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Remote PC

Remote PC

Remote PC

I have PC anywhere and use that to re-start a PC remotely, but sometimes the PC gets frozen and I have no way to restart the PC.

I am searching for another way to re-start the PC (a soft not a hard-restart). Is there any way this can be accomplished?

Many Thanks

RE: Remote PC

Not without manual intervention. If comms has not been established, there is no way of doing anything to it.

Having said that, what kind of PC is it?  If it is something like a DL360, you may be able to do something with the ILO.  It is not an area I'm familiar with but our sys admin do things with it that cause the machine to reboot.

RE: Remote PC

Watchdog timer card?

"It's the questions that drive us"

RE: Remote PC

Here's a thought.

Not knowing what the application of the PC is, you could get one of those cheap little 24 hour timers and have it "on" most of the time and "off" as short as possible.

If your PC will wake from a power up cleanly and your application will start from a power interruption o.k. then you will have a chance to have your PC come up tomorrow. This is, of course, a "hard" reset.....

Failing that, analogkid2digitalman's suggestion of a watch dog timer might be in order.

It is really tough to have a "soft" reset with a frozen machine.  If this is a quality of service issue with the application, I strongly suggest a 'nix type of operating system which I have found will run hundreds of days a time without requiring a reboot.  I personally use linux, but I'm sure that FreeBSD, BSD or one of the other 'nix variants will all be about the same.  In the 'nix world, many daemons can be sent a signal which will restart a particular application or daemon without resorting to rebooting the entire system. Mailers, web servers and remote procedure daemons are three that come immediately to mind.  With a little thought, even a local system can "watch itself" and restart a part of an application.  It might take a bit of thought to have it accomplish it.

Following up on that theme, if it is a mission critical operation that you are dealing with, then redunant systems can watch each other and "take over" the application with what has been called a "switch over" group of systems.  One machine or system sends a message to the other system on a regular basis. Failure of a response from the other (usually active) system will cause the backup machine to assume control of the application.  Finally, there are "shared" resource systems where mulitple systems serve the same application and if one system of the many goes down then there is only a partial degradation of service.

I used to think that it was a 50/50 mix of hardware/software that would cause a downed application with consumer off the shelf (COTS) systems, but have found in general, either the application program or the underlying system that it's based upon, is more often at fault for application loss.  With this in mind, it is fairly inexpensive to have multiple COTS systems performing redundant or fail safe operations.

Please note (if you haven't already figured it out) that I am somewhat biased..........


   Rich S.

RE: Remote PC

I have a computer system as part of my security system that runs a video capture card and ftps images to a web site.. and have a similar requirement to yours. Here is what I did.

First of all you mention you want a soft restart... by definition that would have to be the situation where a particular application is hung up e.g. the PC Anywhere.. and not the Windows Operating system..

What I have done for this case is implement a deadman timer application using the Windows Task Scheduler to kill the locked up app and restart it after a certain period of time.. You will have to figure out your own triggers to do this.

In my case, each time a captured photo is ftp'd to the web site (every 4 minutes), it increments a counter.  I have the task scheduler app trigger after the ftp should have occured.. If the counter has not incremented in the prior 4 minute period, I kill the app and restart it.  

To do the above, you need a rock solid program that is guaranteed to cleanly kill the app, like IARSN's TaskInfo program. Many programs I've tried will leave threads of the offending parent app active and the program will not restart cleanly unless all the associated threads of the hung app have been forced down.  

If after the program has been shut down and restarted, (a second software switch is set to indicate a restart occurred in the prior 4 minute period) and it still won't run right (indicated by the ftp count still not incrementing), the same deadman timer program will do a reboot of the computer.. (using the restart function in the IARSN TaskInfo program). Highly recommend any similar deadman monitor program you implement log all its activities. Otherwise, it can be difficult to confirm it is working correctly.

None of the above will work if the operating system has hung up, which you need to expect will happen and have yet another alternative method to restart the system.

I suggest one of the following two ways, both using products from http://www.controlbyweb.com/products.html  to do this..

One method (which I use) is the WEBRELAY QUAD IP controller. I have it on my IP network and have one of the IP relays energize a normally closed AC relay that momentarily cuts power to the computer for 10 seconds and then reapplies power to restart the computer.  

The WebRelay Quad generates its own secure webpage, which I can log into and reboot the computer or, do other security related functions. I take cross country road trips and like to check into the security web site a couple times a day to check things at home.. Really cool to be able to reboot a hung computer from several thousand miles away.. :<)

The other product from the above source would be the WEBSOURCE controller. It pings the computer in question and, if it doesn't respond, it will drop power to the computer and restart it..

Obviously your operating has to be able to restart cleanly after a drop of power on the computer. Windows 2000 does this flawlessly for me.. XP ought to also..

Here is a link to the IARSN Taskinfo application mentioned above. I've used this software for over a decade and for what it does, it is absolutely the best implementation I've ever seen..  http://www.iarsn.com/taskinfo.html

RE: Remote PC

Is it the PC or the "PC Anywhere" software which is causing the freeze problem?

I've been using "LogMeIn" to do this (successfully) for the last few weeks.


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