherited a network that was reasonably maintained but the licensing was very chaotic. Having said that, this is a company that wants everything licensed legally and do not balk at the heavy costs of properly licensing a network. Your first step should be to look at License Manager on your Server(s) to see if it is being used. If so, you're halfway thereas most of your Microsoft products licenses can be managed from that console. Free information on how to use it is available from Microsoft. (& probably Techrepublic!) Keep in mind that Licensing is the #2 headache for Administrators everywhere, so don't be surprised if the road is difficult. Whether the license service is running or not, you will need to manage other licenses, and there are many options to choose from. You could make your own spreadsheet and gather all origional CD's and license agreements -(current & expired - don't throw them out yet!)- everything you can find. Then, use add/remove programs to determine, machine by machine, exactly what you have installed. Now match the 2 together to determine what you have and what you need. The expired licenses may still qualify you for and "upgrade rate" rather than full price to re-license an expired product. This whole process is very cumbersome but should be manageable considering the size of your organization. An alternative is to search the web for "license management" or similar and you will find many products designed for maintaining and even scanning machines to determine the license status of most products.
More to follow...make sense so far?

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Do you know where you stand

by simon In reply to Do you know where you sta ...

Thanks for the info, we tend to buy one at a time as new emplyees join. However I have inherited a whole lot of PCs and users. I'm creating a spreadsheet with all the PCs Operating systems and major software installed

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All by hand.

by clearsmashdrop In reply to Do you know where you sta ...

Chances are you are in situation where you will have to track all licenses by hand. Newer computers will have a microsoft sticker on the side or bottom with a reg code. That shows that PC has a license for that OS.

Download this guy, it will help you catalog what is installed on each PC.

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Your license agreement

by madroxxx In reply to Do you know where you sta ...

If you have any Microsoft Products installed your license agreement gives them the right to Audit you. Trust me it will be MUCH cheaper to actually go buy the necessary software than get caught without it. I believe the Business Software Alliance ads were stating that you can be fined something like $25,000 an instance per pirated install. If you have 10 machines that's alot of cake.

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