Category Archives: Automation

Monitoring and Documenting with PowerShell: End of year review

Hi! So this is the final post of this year. I’m going to be enjoying some well deserved holidays and spend Christmas with my family. The past year has been pretty cool. I’ve been doing so many cool projects.

I figured I also would list the top blogs of this year by views, and just generally some stuff I’m proud of, so lets get started:

Top blogs

The most viewed blog this year is my Functional PowerShell for MSPs webinar, which is pretty amazing because it was only posted 3 months ago. I still see the views racking up on the Teams Live Event recording and I am going to be giving another (albeit slightly shorter one) the 16th of december.

The runner up in this is the start of the Documenting with PowerShell series. That entire series seems to have been a favorite for most people. The third place is going to the unofficial IT-Glue backup script.

My personal favorite has to be a recent blog; either the Secure Application Model blog or the OneDrive monitoring script which uses user impersonation.

Documenting with PowerShell series

The documenting with PowerShell series has been a hit. I’ve taken a small break from it to reorganise and make it a little more “Eye-candy” focussed as this was the primary question I’ve been getting. I love how some of you have adapted the scripts. Most of them were made as an example so it’s cool to see all different variations of it. I will be continuing this series at the start of next year. If you have any wishes, let me know!

Monitoring with PowerShell series

The monitoring with PowerShell series is still my baby, I love doing it and showing all the different methods of using PowerShell over SNMP, or PowerShell over generic WMI monitoring. Next year I hope to still be posting at least 1 blog a week. I’ve recently been mailed some question that I will be picking up next year too.

Special thanks

This year was great! I especially want to thank my peers in MSP’r’Us that always help me find new ideas. I also want to thank Datto for the way we have been collaborating and adding my blogs and script to their product. It’s been a great adventure.

And that’s it! I wish all my readers an amazing Christmas, and of course a happy new year. As always, Happy PowerShelling!

Monitoring with PowerShell: Monitoring the creation of new teams.

Since my last blog about the Secure App Model I’ve been playing with using it in different cases such as collecting automatic documentation, but also using it as an early warning tool for events our helpdesk might want to monitor.

One of these tasks is monitoring the creation of new Teams. We like keeping our clients environments in check but of course we also love the teams structure that anyone can create a team at any moment to jump right into their work. The issue with this is often one of compliance and security – We need to be aware of creation to apply the correct processes to the Team and maybe assist the end-user in further setup.

To do this I’ve made the following script; The script uses the Graph API to find all current teams. It then alerts on any team that has been created in the last day. You can of course modify this to your own needs by changing the $MonitorDate variable.

All Tenants script:

$MonitorDate = (get-date).AddDays(-1)
$ApplicationId = 'XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXX-XXX'
$ApplicationSecret = 'YourApplicationSecret' | Convertto-SecureString -AsPlainText -Force
$TenantID = ''
$RefreshToken = 'VeryLongRefreshToken'
$credential = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential($ApplicationId, $ApplicationSecret)
write-host "Generating access tokens" -ForegroundColor Green
$graphToken = New-PartnerAccessToken -ApplicationId $ApplicationId -Credential $credential -RefreshToken $refreshToken -Scopes '' -ServicePrincipal -Tenant $tenantID 
write-host "Connecting to MSOLService" -ForegroundColor Green
Connect-MsolService -AdGraphAccessToken $aadGraphToken.AccessToken -MsGraphAccessToken $graphToken.AccessToken
write-host "Grabbing client list" -ForegroundColor Green
$customers = Get-MsolPartnerContract -All
write-host "Connecting to clients" -ForegroundColor Green

foreach ($customer in $customers) {
    write-host "Generating token for $($" -ForegroundColor Green
    $graphToken = New-PartnerAccessToken -ApplicationId $ApplicationId -Credential $credential -RefreshToken $refreshToken -Scopes '' -ServicePrincipal -Tenant $customer.TenantID
    $Header = @{
        Authorization = "Bearer $($graphToken.AccessToken)"
    write-host "Grabbing Teams for $($" -ForegroundColor Green
    $GroupUri = "`$top=999"
    $Groups = (Invoke-RestMethod -Uri $GroupUri -Headers $Header -Method Get -ContentType "application/json").value | Where-Object { $_.resourceProvisioningOptions -eq "Team" }
    $NewGroups = foreach ($group in $Groups | Where-Object { [datetime]$_.CreatedDateTime -gt $MonitorDate }) { 
        "$($Group.displayName) has been created on $($group.createdDateTime)"
if(!$NewGroups){ $NewGroups = "Healthy. No New groups have been created."} 

this script grabs the new-teams for each of the tenants under your administration and alerts into $NewGroups is a group is newer than the date you’ve given.

