When ordering a case fan, do not rely on the picture. There are some case fans which are 4 inches square.
When ordering a CPU, note that a AMD 3+ CPU motherboard accepts AMD 3 and 3+ CPUs, but an AMD 3 motherboard only accepts AMD 3 sockets.
When re-using an HP Pentium 4 case for your new AMD motherboard, note that HP may not have followed conventions with wiring colors. In particular, note that you cannot turn a computer on and off with the red and black power switch wires connected to the speaker pins on these systems. Taking the time to look at the switch could save hours in troubleshooting.
The local administrator account password can become corrupted making the entire system looked hosed when it is not. Symptoms may include not being able to launch anything due to IE Security Zone restrictions, and yyyy appearing in the time field. Trying to fix the entire system when the problem is just a messed up profile is not a productive use of time.
If the secure channel is broken and the local administrator account is hosed, try logging in with cached administrative credentials. You only need to disconnect the system from the network to get past the warning of no account in AD. You can then delete the local administrator account profile, or create and elevate another local account.
Windows 8 changed the registry key for AHCI from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\storahci\. This is important to know if are testing a script which automates the switch from IDE to AHCI for Windows 7 computers.
Finally, be humble. Even if you are an expert, remember that you, too, can make wrong assumptions and do some pretty stupid things.
I have already written a script to dump user information into a spreadsheet here, so why do it again? User AD Export.vbs is different in that it uses the modern LDAP interface (instead of the lame WinNT interface I used earlier), and is therefore much faster. It was written for a user audit, so it does not export things like phone numbers and addresses, but you do get the user’s name, display name, description, mail address, whether a smart card is required, SamAccount name, UPN, whether the account is disabled, the date created, date password last set, last logon, password age, expiration date, and AD path.
It will allow you to navigate to the starting OU in any domain in your forest. It does not require elevated rights to run, and exports the data to Excel.
I have changed the WordPress theme for my blog, just to freshen thing up.
NTUserInfo.vbs is a script based on Ralph Montgomery’s NTUser.wsf file. It gives a good summary about a user account, including user name, description, password status, and more. I have made a number of changes, including the ability to copy the results to the clipboard using IE. Rename from .txt to .vbs. New version 10/23/2009 allows entry of user name by samaccount name or UPN. This entry was originally posted on March 23, 2009. The new (3/3/13) alternative version, NTUserInfo_IE.vbs outputs to IE instead of a MSGBox. This way you can copy the information to your clipboard.
Somewhere on the web I found instructions on enabling the “hidden AeroLite” theme in Windows 8. Having taken the time to do this the long way — and not being really impressed by the results — I thought it would be worth the time to automate the process. You must open an elevated (run as Administrator) command prompt to run EnableAero.vbs. After you run it, you will see it as an available theme.
A lot of folks have been asking me why I haven’t written any PowerShell scripts. The answer is that I am pretty good at vbscript, and I couldn’t find anything that I wanted to do that I couldn’t do with vbscript.
Last week I spent some time waiting for a computer to reboot. I used ping -t to watch the replies, and then waited until I could use the Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) to connect using RDP. I thought to myself, “self — you sure have spent a lot of time waiting for systems to come up”. RDP2.ps1 is a PowerShell script that does the tedious watching for you. It will wait for both the system and the remote access interface to come up, and then will launch the RDC to the computer. You can run it interactively, or with the command line:
./rdp2.ps1 computername[:port] -WaitForReboot
The port is an option for nonstandard ports. -WaitForReboot does just that. If the system is still up when you launch the script, it will wait for it to reboot.
Like many first scripts, this is largely based on someone else’s work, see: http://poshtips.com/2013/02/12/check-rdp-availability-using-watch-rebootstatus-script/. I made a large number of changes in addition to launching the RDC. For those of you who have spent a lot of time with PowerShell, I am open to suggestions on how to make the code more elegant.
If you haven’t ever run a PowerShell script, you will find it is already installed on your Vista or later machine, and on Windows 2008/R2 servers. You must set the execution policy:
Revision note 3/4/2012: I have updated the script to make the MsgBox SystemModal — which is required for it to have focus.
I had a very nice experience today with PJ Technologies, the makers of the WMI Explorer, WMIX, (see http://www.goverlan.com/#WMI-Enterprise-Desktop-Management). I had to reinstall, and had misplaced the license key. They had it to me in minutes.
I had a very disappointing experience with LG’s support for my washing machine. I have a WM2455HW with the printed labels wearing off. If you do a web search, you will find that this is not an uncommon experience. I used the web chat, and the guy told me that they had to replace the hardware (no decals), and that they were unwilling to do this beyond the warranty period. I typed “I think this is a design defect, I want to escalate”, and the chat was disconnected. The LG washer is a good machine, but if you have one or are considering one I suggest you put packing tape over all the writing. I have a lot of LG products (including TV), and have decided to switch manufacturers because of this unpleasant experience. Very disappointing. And I am spending some time on my bully pulpit to suggest you do the same.