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AddThis Social Bookmark Button O'Reilly Book Excerpts: Windows Server Hacks

Hacking Windows Server

by Mitch Tulloch

Related Reading

Windows Server Hacks
100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools
By Mitch Tulloch

Editor's Note: Mitch Tulloch has gathered 100 hacks for his Windows Server Hacks book to help system administrators master the more powerful features of Windows Server. To provide a real look at what these hacks can help you do, we offer three excerpts from the book: How to use an ADSI-based script to search for domain users; how to use the Hyena utility to quickly find out which user on your network has a particular file open; and how to quickly locate all machines that have automatic logon enabled in their registry. And if you like what you see here, pick up the book--there are 97 more cool techniques you can use in your everyday Windows administration tasks.

Hack #25: Search for Domain Users

Programmatically search for a user in a mixed Windows NT/2000 environment.

If you are in the process of migrating from Windows NT to Windows 2000, you can certainly appreciate the search capabilities provided in Active Directory administrative tools. At the same time, more than ever, you suffer from its absence in the User Manager. This issue becomes especially acute in environments where there is no consistent naming convention or when the naming convention happened to change several times over years. The sorting feature might help, but only provided that a person responsible for creating accounts entered the full name correctly and in the same format. Misspellings or using diminutives and nicknames are other frequent causes of confusion. Your search becomes considerably more time consuming if you manage multiple domains with different naming conventions.

To resolve a problem, you can employ a couple of approaches. The first one involves exporting a user list, along with each user's properties, into a comma-delimited file or a database (e.g., Access or SQL). The main drawback of this solution is the need for regular updates of the exported list. The second drawback, which eliminates the need for maintenance, is using an ADSI-based script.

This approach is shown in the script that follows.

The Code

The script allows searches against multiple domains. In order to accomplish this, you need to provide as the second input argument the list of domains (individual names need to be separated by semicolons). The first argument of the script is the part of the username (of any length) that you want to match against account names. Type the script into Notepad (with Word Wrap disabled) and save it with a .vbs extension as FindUser.vbs:

'*** The script searches for a username in one on more domains by
'*** looking for a match on the string of characters you specify.
'*** The syntax:
'*** cscript //nologo FindUser.vbs string dom1[;dom2]
'*** where string is used to match against the username
'*** dom1;dom2 is the semicolon separated list of one or
'*** more domains to search (no limit on number of entries)
'*** variable declaration
Dim sName 'string to match against
Dim sDom 'string storing list of domains
Dim aDom 'array storing list of domains
Dim iCount 'counter variable
Dim oDomain 'object representing domain
Dim oUser 'object representing user account
Dim sLine 'string containing results of the search
'*** variable initialization
sName = Wscript.Arguments(0)
sDom = Wscript.Arguments(1)
aDom = Split(sDom, ";")
'*** search for matches in the loop
For iCount=0 To UBound(aDom)
Set oDomain = GetObject("WinNT://" & aDom(iCount))
oDomain.Filter = Array("user")
For Each oUser in oDomain
If InStr(1,, sName, 1) > 0 Then
sLine = oDomain.Name & "\" & oUser.Name & ";"
SLine = sLine & oUser.Description & ";"
SLine = sLine & OUser.FullName & ";"
WScript.Echo sLine
End If

Running the Hack

When you run FindUser.vbs using Cscript.exe in a command-prompt window, you can easily find the full name and domain for a user, given his username. For example, when I search to see if the username bsmith is present in the MTIT domain, I find that user BobSmith is assigned that username (Figure 3-1).

Figure 3-1
Figure 3-1. Using FindUser.vbs to check whether username bsmith is already used.

—Marcin Policht

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