Single Tenant script:

$MonitorDate = (get-date).AddDays(-1)
$ApplicationId = 'XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXX-XXX'
$ApplicationSecret = 'YourApplicationSecret' | Convertto-SecureString -AsPlainText -Force
$TenantID = ''
$RefreshToken = 'VeryLongRefreshToken'
$credential = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential($ApplicationId, $ApplicationSecret)
write-host "Generating access tokens" -ForegroundColor Green
$graphToken = New-PartnerAccessToken -ApplicationId $ApplicationId -Credential $credential -RefreshToken $refreshToken -Scopes '' -ServicePrincipal -Tenant $tenantID 
write-host "Connecting to MSOLService" -ForegroundColor Green
Connect-MsolService -AdGraphAccessToken $aadGraphToken.AccessToken -MsGraphAccessToken $graphToken.AccessToken
    $Header = @{
        Authorization = "Bearer $($graphToken.AccessToken)"
    write-host "Grabbing Teams" -ForegroundColor Green
    $GroupUri = "`$top=999"
    $Groups = (Invoke-RestMethod -Uri $GroupUri -Headers $Header -Method Get -ContentType "application/json").value | Where-Object { $_.resourceProvisioningOptions -eq "Team" }
    $NewGroups = foreach ($group in $Groups | Where-Object { [datetime]$_.CreatedDateTime -gt $MonitorDate }) { 
        "$($Group.displayName) has been created on $($group.createdDateTime)"
if(!$NewGroups){ $NewGroups = "Healthy. No New groups have been created."}

And that’s it! hope it helps, and as always, Happy PowerShelling.

Connect to Exchange Online automated when MFA is enabled (Using the SecureApp Model)

So in the past months Microsoft has been forcing CSPs and MSPs to use MFA, something I strongly encourage and am glad with. The only issue with this was that Microsoft made this move without accounting for automation and automated jobs that need to run, especially jobs that run unattended and over multiple delegates.

To make sure that we could be able to use this I’ve been advocating and discussing this with Microsoft a lot, including a public part here, but after several months and great help from
Janosch Ulmer at Microsoft I’ve been able to compose a script for everyone to use, to connect to all Microsoft resources using the secure application model, including Exchange Online.

Compiling all of these scripts took me quite some time. If you have questions or issues just let me know!

The Script

    [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)]
    [Parameter(Mandatory = $true)]
    [Parameter(Mandatory = $false)]

$ErrorActionPreference = "Stop"

# Check if the Azure AD PowerShell module has already been loaded.
if ( ! ( Get-Module AzureAD ) ) {
    # Check if the Azure AD PowerShell module is installed.
    if ( Get-Module -ListAvailable -Name AzureAD ) {
        # The Azure AD PowerShell module is not load and it is installed. This module
        # must be loaded for other operations performed by this script.
        Write-Host -ForegroundColor Green "Loading the Azure AD PowerShell module..."
        Import-Module AzureAD
    } else {
        Install-Module AzureAD

try {
    Write-Host -ForegroundColor Green "When prompted please enter the appropriate credentials... Warning: Window might have pop-under in VSCode"

    if([string]::IsNullOrEmpty($TenantId)) {
        Connect-AzureAD | Out-Null

        $TenantId = $(Get-AzureADTenantDetail).ObjectId
    } else {
        Connect-AzureAD -TenantId $TenantId | Out-Null
} catch [Microsoft.Azure.Common.Authentication.AadAuthenticationCanceledException] {
    # The authentication attempt was canceled by the end-user. Execution of the script should be halted.
    Write-Host -ForegroundColor Yellow "The authentication attempt was canceled. Execution of the script will be halted..."
} catch {
    # An unexpected error has occurred. The end-user should be notified so that the appropriate action can be taken.
    Write-Error "An unexpected error has occurred. Please review the following error message and try again." `

$adAppAccess = [Microsoft.Open.AzureAD.Model.RequiredResourceAccess]@{
    ResourceAppId = "00000002-0000-0000-c000-000000000000";
    ResourceAccess =
        Id = "5778995a-e1bf-45b8-affa-663a9f3f4d04";
        Type = "Role"},
        Id = "a42657d6-7f20-40e3-b6f0-cee03008a62a";
        Type = "Scope"},
        Id = "311a71cc-e848-46a1-bdf8-97ff7156d8e6";
        Type = "Scope"}

$graphAppAccess = [Microsoft.Open.AzureAD.Model.RequiredResourceAccess]@{
    ResourceAppId = "00000003-0000-0000-c000-000000000000";
    ResourceAccess =
            Id = "bf394140-e372-4bf9-a898-299cfc7564e5";
            Type = "Role"},
            Id = "7ab1d382-f21e-4acd-a863-ba3e13f7da61";
            Type = "Role"}

$partnerCenterAppAccess = [Microsoft.Open.AzureAD.Model.RequiredResourceAccess]@{
    ResourceAppId = "fa3d9a0c-3fb0-42cc-9193-47c7ecd2edbd";
    ResourceAccess =
            Id = "1cebfa2a-fb4d-419e-b5f9-839b4383e05a";
            Type = "Scope"}

$SessionInfo = Get-AzureADCurrentSessionInfo

Write-Host -ForegroundColor Green "Creating the Azure AD application and related resources..."

