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What do we say to writing Active Directory documentation?

It's no secret that nobody likes creating documentation. I don't like it, and you don't like it, even documentation lovers don't like it. But while you can live without documentation, you really shouldn't. And I am not talking here only about documentation that is only useful in the onboarding process of new employees or documentation concerning introducing someone to some concepts to get them easily start. I'm talking about documentation for your live environment where you know what you have, how you have set it up, but is still the same after one week, one month, or one year? Usually, not so much. And one of the worst mistakes admin can do is assume that his environment doesn't change, things are as they were when they were set up.

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The only PowerShell Command you will ever need to find out who did what in Active Directory

While the title of this blog may be a bit exaggeration, the command I'm trying to show here does it's best to deliver on the promise. What you're about to witness here is something I've worked on for a while now, and it meets my basic needs. If you don't have SIEM product or products that monitor who does what in Active Directory this command makes it very easy, even for people who don't have much experience in reading Event Logs. If you'd like to learn about working with Windows Event Logs here's a great article I wrote recently - PowerShell - Everything you wanted to know about Event Logs and then some.

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Meet Emailimo – New way to send pretty emails with PowerShell

When reading this blog post, you may be thinking that there's nothing new one can add to emailing with PowerShell as there were tons of articles in recent years covering this subject pretty good. It's all known, and people have used it since the early days of PowerShell. You can even send an email with just one line using Send-MailMessage. Now, this post is not about that. This post is about sending HTML based emails. You see when you want to send an email that is just text based that's pretty trivial. Things get complicated when you want your emails to have some colors, some tables, some links or some lists. This is where you have to involve HTML and CSS. Since I've been working with PowerShell for a while now, I've seen my share of scripts/modules or blog posts that cover this but one thing that usually hit me - it was sometimes tough to understand what is happening, what the author is doing, and what happens if I change this or that. While I've seen people dismissing programmers doing HTML / CSS or JavaScript for not being real programmers, I disagree entirely. You have to know what you're doing if you want your stuff to look good. I've spent days or even weeks playing with HTML/CSS/JS, and I must admit half of what I do I don't even understand until I see the output. So before you go and tell people that HTML/CSS is easy, think again.

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Out-HtmlView – HTML alternative to Out-GridView

One of the most comfortable output's in PowerShell to work and analyze data is Out-GridView. It's handy as you can search, sort and have things done quicker than trying to do things in the console. However it's currently not available in PowerShell Core (PowerShell 6+), and when it is available in PowerShell 7, it will NOT be cross-platform.  Since I had released Dashimo a few days ago, I thought it was trivial to make a simple command out of it that could solve this problem.

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PSWinReporting 1.8 – Split of branches (Legacy vs. New Hope)

A new branch of PSWinReporting is slowly coming, and I thought it would be the best time to have a final article about it with all configuration options available for those that will want to stay using PSWinReporting from Legacy branch. The idea is that you may have it working in your systems and it's good enough for you. You may not want to change it, and with New Hope, the changes are so big it's a rewrite.

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PowerShell – Everything you wanted to know about Event Logs and then some

If you feel this title is very familiar to you it's because I actually have stolen the title from Kevin Marquette. I'm in awe of his posts that take you thru topic from beginning till the end. No splitting, no hiding anything, everything on a plate, in a single post. That's why I've decided to write a post that will take you on a trip on how to work with Event Logs, something that is an internal part of Windows Administration. If you've never worked with Events and you're in IT you most likely should make an effort to find out what it is and how you can eat it.

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How to find different server types in Active Directory with PowerShell

Working as a freelancer is a great thing if you can handle it. Each day, each week something new happens and a new problem shows up on my doorstep. It also means it's almost never boring at your job and you get to play with new stuff. But there's one drawback to this. You're often thrown at the problem, told to fix it but often that's about as much information as you get. It wasn't very different today. I was told to switch Office 365 from ADFS to Password Synchronization. While reasons for this are not really important, the important question here is what is the name of AD Connect server that's responsible for this configuration?

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Active Directory – How to track down why and where the user account was locked out

I've been working with Windows Events for a while now. One of the things I did to help me diagnose problems and reporting on Windows Events was to write PSEventViewer to help to parse the logs and write PSWinReporting to help monitor (with use of PSEventViewer) Domain Controllers for events that happen across the domain. It's handy and I, get those excellent daily reports of what happened while I was gone.

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How to change your own expired password when you can’t login to RDP

I must admit that it was a bit embarrassing to see my Administrator password expired when I tried to log in as Domain Admin to Domain Controller. I got this little message saying This user account's password has expired. The password must change in order to logon. Please update the password or contact your system administrator or technical support.

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