Author: Mike F Robbins

Mike F Robbins is a Microsoft MVP on Windows PowerShell and a SAPIEN Technologies MVP. He is a co-author of Windows PowerShell TFM 4th Edition and is a contributing author of a chapter in the PowerShell Deep Dives book. Mike has written guest blog articles for the Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog, PowerShell Magazine, and He is the winner of the advanced category in the 2013 PowerShell Scripting Games. Mike is also the leader and co-founder of the Mississippi PowerShell User Group. He blogs at and can be found on twitter @mikefrobbins.

Add an Additional Web Front-end Server to an Existing SharePoint 2010 Farm using PowerShell

You've followed the instructions in my other three blogs and built a SharePoint 2010 farm (not a stand-alone installation) with one or more web front-end servers. Per one of the notes in a TechNet article I found:  “As a best practice, we recommend the operating system on the new server should be at the same service pack level and have the same security updates and other hotfixes as the existing farm servers.”  This article also shows the steps that I’ll be demonstrating in this blog. All Read more [...]

Reset the SharePoint 2010 Passphrase with PowerShell

You’re attempting to add an additional web front-end server to your SharePoint 2010 farm and find out the passphrase you've documented is incorrect or it isn't documented. Resetting the passphrase is a fairly simple process. Open PowerShell and execute the following script. Enter the new passphrase when prompted: Most other blogs on this subject use the code shown in the image below, but why would you want the password to be shown in clear text when Read more [...]

Installing SQL Server 2012 RC0 on Server Core

Last week, I published a blog on Installing SQL Server Denali CTP3 on Server Core and then SQL Server 2012 RC0 was made available for download so I thought I’d write an updated blog since the issues I ran into with the installation seem to be resolved. One of the new features in SQL Server 2012 is official support from Microsoft for installation on Server Core. There’s an MSDN article on “Install SQL Server 2012 on Server Core” and another MSDN article on “Install SQL Server 2012 from Read more [...]

Installing SQL Server Denali CTP3 on Server Core

One of the new features in SQL Server Denali CTP3 is support for installation on Server Core. There’s an MSDN article on “Installing SQL Server Denali on Server Core” and another MSDN article on "Install SQL Server Denali from the Command Prompt" that has a detailed list of all the different parameters. Based on the first article, the setup routine should enable and/or install all of the necessary prerequisites, but that simply isn’t the case from what I found. If you just run setup Read more [...]

Check the Time on Remote Machines with PowerShell

I ran into an issue lately where the domain controller that hosts the PDC emulator FSMO role for the forest root domain became unavailable and the time for several machines in the domain was far enough off to start causing kerberos related security problems. Here's a simply Powershell script to query the time on remote machines via WMI. You could use Invoke-Command with Get-Date, but that takes too long compared to just using WMI. I chose to hard code the names I wanted to query directly into Read more [...]

Unable to Print Incoming Faxes on FaxPress

I recently received a call from a customer who has an older Castelle FaxPress 5000. They reported that their incoming faxes were no longer printing automatically even though they were receiving faxes in the "Unaddressed Faxes" queue in Faxmain. To check the settings for automatically printing incoming faxes, open Faxmain, expand the tree, right click on the “Unaddressed Faxes” folder and select properties: Verify the “Print Incoming Fax” checkbox is checked on the “Incoming Faxes” Read more [...]

ASUS Eee PC 1101HAB Netbook RAM & Hard Drive Upgrade

Read this entire blog before beginning this process since there is an issue with SSD hard drives and Windows 7 in this particular netbook model. I will also warn you that this is one of the most difficult machines to replace the hard drive in that I've seen. First, remove the battery and hold down the power button for 30 seconds. Memory Upgrade Turn the computer upside down. Remove the single screw from the memory cover: Remove the memory cover: The memory cover has clips on both Read more [...]