$app = New-AzureADApplication -AvailableToOtherTenants $true -DisplayName $DisplayName -IdentifierUris "https://$($SessionInfo.TenantDomain)/$((New-Guid).ToString())" -RequiredResourceAccess $adAppAccess, $graphAppAccess, $partnerCenterAppAccess -ReplyUrls @("urn:ietf:wg:oauth:2.0:oob","https://localhost","http://localhost","http://localhost:8400")
$password = New-AzureADApplicationPasswordCredential -ObjectId $app.ObjectId
$spn = New-AzureADServicePrincipal -AppId $app.AppId -DisplayName $DisplayName

    $adminAgentsGroup = Get-AzureADGroup -Filter "DisplayName eq 'AdminAgents'"
    Add-AzureADGroupMember -ObjectId $adminAgentsGroup.ObjectId -RefObjectId $spn.ObjectId

write-host "Installing PartnerCenter Module." -ForegroundColor Green
install-module PartnerCenter -Force
write-host "Sleeping for 30 seconds to allow app creation on O365" -foregroundcolor green
start-sleep 30
write-host "Please approve General consent form." -ForegroundColor Green
$PasswordToSecureString = $password.value | ConvertTo-SecureString -asPlainText -Force
$credential = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential($($app.AppId),$PasswordToSecureString)
$token = New-PartnerAccessToken -ApplicationId "$($app.AppId)" -Scopes '' -ServicePrincipal -Credential $credential -Tenant $($spn.AppOwnerTenantID) -UseAuthorizationCode
write-host "Please approve Exchange consent form." -ForegroundColor Green
$Exchangetoken = New-PartnerAccessToken -ApplicationId 'a0c73c16-a7e3-4564-9a95-2bdf47383716' -Scopes '' -Tenant $($spn.AppOwnerTenantID) -UseDeviceAuthentication
write-host "Last initation required: Please browse to$($spn.AppOwnerTenantID)/adminConsent?client_id=$($app.AppId)"
write-host "Press any key after auth. An error report about incorrect URIs is expected!"
Write-Host "================ Secrets ================"
Write-Host "`$ApplicationId         = $($app.AppId)"
Write-Host "`$ApplicationSecret     = $($password.Value)"
Write-Host "`$TenantID              = $($spn.AppOwnerTenantID)"
write-host "`$RefreshToken          = $($token.refreshtoken)" -ForegroundColor Blue
write-host "`$Exchange RefreshToken = $($ExchangeToken.Refreshtoken)" -ForegroundColor Green
Write-Host "================ Secrets ================"

Update: Please note that you should NOT run this script in the PowerShell ISE as it will not work. Also note that when running the script with an MFA whitelist via the portal, the script fails. You must remove this whitelisting beforehand.

The following script creates a new application, and connects to all resources. At the end you will receive several private keys. Store these in a secure location for future usage such as a Azure Keyvault or IT-Glue. With these keys you can connect to all your delegated resources without MFA. There currently are some slight issues on the Azure side with performing consent, and as thus you’ll have to click a couple of times. Sorry about that 🙂

So, now that you have these keys you can use the following scripts to connect to the correct resources:

$ApplicationId         = 'xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxx'
$ApplicationSecret     = 'YOURSECRET' | Convertto-SecureString -AsPlainText -Force
$TenantID              = 'xxxxxx-xxxx-xxx-xxxx--xxx' 
$RefreshToken          = 'LongResourcetoken'
$ExchangeRefreshToken  = 'LongExchangeToken'
$credential = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential($ApplicationId, $ApplicationSecret)

$aadGraphToken = New-PartnerAccessToken -ApplicationId $ApplicationId -Credential $credential -RefreshToken $refreshToken -Scopes '' -ServicePrincipal -Tenant $tenantID 
$graphToken = New-PartnerAccessToken -ApplicationId $ApplicationId -Credential $credential -RefreshToken $refreshToken -Scopes '' -ServicePrincipal -Tenant $tenantID 

Connect-MsolService -AdGraphAccessToken $aadGraphToken.AccessToken -MsGraphAccessToken $graphToken.AccessToken
AzureAD Module
$ApplicationId         = 'xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxx' 
$ApplicationSecret     = 'YOURSECRET' | Convertto-SecureString -AsPlainText -Force
$TenantID              = 'xxxxxx-xxxx-xxx-xxxx--xxx'
$RefreshToken          = 'LongResourcetoken'
$ExchangeRefreshToken  = 'LongExchangeToken'
$credential = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential($ApplicationId, $ApplicationSecret)

$aadGraphToken = New-PartnerAccessToken -ApplicationId $ApplicationId -Credential $credential -RefreshToken $refreshToken -Scopes '' -ServicePrincipal -Tenant $tenantID 
$graphToken = New-PartnerAccessToken -ApplicationId $ApplicationId -Credential $credential -RefreshToken $refreshToken -Scopes '' -ServicePrincipal -Tenant $tenantID 

Connect-AzureAD -AadAccessToken $aadGraphToken.AccessToken -AccountId 'VALIDEMAILADDRESS' -MsAccessToken $graphToken.AccessToken -TenantId $tenantID
Exchange Online

For the Exchange Online module we’ll need to do a little more effort – You will need the tenantid of the client you are connecting too. I’ll show you how to perform a specific action for each client you have delegated access too.

