Eric's Technical Outlet

Learning the hard way so you don't have to

Use PowerShell to Discover Long-Distance CIM (WMI) Relationships

Usually when you need information from CIM (WMI), you only need to query a single instance. Sometimes, you need to dig through a series of class relationships to find what you want. I’ve built a pair of PowerShell scripts to make that easier.

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Change Default Cmdlet Parameters in Script Without Changing the Global Defaults

PowerShell provides the $PSDefaultParameterValues global variable so that you can pre-configure arguments for specific parameters on cmdlets that you use regularly. But, what if you want to do the same thing in a script? What if you want to do it without breaking anything in the existing global variable? With only a bit of work, you can.

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“Incorrect Function” and “Encryption Oracle Remediation” Errors

Starting with the April 2018 Windows security patches, Microsoft began cleaning up a remote execution vulnerability in CredSSP. Unfortunately, truly fixing it requires that patched systems reject CredSSP communications from unpatched systems. Developers control which authentication methods their applications use, and they won’t necessarily make you aware. So far, I have seen problems in Remote Desktop Connection and System Center products. Read more of this post

Using PowerShell for Consistent, Repeatable Windows Features Selection

Deploying Windows Servers can be a pain, even when you’ve got a templating system. How do I know that the template matches my current requirements? What do I know now that I didn’t know when that template was built? How do I easily manage the one-off differences between that template and the needs of this new system?

It’s even worse when you don’t have a template system or have overriding reasons to not to use one. You’re stuck building each new server from scratch, checking those boxes like it’s your first time.

Or, are you?

If you’re looking for a fast way to save or copy the list of selected Windows Server features and roles and apply them to a new system, PowerShell can easily help.

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Microsoft Storage Spaces vs. AMD SB950 RAID

This is a quick comparison of a parity Storage Space vs. RAID-5 on the same system.

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WiX: Add Browse for File Capability to Installer

Do you want to add the ability for a user to browse for a file to your WiX installer project? The problem is fairly straightforward, and according to my searches, a lot of people have solved it. Unfortunately, no one seems to want to publish it. Here’s how I solved it.

Also, if you’re looking for a way to have an external custom action update a text box, that’s here, too.

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PowerShell: Find Local Applications Blocked By a Remote Firewall

I’m sure we’ve all been there. You get an application that a vendor wrote and tested on a single, unfirewalled subnet. They sell it to you and you put it in your higher-security, multi-subnetted, firewalled environment, and it all falls down and goes boom. The vendor swears they’ve given you all the firewall information and then you go around-and-around for a few days, pulling network traces, etc.

So, I have thrown together a little script suite that should help you get to the bottom of it a little more quickly. Of course, a lot of times, you open one port only to discover that there is another port that will be needed that you couldn’t detect until the first one was open. Not much I can do about that in a PowerShell script, but watch the Altaro blog because I plan to demonstrate how to set up a test environment in Hyper-V to do this whole thing in a few minutes as opposed to the hours, or even weeks, it can sometimes take otherwise.

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Review of Altaro Hyper-V Backup v5

On January 26th, 2015, Altaro released version 5 of their flagship backup application for Hyper-V. I’ve had it running in my test lab for a while now and am pleased to report that this is a grand step forward. Read more of this post

New Book on Hyper-V Security

My second book is now available for purchase. Its name is Hyper-V Security. It’s a short-form book with only eight chapters. The first six are related to the host, the hypervisor, and the guests. The final two chapters were written by Andrew Syrewicze and cover security in System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

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PowerShell: Determine if an EXE is 32- or 64-bit, and Other Tricks

So, I needed to find out if a particular EXE was 32-bit or 64-bit. I found a lot of articles pointing to downloadable tools to do this, but I didn’t want another every-three-months-or-so tool to lose track of. Then I found a few confusing articles that sort of talked about how to do it programmatically that mostly managed to not really say how to do it programmatically. I found my way to Microsoft’s documentation on the executable standard and just rolled my own. In the process, I tossed in a few little tricks to go beyond just determining bitness.

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