Controllers Pane

The Controllers Pane is an advanced management interface which allows systems administrators to handle multiple computers in parallel while being able to compare and manage Windows registry, services, file system, and installed software. If you need to investigate an irregularity or a misconfiguration, you will find that Controllers offer a unique aggregated view of your computers and allow you to manage many computers with the ease of managing a single one. The following Controllers are available:

  • Registry Controller – for comparing and managing the Windows Registry on multiple computers or user sessions simultaneously. For a usage example, see this demo video.
  • Services Controller – for comparing and managing the Windows Services on multiple computers simultaneously. For a usage example, see this article or this demo video.
  • File System Controller – for comparing and managing files and folders from the perspective of multiple managed computers or user sessions simultaneously.
  • Programs and Updates Controller – for comparing installed programs on multiple computers.
  • Shares Controller – for comparing and managing files on shared folders in your enterprise (not necessarily on computers already managed by ControlUp).

Registry Controller and Programs and Updates Controller may reference either computers or user sessions, depending on your selection in the Controllers tree on the left. Both of these types of instances are called Targets. Services Controller and File System Controller only reference computers (since user sessions do not have their own Services or File System) and Shares Controller references UNC paths on file servers in your organization.

Exporting Results from the Controllers Pane

The Export to Excel button located on the Home ribbon of the Controllers pane enables you to export the comparison results into an XLSX file. Only the rightmost Results is exported.

Controllers Lists

Controllers allow you to save lists of managed computers for future reuse. User session lists cannot be saved since they are temporary and volatile. For example, you might save a list of file servers which you frequently check for irregularities or differences. These lists are managed using the “Manage Lists” button:

Services Controller

The Services Controller is an advanced utility that enables controlling Windows services on a remote computer or on multiple computers simultaneously. If you select multiple computers and launch the Services Controller, you will be presented with an aggregated view of the services from all of the selected computers.

The system services can then be browsed in a way similar to the standard Windows Services console. In order to emphasize the differences between the services configurations of different computers or users, the Services Controller uses the following color coded icons:

In the Comparison Charts area on the right side of the Services Controller you can view the details of the differences listed above, for example the state of the selected services on the target computers.

Adding operation targets

You can add targets to the ControlUp Services Controller by using the “Add Target” button in the menu bar. You can only add computers that are currently connected to ControlUp.

Removing operation targets

In order to remove a computer from the Controller view, right-click the computer in the “Computers” panel and select “Remove”.

Search Services

Services Controller allows searching the selected computer(s) for services with a specified name by using the Search button in the toolbar.

Services Actions

The Services Controller allow you to start, stop and modify Windows Services just like you would using the Services MMC snap-in.

If you select a service in the rightmost grid of the controller, your action will affect a single service instance on one computer. If you select a service in the middle panel, the action will ask you which of the computers you would like to be affected. The following management actions are available by right-clicking a service or by using the Actions button on the Ribbon Bar:

Start Service

Starts the selected service(s) on the target computer(s).

Stop Service

Stops the selected service(s) on the target computer(s).

Pause Service

Pauses the selected service(s) on the target computer(s).

Edit Service Properties

Enables batch modification of service(s) properties on the target computers. Using this action, you can modify the start type and logon information for a service or multiple services at once on multiple computers.

Registry Controller

The Registry Controller is an advanced utility that enables viewing and editing the registry on multiple computers simultaneously. If you select multiple computers and launch the Registry Controller, you will be presented with an aggregated view of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE hives from all of the selected computers.

If you select multiple user sessions and launch the Registry Controller, you will be presented with an aggregated view of the HKEY_CURRENT_USER hives from all of the selected sessions.

The registry tree can then be browsed in a way similar to the standard Windows Registry Editor. In order to emphasize the differences between the registry configurations of different computers or users, the Registry Controller uses the following color coded icons:

In the Comparison Charts area on the right side of the Registry Controller you can view the details of the differences listed above, for example the data of the same registry value on different computers.