$ApplicationId         = 'xxxx-xxxx-xxx-xxxx-xxxx'
$ApplicationSecret     = 'TheSecretTheSecrey' | Convertto-SecureString -AsPlainText -Force
$TenantID              = 'YourTenantID'
$RefreshToken          = 'RefreshToken'
$ExchangeRefreshToken  = 'ExchangeRefreshToken'
$upn                   = 'UPN-Used-To-Generate-Tokens'
$credential = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential($ApplicationId, $ApplicationSecret)

$aadGraphToken = New-PartnerAccessToken -ApplicationId $ApplicationId -Credential $credential -RefreshToken $refreshToken -Scopes '' -ServicePrincipal -Tenant $tenantID 
$graphToken = New-PartnerAccessToken -ApplicationId $ApplicationId -Credential $credential -RefreshToken $refreshToken -Scopes '' -ServicePrincipal -Tenant $tenantID 

Connect-MsolService -AdGraphAccessToken $aadGraphToken.AccessToken -MsGraphAccessToken $graphToken.AccessToken
$customers = Get-MsolPartnerContract -All
foreach($customer in $customers){
    $token = New-PartnerAccessToken -ApplicationId 'a0c73c16-a7e3-4564-9a95-2bdf47383716'-RefreshToken $ExchangeRefreshToken -Scopes '' -Tenant $customer.TenantId
    $tokenValue = ConvertTo-SecureString "Bearer $($token.AccessToken)" -AsPlainText -Force
    $credential = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential($upn, $tokenValue)
    $customerId = $customer.DefaultDomainName
    $session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri "$($customerId)&BasicAuthToOAuthConversion=true" -Credential $credential -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
    Import-PSSession $session
#From here you can enter your own commands
#end of commands
Remove-PSSession $session

Refreshing the tokens

Use the following script to refresh the tokens

$ApplicationId = 'ApplicationID'
$ApplicationSecret = 'Secret' | Convertto-SecureString -AsPlainText -Force
$TenantID = 'YourTenantID'
$credential = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential($ApplicationId, $ApplicationSecret)
$token = New-PartnerAccessToken -ApplicationId $ApplicationID -Scopes '' -ServicePrincipal -Credential $credential -Tenant $TenantID -UseAuthorizationCode
$Exchangetoken = New-PartnerAccessToken -ApplicationId 'a0c73c16-a7e3-4564-9a95-2bdf47383716' -Scopes '' -Tenant $TenantID -UseDeviceAuthentication
Write-Host "================ Secrets ================"
Write-Host "`$ApplicationId         = $($applicationID)"
Write-Host "`$ApplicationSecret     = $($ApplicationSecret)"
Write-Host "`$TenantID              = $($tenantid)"
write-host "`$RefreshToken          = $($token.refreshtoken)" -ForegroundColor Blue
write-host "`$ExchangeRefreshToken  = $($ExchangeToken.Refreshtoken)" -ForegroundColor Green
Write-Host "================ Secrets ================"

And that’s it! I hope it helps MSPs, CSPs, etc. 🙂 as always, Happy PowerShelling!

Monitoring with PowerShell: Monitoring Office365 admin password changes

So when I was at Dattocon I was approached by an MSP that was using his RMM system to alert on changes of the local admin password, as he wanted to be updated every time a local admin got a new password. He did this by using an older script of mine below.

Monitoring Local Admin Password changes

$LastDay = (Get-Date).addhours(-24)
$AdminGroup = Get-LocalGroupMember -SID "S-1-5-32-544"
foreach($Admin in $AdminGroup){
$ChangedAdmins = get-localuser -sid $admin.sid | Where-Object {$_.PasswordLastSet -gt $LastDay}

But he came to me telling me that recently he had a need to start using this to alert on that a password needed to be updated in his documentation system to complete a process, but he was missing this for Office365 environments. I figured I would give him a hand and made the following script

Monitoring Office365 Global Admin Password changes – All tenants

$LastDay = (Get-Date).addhours(-24)
$credential = Get-Credential
Connect-MsolService -Credential $credential
$customers = Get-msolpartnercontract -All
$ChangedUsers = @()
foreach($customer in $customers){
write-host "getting users for $($Customer.Name)" -ForegroundColorGreen
$adminemails = Get-MsolRoleMember -TenantId $customer.tenantid -RoleObjectId(Get-MsolRole-RoleName"CompanyAdministrator").ObjectId
$Users = $adminemails | get-msoluser-TenantId$customer.TenantId
foreach($User in $Users){
if($User.LastPasswordChangeTimestamp -gt $LastDay){$ChangedUsers += "$($User.UserPrincipalName)has changed his password in the last 24 hours.Please update documentation to reflect.`n"}


