SCCM Servers showing their state as “Unknown”

I recently came across a unique issue where SCCM had not been reporting site status for its remote servers properly. This was actually caused by the site servers not having the rights to be able to access the registry keys set by the servers it’s trying to query to find its status. On remote SCCM servers,…

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PS without BS: Getting AD Users with a Filter

Recently, I was asked to get a list of admin accounts within multiple domains, however, all domains had a different or multiple naming standards. For those who use PowerShell and are familiar with get-aduser, you will know quickly that the filtering feature is limited with one wildcard option, being the *. You can’t filter on…

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Allowing RDP access to only certain IPs

I had an issue come up recently where the ask was to only allow RDP access to certain IPs. The trick here was that a Group Policy existed that set universal access to RDP through the firewall. A very simple fix can take care of this issue. In this repro, the following applies: I have…

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I can’t connect – but the firewall is off!

Sometimes you simply cannot connect to another system, in one case a domain controller. You know the server is running. You see it, you log into it, you connect to other systems from it. What are you to do? In one case, this happened in a domain controller scenario, where 2 DCs wouldn’t replicate. Now,…

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PS without BS: How many times have you joined the domain?

Ever since the beginning of what is today called Active Directory, the default has always been to let “Authenticated Users” join computers to the domain. Authenticated Users is essentially anyone with a domain credential to access the network. This, of course, comes with a trade off – these “authenticated” users can only join computers 10…

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How can I still use NTBackup after Server 2008?

You’re probably wondering why on earth anybody would still want to use NTBackup after we removed it after Windows Server 2003. I’ve been using this tool seemingly forever, and it is invaluable to my system admin toolbox, especially on my home servers. One big reason to use this is the old fashioned conundrum of “I…

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PS without BS: multiple replace of a string

Been a busy blog day, but the last one today (promise). There is feature that is unique to PowerShell that makes it better than say your old VB/VBScript and really sets it apart. To replace text in a string multiple times in VBScript, you had to do something like the following: dim string1 as string…

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PS without BS: Extracting DHCP Reservations to a CSV

Just a quick snippet that shows how to extract existing reservations into a text file using PowerShell and Windows Server. Some have a need to export a list of IP addresses into a CSV file that you can quickly drop into Excel. For those wondering, yes, I like using active DHCP reservations for all my…

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CMTrace without CMTrace

A quick blog to give cheap pop to PowerShell and it’s rescuing power, yet again. Just a nice, quick and dirty trick to emulate CMTrace when you are in an environment that may whitelist software from running on clients or they simply disallow tools from being copied to systems without change control. For those not…

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Changing individual quick action buttons via GPP

I was asked today if there was a way to change individual quick action items via GPO, and unfortunately, there isn’t. You can, however use Group Policy Preferences (GPP) to do this. Take for example, switching to Tablet Mode. These are the 3 registry keys involved. Path: HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell Note that all of the below keys…

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