Alan's Blog

"Yeah. I wrote a script that will do that."

Undelete-ADObject

Posted on September 17th, 2017

Undelete-ADObject.ps1 is a GUI form based script for undeleting user, computer, group, print queue, and contacts from Active Directory.  You can display all of the objects of the selected type, or search by the name. I use this script frequently.  It has a test mode, plus logging.

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Filed under Active Directory, Alan's Favorites, PowerShell, Scripting, Windows Administration | No Comments »

Add-WindowsFeature Alternative for Client OS

Posted on September 2nd, 2017

Waiting for the add remove features dialog populate on my client OS computer’s is slow.  Especially since I started using Add-WindowsFeature wither Server 2008, and Install-WindowsFeature beginning with Server 2012.  Unfortunately, Add/Install-WindowsFeature relies on ServerManager — which doesn’t exist on a workstation.  The alternative command line method is DISM.  The DISM command line, is difficult to manage.  I decided to use PowerShell to create the DISM command line on the fly. Edit-ClientFeatureList.ps1 provides this functionality with a quick and easy GUI.  Highlighted choices will change state — enabled items will be disabled, and conversely, disabled items will be installed.

Select Features Screen Capture

Since you are changing features, the script must be run as and administrator.  I test that state with this function:

version 1.1 9/17/17 Bugfix plus echo to console of DISM command.

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Filed under PowerShell, Scripting, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Administration | No Comments »

Export and Import Delegated OU Permissions with PowerShell

Posted on August 13th, 2017

There are some delegations of permissions within Active Directory which cannot be made without extra effort. Some properties have been flagged as hidden in a file called Dssec.dat, located in %windir%\System32 on computers with the Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) MMC. Dssec.dat is a hidden text file that can be viewed and modified with Notepad. When you open Dssec.dat, you’ll notice that it’s divided into headings based on object class. Be sure to go to the [User] heading to make modifications. Otherwise, you won’t see any effect on the GUI display. For example, to show the PhysicalDeliveryOfficeName and other properties in the GUI, change the Dssec.dat value from 7 to 0 and save the changes. For more, see: https://mcpmag.com/articles/2003/11/01/finetuning-active-directory-access.aspx. Note too, that you can use delegwiz.inf for custom delegations.

If you need to copy the delegations to apply over many OUs within a domain this can be cumbersome.  You have to copy the modified dssec.dat or delegwiz.inf to each systems running the ADUC.  If you choose to simply go with a modified dssec.dat file select the right combination of permissions can be difficult.   Here is my solution:

1) Run the export script, Export-SelectedOUPermissions.ps1,  selecting domain and path which has the permissions you want to copy.
2) Optionally edit the permissions files to change the Identity Reference — the user or group to get the permissions.
3) Run the import script, Import-SelectedOUPermissions.ps1, select domain and destination(s).  You can use the graphical list to put checkboxes beside your selections.

If you are running the import script from within the ISE, the editor will be temporarily minimized to ensure you can see the menus.  You really should run the script in test mode first, and apply your delegation to a test OU before running in production.  Because Set-ACL often fails outside of the local domain with a “server refused” error, I used the .NET ObjectSecurity.SetSecurityDescriptorSddlForm method to apply the changes.

Recently an accidentally removed a complex delegation from an OU at 4:00 pm.  We were able to copy the delegation from another source and have the site back up and running within 10 minutes.

 

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Filed under Active Directory, Alan's Favorites, My Best, PowerShell, Scripting, Security, Windows Administration | No Comments »

Clear GPO Cache on Remote Computer with PowerShell

Posted on August 13th, 2017

Clearing the GPO cache on a computer may be the only way to fix a persistent problem.  Doing this involves deleting files, registry entries, and rebuilding the security database.  Clear-GPOCache.ps1 works by creating a custom batch file on the remote computer, then scheduling a task running as System to run the process with the required rights.

There are some interesting code bits, such as getting the remote time for the scheduled task.  The task is logged in a text file and in the event log.

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Filed under Active Directory, Batch, Group Policy Objects, PowerShell, Scripting, Windows Administration | No Comments »

Enable New User Mailboxes with PowerShell

Posted on August 13th, 2017

Mail enabling new users should be easy to do from within the Exchange management console.  If you are in a really large organization, you soon discover that it is painfully slow.  When we create new users it takes time to replicate to Exchange, so we don’t mail enable new users upon creation.  Making matters worse is that our mail alias isn’t the default for Exchange, which is the UPN.

