EMCO Remote Shutdown - Getting Started

This tutorial can be helpful for everyone who wants to get a closer look at the EMCO Remote Shutdown. It will give you a quick overview of the application, its basic features and also show how they can be used in the real-life situations. After reading this tutorial you will know what EMCO Remote Shutdown can do and how to use it.

Table of Contents


First of all, let's clarify two main questions: how EMCO Remote Shutdown can help you and when it can be used? This application allows you to manage state of one or multiple PCs at once to shutdown, wake up, reboot them, etc. You can change a state of every particular desktop and all together PCs in the local network manually and automatically according with a defined schedule. Using EMCO Remote Shutdown you can easily manage remote PC just directly from your workplace or automate entire power management.

EMCO Remote Shutdown is successfully used by wide range of companies and organizations to address their needs. For example, IT staff at schools, universities and public libraries easily manage access to thousands desktops remotely by locking and unlocking them when required and according with schedule. Another good example is an automatic daily wake up and shutdown procedure used by companies and organizations to save energy costs. This tutorial will show you how to setup and use EMCO Remote Shutdown in your environment.

Application at a Glance

It's supposed that you successfully downloaded and installed EMCO Remote Shutdown. When you launch it for the first time, you can see the Trial dialog that prompts to start evaluation or enter an ordered license. Click on the Evaluate button in order to start 30-days evaluation period. You will pass on to the main application screen.

At the top of the main screen you can find the Ribbon bar that provides an access to main application actions. It consists of two pages, so you can switch between them to get an access to different groups of actions.

Pic 1. The main application screen

The application is designed to work in the network environment and operate with remote PCs. Hierarchical network structure is represented by the Network Browser pane located on the left side of the main screen. It shows available domains, workgroups, organization units and PCs. If you need to simplify management of PCs that belong to different organization units or workgroups/domains, you can put them into custom groups using the Custom Grouping pane. It allows you to regroup PCs according with your needs and launch group operations with a single click. At the left bottom side of the main screen you can switch between the Machine Tree page, that displays the network structure, and the Alternate Credentials page, used to setup different credentials to access different network groups and PCs.

All remote tasks are represented on the Scheduling area. It displays past and future tasks, according with their execution date and time. You can switch between dates using the Date Navigator pane, located on the right side. Also you can scale and zoom presentation of the Scheduling area to display daily, weekly, monthly views and timeline using toolbar, which is a part of the application's status bar.

You can select tasks on the Scheduling area in order to manage them or move to another date and time. When you select a task, you can see a list of PCs, where it will be executed, in the Machine Queue pane. If required, you can add or remove PCs using correspondent actions available on the pane's toolbar. Detailed information about selected task is available on the Task Details pane. There you can see task options and its execution statistics. If you need the information about all executed tasks and network operations, you can find it on the Application Log view. In case of any errors you need to check the Application Log, because it contains important troubleshooting information.

Network Enumeration

Remote Shutdown is a network application, which operates with network PCs, so at the first step it requires to collect information about your network. The Network Enumeration Wizard helps you to initialize the Network Browser with the information extracted from your network environment. Click on the Enumeration Wizard button, located on the Ribbon bar, to launch the wizard and proceed to the next step. The wizard allows you to automatically scan entire network and display network structure in the Network Browser pane or fill it manually by adding PCs by IP addresses, or names. It's preferred to make an automatic scan, so select Scan Network (Recommended) option and proceed to the next step. Finally, you can choose to enumerate all workgroups and domains or only selected ones. Choose Enumerate All option and press Finish button to start automatic scanning process.

Pic 2. Network enumeration wizard
Pic 3. Remote access authentication
Pic 4. Network enumerating results
Pic 5. Alternate credentials configuration

In order to manage remote PCs you need to have an administrative access to them. By default, application uses credentials of your system account, under which Remote Shutdown is launched. If this account doesn't have an administrative access to scan a particular domain or workgroup, you will be prompted to use another account. You can use option to remember entered username and password in order to apply them automatically every time when you access this domain or workgroup.

When network enumeration is finished, you will see hierarchical network structure in the Network Browser pane. It represents your entire network structure, including detected domains, workgroups, organization units and PCs. In order to ensure that enumeration was completed successfully and you are able to manage detected PCs, you have to check the Application Log.

If you see errors in the Application Log, you need to check error details to find troubleshooting instructions. You can't manage PCs that reported errors, so you need to follow provided instructions to resolve problems. One of the most frequent cases is an absence of administrative access to remote PC: your credentials allow domain or workgroup scanning, but they don't provide an administrative access to remote PC. In this case you need to switch to the Alternate Credentials page and specify administrative credentials for selected PC.