Adding targets

You can add targets to the ControlUp Registry Controller by using the “Add Target” button in the menu bar. The “Add Target” wizard will guide you through the process of adding computer or user hives to the Controller.

The Registry Controller is capable of managing the following targets:

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE hives of the computers connected in ControlUp console

2. User Profiles currently loaded on the computers connected in ControlUp console

Note: Only targets of the same kind can be added to the Controller simultaneously. In other words, user hives cannot be compared to computer hives.

Removing operation targets

In order to remove a hive from the Controller view, right-click the computer/user in the “Computers” or “Users” panel and select “Remove”.

Search Registry

With ControlUp’s Registry Controller you can search the registry on selected computer/user hives using configured search pattern. Expand the Targets pane to select individual targets for this operation.

Registry Actions

The Registry Controller allow you to manipulate the Windows Registry just like you would using Windows Registry Editor (regedit.exe).

If you select a registry value or a key in the rightmost grid of the controller, your action will affect a single target’s registry. If you select a service in the middle panel, the action will ask you which of the targets you would like to be affected. The following management actions are available by right-clicking a registry key or value or by using the Actions button on the Ribbon Bar:

Create Key

Creates a key with the specified name in the selected computer/user hives. Expand the Targets pane to select individual targets for this operation.

Delete Key

Deletes the selected key in the selected computer/user hives. Expand the Targets pane to select individual targets for this operation.

Rename Key

Renames the selected key in the selected computer/user hives. Expand the Targets pane to select individual targets for this operation.

Copy/Move Key

Copies or moves a key within the selected computer/user hives. For example, you can copy the SoftwarePolicies key to SoftwarePolicies_old in order to create a backup of this key. Copying keys and values between computers is supported using the Distribute action (see below). Expand the Targets pane to select individual targets for this operation.

Distribute

Copies or moves a key within between computer/user hives. You can copy a key from one computer to another or to multiple computers, or from a single user’s hive to one or more other users’ hives. Expand the Targets pane to select the source and target/s for this operation.

Create Value

Creates a value with specified type, name and data on the selected computer/user hives. Expand the Targets pane to select individual targets for this operation.

Delete Value

Deletes the selected value in the selected computer/user hives. Expand the Targets pane to select individual targets for this operation.

Rename Value

Renames the selected value to the configured name in the selected computer/user hives. Expand the Targets pane to select individual targets for this operation.

Modify Value Data

Modifies the selected value’s type and name in the selected computer/user hives, while overwriting all existing data in the selected value. Expand the Targets pane to select individual targets for this operation.

File System Controller

The File System Controller is an advanced utility that enables viewing and manipulating the local file system on a remote computer or on multiple computers simultaneously.

If you select multiple computers and launch the File System Controller, you will be presented with an aggregated view of the local fixed drives from all of the selected computers. Network drives and removable media are not displayed.

The file system tree can then be browsed in a way similar to the standard Windows Explorer. In order to emphasize the differences between the file systems of different computers, the File System Controller uses the following color coded icons:

In the rightmost grid of the File System Controller you can view the details of the differences listed above, for example information about files in the same directory on different computers.

Note: Please note that the File System Controller presumes files with same name, attributes, size and modification time are identical. You should not rely on the File System Controller to compare the contents of the files.

Adding operation targets

You can add targets to the ControlUp File System Controller by using the “Add Target” button in the command bar. The “Add Target” window will guide you through the process of adding your operation target(s).

Removing operation targets

In order to remove a computer from the Controller view, right-click the computer in the “Computers” panel and select “Remove”.

File System Controller Folder Actions

Actions available in the File System Controller allow you to manipulate files and folders using the selected computer(s). All file actions are carried out on the target computer, which means that the paths and filenames you provide must be valid ON the target computer.

All Files actions are performed using the Local System account on the target computer. This is a highly privileged account so you are unlikely to encounter a permissions issue when performing local file operations. However, make sure to provide valid domain credentials when using network (UNC) paths or network drives, since the Local System account does not have access to the network.

