Automating CIS-CAT Pro with PowerShell

CIS-CAT stands for Center for internet Security Configuration Assessment Tool. The CIS-CAT tool is used to perform configuration and vulnerability assessments. The Pro version is only available to CIS members, however if you want to try out the software, you can download the CIS-CAT Lite version from here: https://www.cisecurity.org/introducing-cis-cat-lite/ Note that the Lite version does not include the command line interface, so you won’t be able to use the automation described in this blog post. Read More …

ToolTip: DirCreator

Are you an Administrator tired of manually creating folder structures for new projects? Then DirCreator is just what you need. DirCreator is an enterprise-proven tool to automatically generate structured, template-based directory structures, along with groups, members and ACLs. You can either create a template from scratch or create a template based on an existing folder structure. For this demonstration I first create a template folder structure on my home lab data share. \\server01\data\Projects I also Read More …

Extracting CAB files from Microsoft Update Standalone Package (MSU)

When manually downloading a Microsoft Security Update or hotfix for Windows 7 (Vista) you typically get a file with an MSU file extension. A file with an MSU extension is a Microsoft Update Standalone package. Microsoft Update Standalone Packages are installed through the Windows Update Standalone Installer WUSA.EXE which is located in the  C:\Windows\system32 folder. If you need to install many updates you could create a script like the one below. SET HOTFIXSRC=<folder that contains Read More …

Windows ActiveX Installer Service

Managing ActiveX Components within an enterprise sometimes can be a pain. Users with standard user privileges by default can’t install ActiveX components, hence whenever a larger group of users require an ActiveX component you usually end up creating a software package and distribute it via Software Distribution or you provide them with temporary Administrative rights. But if the clients are running Windows Vista or Windows 7 there is another solution available I noticed many people Read More …

Pending FileRename Operations

When installing Applications or operating system hotfixes the installation process sometimes requires replacing or deleting files that are in use, if that is the case these files can only be replaced or deleted during the next system reboot. When you plan to install multiple applications in a row you can run into the situation where an application cannot be installed due to a pending FileRename operation from a previous application installation. So if you plan Read More …

Managing Microsoft Security Essentials from the Command Line

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is Microsoft’s free Antivirus Software which helps protecting clients against viruses and spyware. For years I had used other free Antivirus programs on my home based clients, but have switched them all to MSE since it’s release in September 2009. The MSE binaries are located in the following folder: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Security Essentials. In that folder we also find the MpCmdRun.exe which provides a command line interface for MSE. The tool Read More …

Deploying Windows 7 RSAT (external)

Just found this post on Trevor Sullivan’s Tech Room blog which explains how to automate the Windows 7 Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) installation. Read the entire article here

Finding unused User Accounts in Active Directory

As we move towards the end of the year I thought it’s a good time to do some housekeeping activities within the lab infrastructure in which we work on a daily basis. Throughout the year we often create test user and computer objects within Active Directory and of course sometimes we forget to delete them. As I don’t want to reinvent a wheel again I searched the web and soon found a whole bunch of Read More …

ToolTip: Application Paths Editor

The Application Paths Editor allows you to add, edit and remove Application Paths. Setting an application path for your favorite application or script allows you to run the application directly from the “Run” dialog at the Start Menu. So assume you have a script called “HelloApp.vbs” which is stored under C:\Program Files\HelloApp without having set an Application Path, you would have to navigate to the scripts folder or type the full path to launch the Read More …

Adobe Flash and Shockwave Enterprise Distribution

Adobe Flash and Shockwave are probably one of those most installed applications on home and enterprise computers. Working within the End User Computing environment for large enterprise customers since quite a while, I can’t remember of just one company that wouldn’t maintain Adobe Flash and Shockwave in their list of enterprise standard applications. But when it comes to distributing these applications, many companies seem to go down the difficult route instead of taking the easy Read More …