Converting from BIOS to UEFI with Powershell (During OSD using ConfigMgr)

Following my previous post, this is an quick example on how to use my Powershell script to convert from BIOS to UEFI in a bare metal scenario. (Again, only Lenovo laptops is working with this script)

Most of the magic lies within the Task Sequence itself, so I will break it down in pieces.

  • Create a group in your Task Sequence called “Prepare Computer (BIOS)” with the condition _SMSTSBootUEFI not equals true (This will make sure the content of the group only runs if UEFI is not enabled already)

  • Next step, format the disk with following settings (Step: Format and Partition Disk (BIOS))
    • Disk type: Standard (MBR)
    • Partition type: Primary
    • 100% remaining disk
    • File system: NTFS

  • Next step, create a new group called Config Lenovo BIOS with following condition: SELECT * FROM Win32_BIOS WHERE Manufacturer = “Lenovo” (This will make sure the step only runs on a Lenovo computer)

  • Next step, run my Powershell script directly from a package like shown below. The parameter -EnableSecureBoot will also enforce UEFI to be enabled.

  • Next step, format the disk with following settings (Step: Format and Partition Disk (BIOS to UEFI))
    • Disk type: GPT
    • Partition type: Primary
    • Size: 600Mb
    • File System: FAT32
    • Variable: TSUEFIDrive
  • Add another partition:
    • Partition type: Primary
    • Size: 100% of remaining space
    • File system: NTFS
    • Variable: None

  • Next step, one final reboot to the boot image currently assigned to this task sequence. When the task sequence returns from the reboot, the Lenovo BIOS will be set to SecureBoot AND UEFI and Windows will continue installing.

Ultimately, you can have 2 steps to take care of when the computer is coming with either BIOS setting or UEFI, and act accordingly. Se below snippet for inspiration.

Enjoy! 🙂

 

Manage Lenovo BIOS with Powershell (During OSD with ConfigMgr)

I have no idea if this is something that has already been created out there, but I figured I’d do it anyway. Mostly because Powershell, I need the practice and I needed the ability to easily modify the BIOS in our Lenovo environment.

The script is inspired by the original VB script from Lenovo, which roughly does the same as my Powershell script. Lenovos script and documentation can be reached from this link (https://support.lenovo.com/dk/en/solutions/ht100612). However, it’s VB and it gives me shivers, so Powershell to the rescue.

The script is still work in progress, as it doesn’t hold all the abilities as the original Lenovo script, but I prioritized the ability to turn on/off following: Virtualization, SecureBoot, PrebootUSB-C/Thunderbolt and TPM.

You basically just run the script with parameters. Example: LenovoBIOSManagement.ps1 -EnableTPM -EnableSecureBoot -DisableVirtualization -Restart

An example from the use in my recent W10 Task Sequence. The step is run prior to formatting the disk in WinPE. I have a condition on the step, to only run if a Lenovo laptop.

Enable Preboot Thunderbolt is separated as a single step, as it’s currently only the most recent Lenovo laptops which has this ability: T470s, X1 Yoga 2nd generation etc., and therefore has a condition to only run if such model is being deployed.

I’d appreciate any feedback. I’m by no means any Powershell champ, but I’m still learning – and willing to learn 🙂

Thanks!

 

 

 

ConfigMgr Collection based on Client Creation Date (Dates in WMI)

I just had a very specific scenario, requiring me to target all new mobile devices (post a specific date) with a different set of compliance settings, than the rest of the devices.

In that case you can separate newly created devices in their own collection, based off their creation date.

The time of when a device is created is stored in the database, and the data can be queried through WMI using WQL.

A date formatted in WMI is using following syntax: yyyymmddHHMMSS.xxxxxx±UUU and can look like this:

20170819071629.492270+120

So, if you want all devices created post July 1 2017, your query have to look like this:

The syntax for dates in WMI in details: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee198928.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

 

 

 

Powershell: Enable virtualization and Credential Guard in an instant (Lenovo laptops)

Windows 10 Credential Guard is currently another hot topic considering cyber security. Credential Guard is a new feature in Windows 10 (Enterprise and Education edition) that helps to protect your credentials on a machine from threats such as pass the hash.