Enable-NewUserMailboxes.ps1 is a PowerShell script which bulk enables new user accounts, permitting a custom Exchange alias.  For publication I have set this to the SamAccountName, but with a little bit of coding, you can change it to your requirements.

The script runs interactively, and will automatically checks for and loads the remote Exchange shell.  If you have not specified a starting OU for search at the top of the script, you will be prompted to select the OU to query for user accounts.  Then a list of users is collected and display using Out-Gridview:

Capturing output from Enable-Mailbox turned out to be a challenge.  I ended up doing this:

The script creates a logfile, which is placed by default on your desktop. The log folder can be edited.

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Filed under Alan's Favorites, Exchange, PowerShell, Scripting, Windows Administration | No Comments »

Fix Creation Date Later than Date Modified with PowerShell

Posted on August 13th, 2017

A weird and annoying thing happened to my home directory at work when it was moved from Windows to a storage appliance. The file CreationTime was lost on all the files and was set to the date of the data move. Particularly annoying was seeing the CreationTime being more recent than the LastWriteTime attribute. At one point in my IT career I thought that these attributes could not be changed by the user. I was wrong. In .NET these methods are available using System.IO. Here is the script — you will need to edit some choices a the top to use it.

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Filed under PowerShell, Scripting, Scriptlets, Windows Administration | No Comments »

Get MAC Address from IP Address

Posted on March 18th, 2017

I got a call last week from a member of one the other teams where I work.  He asked, “Do you have a script which will resolve a list of IP Addresses to MAC Addresses?” My answer was, “not yet”.  I did a search and found some very convoluted Pinvoke code. I wanted something easier.

When I automate a task, I begin with the manual steps for the task. To get a MAC address from an IP address, I ping the address, then look at the ARP cache. Get-MACFromIP.ps1 does the same thing,  using the inline script method to make the process run in parallel for speed.  It does not require any administrative rights to run, and is an advanced function.  A use example follows, others are in the code help:

I the use WMI ping method to enable name resolution and the return codes.  The script outputs the IP address, DNS Name (if it can be resolved), MAC address, and the verbose level ping reply.  Capture of the output of the ARP table is based on this post, by Joe Keohan.  Version 1.1 added support for alternate MAC format of ‘0000.1111.2222’.

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Filed under Functions, PowerShell, Scripting, Windows Administration, WMI | No Comments »

Update GPOs with Newer Version

Posted on March 1st, 2017

If you use GPOs to enforce baselines, you may find that your enterprise is moving from version 1.1 to version 1.2 of a GPO.  Unfortunately for you, version 1.1 linked in a dozen places.  Wouldn’t you rather just you search for version 1.1 and replace it with version 1.2?  Use Update-GPOLinks.ps1 to do just that.  The script not only finds all the original links and updates them to the new version, it also keeps the link order.

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Filed under Alan's Favorites, My Best, PowerShell, Scripting, Windows Administration | No Comments »

Get All GPOs Linked to an OU

Posted on March 1st, 2017

Get-AllGPOsLinkedToOU.ps1 returns a unique list of all GPO’s linked to an OU. You can also run a onelevel or subtree search to get a unique list of linked OUs at or below the selected OU. You are prompted for the domain, and navigate to desired OU.
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Filed under Active Directory, Group Policy Objects, PowerShell, Windows Administration | No Comments »

Reset GPO Cache

Posted on March 1st, 2017

This script deletes the locally stored copies of GPOs and forces a GPUPdate on a computer. Reset-GPOCache.ps1 works by a remote connection to the registry provider to get the path to the Group Policy\History folder, then deletes the files beneath that path. This ensures a fresh application of group polices.

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Filed under Active Directory, Group Policy Objects, PowerShell, Windows Administration | No Comments »

Please Note

All the scripts are saved as .txt files. Newer files have a "View Script" button which will let you save or open a script in notepad. For earlier posts, the easiest way to download with IE is to right click on the link and use "Save Target As". Rename file from Name_ext.txt to Name.ext.

To see a full post after searching, please click on the title.

PowerShell Scripts were written with Version 3 or 4.

https connections are supported.

All new users accounts must be approved, as are comments. Please be patient. It is pretty easy to figure out my email address from the scripts, and you are welcome to contact me that way.

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