Author Archive

Charlie Russel

A chemist by education, an electrician by trade, a UNIX sysadmin and Oracle DBA because he raised his hand when he should have known better, an IT Director and consultant by default, and a writer by choice, Charlie is the author of more than 2 dozen computer books on operating systems and enterprise environments, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Administrator's Companion(MS Press), Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Administrator's Companion(MS Press), Windows Small Business Server 2011 Administrator's Companion(MS Press), Windows Essential Business Server 2008(MS Press), Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2(MS Press), Microsoft Windows XP Resource Kit, 3rd Edition(MS Press), and Oracle DBA Scripting Quick Reference(Prentice-Hall PTR). He has also written numerous white papers and case studies on, most recently around Windows HPC Server, and RDS Licensing.

PowerShell: Remove-ADComputer v. Remove-ADObject

April 27th, 2018 by and tagged , , , , ,

So, as I mentioned the other day, we needed to do some major cleanup of defunct and orphaned computer accounts. Most computers that hadn’t been logged in to in the last year needed to go. And there were a LOT of them! Certainly more than anyone wanted to try to do in the GUI. So, […]

Posted in Active Directory, IT Admin, PowerShell | 4 Comments »

PowerShell: Finding Orphaned Computer Accounts in AD

April 23rd, 2018 by and tagged , ,

The other day we decided it was time and more to do some cleanup of orphaned computer accounts in our AD. We are about to do some AD restructuring, and figured it was a good opportunity to clean up and remove old computer accounts for machines that no longer existed. Now there are probably lots […]

Posted in Active Directory, Network Administration, PowerShell | Comments Off on PowerShell: Finding Orphaned Computer Accounts in AD

RemoteApp Tool

April 12th, 2018 by and tagged , ,

As I was working with a Remote Desktop Session Host the other day, and creating some RemoteApps (more on that in a post shortly), I came across an interesting utility from Kim Knight, the RemoteApp ToolĀ . It makes it possible to do some interesting things with RemoteApps, including creating .msi files to deploy them. But […]

Posted in Annoyances, RDSH, Remote Desktop, RemoteApp | Comments Off on RemoteApp Tool

Creating VPNs

March 29th, 2018 by and tagged , ,

First, an apology. I usually try to be conscientious about adding new nuggets of PowerShell fun on a regular basis, but this winter, LIFE has intruded, and it simply hasn’t happened. I won’t promise it won’t happen again, but I will try to do better. Today’s post looks at a problem we’ve been dealing with […]

Posted in Annoyances, IT Admin, Network Administration, Networking, PowerShell | Comments Off on Creating VPNs

Using Invoke-WebRequest to Read a File

August 30th, 2017 by and tagged , ,

An interesting problem came up recently where we needed to standardize the creation of VPNs on new user laptops. To do that, I knew I needed to use the Add-VPNConnection cmdlet (more on that in a another post, soon.) But in order to populate the parameters of Add-VPNConnection, I needed to store the values somewhere. […]

Posted in IT Admin, Networking, PowerShell | Comments Off on Using Invoke-WebRequest to Read a File

Add a Domain User to the Local Administrators Group

June 21st, 2017 by and tagged , ,

When building out a workstation for an AD Domain user, in some environments the user is added to the local Administrators group to allow the user to install and configure applications. Now there are some of us who think that’s a Bad Idea and a Security Risk, but the reality is that it’s policy in […]

Posted in Active Directory, IT Admin, PowerShell | Comments Off on Add a Domain User to the Local Administrators Group

Copying AD User Group Permissions with PowerShell

June 6th, 2017 by and tagged , , ,

One of the tasks that I’m often asked to perform as an Active Directory domain administrator is to assign a user the same set of permissions as an existing user. This is something you can do fairly easily in the GUI (Active Directory Users and Computers, dsa.msc) when you’re first creating the user, but which […]

Posted in Active Directory, IT Admin, PowerShell, Security | Comments Off on Copying AD User Group Permissions with PowerShell

PowerShell Syntax Highlighting

May 30th, 2017 by and tagged , , ,

With Windows 10 / Server 2016, PowerShell got command-line syntax highlighting. And what a difference that makes! With syntax highlighting, it’s easier to see a mistyped line of code as you make the mistake. Combined with intelligent tab-completion, my errors/command ratio is way, way down.   Many of the same advantages accrued to readers of […]

Posted in Annoyances, PowerShell | Comments Off on PowerShell Syntax Highlighting

Guest Post — Get-myFreeSpace Revisited

May 4th, 2017 by and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Today’s post comes by way of a co-worker, Robert Carlson, who took my previous post on getting the free disk space of remote computersĀ and offered a very useful suggestion — instead of outputting strings, which is only useful for a display or report, he suggests creating a PSCustomObject and outputting that. Slick! I like it. […]

Posted in IT Admin, PowerShell, PowerShell Functions | Comments Off on Guest Post — Get-myFreeSpace Revisited

Resizing the PowerShell Console

April 28th, 2017 by and tagged , , , , ,

Windows 10’s support for high DPI displays is much better than previous iterations of Windows, but there are still some times it gets a bit confused. One such problem occurs when you have multiple high DPI displays or two displays of different sizes. If you move PowerShell console windows between displays or log back in […]

Posted in $Profile, Annoyances, Console, PowerShell | 5 Comments »

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