Monitoring Office365 Global Admin Password Changes – Single tenant

$TenantName = ""
$LastDay = (Get-Date).addhours(-24)
$credential = Get-Credential
Connect-MsolService -Credential $credential
$Customer=Get-msolpartnercontract -All | Where-Object{$_.DefaultDomainName -eq $TenantName}
write-host"getting users for $($Customer.Name)" -ForegroundColorGreen
$adminemails = Get-MsolRoleMember -TenantId$customer.tenantid -RoleObjectId (Get-MsolRole -RoleName "CompanyAdministrator").ObjectId
$Users= $adminemails | get-msoluser-TenantId $customer.TenantId
foreach($User in $Users){
if($User.LastPasswordChangeTimestamp -gt $LastDay){$ChangedUsers +="$($User.UserPrincipalName) has changed his password in the last 24 hours.Please update documentation to reflect.`n"}


This script checks if a password has been changed in the last day, and if so alerts on it, notifying you that a global admin password has been updated and needs to be changed in the documentation. You can also use this as a warning system if you do not have anyone that should be changing these passwords.

Anyway, hope it helps, and as always. Happy PowerShelling!


Hi all,

I’ll be presenting at Dattocon next week, so I will not be able to release the new blogs about monitoring with PowerShell. If you’re coming to Dattocon feel free to join my session. you can find information about the session here. The description is a little bit off as I will be talking mostly about PowerShell and automation at MSPs.

I’ll upload all resources to this blog after, including some documentation, examples to use during scripting, and the slide deck & recording.

The normal blogging schedule will resume directly after the PowerShell for MSP’s webinar. To get tickets for that, click here.

Function: Write-DRRMAlert

New-DattoRMMAlert was shared to me by Stan Lee at Datto, Stan also loves the DRY principle of coding and as such I’m also sharing it with you. You can only alert single line items, and not arrays or multiline contents as Datto does not support this.

function write-DRRMAlert ($message) {
    write-host '<-Start Result->'
    write-host "Alert=$message"
    write-host '<-End Result->'

Function: Write-DRMMDiag

Similar to the top one, but generated by myself is the diagnostics printing module. We can feed this anything from objects, to arrays, to single string items 🙂

write-host&nbsp; '&lt;-Start&nbsp;Diagnostic-&gt;'

Monitoring with PowerShell: The Windows Firewall

In a lot of situations where we take over server management from clients we often see bad security practices, where the client does not understand the inherent risk and just wants everything to work. Some administrators that don’t know what they are doing often just disable the entire firewall and hope that their application works at that moment. We even see suppliers of large applications such as Microsoft Dynamics and SQL server applications kill the Windows Firewall because of a lack of knowledge.

We try to help these suppliers and administrators setting up correct Windows Firewall rules when we notice this happens, but to make sure that we are able to notice it we need to have monitoring on our servers for when someone disables the firewall. We also have seen bad actors disable the Windows Firewall after penetrating other layers.

To start, we’ll first check if the simplest part of the Windows Firewall is configured correctly: we check if the Firewall profile is enabled

$FirewallProfiles = Get-NetFirewallProfile | Where-Object { $_.Enabled -eq $false}
If(!$FirewallProfiles) { $ProfileStatus = "Healthy"} else { $ProfileStatus = "$($ Profile is disabled"}

The issue with just monitoring this is pretty obvious: What if someone has the firewall enabled, but changed the configuration to “inbound connections that do not match a rule are allowed”, So for that we’ll add two simple lines:

$FirewallProfiles = Get-NetFirewallProfile | Where-Object { $_.Enabled -eq $false}
If(!$FirewallProfiles) { $ProfileStatus = "Healthy"} else { $ProfileStatus = "$($ Profile is disabled"}
$FirewallAllowed = Get-NetFirewallProfile | Where-Object { $_.DefaultInboundAction -ne "NotConfigured"}
If(!$FirewallAllowed) { $DefaultAction = "Healthy"} else { $DefaultAction = "$($ Profile is set to $($FirewallAllowed.DefaultInboundAction) inbound traffic"}

Hope this helps making your environments a little safer, and as always Happy PowerShelling!

Monitoring with PowerShell: Monitoring Office C2R updates

This blog might be a little shorter than normally, I’ve been a bit swamped with work so if you have any questions, let me know!

This time we’re going to monitor the update status of Microsoft Office that’s been installed using C2R. C2R installers do not get updates from the Microsoft Update services and thus RMM systems often can’t update these. Seeing as C2R is now the standard for all Office Installations we’ll need to start monitoring this separately from Windows Updates. We also want all our of clients to be in the same update channel.

