Microsoft Virtual Academy: Using PowerShell for Active Directory

Welcome! Today’s post includes demo scripts and links from the Microsoft Virtual Academy series: Using PowerShell for Active Directory. Go watch the videos here. We had a great time creating this for you, and I hope you will share it with anyone needing to ramp up their AD PowerShell skills. I really enjoyed working with PowerShell MVP Jason Helmick, who co-hosted the live event.

I built extra secret demos that you have never seen before on my blog or at any conference presentations I have given to date. I guarantee everyone from beginners to seasoned scripters will pick up new techniques in this free training.

Getting ready for the broadcast

Microsoft Virtual Academy: Using PowerShell for Active Directory

This is exciting! After four years of blogging about Active Directory PowerShell I finally get to show you all my tricks in one day of free video training. Here are the AD PowerShell topics:

Live Jumpstart

  • Introduction
  • Users and Groups
  • Queries
  • Forensics

Bonus Content

  • Stale Objects
  • Replication
  • Recovery
  • Deployment

We offered the first four modules as a half-day live jumpstart event, and you can stream those afterward. Then we offered four bonus modules to stream for even more great content you need to do your job, and those will be available the following week.

Active Directory PowerShell Help Files

As I mentioned on the videos “we” made a boo boo with the PowerShell about help topics for Active Directory. Somehow these files went missing when we moved to updateable help with Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012. You can get them online at TechNet here:

  • about_ActiveDirectory
  • about_ActiveDirectory_Filter
  • about_ActiveDirectory_Identity
  • about_ActiveDirectory_ObjectModel

If you will take 5 minutes to read these about help topics it will save you tons of time as you script against Active Directory.

Edit: They are back! Run this command from an elevated PowerShell console:

PS C:\> Update-Help -Module ActiveDirectory -Verbose

Demo Scripts Download

Attached at the bottom of this post you will find all the demo scripts from the video. There are even more demos here that we did not have time to cover. This is essentially an anthology of Active Directory PowerShell functional code to jumpstart your own script library. Most of this code is read-only from an AD perspective, but some of it will make changes to your environment. Put this in a safe place for future reference, and always test your scripts in a lab before running them in production.

Bonus Links

As bonus links I went through four years of blog posts and categorized them by the modules in the video series. Use these links for a deeper dive on some of the topics presented in each of the modules.

Module 1 - Introduction

Step-by-Step: How to use Active Directory PowerShell cmdlets against 2003 domain control ...
Everything you need to get started with Active Directory
Five free ways to script Active Directory in PowerShell: Part 1
Five free ways to script Active Directory in PowerShell: Part 2
DogfoodCon 2012 - Columbus, Ohio
Free Download: CMD to PowerShell Guide for AD
How To Use The 2012 Active Directory PowerShell Cmdlets From Windows 7
PowerShell Saturday 005 Atlanta: It's Time To Part With Blankie: Moving from command lin ...

Module 2 - Users and Groups

How to close helpdesk tickets faster with PowerShell
PowerShell Tip: Active Directory Account Unlock Shortcut for Help Desk
How to copy AD user attributes to another field with PowerShell
AD PowerShell Password Reset Shortcut for Helpdesk
TIP: 2 Ways userAccountControl Is Easier In AD PowerShell

Module 3 - Queries

Rip off the bandaid with PowerShell (Using bitwise LDAP filters to search and destroy ma ...
How to find AD schema update history using PowerShell
PowerShell Active Directory Schema Report
Back To The Future: Working with date data types in Active Directory PowerShell
Use PowerShell to Find Windows XP Computers Still Alive in Your Active Directory Domain

Module 4 - Forensics

AD Group History Mystery: PowerShell v3 REPADMIN
Active Directory OU Permissions Report: Free PowerShell Script Download
PowerShell Get-WinEvent XML Madness: Getting details from event logs

Module 5 - Stale Objects

Using PowerShell to Find Stale and Duplicate Active Directory Groups
PowerShell to Find Where Your Active Directory Groups Are Used On File Shares

Module 6 - Replication

PowerShell to automatically create all AD hub-to-spoke site links
Consolidate All AD Empty Sites Into A Single SiteLink Using PowerShell
Report and Edit AD Site Links From PowerShell (Turbo Your AD Replication)
New Microsoft Download: Active Directory Replication Status Tool
Freaky neat Active Directory site links with PowerShell

Module 7 - Recovery

Oh Snap! Active Directory Attribute Recovery With PowerShell

Module 8 - Deployment

Touch-Free PowerShell DCPROMO in Windows Server 2012

Premier Services

I am not in sales, but I know some of you will ask about services. If you would like more information about Microsoft Premier PowerShell training (on-site, remote, or streaming video) use the links below under “Can you help me?”