To be able to enable Credential Guard in Windows, you need to have virtualization enabled on the CPU in the BIOS. Virtualization is rarely enabled by default, and as such you will need to enable it manually (F1, enter BIOS, modify the setting) or better yet, find a solution to do so remotely and automatically.

I have created following script in Powershell, that initially enables virtualization in the BIOS (Note: We only use Lenovo laptops, hence this is made for Lenovo laptops only) and then apply the registry-keys to enable Credential Guard. All steps are logged into c:\Windows\EnableCredentialGuard.log

The script can be targeted to the proper Windows 10 versions through SCCM collections (I this example I only target W10 1607 and 1703, as these Windows 10 versions no longer require the Isolated User Mode feature when enabling Credential Guard, as it’s now embedded into the Hypervisor)

When deploying powershell script from SCCM, remember to create the program with a command line like this: powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -NoLogo -NonInteractive -NoProfile -WindowStyle Hidden -File .\CredentialGuard\Enable-VirtualizationCredentialGuard.ps1

Snip of the logfile when everything succeeds:

Powershell: Users and passwords about to expire

So, it’s that time of year; people heading back and forth on vacation and meanwhile their Active Directory password expires. People tend to miss the default notification popping up in Windows and have done so since forever.

So how about getting an annoying email every day, 7 days prior to the actual expiration? The main goal here is to avoid having users ending up with expired password, and thus causing troubles for the user and generating calls to helpdesk.

Here’s how I do using Powershell: (Some of the body text is in danish because lazy, and my syntax highlighter is on vacation too. Just copy/paste the code directly into your PS ISE, save the script and schedule it to run through Task Scheduler and you’re set. 🙂

Preview of the email being sent. Also in danish because lazy.

Powershell: Monitor LAPS

LAPS is Microsoft’s “Local Administrator Password Solution” and is a hot topic when talking about cyber security and what measures to take, when fighting the cyber criminals. Read more about LAPS here.

This is just something short and sweet, and a very simple powershell script to monitor and read all computer objects in specified OUs in Active Directory, read the relevant attributes of the object, and if LAPS attributes are empty (hence no LAPS active), then list the objects in a list and send it as an email.

You can run the script on a schedule using Task Scheduler, and this way monitor which computers in your Active Directory that’s missing LAPS.

Preview of the email being sent:

Dynamic Stamps in Adobe Acrobat

This is a tad offtopic, but it took me a while to figure out how to make a dynamic stamp in Adobe Acrobat, as when inserted, prompts the user for input and automatically puts the input on top of the stamp. So here goes: (this requires Adobe Acrobat Pro or the ability to make/edit forms in pdf)

  1. First off, open Adobe Acrobat and go to Comment -> Annotations -> Stamp drop down -> Custom Stamps -> Create Custom Stamp (This is the easy part, so I only touch this briefly)
  2. Browse to your file containing the stamp (I have stamps made in the pdf format. For this I made the stamp in Illustrator)
  3. Give it a name and a category and click OK

With above in place, you now have a new stamp-file located at AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Acrobat\11.0\Stamps. It’s given a random generic name like “PSrfwCzHqxg6fYZmnjYV0D.pdf”.  So far, so good.

Now go ahead and open and edit this file in Adobe Acrobat Pro and:

  1. Select Tools -> Forms -> Edit
  2. Go to Tasks -> Add New Field -> Button and insert the button somewhere in the blank page
  3. Right Click the new button and select Properties
  4. Go to the Action page, and select Run a JavaScript in the Select Action option.
  5. Click Add and paste following two lines of code into the window and click OK and Close

JavaScriptButtonProperties

Now click the new button with the JavaScript action you just made, and take notice of the template IDs in the popup:

javaScriptWarning

#9a6csAl0hXSlWeY-OYTDiD
#WZtYwuwFlm9eAFnYXvCOGA
#y2fXxVRn8AcGrHnfA2BJdD

Above IDs will be used when creating the text field on the stamp. The text field created in the following steps, is where the input from the prompt goes.

  1. Tasks -> Add New Field -> Text Field
  2. Right Click the new text field and select Properties
  3. Go to the Calculate page and insert a Custom calculation script
  4. Insert below script and make sure to your template IDs from above is correct
  5. Place the text field where desired and save the stamp file

Now, when the stamp is inserted from Adobe Reader / Adobe Acrobat following window pops up and the net result is my stamp with my input on top of it.

