Category Archives: Code

Any Coding or Hacks to perform a task

Formatting Device | “diskpart”

Formatting a USB Flash Drive using the “diskpart” utility:

Diskpart also resolves issues with formatting within Windows GUI:

Error: “Format Cannot Run because the volume is in use by another process” & “Will not format – unknown capacity


list volume
select volume X
create partition primary
format fs=ntfs quick label=DATA
assign letter X

VMware | Enable SNMP

Although SNMP traps can be configured within Windows VMs installed on the VMWare host it can also be configured to report directly from ESXi. This configuration helps monitoring software such as Solarwinds or Spiceworks.

Configure ESXi SNMP via CLI (with Prompts):

Download/Install: VMware vSphere CLI 5.1

@echo off
echo Enter the FQDN of the host:
set /p hostname=
echo Enter the root password:
set /p password=
set user=root
"C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware vSphere CLI\bin\" --server %hostname% --username %user% --password %password% -c ESX -t --enable
"C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware vSphere CLI\bin\" --server %hostname% --username %user% --password %password% -show >> c:\ESXi_SNMP.log

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Lync 2013 Deployment

Excellent post on the deployment of Lync 2013 via Script:

I customized the Lync installation using the Office /admin application (see above) and then pushed this out to users via script/GPO. This is a very basic script to check whether Lync is already installed, if not then will run the setup.exe using the custom installer in the “updates” folder.

REM Automated Installer for Lync 2013
REM Note the setup.exe uses a custom .MSP to install lync with settings, registry keys and product activation.
@echo off
if exist "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\lync.exe" goto quit
if exist "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\lync.exe" goto quit
if exist "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Lync\communicator.exe" goto quit

I’d be interested to know if there is a much better way to do this as it really is very basic and doesn’t include error handling.

Show “system uptime” single/multiple servers

“Show uptime of multiple computers” – Looking after multiple servers, I wanted to check which have rebooted and require rebooting due to windows updates. In order to interrogate multiple servers I can use the Sysinternals “PSTools”

Multiple Servers: (Output to txt)

  1. Download PSInfo
  2. Install PSInfo to a chosen location i.e. c:\windows\system32
  3. cmd
psinfo uptime \\* c:\ShowSystemUptimesReport.txt

Uptime = Shows only uptime
\* = checked every pc on the local network

> c:\inventory.txt = Outputs file to this location


psinfo uptime \\Server-DC1,Server-DC2 > c:\ShowSystemUptimesReport.txt

Single server: (without tools)

systeminfo | find "System Boot Time:"

Office 2013 | Changing *.OST Location | Regedit

This needs a registry update, customize the string value with your OST path.

This is for Office 2013, but can be used with Office 2007/2003 by changing the “15.0” version option.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
"ForceOSTPath"=string:D:\My Documents\Outlook

Once the registry update has been completed, create a new profile (which defaults to this location) and move the old .ost to this directory (same file-name and overwrite the existing .ost)

AD LDAP Attributes | Common Entries

List of common LDAP AD fields which can be used with the “DSQuery” or other tools which lookup AD objects.

csvde -m -f c:\DSQueryUsers.csv -d "OU=Users,OU=UK,DC=domain,DC=localm" -r "(&(objectClass=*)(mail=*))" -l displayName,userPrincipalName

In order to simplify the process of creating LDAP queries you can use the SysInternals “Active Directory Explorer” tool to help with this process.

See Below for table:

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Adding “Trusted Sites” to IE10 | Regedit | BAT | GPO

I’ve been looking for a simple method to add trusted sites into Internet Explorer 10 since they removed the “Internet Explorer Maintenance” (“The Internet Explorer Maintenance (IEM) snap-in is replaced by the Internet Explorer 10 preference extension”) options from the Server 2012 GPO.

Unfortunately a number of the methods for “adding trusted sites” prevent the local user from being able to customise the list with any additional sites. The method below is the quickest I have found to add a site to the “trusted sites” whilst also allowing users customisation. The following will add “” to the trust sites list:

*.BAT File Method:

REM See for Reg Commands/Switches
REG ADD "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap\Domains\\work" /v "http" /t REG_DWORD /d 00000002 /Y

*.REG Method:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap\Domains\\work]

Note: The dword number represents the following values:

  • 1: Intranet sites
  • 2: Trusted Sites
  • 3: Internet
  • 4: Restricted Sites.

