Tag Archives: powershell

SCOM 2012 – Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration (IE-ESC) PowerShell monitor script

This script requires the excellent Wizard to Create Powershell-based Monitors Management Pack (or a similar Management Pack to run PowerShell scripts from SCOM).

It generates a property bag of whether you have each of the Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration (IE-ESC) profiles enabled or disabled and (depending on how you’ve configured the monitor), alerts on them.

It’s just another useful little script for maintaining a good security posture for servers in your organisation.

SCOM 2012 – Firewall state PowerShell monitor script

Hmm, long time no post…

This script requires the excellent Wizard to Create Powershell-based Monitors Management Pack (or a similar Management Pack to run PowerShell scripts from SCOM).

It generates a property bag of whether you have each of the three Windows Firewall profiles enabled/disabled and (depending on how you’ve configured the monitor), alerts on them.

It’s a very useful little script to ferret out those little servers with the firewall turned off!

PowerShell – Timezone Module

I’ve been working on a few different things recently and I’ve got into a few nice things in PowerShell that I haven’t been using before. The magic of Pester is one of them! I needed to write a couple of functions to get and set the timezone on a computer. It’s not hugely complicated, but it does the job. I wrote up some tests first to get an idea on the objects I would return and how the user would interact with the cmdlets.

Also, instead of using a large ValidateSet array that would require maintaining for the Set-Timezone function, the function uses a ValidateScript that gets the valid inputs for tzutil dynamically, which is nice!

I’m still trying to figure out how to handle the _dstoff option properly, I’ll keep on it and update the module once I get it sorted.

The Timezone module can be found on my GitHub.

PowerShell Workflow – Check-Service script

I’ve recently needed to work with some services in a group of computers where only one service can be active at a time. This particular service I needed to work with is a printing service responsible for printing labels in a shared directory. If more than one service is enabled at a time, we get duplicate labels! (It led to a lot of confusion during user testing when a server was rebooted).

To automate the work required to make sure only one service is running when maintenance or other work occurs, I decided to write a script.

The script can be downloaded from here.

I used PowerShell workflow, as this seemed like a good bet for something that would benefit from the parallelism benefits that a workflow provides. The idea for me is to use it as part of a System Center Orchestrator Runbook to run the script on an alert from Operations Manager.

I worked on making the script take parameters for the computers to run against, the service to work on and how many services should be running at any one time.

Hopefully this also helps some people working to learn some of the basics of workflow, I’ll make sure to add some comments in the script to explain parts of it. Some things certainly confused me for a little while till I got things working!

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 – Importing and exporting users with PowerShell

Over the past couple of months I’ve occasionally been working with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and moving model and data sets between different environments.

Once of the downsides to this is overwriting the user and role memberships at the destination. To combat this, I had two options, the AX Data Import/eXport Framework (DIXF), or the AX PowerShell module. I think you can guess which one I went for!

Unfortunately the AX module need to be loaded in a wonderfully manual way and there are a lot of features not provided. The cmdlets even have a horrible lack of support for the very things that make PowerShell so great, like pipelining!

Even lacking these things, it’s still PowerShell, so I soldiered on. It took a little while and some features still have to be implemented, but the two scripts allow users to be imported and exported to/from a CSV, which is good enough to release for a first version.

The two scripts can be downloaded from GitHub.

There are also some features I’ll implement if I get the time, such as complete overwrite on import and support for importing/exporting user data from remote servers.

SCCM 2012 R2 – Operating System deployment when on mains power only

It’s a quick little script I just had to write, after my testing today ran into the minor issue of a flat battery… halfway through the Operating System Deployment (OSD) process.

It’s a little PowerShell script, very similar to the last one that just pops up a box asking you to plug-in the laptop if you are running on battery. I haven’t put much in the way of validation that the device is actually a laptop with a battery, but since my OSD task sequences have a laptop/desktop divide, it’s not too much of a problem!

Here’s the script, the setup instructions are similar to the earlier script, with a different name and a call to a batch file instead of the ServiceUI command.

The batch script contains the command to run ServiceUI, after deciding which copy to run the PowerShell script with, based on the boot image architecture (x86/x64). I’ve put this in at the beginning of the task sequence, once the laptop has booted to the boot image, so we can get the user input or error states dealt with up front.