InsertStamp Stamp

Bulk assigning O365 licenses, and then some… using Powershell

Managing our O365 licenses got me an idea to write one of my first Powershell scripts.

The script is tailored to our environment, but can be altered to fit any needs without much hassle. The script looks for users in specified OUs and compare them to what users in O365 that are assigned a license. All users in the specified OU are being assigned the specified license. If a license is assigned to a user, who does not exist in the specified OUs, the license is automatically removed. This way I’m always on top of who is using our licenses.

The script does the following for you in details:

  • (#2) Connects to O365 through Powershell (pre-req for that can be seen here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn975125.aspx)
  • (#3) Reads what license you want to assign your users in the process. Change this to fit your needs and replace tenantname with your O365 tenant.
  • (#4) Reads what conditions you have for filtering what O365 users that needs a license. I’m excluding my Office 365 Admin and a few others, as I don’t wanna mess with the license for those users.
  • (#5) Reads the OUs containing user who needs a O365 license. You can specify several OUs if needed.
  • (#6) Assign the location and license for each user found in OUs. You can filter additionally in this step if needed.
  • (#7) Remove the O365 license, if user is not found in specified OUs. Change this to fit your needs and replace tenantname with your O365 tenant.

 

 

WSUS maintenance for ConfigMgr

So it was my turn to face problems. I had neglected the obstacle for months excusing myself that everything was still working wonders, until today.

Following screenshot was the reality of my WSUS console when trying to run the server cleanup wizard:

wsuserror

Add so the struggle to solve the problem began and following is the facts and solution:

  • I’m using WSUS running on the internal database in Windows (WID), so I downloaded and installed SQL Server 2014 Management Studio on my server running WSUS
  • Connected to \\.\pipe\microsoft##WID\tsql\query in the Connect to Server window

studioconnecting

  • Ran the following two SQL scripts. My WSUS DB was so bloated that the reindex script from the scripting guys didn’t cut it. When that happens, the deal usually is that you have to delete updates manually directly in the DB.
    Fortunately for me, I found below script to my aid. The script runs the stored procedure EXEC spGetObsoleteUpdatesToCleanup and then deletes the updates. Beware, running these scripts may take several hours depending on the specs of the server and the amount of updates)
  1. DeleteObsoleteUpdates
  2. WSUSreindex

This is a snip of the two scripts showing directly in Management Studio, saved for later use as .sql.

studioscripts

Lesson learned:

Maintaining the SUSDB is important, and is not just something you setup and leave even though running it integrated with ConfigMgr.

**Will update this post on how I’m going to automate this in the future.

Deploying software targeting user AND machine context

So, are you ever in need of deploying software targeting computers , but also in need of pushing config files belonging to the same software targeting the users profile?

You can do that using ConfigMgr, and this is how I do it.

In this example I was messing around with Ad Block for IE. To avoid some annoying first run popups, you have to make sure some config files exists in the users profile. You can push those files directly to the logged on user (or any user logging on the same computer) immediately after installing the targeted software.

  • First, create the ad block (or whatever software you’d like) as a package in configmgr. This is pretty standard, and is not explained in this post.
  • Secondly, create another package consisting of the files going into the users profile. The files for Ad Block is automatically created during the first run of IE after the installation, and consists of following files:

adblockfiles

  • Thirdly, create a batch script running following command and put it next to the files going into the users profile: xcopy “%~dp0Files\*.*” “%userprofile%\AppData\LocalLow\Adblock Plus for IE\” /E /S /Y /Q. Notice I have the files in a sub folder to the actual .cmd:

adblockfiles2

  • Distribute to the distribution point as usual and create a program running the CopyFiles.cmd running in user context:

adblockfiles3 adblockfiles4

  • Edit the program running the software created in the first step and make the following changes:

adblockfiles5

  • Finally, deploy both the program running the actual software, and the program copying the files to the users profile to the same collection of computers. The program running the copy of the files, can be deployed as available:

adblockfiles6

All of above will result in the actual software being installed (system context) AND the files being copied into the logged on users profile (user context) in one go.