$ReportedVersion = Get-ItemPropertyValue -Path "HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\ClickToRun\Configuration" -Name "VersionToReport"
$Channel = (Get-ItemPropertyValue -Path "HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\ClickToRun\Configuration" -Name "CDNBaseUrl") -split "/" | Select-Object -Last 1

If (!$Channel) { 
    $Channel = "Non-C2R version or No Channel selected."
else {
    switch ($Channel) { 
        "492350f6-3a01-4f97-b9c0-c7c6ddf67d60"  { $Channel = 'Current ("Monthly")' }
        "64256afe-f5d9-4f86-8936-8840a6a4f5be"  { $Channel = "Current Preview (`"Monthly Targeted`"/`"Insiders`")" }
        "7ffbc6bf-bc32-4f92-8982-f9dd17fd3114"  { $Channel = "Semi-Annual Enterprise (`"Broad`")" }
        "b8f9b850-328d-4355-9145-c59439a0c4cf"  { $Channel = "Semi-Annual Enterprise Preview (`"Targeted`")" }
        "55336b82-a18d-4dd6-b5f6-9e5095c314a6"  { $Channel = "Monthly Enterprise" }
        "5440fd1f-7ecb-4221-8110-145efaa6372f"  { $Channel = "Beta" }
        "f2e724c1-748f-4b47-8fb8-8e0d210e9208"  { $Channel = "LTSC" }
        "2e148de9-61c8-4051-b103-4af54baffbb4"  { $Channel = "LTSC Preview" }

To monitor on the versions we want to support by checking this page by Microsoft. We also monitor the Channel by alerting on anything that is not “Monthly Channel”, as soon as we see an agent that has the incorrect channel we fix it by running the following command

"C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun\OfficeC2RClient.exe" /changesetting Channel=Monthly

When a client is not up to date, we force the latest update via the following command, this updates the client specifically to the version we want.

 "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun\OfficeC2RClient.exe"  /update USER displaylevel=False updatetoversion=16.0.7341.2029

If you want to update to any update that is available, for the channel the installation is in.

 "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun\OfficeC2RClient.exe"  /update USER displaylevel=False

And that’s it! you can now use this to update to the latest versions, and monitor the minimum required version you need installed. As always, Happy PowerShelling!

Update: Updated as Microsoft changed the channel names, one of my friends had an updated version of the version table for me so I added that. 🙂

Monitoring with PowerShell: UPS Status (APC, Generic, and Dell)

So we’re using several types of UPS’s at our clients, and sometimes bump into generic USB UPS systems too. To monitor these we use a couple of methods that all have benefits and downsides. Let’s get started.

If a generic USB UPS is installed, Windows Server recognizes this as a Battery Unit. The status is sent to the server by using a generic Windows Driver called “Microsoft Compliant Control Method Battery” which is quite the mouthfull. The good thing is that with this driver we can use a couple of small PowerShell commands to find the exact status of the battery.

USB UPS systems

 $Battery = Get-CimInstance -ClassName win32_battery
Switch ($Battery.Availability) {
    1  { $Availability = "Other" ;break}
   2  { $Availability =  "Not using battery" ;break}
   3  { $Availability = "Running or Full Power";break}
   4  {$Availability =  "Warning" ;break}
   5  { $Availability = "In Test";break}
   6  { $Availability = "Not Applicable";break}
   7  { $Availability = "Power Off";break}
   8  { $Availability = "Off Line";break}
   9  { $Availability = "Off Duty";break}
   10  {$Availability =  "Degraded";break}
   11  {$Availability =  "Not Installed";break}
   12  {$Availability =  "Install Error";break}
   13  { $Availability = "Power Save - Unknown";break}
   14  { $Availability = "Power Save - Low Power Mode" ;break}
   15  { $Availability = "Power Save - Standby";break}
   16  { $Availability = "Power Cycle";break}
   17  { $Availability = "Power Save - Warning";break}

$BatteryStatus = $Battery.Status
$BatteryName = "$($"
$Remaining = $Battery.EstimatedChargeRemaining
$EstRunTimeMinutes = $Battery.EstimatedRunTime
$BatAvailability = $Availability

The script gets the battery status out of WMI, it shows if the machine is running on battery or not, and you can alert on this. We’ve set our systems up to make sure that when the battery status changes from anything but “Not using battery” it alerts, and possibly shuts down the machine.

Another thing to pay attention to is the Battery Status – Most APCs and Dell’s connected to USB even tell the OS if the battery is in a warning state or failed, you should alert on anything but “OK” for the status.

We can’t really monitor network UPS systems with this, as they do not get their data in w32_battery, so we’ll have to use a couple of different solutions for this. I’ll try covering this in a future blog. As always, happy PowerShelling!

Documenting with PowerShell Chapter 4: Network documentation for IT-Glue.

In the last couple of blogs we spoke about how to handle passwords, passwords objects and tagging, and how to start documenting your servers. Today, We’re starting on the network side of documentation. Within IT-Glue it’s important to follow the IT-Glue standards so your documentation works with the relational database it was designed on.

There are a lot of tools that make automatic documation possible but pass around the fact that IT-Glue works best if you develop your documentation based on their best practices. This is why the documentation script we’ll make for networking has those in place: The script tags all available resources it can find, that are related to the network.

We currently tag all devices based on their primary IP in IT-Glue. You will need these filled in correctly to make sure the documentation script picks these up.

The Script

The script creates a flexible asset for you, with the required fields if the asset is not yet available. The flexible Asset will have 6 fields: the subnet, the gateway, the DNS servers, the DHCP servers, and the tagged devices. It also has a single textbox where a copy of the network scan will be added.

The script uses the PSnmap module for the network scan, it will automatically download this from the PSGallery. More info about PSNmap can be found here.

