Category Archives: Technology

Where is an AD Account Lockout Occurring?

How often do you hear “my account keeps getting locked out” followed by “I’m not typing my password wrong”? I’ve found the easiest and quickest way to determine where the account lockout occurred is to query the PDC Emulator with Powershell. You may require a domain admin to do this. Depending on your environment, if you are seeing lockouts occurring on a workstation, it will generally be typing a password wrong or saved credentials somewhere. If you are seeing them at a UAG or CAS server, investigate their activesync devices. If you need to remove these ActiveSync devices: If you get an error like “An unexpected error has occurred and a Watson dump is being generated: Object reference not set to an instance” then set this before running remove:

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Create New Device in SCCM Using Powershell

Creating a new device in SCCM using powershell with 2012 R1 requires using WMI as there is no cmdlet to do so, but thankfully this is easier now using the CIM cmdlets. Of course if you have 2012 R2 then use Import-CMComputerInformation (thanks @david_obrien) $SCCMSiteServer = ‘’ $SCCMNamespace = ‘Root\SMS\Site_AAA’ $MACAddress = ’00:11:22:33:44:55′ $DeviceName = ‘PCNAME001’ Invoke-CimMethod -ClassName “SMS_Site” -Namespace $SCCMNamespace -ComputerName $SCCMSiteServer -MethodName ‘ImportMachineEntry’ -Arguments @{ MACAddress = $MACAddress; NetbiosName = $DeviceName } As a bonus, here are some functions to create your devices along with basic validation of mac address NB. The “Stugr” in the function names is simply to avoid any clashes with official cmdlets function Format-StugrMACAddress { Param( [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)][string]$MACAddress ) # strip possible variations of dividers $MACAddress = $MACAddress.Replace(‘ ‘,”).Replace(‘:’,”).Replace(‘-‘,”) # mac address must be 12 characters (with no dividers) and hexadecimal if($MACAddress.Length -eq 12 -and $MACAddress -match “^[A-Fa-f0-9]+$”) { return ($MACAddress -replace “(..(?!$))”,’$1:’) # insert … Continue reading

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Skype for Business Client Update while using Lync Server

Patch Tuesday has now pushed the Skype for Business client as an update: Skype for Business 2015 desktop client (lyncmso) Skype for Business 2015 desktop client (lynclochelp) If your organisation is running Lync Server 2013 (or 2010) upon first launch of the Skype for Business client your users will be presented with this: Googling for that specific message was fruitless, however I did come across the following article: Which links to this powerpoint: Which details the client experience for various server versions: Here is the information for Lync Server 2013: As you can see 2 things are required before deploying the client update: Install at a minimum server build 5.0.8308.857 (December 2014) Set-CsClientPolicy -EnableSkypeUI $true

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Out of office not replying

I had a report of a user (Bob McUser) turning on their OOF but when people emailed them no auto response was sent. After some basic troubleshooting such as “is the OOF actually turned on?” it was time to dig deeper. Bob had over 100 rules so this is where I focused my attention as Exchange has a rule quota (default: 64KB), and ultimately OOF is a rule. You can see what a users rules quota is set to using: Get-Mailbox Bob.McUser | Select RulesQuota RulesQuota ———- 64 KB (65,536 bytes)

Posted in Technology | Leave a comment

Install Windows 8.1 Preview on an Australian Surface RT

If you have tried to install the Windows 8.1 Preview on an EN-AU Surface RT, you will have encountered this error: Follow these steps to set your Surface to EN-US so that you can install the Preview. This has been tested on 2x Australian Surface RT’s but it should work on other languages too.

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

WSUS – Limit SQL (Windows Internal Database) memory

You may discover your WSUS servers SQL instance using most of the available memory – to limit its maximum memory usage, you can either do it via command line or via gui. Configure via GUI Open SQL Management Studio Connect to \\.\pipe\Microsoft##WID\tsql\query for WSUS 4 (Server 2012) or \\.\pipe\mssql$microsoft##ssee\sql\query for WSUS 3 using Windows Authentication Right click the server in Object Explorer and choose Properties

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

How to deploy Java (JRE)

Download offline installers: Start the exe In explorer, navigate to: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\LocalLow\Sun\Java\ Grab a copy of the .cab and .msi Cancel the install Download this .mst (The .mst will agree to licence, disable updates etc) Deploy using your system of choice such as Group Policy or SCCM, making sure to apply the .mst

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Send to Notepad as Admin

As an administrator, how often do you open a config file located in a protected directory, like \Windows or \Program Files, edit it, then hit save and get this lovely message? There is a pretty easy workaround for this, however it will require you to think about how you open the file before you actually open it. Type “shell:sendto” into an explorer address bar. You will end up at “%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo”

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Manage 2008 from 2012 Server Manager

NB. Don’t install this on Exchange or SharePoint servers – see comment from Chris below One of the biggest improvements to Windows Server 2012 is the (almost) all encompassing Server Manager. From any 2012 server you can now manage any other 2012 server through WinRM – but if you add a 2008 or 2008 R2 server to Server Manager, you will get a manageability warning of “Online – Verify WinRM 3.0 service is installed, running, and required firewall ports are open“. To get this working, there are 3 main steps to perform: Install Windows Management Framework 3.0 Allow remote server management through WinRM (preferred method is via Group Policy) Create firewall rules 1. Install Windows Management Framework 3.0 Go and get the appropriate .msu from here: Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 WINDOWS6.1-KB2506143-x64.MSU Windows Server 2008 SP2 64-bit versions: WINDOWS6.0-KB2506146-x64.MSU 32-bit versions: WINDOWS6.0-KB2506146-x86.MSU As you can see, there are some slight caveats. 2008 … Continue reading

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Windows – Mouse shortcuts

This will be a quick post in my current series of Windows tips and tricks – this time detailing a couple of Mouse “shortcuts” – some exclusive to Win7, others more universal. Keyboard shortcuts: detailed here The tips I find most useful: detailed here Double clicking different parts of a window DoubleClick the top left corner of a window to close it (very useful for those used to OSX and it’s close button being in the top left. I use whichever corner my mouse is closest to at the time) DoubleClick the top/bottom border of a window to vertically maximise (the window will auto expand only up and down to hit the edges of your desktop) DoubleClick anywhere on the title bar of a window to maximise it (I don’t remember the last time I actually went to the top right to click the maximise button instead of just doing … Continue reading

Posted in Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment