CSI Windows News
Automation: Disabling Windows 10 Upgrade Through Windows Update Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Sunday, February 7, 2016 8:45am

Recently Microsoft has changed the Windows 10 Upgraded in Windows Update to a "Recommended Update".  This dramatically expands the possibilities of some bad upgrade experiences for corporate users who do not realize the possible consequences of upgrading.  Here's a little automation to help you with that...

 
EPIC: hack.summit() Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Friday, January 15, 2016 9:48am

PluralSight's virtual hack.summit() looks like it's going to be pretty epic! Presentations by creators of various technologies and languages and a $150,000 hackathon. Worth a look:https://hacksummit.org/

hack.summit()
 
Championing PowerShell: Create Experts At Your Company Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Tuesday, November 24, 2015 7:14am

I need PowerShell, you need PowerShell, we all need PowerShell...but getting the time to invest in learning the technology can be a challenge!  We all have a lot of pressure to be productive with our regular work tasks. When this pressure is combined with existing proficiency in another scripting language, it can be a recipe for not moving forward.

Let's discuss how becoming an advocate for PowerShell in your company helps create the room for yourself and others to learn this critical IT skill. The information we'll discuss is sourced from my own experiments while advocating PowerShell adoption within an IT group of about 250.

 
Microsoft's New World / Old World Development Schizophrenia - A Case in Point Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Saturday, October 10, 2015 8:06am

For one of my clients I created a PowerShell automation framework that could work stand alone (great for testing) or under SCCM - with no coding changes to switch.  I was excited to wire up it's error reporting system to SCCM custom status MIFs.  Somehow in the age of the API the SCCM development team decided to drop this very helpful feature - but only from "Applications" because the are so much "better"...

 
Graphical JSON Editor - Great for Azure Resource Manager Templates Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 6:16pm

JSON is the native data format for data exchange with the REST APIs.  In theory humans would never have to see the data format - so it's very detailed and nested syntax would not create any problems.  Ahhh, but it's to tempting to not use it as a human authored specification file and the latest thing to use it as a hand coded input format is the new Azure automation known as Azure Resource Manager (ARM).  I was on a quest to find a *Free* JSON editor that let me *edit* not just *view* the JSON data in a tree view.  That quest ended when I found...

 
Poodles Through Burning Hoops: Plan for PowerShell 5 on Win 7 and 2008 R2 (And PSH 5 Prod Preview) Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Saturday, September 5, 2015 2:24pm
The PowerShell Production Preview was released on August 31st and the version number is 5.0.10514.6 !
Back in May I published the article "Getting PowerShell 5 Running on Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2"  It turns out there are a lot of poodles to get through the burning hoops to get a Windows 7 SP1 or Server 2008 R2 machine updated from PowerShell 2 or 3 to PowerShell 5.   "...from PowerShell 2.0..." !?! - like who in their right mind is on PowerShell 2.0 ?
 
DevOps Skillset: "Borderline Developer" Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Thursday, August 20, 2015 8:27am

When I create cover letters and resumes, it is always a challenge to convey that although I don't code in a compiled language like C#, I understand and enjoy applying serious structured coding and testing techniques to the PowerShell code I write.

I believe this is not a small distinction when looking for DevOps professionals.  Many of us from the Infrastructure side of the house cut our teeth on coding by hacking together useful scripts in languages whose capabilities were Neanderthal.  A good portion of time was spent working around the limitations of the language, rather than being empowered by it's capabilities.

 
Learning About Systems by Stepping On the Cat's Tail Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Saturday, August 15, 2015 4:59pm

When I was a toddler my dad caught me repeatedly stepping on the cat's tail.  Rather than react to my childishness with a reprimand, he simply asked "What are you doing?"  I proceeded to explain to him what is now commonly called a "four square" matrix.  

 
Avoid The Panic: Company Start Menu Folder Changed and I have Hundreds Of Packages to Update Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 5:49pm

I was teaching a great team of Packaging Automation Engineers our course "Windows Application Internals for Packaging, Virtualization, Automation and Troubleshooting" and their company had recently gone through a re-branding which included a company name change.  They were looking at a lot of work to comply with the request to change the start menu folder their company uses from the old company name to the new one.  Hundreds of packages to rebuild and reinstall ?  There has to be a better way!  There is...

 

 
Getting PowerShell 5 April Preview (5.0.10105) Running Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 (some assembly required) Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Thursday, April 30, 2015 8:48pm

I am very excited that the PowerShell team has just delivered the April Preview that allows version 5 to run on Windows 7 SP1 and Server 2008 R2 (PowerShell Version 5.0.10105).  For this preview version there are a few foibles to getting it running on Windows 7.  The PowerShell team hopes to sort these out, but in the mean time I have put together a quick config that steps you though everything with one command line.