Custom Network Groups Management

Network information, displayed by the Network Browser pane represents your real network environment. For example, if you have organization units in domain, you can see them in the Network Browser pane. It simplifies management of PC groups, because you can select group and execute remote operation on all PCs that belong to this group. But what if you need to manage a set of PCs that belong to different organization units, groups or domains? Remote Shutdown allows you to organize custom groups using the Custom Grouping pane.

If you need to create a custom group, just select required PCs in the Network Browser and drag and drop them into the Custom Grouping pane. Alternatively, you can click on the Add to Custom Grouping button located on the Ribbon bar to open the correspondent dialog. Using the Add to Custom Grouping dialog you can enter the name of new group and select PCs to be included into the group. If you check group in the Network Browser, all its child PCs will be added to the custom group.

Pic 6. Custom group creation
Pic 7. Custom group usage

When you created custom groups, you can use them to execute remote operations. In general, they work similarly to groups in the Network Browser, so you can get an access to the same actions from the context menu.

Remote Task Configuration

Once the network information is collected, you can start creating tasks. For example, in order to create a scheduled shutdown task, click on the Shutdown item on the Ribbon and select New Scheduled Shutdown Task... It will open the dialog that is organized as a wizard, where you have to define a task configuration. You can click on the Finish button on any step to skip following configuration steps and accept default settings.

At the first step you have to enter required task name and optional comment and description. Also you need to define a task start configuration, including date, time and optional recurrence conditions. The application supports recurrent and non-recurrent tasks. Non-recurrent tasks are executed once at the date and time, specified in the correspondent task configuration fields. Recurrent tasks are executed in the defined time periods according with recurrence pattern. To configure recurrent task click on the Recurrence... button and proceed to the correspondent dialog. It offers a wide range of options, so you can execute task daily, weekly, monthly, yearly with different recurrence conditions.

Pic 8. Remote task configuration
Pic 9. Task recurrence options
Pic 10. Target PCs selection
Pic 11. Task execution options

At the second step you need to select PCs where remote operation will be executed. You can select required PCs using the Network Browser pane, located on the left side of the dialog and using the Custom Grouping pane, located on the right. All selected PCs will be added into the task's Machine Queue.

Finally, on the third step you have to configure task execution options. A particular set of available options depends on the selected operation type and may include a timeout period for task execution, notification message, ability to cancel operation on the remote side, etc.

When task configuration is completed, you can press Finish button to add it into the schedule. It will be executed according with defined start conditions.

Schedule Management

When you create a new task, it appears on the Scheduling area. This area displays all tasks in scope of selected time range. By default the Scheduling area shows all tasks for the selected day. You can switch to another day, using the Date Navigator pane, located on the right side. If you need to see tasks in a wider time range, for example, in week or month, you can use toolbar, which is a part of the application's status bar.

You can get information about scheduled tasks and manage them directly on the Scheduling area. Past tasks are also represented there, so you can access them if you select past date in the Date Navigator. When you select a task, you can see its information on the tooltip and its settings on the Task Details pane. Also you can manage a list of PCs, where task will be executed, directly on the Machine Queue pane with no needs to re-create task again.

Pic 12. Information about scheduled task
Pic 13. Scheduled task management

In order to change start conditions, you can drag and drop selected task to another day and time in the Scheduling area. If you need to edit task's settings, delete it or run it now, you can use correspondent options, available from the context menu.

Executing and Terminating Task

All tasks are executed automatically according with the schedule. As soon as date, time and other start conditions, defined for the task, are reached, the application launches the correspondent remote operation. In order to optimize execution time, remote PCs from the task's Machine Queue are contacted in parallel to run the operation. You can see progress of task execution on the Task Management view.

Tasks on the Task Management view are represented hierarchically, so you can see the progress of overall task execution, as well as the progress for every PC. You can not only check the current execution state, but also can terminate task, using buttons, located on the right side of progress bars. Hierarchical presentation allows you to terminate an execution on a particular PC or terminate execution on entire domain or network with just a single click.

When you terminate task using Task Management options, you are not able to stop operations on PCs if the execution was already started. For example, if on some PCs shutdown was initiated and countdown timer was started, shutdown operation will be launched after the countdown, even if you terminate task for all PCs. In other words, termination prevents execution only on those PCs, where operation isn't started yet. If you need to cancel operation even if it was already initiated on remote PCs, you need to use an Abort command, available for every task from the context menu.

Pic 14. Task execution progress
Pic 15. Aborting operation
Pic 16. Notification screen on the remote desktop
Pic 17. Task execution results

If during the task's configuration you enabled an option to allow operation's cancellation on the remote side, remote users will see a dialog window that allows pressing the button and canceling the operation. This feature allows you to schedule, for example, a regular shutdown on the defined time to switch off unused PCs and let users to continue their work, if required.

When task execution is completed, you can select it on the Scheduling area and open Task Execution Results view to get a detailed report. It provides you with the information about execution status for every PC, execution time and message in case of error. Using this information you can control tasks execution and make a troubleshooting.

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