In Active Directory we need to know who has the keys to our organizational units (OUs), the place where our users and computers live. Over the years OUs have grown to meet needs. Different teams may have been delegated access for managing users, groups, and computers. Then you come along as the new administrator. You probably have no idea where permissions have been granted to your OUs. And the scary thing is… neither does anyone else. I know, because I’ve been there. I hear the same thing from our customers.
Out-of-the-box we do not have a specific tool to report all of the OU permissions. You have to click each OU and view the security tab one-by-one, and we all know that is entirely impractical. Today’s post contains a free script download to generate a report of this vital information.
I would advise all Active Directory shops to review this report on a quarterly basis to make sure there are no surprise administrators lurking in your domain.
Even Spiderman would envy this web action. Today we're going to walk through setting up a portable PowerShell v3 Web Access demo. Using this demo guide you can explore PowerShell from any web-capable device: your phone, your tablet, or your Raspberry Pi. The links in this post will guide you to all of the key documentation to build your own PowerShell Web Access lab.
Departing from the usual scripting today's post is a reflection on 2012 and a look ahead at goals for 2013. The overall theme today is the Heroes To Mentors vision we have embraced within Microsoft PFE.
Hi folks. It's your friendly, neighborhood PFE again. In order to avoid the long lines to buy a treadmill the first week of January I thought I would save you some time and give you an easier New Years Resolution… Learn PowerShell.
For years many of us have relied on trusty command line utilities like PING, IPCONFIG, and REPADMIN. Some of us are still hanging on to those instead of embracing the brave new world of PowerShell.
In an effort to assist with the transition and to introduce some of the cool new cmdlets in PowerShell v3 I have created a free reference guide showing how the old meets the new. For example, instead of PING try the PowerShell cmdlet Test-Connection, instead of NSLOOKUP use Resolve-DNSName, instead of GPUPDATE use Invoke-GPUpdate.
The guide attached at the bottom of this blog post contains four packed pages of PowerShell pleasure for your perusing.
TIP: Anyone who wants to write scripts for Active Directory will eventually run into the famous userAccountControl attribute. The good news is that in PowerShell we have two cmdlets that make this easy: Set-ADAccountControl and Search-ADAccount.
Back in May I released a post on the Hey Scripting Guy blog showing how to create a shortcut to unlock a user account with a PowerShell desktop shortcut. That post was very popular, and the comments evolved into another shortcut to reset passwords. Due to the popularity and utility of the idea I decided it deserved its own blog post. I’ve also learned a little more about the Set-ADAccountPassword cmdlet to simplify my previous code.
You know the drill. It’s Monday morning. Last Friday 47 users decided it was a good idea to change their password before the weekend. It’s Monday. They forgot, just like I would. Personally I never change my password on a Friday for this reason. I need a couple days to use it before the weekend.
What could make this worse? Holiday weekends… like US Thanksgiving. (grin) Now it’s been at least five days since I reset that password. There’s no chance I’ll remember it unless it’s written down on that sticky note under the mouse pad.
Now all 47 of those users must call the helpdesk first thing Monday before they can begin another week of productivity for the company. The self-service password project has not gotten enough budget or resources for implementation, and until it does every Monday morning is going to look very familiar. That’s where we come in with PowerShell.
Today I have the privilege of speaking at DogfoodCon 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. My topic is “Active Directory PowerShell Step-By-Step”. This post includes a download of the slide deck and demo scripts for the session.
After speaking about SID history and token size at PowerShell Saturday last month an attendee approached me with a common concern. I was so excited to code the answer that I did it in the airport on the way home.
Joe User has been with the company for 23 years and has accumulated more group memberships than the entire desktop support team. Joe has rotated through five different departments during his career and managed to survive all of the layoffs. As a result he has access to every share in the company. Even worse his access token is so big that it won’t fit through the door.
