Admin Arsenal

Deploy Java 8 Update 40 To All Windows Computers

Posted by Shane Corellian

Mar 6, 2015 1:32:52 PM

Oracle has issued a surprise update to Java 8. Oracle generally sticks to its scheduled release dates (Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct) however they released a "Limited Update" on March 3rd. As always, you can deploy Java 8 Update 40 from the PDQ Deploy Package Library.

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Topics: java

Secure Password with PowerShell: Encrypting Credentials - Part 2

Posted by Kris Powell

Mar 5, 2015 12:21:00 PM

In continuing with my previous post, Secure Password with PowerShell: Encrypting Credentials Part 1, I’d like to talk about sharing credentials between different machines/users/etc.

To recap my last blog, part 1 of Encrypting Credentials, when you use ConvertTo-SecureString and ConvertFrom-SecureString without a Key or SecureKey, Powershell will use Windows Data Protection API (DPAPI) to encrypt/decrypt your strings. This means that it will only work for the same user on the same computer.

When you use a Key/SecureKey, the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES - wiki link) encryption algorithm is used. You are able to use the stored credential from any machine with any user so long as you know the AES Key that was used.

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Announcing PDQ Inventory 5

Posted by Annalisa Williams

Mar 4, 2015 4:19:41 PM

PDQ Inventory 5 is out! Current users: to get the latest update click on updates in the lower left corner of your console. (Note: if your  Pro or Enterprise license is out-of-date you'll need to renew before updating.)  

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Topics: pdq inventory

Java Error 1618 When Deploying Java

Posted by Shane Corellian

Feb 27, 2015 10:23:32 AM

Error 1618 isn't unique to Java. It is an error from Microsoft Installer (.msi) stating that another .msi is currently being processed. You see, the Microsoft Installer, msiexec.exe, can only process one installation at a time. This error will be encountered when one MSI is attempted to be installed while another is currently processing.

Please keep in mind that this doesn't necessarily mean that another Java installation is occurring. It means that msiexec.exe is currently processing another .msi installation. This could be one of thousands of other applications that use the Microsoft Installer.

Regardless, let's look at how we can overcome this when it comes to deploying Java.

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Topics: java

Secure Password with PowerShell: Encrypting Credentials - Part 1

Posted by Kris Powell

Feb 26, 2015 2:20:00 PM

Like many systems administrators out there, I’ve often found myself with a task that needs to be automated. Automating is great with PowerShell until you need to pass credentials into a script.

At this point, I have seen many administrators put passwords into the body of their script. For testing purposes, this may be forgiven, but in production scripts, putting your passwords in plain view isn’t just a bad thing...it’s a terrifying thing. It should be a cardinal sin. But you can secure a password with Powershell (or at least reduce password visibility).

First, we should touch base on how to supply a credential without having to save it directly in your script.

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Topics: powershell

How Silently Installing Adobe Flash the PDQ Deploy Way Changed My Life

Posted by Jason Hanks

Feb 19, 2015 11:00:00 AM

What do I need PDQ for? Those were the words I uttered when my school district wanted me to try out PDQ Deploy and PDQ Inventory back in 2012. We were using WDS to build custom OS images for our 90+ sites and I had it down to a science. After everything was setup we'd capture that OS image, deploy it to our environment and sit back and relax.

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Topics: Adobe Flash

Run and Email PDQ Inventory Reports On A Schedule

Posted by Shane Corellian

Feb 18, 2015 9:07:17 AM

Tired of having to manually run your Inventory reports and then email them to your manager? Well with PDQ Inventory 5 you can have your reports run on specific schedules and even have them emailed to the folks that need (or think they need) to see them.

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Topics: pdq inventory

Install Silent: Finding Silent Parameters

Posted by Annalisa Williams

Feb 13, 2015 10:50:00 AM

For most cases, installs fall under two categories MSIs and EXEs. If your installation is an MSI, you're in luck. MSIs install silently by default. 

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Topics: install silently

Meet Jason Hanks

Posted by Annalisa Williams

Feb 11, 2015 9:30:00 AM

Jason is our resident customer-turned-employee who is very tired of us asking him what it's like out in the "real world". 

Jason has been involved in desktop support and customer service for 15 years. For the last eight years he has been an administrator for Brevard County Schools. Jason had been using PDQ Deploy and PDQ Inventory in this capacity for the last three years.

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PowerShell: Sending a Wake-On-LAN (WOL) Magic Packet

Posted by Kris Powell

Feb 5, 2015 4:08:00 PM

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about how WOL magic packets work. That got me thinking about how to create my own magic packet via PowerShell.

Up until this point, I hadn’t really put much thought into sending individual Wake-on-LAN (WOL) packets to individual machines in our network, seeing as it is super easy to do that by using PDQ Inventory and PDQ Deploy.

Wake-on-LAN and the Magic Packet

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Topics: powershell

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