Advanced Windows PowerShell Scripting Video Training

Advanced Windows PowerShell Scripting Video Training
Advanced Windows PowerShell Scripting Video Training

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Question: Will DNSLINT work on Windows Server 2003?

The short answer is yes. DNSLINT works on Windows 2000 and later Operating Systems. DNSLINT helps you troubleshoot Active Directory . The link below will provide more of a description of DNSLINT and the download site from Microsoft.

Class: 6421A Configuring and Troubleshooting a Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Question: What do you need to do to Active Directory to prepare it for Windows Server 2008?

You need to run the ADPREP command to populate your current Windows Server 2003 Active Directory environment with the schema and permissions to support the new features of Server 2008. You can get the ADPREP software on the Server 2008 source DVD at \sources\adprep folder.

You have several options at this point:
/ForestPrep – Use this on the server holding the Schema Operations Manager Role. This preps the entire forest.
/DomainPrep – Run this after /ForestPrep in the domain that you want to add a Windows Server 2008 Domain Controller. This must be on the machine with the Infrastructure Operations Master Role for the domain.

Class: 6421A Configuring and Troubleshooting a Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure

Monday, December 29, 2008

What does /W stand for in server core “Start /w”

In Windows Server 2008 Server Core, only a command prompt is present as the user interface. You still have access to some of the GUIs. For example, type taskmgr and press Enter. The Task Manager will pop up. For most of the administration of server core, you will either use an MMC snap in that is redirected to the Server Core, our via command line directly on the Server Core box. The Start /W command is used before you initiate an action, like installing a role, that will take some time. This will cause the user interface to "wait" until the installation is completed. This prevents you from taking actions that will failure if done before an installation is completed.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Is certification worth it?

Is certificatoin worth it? That was an interesting question that one of my students gave me. I said that is a very good question. After all, completing a certification is costly. Here are my thoughts on this.

1) Certification is an investment. You need to choose your investments wisely. You will spend your resources in both time and money. Ask yourself, what am I going to get out of this? Are you motivated to increase your knowledge, your salary, or respect among your peers? Make sure the direction you choose gets you a good return on your investment. As in financial investment, poor decisions will hurt your long term gains. Wise decisions will increase your gains quickly.

2) Certification may not increase your income right away. When I completed my first MCSE on November 13, 1998, I was very excited. 10 months and 6 exams later, I did it. Once my certificate arrived at work, my co workers were congratulating me when the big boss himself came around. He looked at the certificate and said "Where did you get this? Out of a box of Cracker Jack?" I'm not kidding. Obviously no raise followed. He was more then willing to use my certification for his advantage. Lesson learned, you may have to move on to get that big raise. Another option is to include the certification as part of your formal annual goals with the stipulation of a raise when completed.

3) Will you be an expert after it is done? That depends on you. In the early days of Microsoft certification, people were getting some serious salaries from becoming an MCSE. Something happened though. MCSEs where appearing who could not do the job. They did not take the time to actually learn the material. They got those 6 figure jobs, messed up, and lowered the value of our certifications. When my students ask about the content of the exams I simply tell them to read their books and get as much experience as possible. Rarely have I ever come across a problem that was actually on the exams. I was successful because my preparations made me learn more than the exam.

4) Was it worth it? Well, I’ve doubled my salary from my first post college job. I’m able to provide for my family and keep a roof over their heads. I’ve been able to advance my career in the Navy because of my skills and I’m able to provide training and mentoring to aspiring IT professionals. In short, I’m enjoying being an MCT.

Certification is worth it.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Exchange Announcment

I'm happy to announce that I've completed my MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator. Now that I've completed this processes, I'll begin taking my 7 years of Exchange administration experience and using it to enhance the official Microsoft curriculum for Exchange Server 2007. Like creating a fine wine, I'm taking my time and exercising patience in my class development. My attention will be turned on developing a 5 day track consisting of:

5047: Introduction to Installing and Managing Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP1

5049: Managing Messaging Security Using Microsoft Exchange Server 2007

5050: Recovering Messaging Servers and Databases Using Microsoft Exchange Server 2007

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Question: How do you turn off User Access Control in Windows Server 2008?

User Access Control is the source of frustration for many, and a job savers for others. It is also the source of one of my favorite Mac vs. PC commercials. Windows Server 2008 has UAC built is, as does Vista which is the client for Server 2008. You can turn off UAC in the same fashion in Server 2008 as you can in Vista. I recommend against it though. UAC is a key feature of Windows 2008 security. There are ways to modify its behavior. First, how to turn it off.

