Getting Users to Reboot Their Machines w/ Automated Encouragement

“Did you try restarting your computer? …” is undoubtedly the most common question asked by IT to users.  And perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of user issues get resolved by completing this simple task.  Before most computers had SSDs, this wasn’t a task most users wanted to do for the simple reason that it took several minutes to close all running applications, reboot, get back to the login screen, and then fully load the OS.  Thankfully, most laptops now have SSDs and so this task is significantly faster – 10 to 30 seconds total at most.  And yet we still struggle to get our users to reboot.

Rather than wait for the Helpdesk tickets and phone calls to come in, we’ve taken a more proactive approach to encourage our users to reboot their computers themselves.

There are 4 things that make this work:

  1. An extension attribute to collect the last time a machine has rebooted
  2. A smart group to collect all computers that haven’t been rebooted after the desired amount of time
  3. A script that presents the desired notification using jamfHelper
  4. A policy that presents the notification to the user

Whether or not you’re looking to have your users reboot on their own, this same structure can be applied to other notifications you may want to present to your users.  As an example, we use a similar structure to inform our teachers and administrators when their internal storage has less than 25% free space, as well as less than 10%.

See below the jump for more details.

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Synology NAS RMA & Drive Swap Process

Two years ago, I invested in the Synology 1815+ (8-bay) NAS to serve as my digital media library, primary computer backup, and some of my Docker container testing.  Sadly, over the winter holiday after a brief loss of heat in my apartment it died unexpectedly.  RIP.

Thankfully I was able to get the unit replaced fairly quickly and seamlessly transfer my drives from my old 1815+ system to the new one without any data, setting, or configuration loss.

I also bought 2 x 6TB Western Digital Reds to replace two of my existing 3TB Reds and migrating those drives was also pretty painless.

See below the jump for an overview of this process.

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