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.