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by lunarg on January 12th 2016, at 10:20
When updating the ADMX Central Store from Windows 10 to Windows 10 v1511, you may encounter the following error when attempting to view or edit group policies:

Administrative Templates
Namespace ‘Microsoft.Policies.WindowsStore’ is already defined as the target namespace for another file in the store.

File \\domain.fqdn\SysVol\domain.fqdn\Policies\PolicyDefinitions\WinStoreUI.admx, line 4, column 80

A similar problem is referenced in KB 3077013 but basically also applies to this issue:

On a domain controller, using Explorer, navigate to the ADMX Central Store:folder containing SYSVOL\SYSVOL\domain\Policies\PolicyDefinitions

Delete the file WinStoreUI.admx and all occurances of WinSt  ...
by lunarg on December 15th 2015, at 15:21
Quest Rapid Recovery has a module for Powershell which allows manipulation of Rapid Recovery through several cmdlets. This comes in handy if you want to do some automation, and more importantly, it's a lot faster than the web interface.

To load the AppAssure module for PowerShell:

Import-Module appassurepowershellmodule

Then, to get a list of all available cmdlets for AppAssure, run:

Get-Command -Module appassurepowershellmodule

The majority of core and agent functions are available through PS. There are quite a few, and it would go beyond the scope of the article to explain them all. You can get (limited) help by prepending a cmdlet with the keyword help.

Suspend all backups for all m  ...
by lunarg on December 7th 2015, at 12:58

You can disable the keyboard shortcuts, the so-called sticky keys, through a group policy. This is a user setting, and although there's no true policy for this, you can disable it through a group policy preference registry entry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Accessibility\StickyKeys\Flags="506"

Navigate to:

User Configuration → Preferences → Windows Settings → Registry

There, create a new entry:

  • Action: Update
  • Key path: Control Panel\Accessibility\StickyKeys
  • Value name: Flags
  • Value type: REG_SZ
  • Value data: 506
by lunarg on December 5th 2015, at 16:24
If you want to replace an Application icon (e.g. when using Wineskin to run Windows-applications), you can do so by replacing the icon file inside an app, located at:

However, sometimes, you will still see the old icon in Finder. This is due to the Finder icon cache, which only gets updated if certain files within the app have a new modified date. The icon file itself isn't one of them. In order to trigger Finder to update its icon cache, it is sufficient to update the modification time of two items by "touching" them from a Terminal:

touch /Applications/AppName.apptouch /Applications/

Normally, this wil  ...
by lunarg on December 5th 2015, at 13:19

You can quickly get a list of VMs, the datastores they are using and the logical folder they are in through PowerCLI:

Get-VM | Select Name,@{N="Datastore";E={[string]::Join(',',(Get-Datastore -Id $_.DatastoreIdList | Select -ExpandProperty Name))}},@{N="Folder";E={$_.Folder.Name}}

Combine it with Export-CSV to export the results to a CSV file.

by lunarg on December 2nd 2015, at 21:09
Configuration settings and preferences of Mac OS X apps are usually stored in a so-called plist (Property List file) file, stored in the folder ~/Library/Preferences. These files store a list of properties in a serialized way, and are binary (not readable/editable).

Mac OS X itself has some tools to view and edit property lists but they are not very efficient and easy to use. Luckily, the internet provides all sort of (free) tools to perform the task of viewing/editing these files much more easily.

The most easy-to-use I found is Prefs Editor, written by Thomas Tempelmann.

It is a very easy to use, intuitive, and foremost, a free tool which can view and edit property lists in real-time. I  ...
by lunarg on November 26th 2015, at 15:52
By default, when rebooting a server, Windows will wait for 20 seconds for services to shut themselves down, after which Windows will kill the service. For most systems, this "kill timeout" is sufficient but some applications require more time to do a graceful shutdown (e.g. Quest Rapid Recovery is one of them).

You can change this timeout value by adjusting the string value WaitToKillServiceTimeout in the registry, located at:


WaitToKillServiceTimeout sets the timeout value in milliseconds. You can change it to whatever you like. For example: for 10 minutes, set the value to 600000.

Note that increasing this value does not mea  ...
by lunarg on November 26th 2015, at 15:10
When scheduling the run of a Powershell script through Task Scheduler, it is highly recommended to set up the task to run accordingly:

powershell.exe -NoProfile -NoLogo -NonInteractive -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -File "path\to\script.ps1"

Scheduling Powershell scripts in this manner will prevent the dreaded 0x1 exit code from happening.

-NoProfile prevents loading of the user's profile, speeding up the startup of the script and preventing the script from depending on user-specific settings and scripts.

-NonInteractive will allow a script to exit rather than waiting indefinitely when a user prompt occurs.

Setting the -ExecutionPolicy to ByPass or Unrestricted will allow unsigned s  ...
by lunarg on November 25th 2015, at 10:58

Resetting a HP 1810-24 or -24G to factory defaults is easy:

  1. With the switch powered on, using both ends of a paperclip (or two separate paperclips), press and hold down the Reset and Clear buttons.
  2. Release the Reset button, but keep the Clear button held down.
  3. When all three mode LEDs (Act, FDx, and Spd) begin to blink, release the Clear button as well. When the self-test completes, the switch will be reset to factory defaults. Its IP address will be obtained through DHCP, or if there's no DHCP, it will be set to The password will be blank.
by lunarg on November 23rd 2015, at 10:47
You can block Office 2013 Click-To-Run (CTR) from automatically updating to 2016 through a policy (or registry if you're not in a domain).

If you have the Office 2013 Group Policy templates installed on your domain controller, you can use them to set a policy to disable automatic updating.