To turn off UAC
1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2. In Control Panel, click User Accounts.
3. In the User Accounts window, click User Accounts.
4. In the User Accounts tasks window, click Turn User Account Control on or off.
5. If UAC is currently configured in Admin Approval Mode, the User Account Control message appears. Click Continue.
6. Clear the Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer check box, and then click OK.
7. Click Restart Now to apply the change right away, or click Restart Later and close the User Accounts tasks window.

If you access your server with an account that is in the local Administrators group, you can change the default behavior of the UAC prompt from prompt for credentials, to the less annoying prompt for consent. Here is how it works.

• Click Start --> Administrator Tools --> Local Security Policy. (You can also do this through group policy.)
• Expand Local Policies --> Security Options.
• Open the properties for User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for Administrators in Admin Approval Mode.
• Here you can:
o Elevating without prompting (Not recommended, but it leaves UAC turned on for non-administrators).
o Prompt for credentials (You have to provide a username and password.
o Prompt for consent (You just click Continue).


Class: 6421A Configuring and Troubleshooting a Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Class Question: How big can a .PST file be?

The recommendation is no larger than 2 GB. Here is a link to explain the performance problems that you will have with larger files, a hot fix to help out, and several methods of how to handle the situation.

Class: Information Worker: Outlook 2007 Power User*
Date: November 12, 2008
Location: Indiana State University
*The Information Worker series is available through LanTech Training in Indianapolis. Please visit their website for more information

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

TIP: Keep Your Travel Cost Down

When I was just starting out, another MCT told me that it is all about raising your rate. You know, that daily chunk of change that we charge our clients to provide trainer. There is another way to maximize your profits/lower your cost. Should you be in the position where you need to preset an all inclusive price, you may want to consider using one of those online bidding sites for your hotel.

Before you start bidding, wouldn’t it be nice to know what hotels in the area are accepting? Try I personally use this site to determine which hotels accept what offers. I have one of those sleep comfort beds. It rocks. I also know that Ramada has them. I was able to use the information from to get Ramada to accept my offer.

By keeping your lodging cost low, you can maximize your profits after costs and even provide a better rate to your clients without cutting your profit.

How to do it:
- Browse to the site.
- Select the State.
- Take note that large metropolitan areas may be listed with the state.
-Locate the city you want and take a look at what they are accepting.
- You are usually going to stay in a good hotel if you do not go below 2.5 stars. I’ve stayed at 2 starts before and was perfectly happy.
- On your bidding site, offer about $5 under what they are accepting (unless a hotel you do not want may accept it) and at a star level one higher.
- On offer #2, raise the offer to the expected price and at the same star level as the hotel.
- If they do not accept, offer a few bucks more, but do not go below 2 stars.
- Remember, they tack on taxes and services fees once the offer is accepted.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Class Question: What does Auto Archive move?

AutoArchieve will move objects in exchange to the users Archieve.pst file at certain intervals, after the objects have reached a certain age. By default, AutoArchieve runs every 14 days. You can change this behavior be clicking on the Tools menu and then clicking the Options tab and the AutoArchive button.

When AutoArchive runs, it will move objects from your exchange folder to the archieve.pst file if they exceed the age listedbelow.

Inbox and Drafts : 6 months
Sent Items and Deleted Items : 2 months
Outbox : 3 months
Calendar : 6 months
Tasks : 6 months
Notes : 6 months
Journal : 6 months
Contacts : Do not expire

The Archive.pst file is stored in the users profile at
(WindowsXP) - C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Appdata\local\Microsoft\Outlook
(Windows Vista) - C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\archive.pst

Class: Information Worker: Outlook 2007 Power User*
Date: November 12, 2008
Location: Indiana State University
*The Information Worker series is available through LanTech Training in Indianapolis. Please visit their website for more information

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Questions: What products are included in Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008 has a lot of extras that you can add on to enhance the server…..for free. We call them Roles and Features. Roles being major components and Features being enhancements to the roles. Here are a few.

AD RMS (Active Directory Rights Management Service)
AD RMS allows users, as opposed to Network Administrators, the ability to assign permissions to content. In the past, we as Net Admins, had to manage this. Now, with RMS aware applications like Office 2007, users can do this as well. Think about the PDF file that would not allow you to print it. Users can do the same to help protect their shared content. They can even determine who can read and modify their content, regardless of NTFS or file share permissions.

