Not a Typewriter

Booting Linux in Safe Mode: “STDIn: Not a Typewriter”

Linux programmers have a sense of humor. If Microsoft programmers do, it is rarely seen.

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Add-WindowsFeature Alternative for Client OS

Waiting for the add remove features dialog populate on my client OS computer is slow.  Since I started using Add-WindowsFeature wither Server 2008, and Install-WindowsFeature beginning with Server 2012, I was disappointed by the lack of a similar cmdlet for Windows 10.  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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Export and Import Delegated OU Permissions with PowerShell

There are some delegations of permissions within Active Directory which cannot be made without extra effort. Some properties are flagged as hidden in a file called Dssec.dat, 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 changes. 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 make sure 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 admin 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.

 

Posted in Active Directory, Alan's Favorites, My Best, PowerShell, Scripting, Security, Windows Administration | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Clear GPO Cache on Remote Computer with PowerShell

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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Get and Read RDP Certificate from a Remote Host with PowerShell

Sometimes, I get some interesting questions from other teams within my organization.  Read-RDPCert.ps1 addresses a request to read the SSL certificates from a list of remote hosts.  This is based on the code and following comments at https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/parallel_universe_-_ms_tech_blog/2014/06/26/reading-a-certificate-off-a-remote-ssl-server-for-troubleshooting-with-powershell/.

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Enable New User Mailboxes with PowerShell

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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Drag and Drop Form for Powershell

Get-DragAndDrop.ps1 is drag and drop PowerShell form is based on http://www.rlvision.com/blog/a-drag-and-drop-gui-made-with-powershell/.  All the interesting coding bits were written by Dan.  I modified the script to make it an advanced function which has parameters for the form title, instructions, status and button title.  The default form looks like this:

Screen Capture for Drop and Drag Function

Screen Capture for Drop and Drag Function

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PowerShell Get Column Names for a CSV File

Get-Member doesn’t always show you what is under the hood for an object.  For that you need the .PSObject property.  Here PSObject.Properties contains CSV column names

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Powershell Date LDAP filters

This snippet can be used for easier date formatting when using an LDAP date filter with PowerShell.  This demonstrates how to get users created within the previous 30 days using LDAP:

 

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PowerShell Pause with Progress Bar

This snippet of PowerShell was written to have show users something more interesting than “Sleeping for 15 seconds” in a script.  Notice that I splat the progress parameters.

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