Swap Domain Controller

I was tasked with moving the domain controller to another server so the license for the Server Essentials 2012 could be re-purposed for a specific software program. This also removed the 25 user restriction limit of Server Essentials. I had to first virtualize the environment which is another story altogether. So here’s what I had to do:

  1. Install the Server 2012 Standard
  2. Install the Active Directory Role — the process is pretty straightforward
  3. Point DHCP server to the new Server Install IP for DNS.
  4. Verify a few clients have picked up the new IP over the next few days. It will take time to renew the IP leases. I didn’t uninstall the DNS role from the Essentials copy anyhow so this wasn’t mandatory for me.
  5. Open Active Directory Users and Computers on the new DC
  6. Right click and choose Operations Masters. Click change on each tab.
  7. Open Active Directory Domains and Trusts, right click the root node and click Operations Master. Click Change.
  8. Open cmd as admin and type regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll and push enter
  9. Type mmc and push enter
  10. File> Add/Remove snapin, Find Active Directory Schema snap-in and open it
  11. Right click the new snapin, click Change Active Directory Domain Controller…
  12. Click on your new DC and click OK. You’ll get a message, don’t worry about it.
  13. Right click again on the snapin and click Operations Master… Click Change
    1. Change grayed out? Make sure you are a schema admin member in AD Users/ Groups. Log off and back on.
  14. Run dcdiag /a to verify everything is ok and proceed to demoting your old DC.


This is a great tutorial as well:

Transferring FSMO Roles

VMWare ESXi & VSphere Client

VMWare ESXi is a virtual operating system that, from the server side GUI, doesn’t do much except allow a few configuration changes. But that’s just the body of the beast. You can use VSPhere Client to remotely manage and set up virtual machines by connecting to the ESXi install.

How I got involved?
I’m just starting to learn more about servers and how they work. I just purchased 3 Dell PowerEdge 2850s. Well technically I got a whole bunch of stuff I do not need. 11 servers in total. One of which is a Barracuda Firewall which I guess I need to install Untangled on. I mostly wanted the rack for my existing server. But with all of this being said, I just wanted to point out that they all came with ESXi installed and I’ve never used it before. That will be changing very soon though as you might be able to tell. Though the servers are old, I think it will be great that I can play with them and destruct them however I like whether on accident or on purpose. I have a newer server that I’ve been afraid of messing with. It has a SAS drive, 32GB RAM, and two quad core processors. I don’t know much about RAID or really any of that stuff so I think old servers are a perfect place for me to mess things up beyond repair before I try something that won’t work on my newer faster server.

What is it? How to install it?

Where to download?

Skype Logs View

Need to view the logs from your old user account because your computer was removed from the domain? You can open the DB file in a notepad editor, but a better way is to use this Skype Log View. This does also work over a network in case you need to access your computer remotely. It lays everything out a bit nicer than notepad would.

Delete Excess User Profiles

You Will Need:

Mix it all together:

What I like to do is copy delprof2.exe to the Windows folder. Then you can run it directly from command prompt. However, I like to create a scheduled task to run it if any user logs on. You want to set “When running the task, use the following user account:” to Administrators. Run with highest privileges and run with the switch /q which means it will silently delete all profiles according to the criteria you specified. This should actually help out with security because if another user logs into the computer, it will run this utility which will delete your profile when they login. On top of this, you have a scheduled task set to run each day with Ccleaner which wipes free space at the end of your shift. Double bonus if it goes undetected.


   /l   List only, do not delete (what-if mode)
   /u   Unattended (no confirmation)
   /q   Quiet (no output and no confirmation)
   /p   Prompt for confirmation before deleting each profile
   /r   Delete local caches of roaming profiles only, not local profiles
   /c   Delete on remote computer instead of local machine
   /d   Delete only profiles not used in x days
        When determining profile age for /d, use the file NTUSER.INI
        instead of NTUSER.DAT for age calculation
   /ed  Exclude profile directories whose name matches this pattern
        Wildcard characters * and ? can be used in the pattern
        May be used more than once and can be combined with /id
   /id  Include only profile directories whose name matches this pattern
        Wildcard characters * and ? can be used in the pattern
        May be used more than once and can be combined with /ed
   /i   Ignore errors, continue deleting
delprof2.exe -c: -p 

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Source: http://superuser.com/questions/643417/delete-user-profile-from-command-line-windows-7

Network Topology Map

Some of the best software I have found to create a network “map” is called Yed. You can have a look at that here. It’s simple and easy to use.

I was able to create maps within minutes of using the software.

Linux Terminal Point To Directory

There are a couple of things that make this process a bit different in Linux than in Windows. The first is that you have to have quotes around anything that has spaces or apostrophes. Keep in mind, this is basically the same as in Windows. Other people on forums I was reading also said a backslash can be used like My\ Documents. I have not tried that.

The main important thing to remember (at least when I was doing this) is to keep the correct case for the path. IE: /media/my drive CANNOT be /Media/My Drive because the case does matter in this.

Allow Local Admin Privileges When Using Domain

Typically when you set up a domain on your network and domain users, you might want to give them local admin access to do things like install programs on that PC without making them an administrative member of the domain.

1. Right-Click Computer> Manage

2. Expand System Tools> Local Users & Groups> Groups

3. Right-Click Administrators and choose Properties

4. Go to Add… and then add the users you want to have local admin privileges to install software and make LOCAL changes. In my case, I add Domain Users.


Customer Ticket Tracking

I have found one of the best open source ticket tracking systems so far to be OSTICKET. I have been using it since 1.6 (still use 1.6 daily to keep track of customer tickets), but it works great, it’s easy and open source. They offer a hosted solution as well. I’ve already customized my 1.6 version to be the way I want it so I’m still stuck on that version, but 1.8.1 looks great and seems to do a good job. Maybe one day I’ll move to the new version, but they got a bit advanced in their PHP and it’s more complicated for a basic user like me. I strongly suggest the use of OSTicket.

Advanced Googling (INURL)

Here is an advanced Google search tip to find only FTP sites and not HTTP or HTTPS.

inurl:ftp -inurl:(http|https)


  • INURL means Google will search for keywords in a URL
    • So in this case you are searching for FTP in a URL
  • -INURL means Google will not include that text that was found in a search
    • In this case, you are telling Google to disregard all URLs with HTTPS and HTTP
    • It’s in parenthesis because you have more than one term to disregard. The pipeline means HTTP OR HTTPS.

I used this particular scenario to find Dell drivers from the FTP site instead of the typical website method. It’s quicker and to the point this way.