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Help the Help Desk login script

Help the Help Desk login script

The Help the Help Desk script enables organizations to proactively scan their network to discover all Windows based hardware and the software packages installed on those devices.

This WMI-based script is included in the core ServiceNow platform functionality. This script also can be set up to run as a Windows login script and used to keep the CMDB up to date. The script is named helpthehelpdesk.js and can be downloaded from each customer's local instance.

Install and use the login script

The login script is installed on the instance and can be downloaded directly from a module.

Before you begin

Role required: admin

About this task

The same script is used to perform the Help the Help Desk scan, which gathers information about a user's Windows computer and updates the CMDB.

Procedure

  1. Log in to your instance with Windows Internet Explorer.
  2. Navigate to System Definition > Help the Help Desk Login Script.
  3. Follow the download instructions in the page that appears.
  4. Put the helpthehelpdesk.js file in the following folder: %SystemRoot%\sysvol\sysvol\<domain DNS name>\scripts where %SystemRoot% is usually c:\winnt or c:\WINDOWS and <domain DNS name> is the DNS name of the domain, similar to MyDomain.com.
    This folder is replicated to all domain controllers in the domain.
  5. Open the helpthehelpdesk.js file in a text editor, such as Wordpad.
  6. Check the var server line to ensure that the URL for your ServiceNow instance is correct.
    The name of the instance is added automatically. It should look something like this:

    var server = "https://abctech.service-now.com/";

    Login script example
  7. Ensure that basic authorization for SOAP requests is enabled in your instance, and a SOAP user is defined.
    This allows the script to connect to your instance. The entry should look something like this:
        var httpUsername = "user_on_your_instance"; 
        var httpPassword = "user's_password"; 
  8. Create a Logon.bat script to run helpthehelpdesk.js as follows.
        @echo off 
        cscript %0\..\helpthehelpdesk.js 
        EXIT 
  9. Add Logon.bat to the Logon script field on the Profile tab of the user properties dialog in the Active Directory Users and Computers MMC corresponds to the scriptPath attribute of the user object.
    Logon scripts can also be configured in Group Policy. However, Group Policy only applies to clients with Windows 2000 or above. The setting in Group Policy is User Configuration, Windows Settings, Scripts (Logon/Logoff), Logon. Copy the file you want for the Logon script to the Windows clipboard.
  10. Open the Logon setting in the Group Policy editor.
  11. Click the Show Files button.
  12. Paste the desired file in the dialog.
    You can select the file and edit it in this dialog as well. This is easier than navigating in Windows Explorer to the folder where Group Policy Logon scripts are saved. However, if you do have to navigate to the folder, the path on the domain controller is:

    %SystemRoot%\sysvol\sysvol\<domain DNS name>\<policy GUID>\user\scripts\logon

    Again, %SystemRoot% is usually c:\winnt and <domain DNS name> is the DNS name of the domain, similar to MyDomain.com.

    <policy GUID> is a hexadecimal string representing the GUID (unique identifier) of the specific Group Policy Object (GPO). Group Policies are assigned to a domain, site, or organizational unit in Active Directory.

    The logon script setting applies to all users in the domain, site, or organizational unit to which the GPO applies. You will notice that you assign a logon script to all users in the container at once, rather than having to assign the scriptPath attribute for each user. This makes it much easier to assign logon scripts to many users. However, since the same Group Policy applies to all users in the domain, site, or organizational unit, you must code the logon script to accommodate all users.

Encode the Help the Help Desk password

You can use the Help the Help Desk properties to encode the password with simple base64 encoding.

Before you begin

Role required: admin

About this task

Configure the user name and encode the password in the properties before downloading the script. This adds the encoded password directly to the script without any further configuration.

Procedure

  1. Navigate to System Definition > Help the Help Desk.
  2. Enter a user name and password into the properties for SOAP authentication.
  3. Click Save.
    Help the help desk authentication password
    The password is encoded immediately.
  4. Navigate to System Definition > Help the Help Desk Login Script
  5. Download the script.
    Login script example
    The script downloads with the encoded password in place. If you download the script before encoding the password in the properties form, you must add the variable and encoded password manually.

Run the Help the Help Desk script

You can run the Help the Help Desk script manually.

About this task

You also can configure Help the Help Desk to run automatically when users log into their computer. For more details, see Help the Help Desk login script .

