PsExec is part of a growing kit of Sysinternals command-line tools that aid in the adminstration of local and remote systems named PsTools.
Utilities like Telnet and remote control programs like Symantec’s PC Anywhere let you execute programs on remote systems, but they can be a pain to set up and require that you install client software on the remote systems that you wish to access. PsExec is a light-weight telnet-replacement that lets you execute processes on other systems, complete with full interactivity for console applications, without having to manually install client software. PsExec’s most powerful uses include launching interactive command-prompts on remote systems and remote-enabling tools like IpConfig that otherwise do not have the ability to show information about remote systems.
Note: some anti-virus scanners report that one or more of the tools are infected with a «remote admin» virus. None of the PsTools contain viruses, but they have been used by viruses, which is why they trigger virus notifications.
This article I wrote describes how PsExec works and gives tips on how to use it:
The following command launches an interactive command prompt on \\marklap:
psexec \\marklap cmd
This command executes IpConfig on the remote system with the /all switch, and displays the resulting output locally:
psexec \\marklap ipconfig /all
This command copies the program test.exe to the remote system and executes it interactively:
psexec \\marklap -c test.exe
Specify the full path to a program that is already installed on a remote system if its not on the system’s path:
psexec \\marklap c:\bin\test.exe
Run Regedit interactively in the System account to view the contents of the SAM and SECURITY keys::
psexec -i -d -s c:\windows\regedit.exe
To run Internet Explorer as with limited-user privileges use this command:
psexec -l -d "c:\program files\internet explorer\iexplore.exe"