Robert Vance

Author's posts

Deploy Office 365 and HA ADFS From Scratch

Are you interested in Office 365 and ADFS but are intimidated by it and not sure where to begin?  If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place.  I have been studying to write my 70-346 (Managing Office 365 Identities Exam) and realized that I was still really weak on ADFS and how all …

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Windows 10 Bitlocker Recovery Gotcha

I recently upgraded my laptop from the now four year old Lenovo W530 to a shiny new Lenovo P50 complete with a Xeon 2.8Ghz CPU, 64GB of RAM and an NVME M.2 boot drive.  Not only did I upgrade the hardware but I also switched from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10.  So far so good. …

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HOWTO: Convert binary to human readable text

This is a quick fun little HOWTO.  The was an article on CollegeHumor today that looked like this: 01010100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01110010 01101111 01100010 01101111 01110100 01110011 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01100001 01101101 01101111 01101110 01100111 00100000 01110101 01110011 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01110111 01100101 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01100001 01101100 …

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HOWTO: Determine what wmiprvse.exe is actually doing (aka Troubleshoot WMI)

This HOWTO came about after watching the excellent video series on using Process Explorer available here: Case of the Unexplained: Troubleshooting with Mark Russinovich In this video, he talks about a case where wmiprvse.exe was causing Bluray video playback to stutter.  If you have worked in IT for any length of time, you’ve probably seen …

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HOWTO: Real world use case for Convert-FromString

This HOWTO covers a real world example of how to use Convert-FromString which was introduced in PowerShell 5.  As a reminder, this is the powerful new cmdlet that allows you to parse any kind of text data and convert the resulting data into structured PowerShell objects by defining “templates” for how the data is laid …

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HOWTO: Convert Complex Text Data into PowerShell Objects

PowerShell 5.0 introduces a wonderful new cmdlet called ConvertFrom-String.  Don’t let the simple name deceive you though.  There is some exceptionally complex math running behind the scenes here to do some truly wonderful things. In fact, the code that gets executed inside this function is based upon the "FlashExtract" project completed by Microsoft Research.  How …

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HOWTO: Monitor a webpage and alert on change

This is admittedly kind of a silly HOWTO but does contain a number of very useful concepts. I am eagerly awaiting the Lenovo Thinkpad P50 laptop.  The official webpage for this laptop went live today but for pricing it simply says “Coming Soon”. Rather than refresh the page constantly, I figured I’d let PowerShell do …

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HOWTO: Identify and Run every valid Get-* cmdlet on your system

I recently found myself on a long bus ride with my laptop and no Internet connection.  I decided to create a PowerShell puzzle for myself to keep me busy until I reached my destination.  It ended up being kind of interesting so I wanted to share my puzzle and the solution with here. Challenge PowerShell …

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HOWTO: Convert SQL data to PowerShell Objects

As you develop your PowerShell skills, you’ll start to see how they can be useful everywhere – even in places where it might not seem obvious. Let’s say you have a SQL database that you need to extract information from but you’re not terribly strong with SQL.  You are pretty good with PowerShell though. Wouldn’t …

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HOWTO: Create Fastest Possible Custom Objects [Revisit]

In November of last year I did a post called the "Fastest Possible Way to Make Custom Objects in PowerShell". http://pleasework.robbievance.net/howto-fastest-possible-way-to-make-custom-objects-in-powershell/ That post came about because I was frustrated with the techniques I was using at the time to make custom objects and decided to sit down and once and for all simply the process. …

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