 

 
Oneliner: Enumerate Local Drives, but NOT App-V 4 Virtual Drive Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Thursday, April 23, 2015 7:37am

I had a need to list all local drives and went for the old fall back win32_logicaldisk, but I noticed it listed the App-V 4.6 virtual drive when scanning for type "3".

 
UPDATED: Getting VMWare Networking on Hyper-V for Windows 8 via the Fewest Possible Steps Print E-mail
General
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Friday, April 10, 2015 9:41am

Wow - sometimes you don't know how easy you've got it until you step off the cliff!  That cliff for me was attempting to replace VMware Workstation with Windows 8 Hyper-V.  Hey Microsoft, you really should do something about this since I see it cited ad nauseam as a primary reason many IT Pros retreat from their attempt to adopt Win 8 Hyper-V and go back to VMware.  But in the meantime, I have some steps to make this as easy as possible.

 

 
Oneline of Code to Setup WMF 5, PowerShell 5 and the DSCResourcekit Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Saturday, March 28, 2015 12:27pm

It's true that you can download and install the WMF / PowerShell 5 preview, install it and then with PowerShell-Get, install whatever DSCResourcekit modules you want - or use a command to install them all.  But that takes too long for my ADD - especially when I need a multi-machine setup to try out the walk throughs in either of the excellent Microsoft Virtual Academy classes Getting Started With PowerShell Desired State Configuration DSC or Advanced PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) and Custom Resources!

 
Simple Settings / Data Storage and Retrieval In the Registry Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Thursday, February 5, 2015 8:16pm

Many times I've wanted a simple settings store for storing state data or settings for a script.  I thought there must be a built-in way to store and retrieve a hashtable in the registry - that would be leanest and most natural way to do it!  I was wrong... er, actually, now I am right - because like a good PowerSheller I went off and built it  :)

 
Paradigm Shift: The Power of Functions that Take Pipelined Input Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 12:00am

I wanted to build a simple function that merges all the registry files in a folder as a simple way to configure systems.  It quickly got complex when I realized it would be nice if it could also merge a single file or a bunch of reg files from a entire folder structure.  Then it hit me!

 
PSH Oneliner: Detect If Running On Virtual Machine Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Thursday, December 11, 2014 8:35pm

had to create a script that was only supposed to run on a virtual machine.  It needed to detect at least Hyper-V and VMWare, but I was about to get VirtualBox for free...

 
KB2984972 May Cause Problems with 32-bit App-V 4.6 Applications Using splwow64.exe to Print on 64-bit Windows 7 Print E-mail
Windows 64-bit
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 6:24pm
On 64-Bit Windows splwow64.exe is automatically used to interface 32-bit applications with 64-bit print drivers as part of the overall WOW64 subsystem.  Recently we applied KB2984972 and printing stopped working on most 32-bit App-V packages.
 
Idera PowerShellPlus Version 5.0 Released Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Friday, October 24, 2014 5:59am

The free Idera PowerShellPlus remains my go to PowerShell editor for the unique combination of features it has...

 
PSH Oneliner: Find Last Logged On User(s) / Owner Print E-mail
PowerShell
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Saturday, August 9, 2014 7:01am

Desktop management systems frequently add or update software using a user profile other than the actual user of the system.  This creates a classic problem in discerning which user profile(s) represent the active user(s) of the machine.  Several variants of this oneliner show a couple methods for identifying one or more "active", "recent" or "owning" users of the machine locally or remotely.  This article layer's up useful code that also demonstrates: selecting files by age, sorting one array with another, showing hidden files, selecting the most recent file and other techniques.

 
Enumerating Click To Run Installed Products for Office 365 ProPlus (2013) Print E-mail
Office 365
Written by Darwin Sanoy   
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 4:23pm

With the May 2014 release of the Office 365 Pro Plus Click To Run, Microsoft introduced the ability to install less than the entire Office suite.  Prior to this, enterprises installing Office 365 Pro Plus using *Click To Run* (NOT Windows Installer / MSI) could only install the entire suite - just like when 365 Click To Run is pull installed from the Microsoft Office 365 portal.  Awesome move Microsoft!  Many companies are planning to push only Lync 2013 Click To Run and follow up with the full Office Suite later or perhaps will need to add OneDrive at some point.  This raises an interesting question... How do you tell what 365 sub-products are already installed?

 

 
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