discover informations about all virtual machines to Excel

I had the task to list all existing virtual machines in our vSphere vCenter to an Excel-List. Cause i have alot of VM’s and they change often, i wrote a powershell-script, which creates an excel-file like this:

The requirements for this script are Microsoft Excel and VMware PowerCLI 5. Look at the script or download it here:

Collect warranty informations with SCCM

a few days ago my boss liked to see a list of all our computers with the warranty informations like purchase date and warranty end date. So i wrote this little vbscript, witch collect the information from the manufacturers webpage (in our case HP, Dell and Maxdata) and write it to a MIF file.

Please have a look at the script or download it here:

After using this vbscript on each client computer you can create a SCCM report to list the warranty informations.

Create a calculated SNMP monitor

Sometimes you need a SCOM monitor which was calculated from one or more SNMP values. Maybe the values have to be calculated, cause the value is in an unhandy format or unit. In this example i will monitor the input frequency for an for an UPS. The originaly readed value is in 1/10 Hz, but i like to monitor in Hz.

Create the monitor

Select Timed Script Two State Monitor and select the destination managementpack.

Insert this code to the field Script:

As you see, you have to define the SNMP OID in the script. After this you can calculate with the returned value and define rules for the GOOD and BAD state. read more

Clone your Active Directory in 18 minutes using VMware

Anyone out there who runs a successful Microsoft Windows Active Directory, knows that it is pre-eminently useful to have a test environment that very nearly represents your production environment…to do…you know…testing!

I thought I would give that a try, and here’s what I came up with:

  1. Shutdown and clone a Virtual Domain Controller with a 50GB disk drive, 10 minutes.
  2. Attach the virtual DC to a totally private network, visible only to other virtual machines on the same box, 15 seconds.
  3. Restart the cloned DC, 1 minute.
  4. Seizing FSMO roles from Domain Controllers that aren’t in this private network, 3 minutes.
  5. Sit back in wonder, 45 seconds.

These simple steps aren’t completely error free. Because the DC I chose was a replication partner with a bunch of other DCs and Active Directory Sites, it was necessary to do some tweaking to remove the “defunct” Domain Controller properties from the Active Directory. That process is documented well, here: Remove old Domain Controller Settings from FRS and the Domain. If you have a lot of Remote Domain Controllers and you only need your clon e for a little test, it may be to expensive to remove all remote DC’s. In this case you can create this registry value, so your clone isn’t waiting anymore for replication partner: read more

schedule subscriber notifications with exception

I have created a few subscribers and they work perfectly, but there is one problem. If you define a schedule exception, you wouldn’t receive a notification at the defined weekdays. In my example i have a subscriber which should receive alert notifications only outside the business hours (monday to friday, 07:00 – 16:00). My first setup looked like this:

The result was, that the subscriber received alerts on saturday and sunday, but didn’t receive any notification on the other weekdays. To solve this problem, i changed the schedule like this: read more

Downgrade Windows 7 from Enterprise/Ultimate Edition to lower Edition

Windows 7 does not allow users to “downgrade” or convert from a more premium and more expensive edition to down-level, more basic and less expensive edition. For example, it’s impossible to downgrade from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 7 Professional, or from Windows 7 Professional to Windows 7 Home Premium or Home Basic.

Windows 7 SKUs or editions have a hierarchy as below:

Starter → Home Basic → Home Premium → Professional → Ultimate ( → Enterprise )

Upgrade is only possible one-way from the lower edition to higher edition of Windows 7, and not the other way. If user attempts to perform an in-place upgrade to downgrade to a lesser edition of Windows 7, an error similar to below will be displayed at compatibility report: read more

Create a calculated SNMP Rule in SCOM

Sometimes you need a SCOM Rule which was calculated from one or more SNMP values. Maybe the values have to be calculated, cause the value is in an unhandy format or unit. In this example i will create a Rule and a Performance View to show the autonomny time for an APC UPS. The originaly readed value is in 1/100 seconds, but i want it to show in minutes.

Creating the Rule

Insert this Code to the field Script:

As you see, you have to define the SNMP OID in the script. After this you can calculate with the returned value. To get the devices ip address and communitystring, you have to define this parameters, which could be readed by the script with Wscript.Arguments: read more

unwilling Server

I’m working now for over 15 years in information technology, but i got never before a server response which is so straight and funny too:

The server is unwilling to process the requestThe server is unwilling to process the request.

Maybee the server could do it, but he doesn’t like it. The error above was caused by this simple vb-script, when user Test-User has the group Domain Users defined as primary group:

disable Outlook AutoDiscovery feature for a mail domain

Maybe you want to disable the autodiscovery feature in Outlook 2007 / 2010 for your full mail domain – maybe you don’t like the feature, or your mail server doesn’t support it.

For this, there is an easy solution:

Define in your DNS-server an A-entry for autodiscover.domain.com pointing to 127.0.0.1.

Shutdown full VMware datacenter on UPS failure

To shutdown a VMware datacenter on UPS failure i found a PowerShell script, which i modified:

The script will shutdown the desired VMware datacenter, but it will ask you first, if you are sure. If you like to run the script in silent mode, you can run it with parameter yes.

You have to define the hostname of your VirtualCenter and the name of the datacenter. To run the script, you will need, to have VMware PowerCLI installed.

You can dowload the script shutdownESX.ps1 (right-click -> Save As) or copy/paste it from here:

read more