GPO Method:
The alternative option would be to use a GPO, usually my preference however I found this a little bit more complex so opted for the *.BAT option. This is a top site for GPO guides: GPO to configure IE zones sites (remember if you use this method the users can’t make changes themselves, but great for a controlled environment.

Outlook 2010 | Enable/Disable Cached Exchange Mode | Regedit

If “Cached Exchange Mode” in Outlook is grayed it can be switched on/off via regedit.

To Enable OST files and switch cached exchange mode on:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\14.0\outlook\cached mode]

To Disable OST files and switch cached exchange mode off:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\14.0\outlook\cached mode]

You can also enabled/disable cached exchange mode for shared mail folders (note this is only slightly different and contained under “Policies”):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Cached Mode]

Reference: KB982697

Change/View/Edit Microsoft Office Product Key | CScript

View Office License/Product Key installed:

Office 2010 (32-bit) on a 32-bit version of Windows:

cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

Office 2010 (32-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows

cscript "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

Office 2010 (64-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows

cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

Office 2013 (32-bit) on a 32-bit version of Windows

cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

Office 2013 (32-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows

cscript "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

Office 2010 (64-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows

cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

Install Office Key via *.BAT file:

cd c:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
cscript ospp.vbs /inpkey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
cscript ospp.vbs /act

Change Office License/Product Key installed:

Quickest method I use for Office 2010 to prompt for a new license/product key (and remove the existing one entered):

Regedit -> right click “Registration” and delete the entire key:


When you load Office, it should now prompt you to enter the license/product key.

.PAC File Example

Basic PAC file configuration. The browser can be configured to point to this file (proxy.pac) in order to direct the browser traffic to the correct Gateway Proxy server. The path can be configured to use a public URL such as

Internet Explorer -> Tools -> Internet Options -> Connections -> LAN Settings -> Automatic Configuration -> Use Automatic configuration script

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Delete folder/files | CL

Methods to delete files via command line: Normally I take ownership of the folder/files (takeown):

takeown /f c:\folder\location /r /d y
  • /r Performs a recursive operation on all files/folders.
  • /d Suppresses the confirmation prompt.
  • y Yes Take ownership of the directory.

Change Permission (icacls):

icacls c:\folder\location /grant administrators:F /t
  • /t Performs a recursive operation on all files/folders.

Delete Process (del): 

del c:\folder\location\*.* /s /q
  • /q Quiet mode, do not ask if ok to delete on global wildcard
  • /s Delete specified files from all sub-directories (DELTREE).
  • /f Force deleting of read-only files.

Delete Process (RD):

RD /S /Q c:\folder\location\
  •  /q Quiet mode, do not ask if OK to delete on global wildcard
  • /s Delete specified files from all sub-directories.

Saving Windows Disk Space | Removing “Installer\$PatchCache$”

Running out of the diskspace on C:\ I found the C:\WINDOWS\Installer\$PatchCache$ to be massive! I used JamSoftware “treesize” to view what was taking up the space.

From research this folder can be safely deleted, however you MUST NOT delete the top level “Installer” folder “C:\WINDOWS\Installer” (only the sub-folders inside it)

A quick method for deleting this directory is:

Stop “Windows Installer Service”

net stop msiserver

Run the “Remove Directory” command (/q Quiet: /q | Removes all directories and files: /s)

rmdir /q /s %WINDIR%\Installer\$PatchCache$

Start “Windows Installer Service”

net start msiserver


Robocopy (FileServer Migration)

I often use Robocopy when migrating/copying data from file servers.

When running the copy process to transfer data from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 I usually run robocopy from the destination server (usually the newer server) in order that it will use version XP027 (5.1.10) There are a number of flaws in XP026 and also requires a seperate download Windows 2003 Resource Kit to obtain it.

This is the main syntax I use to perform a full copy.

robocopy D:\Source E:\Destination /MIR /R:1 /W:1 /COPYALL

Example, when copying from another server (using UNC):

robocopy \\myserver\e$\data E:\data /MIR /R:1 /W:1 /COPYALL

Although “/MIR” is mirroring the data, this will not actually copy the ACL permissions, therefore you will need to ensure that /COPYALL is included. I’ve copied a whole load of data before without including this only to find I have had to recopy to correct the ACL.