    $APIEndpoint = ""
    $orgID = "ORGIDHERE"
    #Tag related devices. this will try to find the devices based on the MAC, Connected to this network, and tag them as related devices.
    $TagRelatedDevices = $true
    $FlexAssetName = "ITGLue AutoDoc - Network overview v2"
    $Description = "a network one-page document that shows the current configuration found."
    $ConnectedNetworks = Get-NetIPConfiguration -Detailed | Where-Object {$_.Netadapter.status -eq "up"}

    If(Get-Module -ListAvailable -Name "ITGlueAPI") {Import-module ITGlueAPI} Else { install-module ITGlueAPI -Force; import-module ITGlueAPI}
    If(Get-Module -ListAvailable -Name "PSnmap") {Import-module "PSnmap"} Else { install-module "PSnmap" -Force; import-module "PSnmap"}
        #Settings IT-Glue logon information
        Add-ITGlueBaseURI -base_uri $APIEndpoint
        Add-ITGlueAPIKey $APIKEy
    foreach($Network in $ConnectedNetworks){ 
    $DHCPServer = (Get-CimInstance -ClassName Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration | Where-Object { $_.IPAddress -eq $network.IPv4Address}).DHCPServer
    $Subnet = "$($network.IPv4DefaultGateway.nexthop)/$($network.IPv4Address.PrefixLength)"
    $NetWorkScan = Invoke-PSnmap -ComputerName $subnet -Port 80,443,3389,21,22,25,587 -Dns -NoSummary 
    $HTMLFrag = $NetworkScan | Where-Object {$_.Ping -eq $true} | convertto-html -Fragment -PreContent "<h1> Network scan of $($subnet) <br/><table class=`"table table-bordered table-hover`" >" | out-string
    #Tagging devices
    $DeviceAsset = @()
    If($TagRelatedDevices -eq $true){
        Write-Host "Finding all related resources - Matching on IP at local side, Primary IP on IT-Glue side."
        foreach($hostfound in $networkscan | Where-Object { $_.Ping -ne $false}){
        $DeviceAsset +=  (Get-ITGlueConfigurations -page_size "1000" -organization_id $orgID).data | Where-Object {$_.Attributes."Primary-IP" -eq $($hostfound.ComputerName)}
    $FlexAssetBody = 
        type = 'flexible-assets'
        attributes = @{
                name = $FlexAssetName
                traits = @{
                    "subnet-network" = "$Subnet"
                    "subnet-gateway" = $network.IPv4DefaultGateway.nexthop
                    "subnet-dns-servers" = $network.dnsserver.serveraddresses
                    "subnet-dhcp-servers" = $DHCPServer
                    "scan-results" = $HTMLFrag
                    "tagged-devices" = $DeviceAsset.ID

    #Checking if the FlexibleAsset exists. If not, create a new one.
    $FilterID = (Get-ITGlueFlexibleAssetTypes -filter_name $FlexAssetName).data
        $NewFlexAssetData = 
            type = 'flexible-asset-types'
            attributes = @{
                    name = $FlexAssetName
                    icon = 'sitemap'
                    description = $description
            relationships = @{
                "flexible-asset-fields" = @{
                    data = @(
                            type       = "flexible_asset_fields"
                            attributes = @{
                                order           = 1
                                name            = "Subnet Network"
                                kind            = "Text"
                                required        = $true
                                "show-in-list"  = $true
                                "use-for-title" = $true
                            type       = "flexible_asset_fields"
                            attributes = @{
                                order          = 2
                                name           = "Subnet Gateway"
                                kind           = "Text"
                                required       = $false
                                "show-in-list" = $false
                            type       = "flexible_asset_fields"
                            attributes = @{
                                order          = 3
                                name           = "Subnet DNS Servers"
                                kind           = "Text"
                                required       = $false
                                "show-in-list" = $false
                            type       = "flexible_asset_fields"
                            attributes = @{
                                order          = 4
                                name           = "Subnet DHCP Servers"
                                kind           = "Text"
                                required       = $false
                                "show-in-list" = $false
                            type       = "flexible_asset_fields"
                            attributes = @{
                                order          = 5
                                name           = "Tagged Devices"
                                kind           = "Tag"
                                "tag-type"     = "Configurations"
                                required       = $false
                                "show-in-list" = $false
                            type       = "flexible_asset_fields"
                            attributes = @{
                                order          = 6
                                name           = "Scan Results"
                                kind           = "Textbox"
                                required       = $false
                                "show-in-list" = $false
    New-ITGlueFlexibleAssetTypes -Data $NewFlexAssetData 
    $FilterID = (Get-ITGlueFlexibleAssetTypes -filter_name $FlexAssetName).data
    #Upload data to IT-Glue. We try to match the Server name to current computer name.
    $ExistingFlexAsset = (Get-ITGlueFlexibleAssets -filter_flexible_asset_type_id $ -filter_organization_id $orgID).data | Where-Object {$ -eq $Subnet}
    #If the Asset does not exist, we edit the body to be in the form of a new asset, if not, we just upload.
    $FlexAssetBody.attributes.add('organization-id', $orgID)
    $FlexAssetBody.attributes.add('flexible-asset-type-id', $
    Write-Host "Creating new flexible asset"
    New-ITGlueFlexibleAssets -data $FlexAssetBody
    } else {
    Write-Host "Updating Flexible Asset"
    $ExistingFlexAsset = $ExistingFlexAsset[-1]
    Set-ITGlueFlexibleAssets -id $  -data $FlexAssetBody}

And that’s it! this script will document parts of your network for you, and is easy to edit to anything you’d like it to be. and as always, happy PowerShelling!

