I find myself rebooting servers in remote locations from time to time. The standard procedure for checking to see whether or not the server is up is by doing a continuous ping. Once the ping starts timing out, you know the server has gone completely down. Once it starts responding, you know it's back up. Well, you know that the NIC is back online, which means the OS is online on some level. However, most of the time, the first thing I want to do when it comes back up is connect to the server via RDP. Most of the time, if you start trying to connect via RDP as soon as the server starts responding to pings, the RDP daemon isn't up and running yet. So you'll get a bunch of timeouts until a minute or two later when it finally comes online. So, I've wanted a way to check to see that the RDP daemon is up and running before trying to connect.
Now I have a way. There is a great little utility called tcping.exe that does what ping does, except it does it for TCP ports instead of just checking the IP address. However, in order to not have to set things up every time and also to automatically kick off the RDP session, I've put together a batch file. This can be run either from a shortcut (tip, for Windows 7 users put it in the All Programs folder and you can run it from the start menu just by typing "rdping") or it can be run from the command line with the name or IP address as the only argument of the batch file.