/COPYALL : Copy ALL file info (equivalent to /COPY:DATSOU) including timescamps, permissions, ACL, other attributes.
/MIR : MIRror a directory tree – equivalent to /PURGE plus all subfolders (/E)
/R:n : Number of Retries on failed copies – default is 1 million.
/W:n : Wait time between retries – default is 30 seconds.

Sometimes the copy may set the top level folder to “hidden” This can be un-hidden using the “attrib” command:

attrib -h -s E:\data

-s : Removes the system file attribute.
-h : Removes the hidden file attribute.

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Enable/Disable UAC | VBS

This will display a popup showing whether UAC is “Evalated” or “Not Evalated” using VBS

Dim oShell, oExec, szStdOut
szStdOut = ""
Set oShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Set oExec = oShell.Exec("whoami /groups")
Do While (oExec.Status = cnWshRunning)
WScript.Sleep 100
if not oExec.StdOut.AtEndOfStream then
szStdOut = szStdOut & oExec.StdOut.ReadAll
end if
select case oExec.ExitCode
case 0
if not oExec.StdOut.AtEndOfStream then
szStdOut = szStdOut & oExec.StdOut.ReadAll
end if
if instr(szStdOut,"S-1-16-12288") Then
wscript.echo "Elevated"
if instr(szStdOut,"S-1-16-8192"Then
wscript.echo "Not Elevated"
wscript.echo "Unknown!"
end if
end if
case else
if not oExec.StdErr.AtEndOfStream then
wscript.echo oExec.StdErr.ReadAll
end if
end select

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Re-registering VSS | FIXVSS08.BAT

I had a number of errors within VSS on Windows Server 2008 R2, these were stopping my backup jobs from running and causing different issues to occur, to resolve these I used the following script to reinitiate VSS settings. This was taken from the following article: Symantec

Note: This will disabled services if running on a live server, so best to complete out-of-hours.

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Script using x86/x64 detection | BAT

REM ###################### START SCRIPT ######################
if exist "C:\Program Files (x86)" goto end
REM x86 >> c:\somelog86file.txt
robocopy "C:\Program Files (x86)\Test" D:\Test >> c:\somelogfile.txt
REM x64 >> c:\somelog64file.txt
robocopy "C:\Program Files\Test" D:\Test >> c:\somelogfile.txt

List Domain Users using Script | PowerShell

This is custom made code to output all users listed in Active Directory.
This code was rewritten using Powershell in order to make the output more clear and “visually pleasing”

Powershell Option (output to looks like this):

To use:

  1. Paste into notepad.
  2. Save as “DomainMembers.ps1”
  3. Run with Powershell (no progress will be displayed)
  4. Data result will be output to “DomainMembers.txt” located in the C:\DomainMembers.txt This can be specified under the varible ‘$path = “C:\DomainMember.txt”‘

Note:Sometimes the script will not run correctly and the following will be displayed:
“File cannot be loaded because the execution of scripts is disabled on this system”
This security can be removed using the following command.

Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted -Force

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Windows & Office Key Activation / Removal

Windows Keys (slmgr):

Change Windows Product Key & Activate:

slmgr -ipk your-mak-key-here
slmgr -ato

Office Keys (ospp.vbs):

In order to deactivate an Office license you can use the “ospp.vbs” script located in the Office 2010 Installation directory.

This allows for a number of functions, my objective being the deactivation of a activated MAK for Visio & Office 2010.

These are the steps take for this scenario:

CD C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14


CD C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14

(32-bit Office 2010 on a 64-bit OS)

Displays a list of Office Product keys installed / Make a note of the Last 5 char of key to be removed:

script ospp.vbs /dstatus

Remove Office Product key activation:

cscript ospp.vbs /unpkey:M9TKQ

Extract/Install MSI from EXE | CL

Extract MSI from EXE via CMD Line:

myfile.exe /extract:D:\MyExtractFileLocation

Install MSI via CMD Line:

msiexec /i /myfile.msi /qn ACCEPTEULA=1

For Quiet Install use: /qn