Initial Configuration of a Dell PowerConnect Switch

You have a new out of the box Dell PowerConnect Switch and need to assign it an IP address so you can remotely access and manage it. Connect a 9 pin serial (female to female) cable to the switch. You’ll probably need a USB to Serial Port adapter on the computer end since most computers (especially laptops) no longer have serial ports. Open up Hyper Terminal or another terminal emulation program. Configure the connection for: Bits Per Second = 9600, Data Bits = 8, Parity = None, Stop Bits = 1, Read more [...]

Terminal Server Related PowerShell Scripts

Thought I would post a couple of PowerShell scripts that I’ve recently written. Both of these scripts were written specifically for terminal servers but they can be modified as needed. The first one finds what terminal servers a user is logged into. It retrieves a list of terminal server names from the specified OU. I started out by using the Get-TSServers cmdlet for the list of servers, but that cmdlet takes a while and you have more control by just using the Get-ADComputer cmdlet since your Read more [...]

Find AD User Account Lockout Events with PowerShell

A few weeks ago a user contacted me and stated they were constantly being locked out throughout the day. This could have been caused by a number of things from someone else trying to log in as them to being logged in somewhere else, changing their password and the session with the old password still being active. I ran a search of the security event log on the domain controllers and found the name of the machine that the user was being locked out from. The event ID for lockout events is 4740 for Read more [...]

Create AD Group and Copy a Group’s Members with PowerShell

This week, I was asked if I could export a list of users who were members of a specific group in Active Directory. My Question: What's this list for? Answer: We're working on a project that requires us to create a new security group in Active Directory and we're going to add all the users on the list to the new group. I determined that this new group really was necessary. My response: I can do even better than providing you guys with a list. I can create the new AD group, output a list of users, Read more [...]

Restore a Replaced Document in SharePoint Server 2007

A few weeks ago I had someone ask me about restoring a single Excel spreadsheet in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS).  The spreadsheet had been overwritten by uploading another one in its place with the same file name. Versioning was not turned on in this document library. The spreadsheet that needed to be restored was not in the user's or admin's recycle bin. I guess that's because it wasn't actually deleted. I decided that if the data is saved in the SharePoint content database Read more [...]

Installation of the Windows 8 Developer Preview

The Windows 8 Developer Preview was publicly released this past Tuesday evening via the new Windows Dev Center. I actually thought I was going to miss out on the opportunity to try out this preview version since I’m not currently a MSDN subscriber. I was happy to learn that it was made available for anyone to download. Since this is a preview version, I decided to load it as a virtual machine on a Hyper-V server. This kept me from tying up any of my machines that I need to work properly on a Read more [...]

Resolving SharePoint 2010 PDF Issues with PowerShell

PDF’s that have been uploaded to your SharePoint 2010 document libraries do not show the correct icon and only give you the option of saving instead of opening them: The following PowerShell script downloads a 17x17 GIF image from named pdficon_small.gif, places it in the images folder under the 14 hive, associates it in the DOCICON.XML file, sets Browser File Handling to Permissive, and then runs IISReset:   The first part of the script downloads Read more [...]

Dell EqualLogic PS4000 – Creating a Volume with PowerShell

Download the EqualLogic Host Integration Toolkit (HIT Kit) for Microsoft from the EqualLogic support site. Install the PowerShell Tools portion of the HIT Kit on the computer you want to manage the SAN from. For a PS4000, this computer doesn't need access to the iSCSI network as long as it has connectivity to the management network. The following PowerShell script creates a 36GB thin provisioned volume named mikefrobbins with a snapshot reserve of 100%, sets a description for the volume, allows Read more [...]

The Easy Way to Create a Bootable Windows 7 USB Flash Drive

I recently loaded Windows 7 on my netbook computer and ran across a tool named "Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool" which makes creating a Windows 7 bootable USB flash drive much easier. Download and install this tool. Open the program and select the ISO you want to copy to your USB flash drive. Select "USB device": Select the USB flash drive you want to copy the Windows 7 installation media to. Warning: This process erases all data that currently exists on the USB flash drive you Read more [...]