Thank You

Thank you for watching the MVA videos today. It was a lot of fun, and I hope you can now safely and swiftly automate your Active Directory tasks. Remember to always test your scripts in a lab first. Use the –WhatIf and –Confirm switches if you are unsure of the impact. Remember that you can watch the videos over and over as many times as you like. Happy scripting!

Comments (29)
  1. anonymouscommenter says:


  2. anonymouscommenter says:

    Thanks for sharing nice PS Scripts….

  3. anonymouscommenter says:

    Hi Ashley,
    On the live MVA presentation — thanks for all the work to put this together. I’ve been to too many PowerShell User group meetings where all the tabs worth of PowerShell scripts using during demos, etc are never provided and prevents doing a deep dive in to
    how the scripts work after leaving the presentation.

    Great job. Great examples

  4. anonymouscommenter says:

    Many thanks for your live video and many PS scripts and your explanation !!
    great job !

  5. anonymouscommenter says:

    Lots of great information. Thanks for sharing. looking forward to the other 4 modules coming out.

  6. anonymouscommenter says:

    Very good Stuff-very useful- Thanks a Ton.

  7. anonymouscommenter says:

    Great Event, and funtastic staff you are sharing. Thanks.

  8. anonymouscommenter says:

    I had registered to watch the presentation live on the 29th,but unfortunately i missed to watch the show. So is there any change that this presentation can be found on the Microsoft website?

    Best regards,

  9. anonymouscommenter says:

    I cannot find the Videos or the bonus videos on the MVA site. Can I get the link to that please?

  10. anonymouscommenter says:

    Great Staff !! Attributes Recovery and ADreplicationmetadata is awesome !

    Lots of great information. Thank you

  11. anonymouscommenter says:

    Hello, everyone. Today I have a short post with some helpful links to share. If you are in the US, I

  12. mrpaulb says:

    Top shelf ! Currently on module 3, most impressed with this course, one of the best.

  13. anonymouscommenter says:

    Nice one guys!!!

    So helpful stuff.

    Thanks for sharing !

  14. anonymouscommenter says:

    Really awsome and helpfull stuff, learned alot!
    Big thanks and Merry Christmas.

  15. anonymouscommenter says:


    All I can say is wow! Thanks

  16. anonymouscommenter says:

    Great information and well presented.
    True Legends

  17. Mathias JWD says:

    Great, very useful content, well chosen examples that directly translate to the workplace and presenters who are not only very knowledgeable but know how to present their information in a way that is entertaining and a joy to follow! Thanks for the course,
    please give us more like this!

  18. anonymouscommenter says:

    By far, one of the most entertaining video trainings! Great chemistry! I enjoyed the forensics, it’s been a while since I needed to troubleshoot Active Directory. Thanks!!!

  19. anonymouscommenter says:

    I´m in the middle of the MVA course and already overwhelmed. Remarkable content. Excellent job, sir!

  20. anonymouscommenter says:

    Great video & bright insights into powershell

  21. anonymouscommenter says:

    This is awesome! thanks for the great works!

  22. anonymouscommenter says:

    Awesome! a big thank you! we need good stuff like this (y)

  23. anonymouscommenter says:

    Thank you very much! 🙂

  24. anonymouscommenter says:

    Super this will push my interest in learning Powershell to manage AD…Many Thanks

  25. Karl_Ryder says:

    One word to describe this – awesome!

  26. Jangonyani says:

    Thank you God for this Blog.. It is real gone to change my career life of sysAdmin

  27. OLAP Man says:

    Stumbled on all this – simply awesome. The most valuable such I have seen, and for free ? It’s amazing. Thank you guys so much. I’m trying to get facile with PS, and the AD focus gives concrete motivation.

  28. Anonymous says:
    (The content was deleted per user request)
  29. tokiki says:

    This is Awesome!! Thanks for sharing the script files.

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content