We would love to clean up his group memberships, but we have no way of knowing when he was added to all these groups. If we could see the dates he joined those groups it would give us a clue about removing just the older group memberships. Without this information his token will continue to bloat.
Time for some AD PowerShell v3 goodness!
PS - I'm also going to give you a handy chart showing PowerShell equivalents for REPADMIN in AD PowerShell v3.
Today I have the privilege of speaking at the second-ever PowerShell Saturday event. As a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer I get to meet many customers and help them with their Active Directory and PowerShell needs. I’ve taken some of that experience and wrapped it into a presentation called Active Directory PowerShell Notes From The Field.
The session includes these four topics:
These notes from the field come from scripting that I've done to assist customers with real-world needs. The purpose of the session is to demonstrate the power of PowerShell for automating Active Directory solutions for every-day scenarios AND to inspire you to learn PowerShell. To help with the learning part I have included several resources here for your reading pleasure.
Attached to the bottom of this post you will find a file containing the DNS sample code and a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation.
Today's post will help you clean up site link descriptions and give you some nice reporting capability. Some folks like to set their site link description field to list each of the member sites in the link. If that is you, then you'll love this script. Today's script enumerates all of the member sites in a site link and then concatenates their names into the description of the site link. Also, it will make a note in the description for any site links that have change notification enabled. Now that's handy! There is also a bonus site reporting script in the download attached.
Today I am presenting at TechMentor in Redmond on the topic of "What's New In PowerShell v3". The purpose of this blog post is to share some related links and demo scripts from the session.
Have you ever needed to copy data between attributes in Active Directory? Maybe you need to copy an ExtensionAttribute value into a different ExtensionAttribute. Maybe you need to copy email, UPN, or SIP addresses. You may even want to move the EmployeeNumber value into the EmployeeID attribute instead. What if you needed to create a new Description based on a combination from other attributes?
Today I am releasing updated functionality in the PowerShell Active Directory SID History module. New features include: inventory SID history in share permissions, new Access database reporting template, bug fixes, and more!
Today I posted over on the Hey Scripting Guy blog with a quick tip to unlock Active Directory user accounts. Check it out:
Active Directory Account Unlock Shortcut for Help Desk
Now most people don't plan to spend their entire career on the help desk. It is a starting point for bigger things in IT. PowerShell can be your career LAUNCH PAD. Seriously. PowerShell skills will differentiate you from your peers and slingshot you to the front of the pack.
What if you could get all of the data you needed to close a ticket in seconds?
In honor of all things St. Patrick's Day what could be more appropriate than a PowerShell limerick? I've drafted four for you to enjoy and share.
This is huge. Today's post includes demos scripts for all five free ways to script Active Directory in PowerShell. I presented these last weekend at the first ever PowerShell Saturday event in Columbus, Ohio. You will also find attached a one hour audio recording of the presentation for those who couldn't attend in person. Now you have a free AD scripting recipe book with a guided tour from GoateePFE.
This post is the first in a series highlighting out-of-the-box PowerShell support for Active Directory. If you're just now learning how to use PowerShell with Active Directory, then start here. If you already have some experience in this category, then I'm going to show you some handy tips that will take your skills to the next level.
My last post on getting started with Active Directory was so popular that I thought I would do one for getting started with Group Policy. Once again this link list will satisfy everyone from beginner to advanced. I know there are many other third party resources and books, but I want to surface some Microsoft white papers and articles that may not always be obvious. Enjoy!
This article is for all of the IT Pros who have inherited an Active Directory environment which they did not build. Today's post offers some simple scripts to document the history of schema updates. This is particularly handy when it comes time to extend the schema for a domain upgrade or Exchange implementation. Now you can get a report of every attribute's create and modified date. You can also find out if and when third party extensions have been applied.
As a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer I frequently get asked for more information on Active Directory topics. Most of the time I end up passing along one or more of the links in today's post. This list will be extremely valuable for anyone who wants to get started with Active Directory or even for a seasoned AD admin who wants to go deeper.