AD FS (Active Directory Federated Services)
AD FS allows you to securely share your networks resources with other organizations. The nice thing about AD FS is that you give access permissions to an organization and the other organization manages the user accounts. This give you the control off the access, the other organization the control of who gets the access, and SSO (Single Sign On) for the users.

Hyper-V allows you to run servers (or clients) in a virtual environment. This allows you to save money in hardware and electricity. It alsow has some unique options to recovery quickly from a down physical server.

NAP (Network Access Protection)
NAP helps to protect your network. Let’s say that some who a users laptop mysterious lost its antivirus software while away from the office for a month. NAP can be set to not allow this client access to your secured network. Instead, it sends it to another network that will allow it to download and install the antivirus product, clean itself, and then admit it into the secure network.

Windows Server 2008 has many more features available at no additional cost to you. Visit the Windows Server Web Site for more details on what comes with Windows Server 2008.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Class Question: Does Outlook Express support .PST files.

Outlook Express (and Windows Mail in Vista) do not support .PST files from Outlook. You can however, import both mail and contacts from Outlook if Outlook express is running on the same PC as Outlook.

Here are some instructions on how to import and export data in Outlook Express:

Class: Information Worker: Outlook 2007 Power User*
Date: November 12, 2008
Location: Indiana State University
*The Information Worker series is available through LanTech Training in Indianapolis. Please visit their website for more information

Monday, December 15, 2008

Remote Assistance offers over a VPN

In this day and age of Business 2.0, many organizations relay on VPN access for their users. You can offer them remote assistance. The process may be a bit more difficult. First off, you may have to use the clients IP address. You can ask the user for the IP address, but with Vista assigning both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses to each physical and virtual adapter, this could be frustrating for all parties. If you have access to the RRAS server the user is connected to, you can look up the properties of the connection. This should tell you the IP address to use in the offer. If DHCP Relay is enabled on the RRAS server, you may be able to look at your DHCP server for the IP address or use the name of the client.

Port issues on the local client, as well as the local network the client is on, will have an impact on your connection. I’ve found that DCOM port 135 seams to be the one most people are talking about. Here is the procedure to create an exception in the Windows Firewall for it ( Nothing can be done about a remote networks firewall settings. I found that Startbucks (Pay for use) and Panera Bread (Free Internet) allows me to remote access a VPN client.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Why have the Aero interface in Windows Server 2008?

That is a good question. Why would you need all that 3D eye candy and tie up funds in a video card that can run the aero experience? I have two reasons why.

The first reason is that some users may use Windows Server 2008 as there desktop. Yes, I have seen it. The second reason is that some users may connect via a terminal session. By enabling the “Desktop Experience” feature, as it is known in Server 2008, you are making the Aero experience available.

This also makes available the built in applications of Windows Vista. This includes such programs as Windows Calendar, Sync Center and Media Player.

To enable the Desktop Experience:
• Open the Server Manager.
• Click Features
• Right click Features and select Add Feature
• Check Desktop Experience.
• Click Next.
• Click Install.
• Allow the server to reboot.
• The shutdown may take a few minutes.
• The Resuming Configuration window may be active for a few minutes befor confirming the installation.
• Close Server Manager.
• Click Start
• Type Services.msc and press Enter.
• Right click the Themes service and select the Startup Type: to Automatic.
• Click OK.
• Right Click the Themes service and click Start.
• Right click the desktop and select Personalize.
• Click Theme.
• In the Theme drop down menu, select Vista Theme.
• Click OK.
• Wait for a few moments and the Vista look and feel will become your interface.

On a trouble shooting note, you may still not get all of the Aero experience. If this is the case, download the Vista drivers for your video card. Not all the necessary drivers may be shipped with Server 2008.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Class Question: When you have multiple accounts, what e-mail address will the “Reply” button place if the original message was not addressed to you

This answer not coming from Microsoft, but it sounds reasonable.
When you have multiple accounts configured in Outlook, the account that's used to send mail varies based on several things:

• When you compose a new email, Outlook uses the email account that you've configured as your default.
• When you reply or forward an email, Outlook uses the email account that the message was originally received on.
• In either case, you can explicitly specify the account to use via the Accounts drop down item that appears next to the message's send button.

The original post that I read this off of came from Leo Notenmoon (

Class: Information Worker: Outlook 2007 Power User*
Date: November 12, 2008
Location: Indiana State University
*The Information Worker series is available through LanTech Training in Indianapolis. Please visit their website for more information

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Correction to a Lecture: Outlook Voting Buttons

On occasion, I do discover a mistake that I made in class. Below is part of the long list of Questions and Answers I sent to Indiana State University following my presentation of Outlook Power User. I keep track of all questions that my students ask, in regards to the material, that we cannot answer in class and I email them the results of my research.

