Tech Tips / Windows NT / Users and Groups

Messenger Service and WinPopup

As a network admin, there are times when, for whatever reason, you might need to temporarily force users off the system. It's common courtesy to let users know when you plan to do such a thing, so that no data loss occurs (and no feathers get rumpled). Messenger Service and WinPopup (for Windows NT and Windows 9x, respectively), provide the functionality for such notification. To use them in a mixed workstation network, you'll need to configure a couple of things.

Windows NT Workstation and Windows NT Server receive popup messages through the Messenger Service. You can start the Messenger Service via Control Panel | Services. Set the service for Automatic Startup and start the service.

To enable Windows 95 clients to receive messages sent from Windows NT, make sure that the Windows 95 version of Winpopup.exe is installed on the client. If it's not, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to Control Panel and double-click Add/Remove Programs.
  2. On the Windows Setup tab click Accessories | Details.
  3. Enable the WinPopup check box and click OK.

Now, to send popup messages to Windows NT and other network clients, use the NET SEND command from the MS-DOS Command Prompt in Windows NT as follows: net send <computer_name> "<message>"

There! That's all it takes to inform your users when a certain administrative task will inconvenience them.

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