Monitoring with PowerShell: Monitoring Dell device updates

I’m a big fan of Dell’s Command Update utility. Dell Command update is a program that makes updating Dell based devices super easy, a single utility that you can install on any workstation to update all devices is great. We always deploy Dell Command update with any machine we hand out to clients.

The next issue that occurs is that we need to know if the updates are running well. For this, I’ve made a monitoring set. To make sure that you don’t just monitor without action, we also created a set that automatically remediates.

The monitoring script

The monitoring script downloads a zip file with the Dell Command Update utility. You can create this zip-file yourself by installing Dell Command Update and simply zipping the install location. It then unzips the downloaded file, and runs the DCU-cli with the Report Parameter, I would advise to only run this set on an hourly or even daily schedule, using your RMM system of course.

#Replace the Download URL to where you've uploaded the ZIP file yourself. We will only download this file once. 
$DownloadURL = ""
$DownloadLocation = "$($Env:ProgramFiles)\DCU"
$TestDownloadLocation = Test-Path $DownloadLocation
new-item $DownloadLocation -ItemType Directory -force
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri $DownloadURL -OutFile "$($DownloadLocation)\"
Expand-Archive "$($DownloadLocation)\" -DestinationPath $DownloadLocation -Force
#We start DCU with a reporting parameter set. We wait until the report has been generated.
Start-Process "$($DownloadLocation)\DCU-CLI.exe" -ArgumentList "/report `"$($DownloadLocation)\Report.xml`"" -Wait
$XMLReport = get-content "$($DownloadLocation)\Report.xml"

$BIOSUpdates        = ($XMLReport.updates.update | Where-Object {$_.type -eq "BIOS"}).name.Count
$ApplicationUpdates = ($XMLReport.updates.update | Where-Object {$_.type -eq "Application"}).name.Count
$DriverUpdates      = ($XMLReport.updates.update | Where-Object {$_.type -eq "Driver"}).name.Count
$FirmwareUpdates    = ($XMLReport.updates.update | Where-Object {$_.type -eq "Firmware"}).name.Count
$OtherUpdates       = ($XMLReport.updates.update | Where-Object {$_.type -eq "Other"}).name.Count
$PatchUpdates       = ($XMLReport.updates.update | Where-Object {$_.type -eq "Patch"}).name.Count
$UtilityUpdates     = ($XMLReport.updates.update | Where-Object {$_.type -eq "Utility"}).name.Count
$UrgentUpdates      = ($XMLReport.updates.update | Where-Object {$_.Urgency -eq "Urgent"}).name.Count

As this is a number monitor, if something is 0 you are completely up to date, we monitor all type of updates. We also like knowing if an update is urgent, which has a separate category.


So remediation can be done quickly, In theory we would only have to run a single command, which is the following script

$DownloadLocation = "$($Env:ProgramFiles)\DCU"
Start-Process "$($DownloadLocation)\DCU-CLI.exe" -Wait

The problem with running this script directly that by default all updates that the DCU finds will be installed, and you cannot set a classification to be excluded. If you would like to exclude specific update types such as BIOS updates or utility software, you’ll have to do this:

  • Open DCU on your administrator workstation
  • click on the cog in the top right corner
  • update filter:, unselect the updates you want to exclude.
  • Export/Import: and export the MySettings.xml file.
  • Add this MySettings.xml file to your self-hosted DCU zip file.

If you’ve done this small list of tasks, then use the following script to install the updates instead:

$DownloadLocation = "$($Env:ProgramFiles)\DCU"
Start-Process "$($DownloadLocation)\DCU-CLI.exe" -ArgumentList "/import /policy `"$($DownloadLocation)\MySettings.xml`"" -Wait
Start-Process "$($DownloadLocation)\DCU-CLI.exe" -Wait

When executing Thunderbolt or BIOS updates. You will also need to suspend Bitlocker. You can use the following script for this. My advice would be to execute the reboot immediately in this case – and only use this if you are certain that the device is in a secure environment during execution.

$DownloadLocation = "$($Env:ProgramFiles)\DCU"
Start-Process "$($DownloadLocation)\DCU-CLI.exe" -ArgumentList "/import /policy `"$($DownloadLocation)\MySettings.xml`"" -Wait
Suspend-BitLocker -MountPoint 'C:' -RebootCount 1
Start-Process "$($DownloadLocation)\DCU-CLI.exe" -Wait

the AMP file can be found here. As always, Happy PowerShelling!