Monday, February 11, 2013

Use PowerShell to Create New AD Users using a Template

To use and existing account as a template to create new users one would use the good old "Active Directory Users and Computers" , right? by right-clicking on the User to be used as template and selecting "Copy" which will prompt something like below:

But this blog is  meant for doing things using PowerShell.

To quickly get me started I was tempted to use "Active Directory Administrative Center" on Server 2012, so that I could see the PowerShell history for the my actions( Yeah! you can do that now !!) but there was no method to do that in AD Admin Center :O , See below


The User "Dexter POSH" is the member of the group "RemotePOSHAdmins" under the OU "POSHAdmins" in my domain. I want to add a new User here using the dexterposh user account as the template.

At first I thought of simply getting the User information using Get-ADUser and piping it into New-ADUser cmdlet (because it accepts pipeline input of type "None or Microsoft.ActiveDirectory.Management.ADUser" and Get-ADUser spits out object of the specified type) , but see below it fails :

See that I used -whatif parameter here to be cautious :)

Now what to do let's go and ask updated Get-Help. After going through help carefully I came to know that the correct parameter to use here is -Instance . So quick info on that is below:

Voila now I know how it will work :)

So I tried

But it failed probably because the "dexterposh" account is enabled and while creating a new user I didn't specify the password. So what I will do is disable it by default while creating it:

So everything worked , I noticed that you need to specify the -path to the desired OU otherwise by default the account is created in "Users" in the domain.

Now this can be used to automate creation of Users by using different templates. What we can do is create a CSV with required information for Account Creation like first name, last name etc and then a field specifying if it needs to copied from an existing account say "tocopy" which will be set to the SamAccountName of the account to be used as template and create the new users using above method.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Winter Scripting Camp 2013 - #1 Advanced Problem

First a bit background on the Winter Scripting Camp, this is the first time a Scripting camp is happening. The sole purpose of this is to make the scripters all over the world sharpen their skills for the upcoming "Scripting Games 2013". These games are much stuff to learn and personally what I like about them are they are very practical and work-oriented whatever the problems asked are very real-life PRODUCTION environment problems. This develops your approach towards the problems which you might face later in your Work Environment. I learned a whole lot of lessons while participating for last year's Scripting Games in Beginner's category. Hopefully, the Scripting Camp will make me a bit sharper this time :P

Following is the first problem of the Winter Scripting Camp...See how practical the problem is :P

#1 Advanced Section
Sizing up the Disks

You have been asked to create a Windows PowerShell advanced function named Get-DiskSizeInfo. It must accept one or more computer names, and use WMI or CIM to query each computer. For each computer, it must display the percentage of free space, drive letter, total size in gigabytes, and free space in gigabytes. If a specified computer cannot be contacted, the function must log the computer name to C:\Errors.txt and display no error message.

Below is my submission. The formatting is a bit buggy . I will edit the post later on mistakes I did here and what I learned:

  Gets the Disk Size Info
  Uses WMI to query the disk size info, then spits out custom Objects with
  required properties
  "Server1","server2" | Get-DiskSizeInfo  -Verbose
  Get-DiskSizeInfo -ComputerName "server1","server2"  -ErrorLogFile D:\errors.txt
  This example shows how to run this function against a list of computers and specifying
  an alternate log file for computers not online.
function Get-DiskSizeInfo 
  # Param1 help description 
  Position=0 )> 
  [string[]]$ComputerName=[environment]::MachineName , 

  # Param2 help description 
  [ValidateScript({Test-Path -path (split-path -parent $_) -pathtype container })] 

  Foreach ($computer in $ComputerName) { 
  if (Test-Connection -ComputerName $Computer -Count 2 -Quiet){ 
  Write-Verbose "$computer is online...getting disk size info" 
  try { 
  $wmidiskinfo = Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_LogicalDisk -Filter “DriveType = 3" -ErrorAction stop 
  foreach ($disk in $wmidiskinfo) { 
  New-Object -TypeName PSObject -Property @{ 
  'FreeSpace(in GB)'=$disk.Freespace/1GB 
  'FreeSpace(%)'=($disk.Freespace/$disk.Size) * 100 -as [int] } 
  catch { 
  Write-Verbose "Error while getting WMI Object or Creating PSObject for $computer" 
  }#end if block 
  else { 
  Write-Verbose "$computer is not online..logging" 
  if (Test-Path $ErrorLogFile){ 
  $computer | Out-File -FilePath $ErrorLogFile -Append 
  $Computer | Out-File -FilePath $ErrorLogFile 
  }#end foreach outer 
  }#end Process 
}#end Function