Archive for May, 2011

Making AD Changes using PowerShell (Company Attribute)

Note – This post deals with making bulk changes to Active Directory. If you’re not careful you could really screw things up. Always test in a lab before making such changes in production.

This is just a quick post for a little something I had to do today. I’ve been doing some Active Directory cleanup & noticed we have some users that have the Company attribute populated & some that don’t.

Using the Quest ActiveRoles Management Shell for Active Directory ( I ran the following cmdlet to add the correct company name to all users in a specific OU & all sub-OUs who do not have the Company attribute populated.

Get-QADUser -SearchRoot "" -Company "" | ForEach-Object{Set-QADUser -Identity $_ -Company "ABC Company"}

RDP Error Connecting to Server

May 27, 2011 7 comments

One of our Helpdesk personnel got the following error when making an RDP connection from Windows XP SP3 to a Windows Server 2008 R2 server, “Remote Desktop cannot connect to the remote computer because the authentication certificate received from the remote computer is expired or invalid. In some cases, this error might also be caused by a large time discrepency between the client and server computers.”

Since the error suggested it I checked the date, time, & time zone on both the server & client but they are all correct. I tried to RDP to the same server & was able to log in just fine, however I was using Windows 7.

On the server if I open the certificate store in an MMC & browse to the Remote Desktop\Certificates I see that there is a self-signed certificate that expired on 5/3/2011.

If I look at the same store in other 2008 R2 & 2008 SP2 servers they all have a self-signed certificate as well but the expiration dates have not yet passed. It appears as though this certificate should be renewing itself automatically every 6 months but for some reason on this one server it is not. While I could never find any documentation on the mechanics behind this certificate auto-renewing itself the fix is pretty simple. You just need to restart the Remote Desktop Configuration service. The expired certificate will then be renewed.

You will also see an Event ID 1056 in the System log that says, “A new self signed certificate to be used for Terminal Server authentication on SSL connections was generated. The name on this certificate is servername.domain.tld. The SHA1 hash of the certificate is in the event data.”


Update: I have also found this same issue on Windows Server 2008 RTM, SP1, and SP2. The same fix applies only the service to restart is Terminal Services Configuration.

“Upside-down” Chart in Excel 2010

May 16, 2011 3 comments

Recently we upgraded our users to Office 2010. A user reported that some of the charts in an existing Excel spreadsheet were “upside-down” when saved in the new format. Looking at the spreadsheet the chart looked similar to this:

It wasn’t that the chart was rotated upside-down but that the wrong value was being used as the starting point for the bars. For example, instead of the bar for Jan-11 starting at 0 & going up to 20, the bar starts at the highest value & goes down to 20. The fix is pretty simple it just took me a little bit of hunting around.

Right click on the Y axis (the area in red in the image above) & select “Format axis”. Select “Axis Options”. In the “Horizontal axis crosses” section select Automatic & click OK. The chart should now look correct.

In the case of the user’s chart, in the “Horizontal axis crosses” section the user had selected…I mean, somehow “Axis value” was set to 2.0E96 which is 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. That means that the bar started at that value (which is slightly off the top of the chart) & went down to the correct value.

Categories: Computers Tags: ,
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