Techmentor Just Around the Corner


The registration deadline for the first Techmentor conference of the year is almost upon us. I’ll be doing sessions on using Powershell to manage Active Directory, PowerShell and WMI, Logon Scripts and more. Plus, I’m always happy to hang out and chat. I always have a great time. Hope to see you there.

If you haven’t already registered for TechMentor San Francisco, you can receive a $695 discount on the Gold Passport if you register using priority code TPHIC. More at www.techmentorevents.com/sf. But hurry because the deadline is almost here.

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Updated Group Reporter

A few of my recent Mr. Roboto columns have been about group auditing. I first published an HTA that would report on group membership last December. Astute reader Matt V. found a bug with the way nested group memberships were being reported. Or in this case, not being reported. It turns out that if a group was a member of one other group, that membership was not reported. But if the group was nested in 2 or more groups then you’d see all the nested groups. After a little debugging I found my goof. I used ADSI to get a reference to the specified group:

strDN would have a value like CN=Sales,OU=Groups,DC=Mycompany,DC=local. My mistake was in assuming that the MemberOf property would always be a collection so I was using a ForEach construct. But it is only a collection if there is more than one group. So I modified the code:

Because I used the same code in a followup article where I released a command line version of the tool, I had to modify that tool as well. The above code snippet is actually from the WSF version.

Anyway, both versions have now been updated and are available for download from the Mr. Roboto section of my script library. Thank you Matt for keeping me on my toes.

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Techmentor San Francisco 2008

I finished up my slide decks last week for the first Techmentor conference of the year in San Francisco (March 30 -April 3). If you’ve never been to a Techmentor conference you’re missing a great opportunity to hear and see your favorite IT speakers. Plus it’s a lot of fun to meet your peers, swap war stories and even some strategy and tips. I thought you might like to know what sessions I’m doing:

Automating Remote Systems Management with PowerShell v1.0 and WMI
Although PowerShell is an incredibly valuable administrative tool, a major feature is its support for Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). In this session you’ll learn how to access remote system information, build management reports, monitor WMI events and more all with PowerShell. This will be a demo-rich session with many real-world and practical examples you can take home and use immediately.

Automating Exchange Server 2007 Management
Come see how easy it is to manage your Exchange 2007 servers from the PowerShell console. I’ll guide you through common Exchange management tasks including managing mailboxes, users, contacts, databases and more. Again, this will be a demo-heavy session with many real-world and practical examples.

Mr. Roboto’s Resource Kit
In this session I’ll open up my bag of tricks and tools for managing Windows servers and desktops. From mass password changes to event log management to security Mr. Roboto will show how to keep on top of your environment with free or low-cost alternatives. You’ll leave with plenty of tools you can begin using immediately to make your job easier and maybe even a little fun.

Logon Scripting Fundamentals
Do you have logon scripts for your users? Do you still need them? Do they do what you want them to do? What good are logon scripts anyway? You’ll learn the best way to leverage logon scripts and integrate them into Group Policy. You’ll also see how to create logon scripts with no scripting required. In fact, no scripting experience is required at all for this session.

Finally, if that’s not enough I’m also doing a half-day post-conference workshop. This is separate from the main conference.

Automating Active Directory Management with Windows PowerShell
I will teach you how to use PowerShell to manage Active Directory users, groups and computers. You’ll learn how to manage individual objects as well as bulk creation and management. You’ll learn how easy it is to import a CSV file with 1000 new users and create fully populated accounts in a matter seconds. We’ll explore the ADSI type adapters, the Active Directory PSDrive provider from the PowerShell Community Extensions and the free Quest Active Directory Management Console. This will be a demo-heavy session with many real-world and practical examples you can take home and use immediately. Much of the content will be live demonstrations of material from my forthcoming book, Managing Directory Services with Windows PowerShell. You may bring a laptop to follow along, but this is NOT instructor-led training with hands-on labs. If you come with a laptop, it should have a virtual machine running a Windows 2003/2008 domain controller. The virtual machine should be running PowerShell v1.0 and the current versions of the PowerShell Community Extensions and the Quest Active Directory Management console.

And this is just what I’m doing. Check out the full schedule and register today. You won’t be disappointed. I often hear at conferences from attendees that they often learn something or pickup some tip that more than justifies the conference expense. Something that solves a prickly problem and they leave happy and eager. I hope to see you there. If you haven’t already registered for TechMentor San Francisco, you can receive a $695 discount on the Gold Passport if you register using priority code TPHIC.

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Conference Samples Available

The demos, updated slide decks and other stuff for the Fall Techmentor conference, as well as the 2 day PowerShell pre-conference event before WinConnections last week, are now available for download at http://www.scriptinganswers.com/essentials.asp.

I think I spent half of November in Las Vegas (not that its a bad thing).  Thanks to all of you who attended sessions, bought books and offered kind words of support. It’s nice to know someone is actually reading stuff I write and gets something useful out of it.

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PWDMan Update

I’ve updated my Password Manager utility. If you haven’t seen this, I wrote about it in my Mr. Roboto column. This tool will scan computers and report the age of the local administrator password. If you’ve renamed the account you can change the account name to check. When finished, you’ll have a nice report showing how old the administrator account password is on all computers. You can print the report or export it to a CSV.

The utility also will change the password on all your computers as well.

The latest version (v1.4) adds support for searching Active Directory, including recursing through all child containers. If you have a small network this should be ok. But be careful as you might end up trying to check computers that no longer exist. There is a ping option you can select to verify the computer is up and running before attempting an password tasks.

Other changes:

    • Added code to support multiple computernames separated by commas.
    • Added an Age Limit alarm so that password ages equal to or greater than this number will be highlighted in red.
    • Added Report Last Run footer.

You can download the latest version, read more as well as see some short videos of the tool in action at http://www.jdhitsolutions.com/pwdman

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