You can find the setting at:

Computer Configuration → Administrative Templates → Microsoft Office 2013 (Machine) → Updates

Set Enable Automatic Upgrade to Disabled.

You can also disable the upgrade by manually adjusting the registry.

In regedit, navigate to the key:


Create a registry value:


by lunarg on November 18th 2015, at 12:44

From an IT management point-of-view, Google Chrome does not play nice: users that have limited rights on the computer system they work on (a standalone computer or on a Terminal server) can simply install Google Chrome without an admin's consent, totally bypassing any kind of approval. Luckily, this can be countered by setting up software restrictions through a group policy.

I found this article explaining how:

by lunarg on November 18th 2015, at 10:47
In order to properly disable the Welcome to Office prompt, there are several settings that need to be configured in GPO before this takes effect. Most articles online tell you about just one setting that needs to be changed, but this is unfortunately not enough. The Welcome to Office prompt does more than just configuring updates, it also sets up the "Customer Experience Improvement Program" (CEIP) and Office Diagnostics. Without configuring these settings in your group policy, the prompt just appears anyway.

To set this up, you'll need the Administrative Templates for your Office version:

Office 2010

Office 2013

Office 2016

How to use these is out of the scope of this article  ...
by lunarg on November 16th 2015, at 12:55

The specifications for the background on a Yealink T46(G) can be found in the Administrator Guide:

  • Supported formats: .jpg, .png, .bmp
  • Maximum filesize: 5 MB
  • Resolution: 480x272
by lunarg on November 16th 2015, at 11:24
VMWare ESX 5.5 introduces the ability to perform coredumps to a file instead of a partition.

To configure this, you need access to the ESX host's CLI (either through vSphere Management Assistant (vMA), directly on the host through console or SSH, or some other method). For this to work, you need "root" access (or the equivalent of it through vMA).

Once logged on, take a directory listing of the VMFS datastores to determine on which datastore you want to place the coredump -l /vmfs/volumes

You will see a list of datastore UUIDs as well as symlinks to those UUIDs. Use the symlinked names to figure out which UUID points to which datastore's logical name:For example:
DataSt  ...
by lunarg on November 9th 2015, at 10:54
You can quickly and easily enable SNMP on a Sonicwall for monitoring purposes. The instructions below are for SonicOS Enhanced, and has been tested on a NSA 2600 (although configuration should be similar on other models).

Log on to the Sonicwall through the web interface.

In the menu on the left, navigate to System → SNMP.

Check the Enable SNMP check box and click Accept.

Click the Configure button and verify/change the Get Community Name. By default, it is set to public. If you made changes, click OK.

By default, SNMP does not listen on any interface, so what's left is to enable it on one or more interfaces, depending on which interfaces, SNMP is required. Navigate to Network &r  ...
by lunarg on November 5th 2015, at 13:10
When attempting to create a maintenance plan in SQL Server Studio, or you are attempting to view the SQL Agent settings, you may get an error about Agent XPs not being enabled. Agent XPs (Agent eXtended Procedures) is a requirement for SQL Agent to be configured through SQL Server Studio, regardless of whether the SQL Agent is running or not. This also includes the creation and modification of maintenance plans.

To enable Agent XPs, run this query on the instance (either through SQL Server Studio or osql):

sp_configure 'show advanced options', 1;GORECONFIGURE;GOsp_configure 'Agent XPs', 1;GORECONFIGUREGO

The change is effective immediately (does not require a server stop/start). Note that  ...
by lunarg on November 5th 2015, at 11:03

Sometimes you may want to set or clear attributes of an AD object (e.g. the extensionAttributes of an AD user) through Powershell.

To set an attribute:

Set-ADUser -Identity "AnyADUser" -Add @{extensionAttribute15="SomeValue"}

To clear an attribute (i.e. unset the attribute):

Set-ADUser -Identity "AnyADUser" -Clear extensionAttribute15
by lunarg on November 5th 2015, at 10:49

The Office365 Admin portal clearly shows which users are synced to AD and which are cloud only. In Powershell, this is less clear. To find out which are cloud-only, you need to check the value of LastDirSyncTime. If it is empty, then the user was never synced from AD, and thus, is a cloud-only user.

Log on to your Office 365 tenant through Powershell, then run:

Get cloud-only users:

Get-MsolUser -All | Where { $_.LastDirSyncTime -eq $null }

Get synchronized-only users:

Get-MsolUser -All | Where { $_.LastDirSyncTime -ne $null }
by lunarg on November 4th 2015, at 15:04
Outlook 2010 and newer have a "Tasks" Jump list, allowing you to quickly create new items by right-clicking the Outlook icon in the taskbar.

Sometimes, the jump list doesn't work properly or disappears altogether, usually after updates or a re-install of Office/Outlook. There are two workarounds to resolve this, both through the registry:

Unpin the Outlook icon from the taskbar.

Exit Outlook.

Open regedit.

Navigate to the key:HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook

Delete the registry value LastUILanguage. You can optionally rename it to have a backup.

Start Outlook again.

Re-pin the Outlook icon to the taskbar.

Replace the number in blue with the numeri  ...
by lunarg on October 29th 2015, at 13:07

You can easily get the Exchange version for all Exchange servers in your domain with this one-liner. Run it from an Exchange Management Shell.

Get-ExchangeServer | Select Name,AdminDisplayVersion,Edition,ServerRole

The following information is displayed:

Name : the server name
AdminDisplayVersion :
the version and build of the server
You can cross-reference this with the Exchange version matrix to find out which updates are installed.
Edition : can be Standard or Enterprise
ServerRole : the roles on the server specified by Name
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