I found a portion of the lecture that I skipped over concerning voting buttons. While reviewing the voting button setting in Technet to discover if it is possible to receive the result over Outlook Anywhere, I found that I skipped a step. Below is the complete procedure from creating the email to viewing the results.

1. Start by creating a new e-mail.
2. Address the email and give it the subject and body that you want to use.
3. Click the Options tab
4. Click Use Voting Buttons.
5. You can use the present voting options or click Custom.
6. You have the option of clicking Save Sent Item and telling Outlook to use another folder or to use the Default Folder which will place the message in your Sent Items folder.
7. Send the message.
8. Once you have responses, go to Sent Items (Or whatever folder you saved the message to).
9. Open the original email that you sent.
10. In the upper left hand corner in the Show area, click Tracking. This will show you the results.

• For your users to vote.
o When they receive the message, have them look in the upper left hand corner of the window in the Respond section.
o Click Vote and select the their option.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

To Use Group Policy to Configure Exclusive "Offer Remote Assistance"

In Windows XP, we had this neat feature where our users could ask us to remote control their computers. The reality was us asking them to ask for remote support. This caused a lot of frustration for our users to be able to utilize this very helpful tool. Below is a section describing how to designate Experts to offer users remote assistance. The users simple need to Accept the offer.

  • To Use Group Policy to Configure Exclusive "Offer Remote Assistance"
    As needed, see Appendix B: Resources for Learning About Group Policy for Windows Vista, and then edit an appropriate GPO.
  • Expand Computer Configuration, expand Administrative Templates, expand System, and then click Remote Assistance.
  • In the details pane, double-click Solicited Remote Assistance, click Disabled, and then click Next Setting.
  • For the Offer Remote Assistance setting, click Enabled, click Show, and use the Add button to accounts of support professionals who you want to allow to offer assistance.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I little bit of Netiquette

Like most other MCTs, I do a lot of research. I read a lot of blogs from other trainers and generally have a positive experience. I do want to remind everyone that we can respectfully disagree with each other in a professional manner. I’ve read some downright nasty comments to some people’s posts. Written communication is very difficult to interpret. When we communicate we have the ability to use inflection in our voices to convey a message. We can also use body language to convey that message and to see if it was received as intended. In written communications, we have neither immediate feedback nor any way of determining if the message that we sent was received as intended.

Here is a quick exercise that I use while teaching leadership to our Naval personnel. On a piece of paper, write down all the ways that people communicate with each other while standing face-to-face. After you have completed your list, cross out everything that is not valid when you communicate via e-mail. You will see what you have to work with is very small.

In short, if we want to disagree with someone, first finish reading the post. Often, I read comments that sound like they were formed in the first 3 sentences of a two paragraph post. Then, disagree in a respective fashion if you still feel the need to.

As for the authors (I’m guilty on this one), be careful in your choice of words. Authors need to select words that will properly convey their meaning. Often I've had my posts or comments that I've made taken completely out of context because I did not take the time to choose the correct words.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Class Question: Does Instant Search in Outlook 2007 require Windows Search?

On Technet, I found this line in an article talking about Extending Windows Search:
Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 or later has instant search powered by Windows Search and does not require installation of a separate toolbar.

In another article from the Windows 7 (That’s Vista’s replacement) the engineering team talked about the future uses of Windows Search. Windows Search, or Indexer, is open for use by developers. Even the Google Search Bar uses it. By all indications, it is not going away. The idea is to already search your files before you do. That way you get faster response times. The indexer does have some intelligence though. I knows that there are some folders that it does not need to search. It also knows to slow down its activities once the user starts to utilize the PC and to stop all activity if needed. It also only needs to run once. After that, it only indexes changed files.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Exchange Announcement!!!

I completely forgot to post this. After managing an Exchange system for 7 years, I finally took the Exchange exam (70-236) and passed.

What does this mean for my clients?
Starting in early 2009, I’ll be offering Exchange classes.

Why not right now?
I’m working on my MCITP Enterprise Message Administrator credential. That takes a large chunk of my time. I also want to make sure I’m adding value to each class that I instruct beyond the course guidance from Microsoft. In the end, it will be a better class for my students.

