Mike Schaeffer's Blog

January 27, 2006

I've spent a little more time spelunking around Win32's support for power and thermal management hardware. It seems like it should be possible to use Windows API calls to determine the presence of hardware temperature sensors and sample their current readings. As it turns out, with Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), half of this is possible.

Quoting MSDN, "Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is a component of the Windows operating system that provides management information and control in an enterprise environment. Administrators can use WMI to query and set information on desktop systems, applications, networks, and other enterprise components. Developers can use WMI to create event monitoring applications that alert users when important incidents occur." Effectively, what that means is that there's a collection of COM objects that allow you to discover the hardware and software configuration of your local computer.
With DCOM, it's possible to use this over the network to discover the same stuff on a remote machine. I'm guessing the intent is that the administrator of a server farm can use WMI services to aggregate statistics on her charges.

Reading the WMI documentation, one of the classes of information WMI makes available is Win32TemperatureProbe, , which "represents the properties of a temperature sensor (electronic thermometer)." Had I read further, I would have also read the following and saved myself some time: "current implementations of WMI do not populate the CurrentReading property", but that's beside the point: this road gets more interesting before hitting that particular dead end. Doing some research on WMI and scripting led to a nice tutorial on WMI at the 4 Guys From Rolla website. From that, it was pretty easy to piece together this little piece of code that dumps data from arbitrary WMI classes:

wscript.echo "Temperature, version 0.1"

sub ShowServices(vClass)
  'Declare our needed variables...
  Dim objLocator, objService, objWEBMCol
  Dim objWEBM, objProp, propitem, objItem, str

  Set objLocator = _
  Set objService = _
     objLocator.ConnectServer() ' Connect to local PC

  Set objWEBM = objService.get(vclass) 
  Set objWEBMCol = objWEBM.Instances_ 
  Set objProp = objWebm.properties_ 

  For Each propItem in objProp
    str = propItem.Name

    For Each objItem in objWEBMCol 
       str = str & ", " & Eval("objItem." & propItem.Name)

    wscript.echo str
end sub

ShowServices "Win32_TemperatureProbe"

Dump that script into a .vbs file, run it with cscript, and it'll write out the state of the objects of the specified class. Since Windows doesn't report temperature readings, Win32_TemperatureProbe isn't all hat useful, but you ought to try it with something like Win32Process or Win32NetworkAdapter.