The following actions are available when right-clicking a folder in the “Folders” area:

Create Folder – Creates a folder in the selected path on all selected computer

Delete Folder – Deletes the selected folder and all its contents on all selected computer

Rename Folder – Renames the selected folder on all selected computers

Copy/Move Folder – Performs a local copy or move operation on the selected folder within all of the selected computers. Please note that during this operation no data is copied between computers.

Send Files Here – Copies files or folders from your management computer or a network location to the specified folder on all selected computers.

Gather – Copies the selected folders from all of the selected computers to a specified location, while prepending the folder names with source computer names.

Edit Folder Attributes – Toggles the “Hidden” folder attribute on all of the selected computers.

Permissions > Add – Adds an Access Control Entry for a specified account to the security descriptor of the folder on all selected computers.

Permissions > Revoke – Removes an Access Control Entry for a specified account from the security descriptor of the folder on all selected computers.

Permissions > Replace – Modifies Access Control Entries for the specified account in the security descriptor of the folder on all selected computers.

Permissions > Migrate – Replaces occurrences of a specified account with another account in the security descriptor of the folder on all selected computers

Set Owner – Modifies the NTFS folder ownership on all selected computers

Folder Size – Calculates the sizes of all instances of the selected folder on all selected computers.

Refresh – Reloads the aggregated directory content data for the selected folder

File System Controller File Actions

The following actions are available when right-clicking files in the “Files” area:

Delete File – Deletes the selected file(s) on all selected computers

Rename File – Renames the selected file on all selected computers

Copy/Move File – Performs a local copy or move operation on the selected file within all of the selected computers. Please note that during this operation no data is copied between computers.

Edit File Attributes – Toggles the “Archive”, “Read Only” and “Hidden” file attributes on all of the selected computers.

Gather – Copies the selected files from all of the selected computers to a specified location, while prepending the file names with source computer names.

Set Owner – Modifies the NTFS file ownership on all selected computers

Permissions > Add – Adds an Access Control Entry for a specified account to the security descriptor of the file on all selected computers.

Permissions > Revoke – Removes an Access Control Entry for a specified account from the security descriptor of the file on all selected computers.

Permissions > Replace – Modifies Access Control Entries for the specified account in the security descriptor of the file on all selected computers.

Permissions > Migrate – Replaces occurrences of a specified account with another account in the security descriptor of the file on all selected computers

Refresh – Reloads the aggregated directory content data for the selected folder

Programs and Updates Controller

The Programs and Updates Controller is an advanced utility that enables viewing a list of installed software and updates on multiple computers simultaneously. If you select multiple computers and launch the Programs and Updates Controller, you will be presented with an aggregated view of the software packages and updates from all of the selected computers.

Installed programs and updates can be browsed in a way similar to the standard Windows “Programs and Features” or “Add/Remove Programs” control panel applet. In order to emphasize the differences between software installed for different computers or users, the Programs and Updates Controller uses the following color-coded icons:

The “Programs” folder in the middle panel includes an aggregated view of installed software, while the “Updates” folder includes updates for the Operating System and third-party components. You may use the Search button in the Ribbon Bar to search for programs and compare the results in the rightmost panel of the Controller.

Currently, the Programs and Updates Controller does not support management actions and only includes read functionality.

Shares Controller

The Shares Controller is functionally similar to the File System Controller and includes the exact same management actions. The major difference is in the fact that the Shares Controller references UNC paths (in the form of servernamesharename), while the File System Controller references local file system paths on computers managed by ControlUp. This difference influences the operation of the Shares Controller in two aspects:

  1. You can add any file system path to the Shares Controller, as long as it is accessible to you. The share paths need not be located on computers that you added to ControlUp. They can be located on any SMB-compatible file server or workstation capable of sharing folders for Windows.
  2. In the Shares Controller, all available management actions are performed by the ControlUp console, while the File System Controller performs most of the actions in the context of the managed computers.
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