Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

Remotely Changing User Account Passwords

Rather than using WMIC to do this (which is most likely possible), we’ll pull in a couple of third-party freeware tools. First, we’ll use AdFind, by Joe Richards. We certainly could have used dsquery to provide the functionality we need, but this utility offers a bit more flexibility in the output options than dsquery. Next, we’ll team AdFind up with PsPasswd, part of PsTools suite by Sysinternals.

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Listing Services Running as a User Account

You might want to identify services running as a user account for any number of reasons, including any of the following:

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Trying Quicksilver

This makes the third or fourth time I’ve tried to get into using Quicksilver. I’m OK with the whole pop-up bezel interface, since that’s the interface that VirtueDesktops, my virtual desktop application, uses. (The author of VirtueDesktops freely admits that he was inspired to create his interface based on Quicksilver’s interface.) Don’t get me wrong—Quicksilver (just “QS” from now on) is a great application, and it has loads of very useful functionality.

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Tags, RSS, and Other Site Changes

I’ve been wrestling with Technorati not indexing my weblog for quite a while now. It appears that ever since I added Ultimate Tag Warrior to my weblog and moved the tags into the keywords portion of the weblog (instead of the posting body), Technorati stopped indexing the site. It appears that the tags aren’t being added to the RSS and Atom feeds in the content, and therefore Technorati won’t properly index the site.

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Resetting DNS and WINS on DHCP Clients

As you probably know, Windows-based systems can be DHCP clients (and obtain their IP address, subnet mask, and gateway from DHCP) but use hard-coded DNS servers or WINS servers. Right off the top of my head, I can’t really think of any reasons why this is useful, or when it may be necessary, but the point remains that it is possible, and invariably this situation crops up during standardization or migration projects. The problem with this situation is that changes made to the DHCP server (such as handing out new DNS server or new WINS server addresses) won’t be properly reflected on those workstations that have hard-coded values for these configuration settings.

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Remotely Enabling Remote Desktop

Other than exploring a new WMIC alias here, you won’t see any startling new tricks or techniques here. We’ll be reusing tools that are already well-worn but still useful.

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iSCSI and ESX Server 3

A few weeks ago I wrote about trying to use NetApp’s ONTAP Simulator as a VM under ESX Server so that I could do some testing with the new NAS and iSCSI functionality in ESX Server 3.0. I finally got that working, but later had to shut it down when I started working with ESX Server 3. As it turns out, the ProLiant 6400R servers I was using for my VMware lab (running ESX 2.5.x) were not supported for the final release of ESX 3 because the cpqarray.o driver was dropped from the final release, and the cpqarray.o driver is what supported the Smart Array 3200 and Smart Array 4250 RAID controllers in these two boxes. No ESX 3 on these boxes.

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Setting DNS and WINS Server Addresses Remotely

As a follow-up to yesterday’s posting about using WMIC to set the DNS suffix search order remotely, here’s additional information on using WMIC to remotely set the DNS server and WINS server addresses. This technique can be particularly useful for servers, where the IP addresses are statically assigned (as opposed to configured via DHCP).

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Remotely Setting the DNS Suffix Search Order

Invariably, larger organizations end up with a fragmented DNS namespace that has grown over the years due to name changes and acquisitions. As resources move between domains (DNS domains and Active Directory domains), it soon becomes necessary to have clients resolve hostnames even when the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) isn’t provided by the user. The DNS suffix search order provides that functionality, and is very often a key part of maintaining connectivity in these separate namespaces.

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Mass Renaming Computers

I hate to continue beating the for /f stick, but it sure is a handy command. This time we’re going to use it to rename large numbers of computers at a time, such as when your company changes the standard naming convention and then asks you to go back and rename all the computers that don’t match the new convention. This is a big deal because not only must the computers be renamed, but the matching computer accounts in Active Directory must also be renamed at the same time. Renaming the computer manually (from the Network Identification tab of the properties of My Computer) renames the Active Directory account, but who wants to do it all by hand?

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