Procedure

  1. On your instance, navigate to Self Service > Help the Help Desk.
  2. Click Start the Scan to Help the Help Desk.
    You are prompted to run or save the discovery.hta script.
  3. Run or save the discovery.hta script.
    • If your browser is Windows Internet Explorer, run the script.
    • If you are using any other browser, click Save and save the script to the local machine. To execute the saved script, double-click the file.
    The script runs a series of WMI queries to gather information about the Windows machine. When it is finished, the data is sent back to your instance and is used to populate the configuration database (CMDB).
The error message Error: Unable to parse SOAP document means that the Help the Help Desk script was unable to connect to the instance to relay the information that was discovered.

Run the discovery.hta script with browsers other than Internet Explorer

You can run the discovery.hta script with browsers other than Internet Explorer.

About this task

Browsers other than IE cannot handle files with the .hta extension. Browsers like Firefox, Safari, and Opera prompt users to download the script file, which you can then double-click to run.

However, in Windows XP (including Vista, Windows 2003 Server, and later), files downloaded from the Internet are marked with a security restriction that interferes with running the script. The typical error message introduced by this security restriction looks like this:

eccEvent(): Access Denied

To remove the security lock on the downloaded file, complete the following steps.

Procedure

  1. Right-click on the downloaded file and select Properties.
    The following message is displayed on the bottom of the form:
    This file came from another computer and may be blocked to protect this computer.
  2. Click Unblock to remove the security restriction.
    The script will run if SOAP authentication is disabled.

Access Help the Help Desk status

Help the Help Desk displays the status of all scans in daily records. Drill down into a record for details on how the CMDB was updated within the last 24 hours from scans performed on the instance.

Before you begin

Role required: admin

Procedure

  1. Navigate to System Definition > Help the Help Desk Status.
    A new status record is created each day and displays the number of scans completed (devices scanned). The Description field shows Help the help desk as the source of the scan.
    Help the help desk status
  2. To view the details of individual scans, open a scan record.
  3. In the scan record, select the Devices tab to view all the devices scanned by Help the Help Desk that day.
    Each CI displays the device class and the activity completed: Created CI or Updated CI. By default, Help the Help Desk cannot discriminate class between servers and workstations and classifies each CI as a Computer. However, if Discovery is activated on the instance, Help the Help Desk can classify CIs as either Windows servers or computers.
    Help the help desk devices
  4. Select the ECC Queue tab to examine the data payload returned from each scan.

Result

If Discovery is active on the instance, the Help the Help Desk status appears in the Discovery Status record list. These scan records are described as Help the help desk in the list to differentiate them from regular discoveries run from a schedule or a UI action. Open the status record to access the forms described in this page.

Discovery status list

Determine values for the Assigned to field

This page explains how to set properties to determine which value appears in the Assigned to field when the script is run.

Before you begin

Role required: admin

Any user name that contains the \n characters prevents the Assigned to field on a computer from being populated.

Procedure

Navigate to System Definition > Help the Help Desk.
OptionDescription
glide.wmi.assigned_to_always_overwrite If the Help the Help Desk script is run on the same computer by different users, the platform overwrites the user name in the Assigned to field each time the script is run.

To prevent this, set the For Help the Help Desk script, if the property is "yes", the "assigned_to" field of the CI is always overwritten; otherwise the field is not overwritten unless it is empty [glide.wmi.assigned_to_always_overwrite] property to false (clear the check box).

glide.discovery.assigned_user_match_field Help the Help Desk attempts to match a Windows user name it finds with the the user_name field of the User [sys_user] table. However, this might not be desirable if the user_name field from the User [sys_user] table contains formatting that is different from that found in Windows.

The For Discovery and Help the Help Desk, the following field in the sys_user table is used to associate a computer CI with a user [glide.discovery.assigned_user_match_field] property enables you to select an alternative field for matching. For example, you can create a field called u_username, and then populate it with a user ID that can be matched against the Windows user name. In this case, replace the default value in the property with u_username.

View scan results

You can view the results of Help the Help Desk scans on an instance.

Before you begin

Role required: admin

About this task

These records provide access to logs, CI records, and the ECC Queue for all scans conducted each day. Help the Help Desk status reports are also accessible from the Discovery list.

Procedure

  1. Navigate to System Definition > Help the Help Desk Status.
  2. Open the daily status record.