SCCM 2012 R2 – Validating and setting OSDComputerName with PowerShell

I’ve recently been doing some work with System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2012 R2 recently and I was interested in validating a computer name supplied during an Operating System Deployment (OSD) task sequence before actually attempting to set it and possibly causing an error (with the computer name being too long, for example). Since that sounds like a job for PowerShell, I immediately had a look and found a reasonable solution that almost fit my needs.

As an aside to this, I’m not currently using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) in any real way, however my solution does use a component of it in order to display the PowerShell script to the user. This gave me a good excuse to run through it and start to check it out with the idea of using it more down the line.

The solution I found that almost did what I wanted can be found here (I’ve contributed my alterations there too in the comments. Thanks very much to Nickolaj for his script, as it saved me a fair bit of work!

To run the script, a few things have to be done first (Instructions with screenshots can be found in Nickolaj’s post on scconfigmgr.com.

  • Add the ‘WinPE-NetFx’ and ‘WinPE-Powershell’ features to the boot image you will be using with the OSD. (in “Boot Images > Boot image > Properties > Optional components”)
  • Download a copy of MDT that matches the boot image architecture you want (x86/x64), then extract the ServiceUI.exe file from it, usually located at “%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Deployment Toolkit\Templates\Distribution\Tools”
  • Create an SCCM package containing the script, plus ServiceUI, but don’t create a program for it, as we’ll deal with that bit when adding it to the task sequence.
  • Add a ‘Run Command Line’ task in your task sequence, then use the package created  in the previous step, along with a command line like:
ServiceUI.exe -process:TSProgressUI.exe %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe -NoProfile -WindowStyle Hidden -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -File MYSCRIPTFILENAME.ps1
After testing the script and running it, there were a couple of things I saw that could be improved:
  • First was the ability to hit enter and have that correspond to the OK button. It’s  minor thing, but makes a massive difference to the user experience!
  • Next, was the validation/correction of the computername. The original script will silently strip out invalid characters, which may leave some wondering why the computer name appears differently to how it was originally typed.

I started with making the enter button correspond to the OK button. I did this by adding the following code just before the call to load the form:

$Form.KeyPreview = $True
$Form.Add_KeyDown({if ($_.KeyCode -eq "Enter"){Set-OSDComputerName}})

Next, I wanted to remove the silent removal of user input and make it obvious to the user that they had entered an invalid computer name. I did this by re-using the existing ErrorProvider and moving the validation code to another clause in the if statement.

This meant that instead of having:

else {
  $OSDComputerName = $TBComputerName.Text.Replace("[","").Replace("]","").Replace(":","").Replace(";","").Replace("|","").Replace("=","").Replace("+","").Replace("*","").Replace("?","").Replace("<","").Replace(">","").Replace("/","").Replace("\","").Replace(",","")
  $TSEnv = New-Object -COMObject Microsoft.SMS.TSEnvironment 
  $TSEnv.Value("OSDComputerName") = "$($OSDComputerName)"

We end up with something slightly different (ignoring the use of a Regular Expression to validate the computer name instead of a multiple string.Replace())

#Validation Rule for computer names.
elseif ($TBComputerName.Text -match "^[-_]|[^a-zA-Z0-9-_]")
  $ErrorProvider.SetError($GBComputerName, "Computer name invalid, please correct the computer name.")
  $OSDComputerName = $TBComputerName.Text.ToUpper()
  $TSEnv = New-Object -COMObject Microsoft.SMS.TSEnvironment
  $TSEnv.Value("OSDComputerName") = "$($OSDComputerName)"

As you can see, this makes the script a little easier to read, which always bodes well for improvements in the future. One thing that still slightly annoys me is the format of the if elseif elseif else. This is quite close to being made a switch statement, but it’s OK until I find the need to add another clause. I’d also like to find a way to remove the MDT dependency of ServiceUI.exe, as this requires a different SCCM package or invocation based on architecture (x86/x64). However, this may not be possible due to the way the OSD task sequence works.

Here is the current script I’m using in full. Please let me know if you have any improvements you can suggest, as it’s always a good day to learn!