PowerShell for Windows Admins

March 1, 2013  2:23 PM

Windows 8 Kindle app

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

Amazon have released an update for the Windows 8 Kindle app that appears to have resolved the corrupted display issue that occurred after every few pages of reading.

I would recommend updating the app immediately. The app now seems to be usable.

February 27, 2013  2:23 PM

Book offer–AD Management in a Month of Lunches

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

AD Management in a month of lunches is today’s deal of the day from Manning – www.manning.com

The get 50% off today using code dotd0227cc. The offer is good for today only

The same code can be used for 50% off PowerShell in Practice

February 27, 2013  2:19 PM

Last nights Live Meeting

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

The sound was awful on last night’s Live Meeting so I intend to re-record it at the weekend.  I’ll post the recording and scripts once its done.

I’m also investigating an alternative delivery mechanism that will hopefully solve the sound issues.

February 27, 2013  2:15 PM

Filter or LDAP filter

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

Many of the Microsoft AD cmdlets have a –Filter and an –LDAPFilter parameter.  So what’s the difference?

PS> Get-Help Get-ADUser -Parameter *Filter*

-Filter <String>
    Specifies a query string that retrieves Active Directory objects. This string uses the PowerShell Expression
    Language syntax. The PowerShell Expression Language syntax provides rich type-conversion support for value types  received by the Filter parameter. The syntax uses an in-order representation, which means that the operator is placed between the operand and the value. For more information about the Filter parameter, see  about_ActiveDirectory_Filter.

-LDAPFilter <String>
    Specifies an LDAP query string that is used to filter Active Directory objects. You can use this parameter to run  your existing LDAP queries. The Filter parameter syntax supports the same functionality as the LDAP syntax. For  more information, see the Filter parameter description and the about_ActiveDirectory_Filter.

This means you have two ways to approach a problem. Lets think about finding a single user:

Get-ADUser -LDAPFilter "(samAccountName=Richard)"

Get-ADUser -Filter {samAccountName -eq ‘Richard’}

The LDAPFilter uses LDAP query syntax – attribute and value.  Filter uses PowerShell syntax. You could think of the –Filter as a condensed version of

Get-ADUser -Filter * | where samAccountName -eq ‘Richard’

Use the –Filter parameter because its less typing and you filter early – especially important if querying across a network.

You can use multiple attributes in the filters  – & implies AND in the LDAP filter

Get-ADUser -LDAPFilter "(&(givenname=Bill)(sn=Green))"

Get-ADUser -Filter {GivenName -eq ‘Bill’ -and Surname -eq ‘Green’}

The LDAP filter HAS to use the correct attribute name but Filter uses the property name returned by Get-ADUser.

LDAP filters can get very complicated very quickly. For instance if you want to find the disabled user accounts

Get-ADUser -LDAPFilter "(&(objectclass=user)(objectcategory=user)(useraccountcontrol:1.2.840.113556.1.4.803:=2))"

Get-ADUser -Filter {Enabled -eq $false}

Alternatively,and in my opinion, its simpler to use Search-ADaccount

Search-ADAccount -AccountDisabled –UsersOnly

Which one should you use?  The one that best solves your problem. I mix & match to suit the search I’m performing

February 25, 2013  1:29 PM

Advanced Functions webcast

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

Quick reminder that the UK PowerShell group is hosting a Live Meeting webcast on PowerShell Advanced functions tomorrow – details from


February 25, 2013  1:26 PM

PowerShell in Depth–nearly there

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

PowerShell in Depth is rapidly approaching its publication date – see www.manning.com/jones2 for details

February 25, 2013  12:55 PM

New book

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

My latest book has been released on the Manning Early Access Program (MEAP). Active Directory Management in a Month of Lunches takes the newcomer to AD through the tasks they need to perform to manage their organization’s AD.

it assumes no knowledge of AD and shows how to perform the common management tasks from the GUI (AD Administrative Center & the venerable AD Users & Computers) as well as PowerShell (using the Microsoft cmdlets). 

Chapters 1-7 are currently available from www.manning.com\siddaway3 with more to come soon

February 21, 2013  1:54 PM

Creating a Windows 2012 Domain Controller

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

I decided to replace one of the DCs in my test environment with a Windows 2012 Server Core machine. Server Core has really come of age in Windows 2012 – its easy to configure.

I’ve covered configuring a server before but to recap:

  • Rename the machine – use Rename-Computer
  • Set Network – use Set-NetIPInterface (address) & et-DnsClientServerAddress( dns address) & Rename-netAdapter
  • Join to domain – use Add-Computer

To create the domain controller use the ADDSDeployment module. You’ll only find this on servers where you’ve installed the AD Domain Services feature which you do like this:

Install-WindowsFeature -Name AD-Domain-Services -Confirm:$false


Import the module

Import-Module ADDSDeployment
Get-Command -Module ADDSDeployment

Create the Domain Controller. This is the equivalent of running DCPROMO in earlier versions. Even better you don’t need the answer file. Everything is a parameter on the cmdlet.

Install-ADDSDomain Controller -DomainName "manticore.org" -InstallDns -Credential (Get-Credential manticore\richard) -ApplicationPartitionsToReplicate *

Thats it!  Just wait for replication to happen.

You can also demote a domain controller

$cred = Get-Credential
Uninstall-ADDSDomainController -Credential $cred -RemoveApplicationPartitions -Confirm:$false

Restart the machine and uninstall AD & DNS

Uninstall-WindowsFeature -Name AD-Domain-Services, DNS -Confirm:$false
Restart-Computer -ComputerName dc02

Leave the domain

$cred = Get-Credential manticore\richard
Remove-Computer -UnjoinDomainCredential $cred -Workgroup Test

Trash the VM.

And best of all it works over remoting.  You will need to recreate the session for restarts & changes but it is really easy.

Server Core is now a much friendlier option.

February 18, 2013  4:32 PM

CIM cmdlets and remote access

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

When you used the WMI cmdlets

Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_logicalDisk -ComputerName RSLAPTOP01

You were using DCOM to access the remote machine. Even if you accessed the local machine you were using DCOM.

This changes in PowerShell v3 when using the CIM cmdlets.

If you don’t use a computername

Get-CimInstance -ClassName Win32_logicalDisk

You use DCOM to access the local machine.

If you use –computername

Get-CimInstance -ClassName Win32_logicalDisk -ComputerName RSLAPTOP01

You use WSMAN to access the machine named – irrespective of if it is local or remote

A further complication is that the named machine has to be running WSMAN 3.0 i.e. PowerShell v3 is installed.

If you try to access a PowerShell v2 (WSMAN 2.0) machine with the CIM cmdlets you will get an error. The way round that is to create a CIMsession using DCOM as the transport protocol. If you want to learn how to do that you’ll have to wait until after my session at the PowerShell Summit in April or buy a copy of PowerShell and WMI from www.manning.com/siddaway2

I saw a number of people using the CIM cmdlets in the scripting games without thought to connectivity issues like this.

February 18, 2013  1:58 PM

UK PowerShell Group–Advanced functions

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

When: Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013 7:30 PM (GMT)

Where: Virtual


Advanced functions give you ability to create functions that act like cmdlets. Learn how to get the most from this powerful part of the PowerShell functionality


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