Friday, December 5, 2008

TIP: Making sure you are dressed

Sometimes I can be a little obsessive in preparing to go somewhere to instruct. I have a simple rule when it comes to how many clothes to bring. Always bring an extra days worth. You never know when you are going to spill your breakfast on your shirt or when you are going to pop a button. That reminds me, a small sewing kit can do wonders.

I like to start off day 1 in a tie. It sets a more professional tone. The rest of the week really depends on the environment. A few weeks ago I stepped in for a friend and instructed her Outlook 2007 Power User class at Indiana State University. I walked in with a tie and the first thing they said to me was to take it off if I like. It's better to be a little over dressed then under dressed. By the way, keep the short sleeves with a tie for the Nerd Herd. Were long sleeves.

A reversible belt also comes in handy. It does not matter if you are packing brown or black/blue pants. Just flip the buckle to the show the appropriate color. Several times I had to make the late night Big Box Mart run because I packed black, but needed brown.

Just remember, if you want to charge that higher rate or get higher evaluation marks from your students, dress for it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Class Question: Can you take one users .PST file and have another user open it?

Yes you can. If the user entered a password when they created it, you will need the password. I’ve done this several times. Remember, opening up a .PST file from a newer version of Outlook into an older version will not work. I’ve had to do this several times at work for people. You need to click File à Import and Export. Then click Import from another program and select Personal Folder File (.pst). Don’t forget to check the Include Subfolders option when it is presented.

Class: Information Worker: Outlook 2007 Power User*
Date: November 12, 2008
Location: Indiana State University
*The Information Worker series is available through LanTech Training in Indianapolis. Please visit their website for more information

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Class Question: Can you set up a reoccurring e-mail?

Outlook does not support recurring e-mail. Microsofts recommendation is to create a script that send the e-mail and to launch the script using Task Manager. Microsoft also provides instructions on how to e-mail a custome task for in a reoccurring fashion:

Below is a sample script from Microsoft Script Repository for sending an SMTP mail message from a .vbs script file.

Set objEmail = CreateObject("CDO.Message")

objEmail.From = ""
objEmail.To = ""
objEmail.Subject = "Atl-dc-01 down"
objEmail.Textbody = "Atl-dc-01 is no longer accessible over the network."

Make sure you have the SMTP service installed and use Task Manager to run this script.

Class: Information Worker: Outlook 2007 Power User*
Date: November 12, 2008
Location: Indiana State University
*The Information Worker series is available through LanTech Training in Indianapolis. Please visit their website for more information

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hidding folders users do not have access to

Through the years that I've spent supporting networks and their users, I've come across a common problem. I often have problems with having to give access to shared folders to users that also contain folders that they do not have access to. I'm of course the bad guy when I have to tell them that they do not have access to those folders. How dare I. Well, Windows Server 2008 (and Windows server 2003 SP 1with a plug in) offers a solution. It is called Access-Based Enumeration.

Access-Based Enumeration allows the operating system to filter out all the folders that the user does not have access to when the user browses to the shared folder. This helps to reduce user frustration, tech support calls, and increases user productivity by reducing the number of folders they see that do not apply to them.

So, how do you implement this magical wonder? Well, first off you need to have Distributed Files System installed and your distributed files configured. Next:

•Click Start --> Administrator Tools --> Share and Storage Management
•Open the properties for your distributed folder
•Click the Advanced button.
•Check Enable Access-based enumeration.

There is also a hotfix for Windows Server 2003 SP1 and Windows XP SP2 to be able to use DFS.


Download for Windows Server 2003 SP1:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Class Question: Is there a way to restore the “Default” settings in Outlook for a user?

If by “Default” you mean the way there email works:
• Open Outlook.
• Click Tools -> Options.
• Click the Mail Format tab
• Click Stationary and Fonts.
• Click Theme.
• Select No Theme.

According to Microsoft ( the appearance of your documents (email in this case) is controlled by templates. The default template for Outlook 2007 is Replacing this file with a clean copy will restore it to normal, should it become corrupted.

As for the user’s Outlook profile as a whole, thus far deleting it may be the only way to clean up a profile. Make sure you follow good backup procedures before doing this. First delete the profile on the users computer. Then, create a new Outlook profile from them. As long as the profile in Exchange was not removed, Exchange and Outlook will re-sync the users data.

Class: Information Worker: Outlook 2007 Power User*
Date: November 12, 2008
Location: Indiana State University
*The Information Worker series is available through LanTech Training in Indianapolis. Please visit their website for more information