Powershell

Powershell – Testing a Port with Test-NetConnection

Since Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft released Powershell 4. A new cmdlet can be use to troubleshoot network connections issues : Test-NetConnection.

With Windows version older than Windows 8.1, you must install the Telnet client to test if a specific port is open on a remote host. Now, we have a built-in tool!

Test-NetConnection with google

Test-NetConnection with google

Let’s see how to use this cmdlet:

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Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 – Force Start Menu Layout

When you deploy Windows 8.1 in your environnement, you may define a strategy to force all users to have the same Start Menu Layout. This layout was defined by IT Team and will be provide to all computers.

For example, I set a custom layout: I added some tools and application groups:

Windows 8.1 Custom Start Menu

Windows 8.1 Custom Start Menu

If you want to deploy this Start Menu Layout, you can do it with:

  • Powershell cmdlet on the computer
  • ConfigMgr (SCCM)
  • Group Policy

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Windows 8.1

Security – Local Administrator Password Solution LAPS

Since Windows Server 2008, we can use Group Policy Preferences to set a password for Local Administrator on all workstations in an OU. In May 2014, Microsoft released a patch to remove this feature. KB2962486

In fact, the password was stored insecurely. It was crypted using a key which is now public MSDN. This is a security leak, password are sent in “clear” and several time by day, using GPO application. If KB2928120 is installed on your system, you can’t no more use GPO to define password for:

  • Drive Maps.
  • Local Users.
  • Scheduled Tasks.
  • Services.
  • Data Sources.

With the Security patch, Microsoft provided a Powershell script to change local password remotely.

Since few days, Microsoft released a new tool: Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS). With this tool, computers are able to randomly change password for local administrator and store it in Active Directory attribute.

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Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 – Disable Wireless Setup

Wireless Setup

When you deploy Windows 8.1 on computers which have a Wifi adapter, there is a step in the Setup Wizard to choose the Wifi network, even if ethernet card is active.

Wireless Setup

Wireless Setup

This step can block a SCCM task sequence or a MDT deployment because the Wizard asks for an action.

Fortunately, this step can be bypass/disabled by using an unattend.xml file.

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Windows 8.1

Powershell – Uninstall Modern UI Apps on Windows 8

When you deploy a new Windows 8/ 8.1 operating system, you have a lot of Modern UI Application in your profile. But, for an enterprise, these Apps can be annoying: almost all of them are for personnal use.

By example, we can find:

  • Food & Drinks
  • Health & Fitness
  • Reader
  • Games

ModernUI App
Hopefully, you can remove / uninstall  modern ui Apps by using a Powershell command line.

Microsoft provides two type of Powershell Cmdlet, depend of if you want to remove Apps on a User Profile, or on a System:

  • Get-AppxPackage, retrieves all Modern UI Apps for a user profile.
  • Get-AppxProvisionedPackage,retrieves all Modern UI Apps for a system.

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