I recently overhauled a script that I wrote to take advantage of the parallel processing functionality that is included in Microsoft Powershell 7. The results have been excellent with script runtimes being reduced from over an hour down to roughly 5 minutes. Learning the ins-and-outs of using parallel processing was a bit of a chore that I will discuss in a later article, however the first hurdle that had to be mounted was simply getting Powershell 7 installed and figuring out how to make use of it. Quickly getting up and running with Powershell 7 is what this article seeks to address. (more…)

A colleague of mine recently solved one of the biggest pain points I have dealt with regarding Office365 – that is, Microsoft’s seemingly hit-or-miss modern authentication.

Symptoms look like this:
1. Outlook client can’t connect and/or authenticate for end-users
2. Turning on Azure MFA for an end-user ruins their life (and yours) because all office applications, teams, etc. break.
3. Admins have an impending sense of “dread” when setting up systems for new users because 80% of the time they are going to spend hours sorting out the above issues.
4. You call Microsoft Support complaining of these issues and they are eventually stumped and tell you to rebuild the desktop/laptop from scratch… great for end-users that deal with this issue 1 year into the job and rather like their systems as-is… -or- MS Support tells you to pop a registry key into the end-user’s system which just disables Modern Authentication all together – which may fix Outlook but leaves many many other things broken…
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If you got a new computer system recently then it probably is using UEFI bios and it didn’t come with Windows installation media or a product license activation key. What gives?

Manufacturers are now embedding the activation key in the UEFI BIOS. You can retrieve the key by running this command from within a Windows powershell session:

wmic path softwarelicensingservice get oa3xoriginalproductkey

I moved my hard drive to a new Dell OEM PC (new motherboard/chassis/etc.) recently and had to activate windows 10 again once I was up and running. The activation kept failing. I found this out and went to the activation window, hit the “Change key” option and then ran the above command and pulled the key out of UEFI Bios on the new system and it worked without a problem. I had to change the key in my Windows 10 install to match the key stored in the UEFI Bios on the system. Thankfully my Windows 10 install from my old system was the “Pro” SKU and that is what the Dell workstation originally came pre-loaded with.

Easy!

Reference:
https://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/125321-pull-windows-key-from-uefi-bios