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Showing posts from 2016

How to Check for Expiring Certificates in PowerShell

This one I’m saving for later. Don’t confuse this with actually managing certificates via the PKI module. This is really about finding information on certificates already deployed. First of all, remember that Cert:\ is a PS drive. Try something like this when you open a PS prompt: cd cert:\ cd currentuser\my dir PS C:\> cd cert:\ PS Cert:\> cd currentuser\my PS Cert:\currentuser\my> dir     Directory: Microsoft.PowerShell.Security\Certificate::currentuser\my Thumbprint                               Subject                      ----------                               ------- So with that in mind, you can do the typical kind of listing/sorting/displaying. One of the interesting switches that shows up when you’re in the certificates drive is the –ExpiringInDays. This is extremely useful if you’re trying to get a return of certificates that are about to expire (think alerting.) get-childitem -path Cert:\CurrentUser\My -ExpiringInDays 180 By doing this, you can treat this

Max Group Membership Limits for Active Directory

While exploring the concept of maximum membership limits for groups, I ran into a number of posts which offered contradicting information. To set the record straight, we will start with with ancient history. When Windows 2000 was released, the recommended number of members in a group was 5000. This corresponds with the number of changes that could be written in a single replication cycle (if I have my facts straight.) Remember, back in those days, every time you changed the membership of a group, you caused the entire group and all its membership information to replicate. With the release of Windows 2003 came the concept of Linked Value Replication. This enabled you to make membership changes to a group and only replicate the changes in membership – adds, deletes, etc. Because of this, Microsoft hasn’t issued a new recommended limit. Here’s a snippet from a document titled Windows Server 2003 R2 and Windows Server 2003 : Recommended Maximum Number of Users in a Group For Windows 2

ATLSMUG Meeting 07/22/2016   Hi everyone. If you’re familiar with Atlanta TechStravaganza, you’re probably used to having seen an announcement by now. Well, we had some logistical challenges this year so it looks like we have to push back until later this summer. This is typically where we hold our 2nd quarter meetings for ATLSMUG. In the absence of that event, we are moving forward with our own meeting to keep things going. I hope you will find yourself available to join us. We’ll be back at the Microsoft Alpharetta campus (thank you Microsoft – Jim & crew are great!) looking to start our first presentation at 10 AM and ending around 3 PM. Hopefully this will solve the traffic challenges that I know many of you face getting to the event. We’ve got some good stuff cooking up – Orchestrator, ConfigMgr, etc. However, if you have any urgent topics , we might still have time to work them in. Just drop us a note at . Any other comme

Excel and the Mysterious Hang

Sometimes, it’s hard just to figure out which needle you’re looking for in haystack. Once you got it figured out though, that needle will look like a big stick. My wife came home tonight asking me to look at her laptop. In the last week, her Excel program would hang trying to open Hyperion but would eventually find its way back home. She might have mentioned that Outlook was also opening slowly but having mistook the rest of her sentence as something related to finance, I promptly ignored it – my eyes fixed on the real prize: a chance to tinker. When you don’t know where the problem is, sometimes it’s best to get all the information and start sifting it for signals. When I started off, I was SURE it was some kind of timeout problem so I immediately started with a packet trace. 1 #NOPE There was nothing evident of a long or delayed response. Well, I knew Excel was problematic (you know, since I forgot about Outlook) and decided to hone in on the processes involved with it. I fired u

03.11.2016 User Group Survey

Hello everyone. I hope that you were able to make the Q1 Atlanta Systems Management User Group (ATLSMUG) meetup! For those that weren’t able to make it, it was a pretty fun event. We had some good stuff on Windows 10 from Bruce and Stephen, had a great selection of fantastic beer, had these amazingly large slices of pizza from Big Pie in the Sky, and had a turn out of over 30 people from three different user groups! It was great to see so many familiar faces and to meet with new people from ATLPUG and WINVUG. Now, we need some help from you. If you made the event, would you mind filling out our little survey? It’ll take you less than 2 minutes but will be immensely powerful in helping us understand what you like and want to get out of these events in the future. Here’s the link: THANKS AGAIN!   Oh, by the way, if you’re looking for the content from the event, here are the slides: Bruce Lyon’s Presentation Stephen Owen’s Presentation 1/2 S

Accessing a Protected Domain Administrator Account

As a good practice measure, the default domain administrator account which comes pre-installed with every Active Directory should be guarded from misuse. We all know this. To follow in this good practice, the account should be renamed from the default name and disabled. So what happens if this account is the one you have to use to recover from a problem? Let’s say, for example, that all of your usual domain administrative accounts are somehow not accessible for use and requires you to get to this account. If it’s disabled, what do you do? Should you find yourself in the scenario that you have a disabled administrator account AND know the password -- Boot up the domain controller to Safe Mode (make sure it is not Safe Mode w/ Networking.) This quasi-enables the account. You can at least log on with it. Using the account and password, log in. Open a command prompt and issue the following: net user administrator /active:yes Now you have an enabled default domain admin account. Y

03.11.2016 ATLSMUG Meet Up!

Hi everyone! Just a reminder of the upcoming 3/11 meet up which is just around the corner. We partnered with Microsoft and joined up with the Atlanta PowerShell User Group and the Windows Infrastructure and Virtualization User Group to bring you some special Windows 10 content. Sorry it took so long to get the details out. We had some challenges rounding up some speakers as it looks like there are some other events going on around the same time. Well, that might be the case, but no other event is going to be doing a pizza and beer get together for you and your closest geeks while you learn some great Windows 10 info. Hope you’ll join us! Bruce Lyons and Stephen Owens has graciously offered to present Windows 10 and other related content. Here’s what’s coming up: + browsers & apps + identity & security + configuration management + continuous innovation + implementation tips & tricks Register for the event HERE . The condition for the funding is that we need

Community Roadshow 3.11.2016

Doing something a little bit differently this time. We’ve partnered with Microsoft to bring you timely content on Windows 10! I don’t have a complete schedule yet as we are still bringing in speakers for the event. Mark your calendars now though and go register so you can get the clearance to show up! March 11, 2016. At some point, Flatiron City will be a venue which opens up and becomes available for events like these. In the meantime, we’re still hosting out of Alpharetta. All of the details are going to show up here as we put it together.   So what’s different you ask? Well, a few things. First of all, we’re being joined by the Windows Infrastructure and Virtualization User Group as well as the Atlanta PowerShell User Group. Pretty cool, right? If nothing else, you’ll get exposure to the great folks in the other communities here in Atlanta. Secondly, we typically do a full day meetup. Instead of that format, we a

Microsoft Azure Tour in Atlanta

Sometimes I wonder about the effectiveness of Microsoft’s marketing engine. At any rate, if you haven’t already heard, the Azure Tour is happening right now. Atlanta’s turn is up this week, Thursday, 1/14/2016. Still getting caught on up Azure? Have some burning questions you need answered from experts? It’s not too late to attend! Details below. The Microsoft Azure Tour provides a free one day technical training event for IT professionals and developers to help you be more successful in using cloud. Our top engineers from Redmond and independent experts from around the world will present 12 technical sessions and 3 unique hands-on opportunities covering the breadth of the Azure platform and the wealth of developer features including security, networking, big data, storage, identity, web, mobile, hybrid, containers, DevOps, open source, management, and the Internet of Things. Featured speaker:  James Staten – General Manager of Cloud and Enterprise Strategy, Microsoft Date