Windows: Create a Windows PE boot medium

Hi,

I will describe here how to create a Windows PE based boot media, a USB Stick or a boot CD, with some customization:
Language settings

  • Language settings
  • Keyboard settings
  • Additional drivers
  • Autostart a program
  • Add Powershell
  • Add .NET Environment
  • Add WMI Support

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Powershell: Some basic XML handling with Powershell and .NET

Hi everybody,

here are some fundamentals to handle XML Files with powershell.

The following commands uses these XML File


<config description="Config file for testing">
    <system description="Document Management">
        <document authorFirstName="Kirk" authorSurname="Author1" date="20130503 01:15:43" description="Document Hammet" index="3">C:\temp\doc0001.txt</document>
        <document authorFirstName="Lars" authorSurname="Author5" date="20130503 10:05:42" description="Document Ulrich" index="4">C:\temp\doc0002.txt</document>
        <document authorFirstName="Cliff" authorSurname="Author5" date="20130612 11:54:33" description="Document Burton"  index="6">C:\temp\doc0051.txt</document>
        <document authorFirstName="Jason" authorSurname="Author2" date="20130806 04:02:41" description="Document Newsted"  index="1">C:\temp\doc0041.txt</document>
        <document authorFirstName="Robert" authorSurname="Smith" date="20131202 07:12:03" description="Document Trujillo"  index="2">C:\temp\doc0012.txt</document>
        <document authorFirstName="James" authorSurname="Smith" date="20130211 09:05:59" description="Document Hetfield"  index="5">C:\temp\doc0003.txt</document>
    </system>
</config>

Creating  a XML File, create a document root, create subelements, add and set attributes, save the file

# Create a new XML File with config root node
[System.XML.XMLDocument]$oXMLDocument=New-Object System.XML.XMLDocument
# New Node
[System.XML.XMLElement]$oXMLRoot=$oXMLDocument.CreateElement("config")
# Append as child to an existing node
$oXMLDocument.appendChild($oXMLRoot)
# Add a Attribute
$oXMLRoot.SetAttribute("description","Config file for testing")
[System.XML.XMLElement]$oXMLSystem=$oXMLRoot.appendChild($oXMLDocument.CreateElement("system"))
$oXMLSystem.SetAttribute("description","Document Management")
# Save File
$oXMLDocument.Save("c:\temp\config.xml")

Loading an existing XML File, read an element, do some XPATH queries

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Windows: Create a new local User Account and add them to a local group by using .NET and C#

Hi,

a short post. It describes how to create a new local Windows User account and add them to an existing local user group.

First of all, include the following references in your project:


using System.DirectoryServices;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;

Create a new User with local administrator rights.

// define Username and Password
const string USER_NAME = "NewAdmin";
char[] aPWchars = { 'P', 'a', 's', 's' , 'w', 'o', 'r', 'd'};
System.Security.SecureString oPW = new System.Security.SecureString();
foreach (char cChr in aPWchars) {
    oPW.AppendChar(cChr);
}
// Get Computerobject via ADSI
DirectoryEntry oComputer = new DirectoryEntry("WinNT://" + Environment.MachineName + ",computer");
// New User
DirectoryEntry oNewUser = oComputer.Children.Add(USER_NAME, "user");
// define Pointer to a string
IntPtr pString = IntPtr.Zero;
// Pointer to password
pString = Marshal.SecureStringToGlobalAllocUnicode(oPW);
// Set password
oNewUser.Invoke("SetPassword", new object[] { Marshal.PtrToStringUni(pString) });
// Add a description
oNewUser.Invoke("Put", new object[] { "Description", "New Administrator" });
// Save changes
oNewUser.CommitChanges();
// Cleanup and free Password pointer
Marshal.ZeroFreeGlobalAllocUnicode(pString);
// Get Group
DirectoryEntry oGroup = oComputer.Children.Find("Administrators", "group");
// And add the recently created user
oGroup.Invoke("Add", new object[] { oNewUser.Path.ToString() });

Michael

Script to get a list of computers connected to a Avocent KVM switch

Hello,

in his office, a customer have a few Avocent KVM switches to control some client computers in a remote room. He ask me about the possibility to get a list of all computers connected to these boxes, because he do not want to maintain any list by hand.

I research the documention but there is no (scripting) interface from which I could get such a list. SSH is only for connecting serial consoles, SNMP offers no OIDs for such a case.

Because of the costs, DSView isn’t a option. The only way seems to be to extracting the list by reading the Webfrontend HTML output. Let us do this 🙂

I wrote a script in powershell, at least version 2 is needed to handle selfsigned SSL certificates, which do the following:

  • Login to the Webfronted with https and SSL encryption by System.Net.HTTPWebRequest class to get the authentification cookie
  • Get the Device HTML  page by .NET class System.Net.Webclient and using Authentification cookie
  • Save HTML do a temporary file
  • Open the file with Internet Explorer
  • Get the URL to start a KVM session, computername and portnumber by  DOM

Script details

Define the User, Password, protocol and the devices:

# KVM User
[string]$sUser="Admin"
# KVM Password
[string]$sPassword="YourPassword"
# Protocol
[string]$sProtocol="https"
# Your Devices
[String[]]$aAvocentDevices=@("Console1.domain.local","Console2.domain.local")

Built HTTP POST text and disable SSL certificate warnings
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