Change Active Directory Forest Mode With A Script

Changing the Forest Mode in Active Directory can be scripted. I find this useful when regression testing such tasks in a sandbox (e.g. restore image, automate login, change mode, run tests, etc). The script is very simple. First, you’ll import he ActiveDirectory modules: Import-Module -Name ActiveDirectory Then you’ll check for the mode prior to running: Get-ADForest | Format-Table ForestMode Then you’ll change the forest and domain modes (one per line): Set-ADForestMode –Identity “” –ForestMode Windows2008Forest Set-ADDomainMode –Identity “” –DomainMode Windows2008Domain Then you’ll report the result: Get-ADForest | Format-Table Name , ForestMode The end result could be as simple as three lines if just testing: Import-Module -Name ActiveDirectory Set-ADForestMode –Identity “” –ForestMode Windows2008Forest Set-ADDomainMode –Identity “” –DomainMode Windows2008Domain

Regression Testing Video From MacTech

I made this video for my presentation at MacTech this year. The video demonstrates how to do a mission critical IT role in an organization in an automated fashion. Hopefully it helps you to automate such things in your life as well.

MacTech Conference in LA Coming Up Soon

As many will know, I’m taking a break from speaking at conferences for awhile. But before I made that decision, I’d already planned to do a talk on Regression Testing for MacTech, in beautiful Los Angeles. If you haven’t signed up for the conference yet, it’s bound to be excellent, as all of the MacTech events have been. In fact, for more on MacTech from MacTech:
MacTech Conference for Apple Developers and IT Pros, October 17-19, 2012 in Los Angeles, has announced its post-event sessions and activities.  The event: a three-day, information-packed event that will have sessions and activities throughout the day and evening. This immersive conference is hotel-based, giving attendees the opportunity to not only learn from the best, but also to meet new people and spend time with their peers as well. Information about the conference is at . In addition to two and half days of world-class sessions for IT Pros, and developers in the Apple community, MacTech Conference has added three options for attendees to take advantage of post-event on Friday afternoon: • Code 42 Special Presentation: Protecting Enterprise Information in a Mobile World. • Cryptic Apps Special Presentation: Using Hopper Dedicated Disassembler for Mac and iOS. • Apple Certifications Exams proctored by v.2. In a special two-hour event, Code 42 Software (a Platinum sponsor for MacTech Conference 2012) will discuss the challenges of protecting Enterprise information. Everyone recognizes the advantages gained by technological mobility in the Enterprise: increased efficiency, increased effectiveness and reduced time required to accomplish tasks. But at what cost if critical business information isn’t adequately protected and secured?  Join Andrew Renz–Senior Enterprise Engineer for Code 42 Software/CrashPlan PROe–as he outlines how companies can reap the benefits of a mobile workforce while confidently securing Enterprise information. Renz will share wisdom gained from his experience selecting and/or deploying Enterprise backup solutions for Apple, Oracle, Expedia and Intuit. He’ll also explain how to effectively employ the new capabilities available in version 3 of PROe.  RSVP required. In an additional post-event session, Cryptic Apps software will be making a special two hour presentation about Hopper Dedicated Disassembler. Join Vincent Bénony (aka bSr43), developer of Hopper Disassembler  as he discusses the premise, and how to use, Hopper Dedicated Disassembler for both Mac, and with the new iOS support.  He’ll not only outline what you can use Hopper for, but also explore some of Hopper’s advanced features. You’ll have the chance to learn, ask questions, and meet the developer of this incredibly useful developer tool for Mac and iOS.  RSVP required. Finally, attendees will have the opportunity to update their Apple Certifications. Apple Certification Exams will also be available after the close of the conference on Friday, October 19th.  All current Apple exams will be available, and lunch is included.  Additional fee required.  Immediately following the conference our local testing partner, v.2 Consulting, Inc., will offer a moderated study hour and exam session on-site. Testing will conclude by 5pm.  RSVP required. “The conference is amazing in and of itself, but these three special opportunities give people that much more reason to be a part of this great community event,” said Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher, MacTech Magazine.  “We’re fortunate to have Code42 and Cryptic Apps give us these extended insights into their worlds with the people that make it happen.  And, for those that have not yet updated their Apple Certifications, v.2 has enabled us to offer a convenient way to do so.” MacTech Conference is a multi-track event with a focus on both programming/development, as well as IT/Enterprise. Sessions will focus on both desktop and mobile with appropriate levels of attention paid to the Mac and iOS. Check out the speaker and topic list ( for specific sessions and speaker list. The event will be held Wednesday through Friday October 17-19. The conference kicks off at 10am on Wednesday and is packed with sessions using MacTech’s well-established running order format. The evenings are filled with special activities and events designed specifically to have fun and give attendees an opportunity to form bonds with their peers and meet new people. MacTech Conference is priced economically at $999 (pre-registration pricing) including all meals, a schedule packed full of sessions, exclusive entertainment, and more. Registration is far ahead of last year. Pre-registration ends on September 30th, and attendees can still save $300 off the on-site registration price. Register at “These new sessions are in addition to our already world-class speaker line up: amazing people that will present and be in attendance at MacTech Conference 2012. See all the announced sessions at ,” said Ed Marczak, Sessions Chair and Executive Editor, MacTech Magazine. Educational discounts are available. See for more information. MacTech’s hotel guest room block has already out-paced last year and sold out once, but more rooms have just been added.  Available on a first-come, first-served basis, MacTech Conference attendees get a special rate of just $184 per night, which includes Internet access. The Sheraton is a quality venue with rooms that typically run $279.00 or more per night.

New Eggplant Now Available

Eggplant has released an update of their regression testing platform. And to make things easier for us, they’ve introduced Linux support, allowing you to regression test even more systems than before using a single, streamlined interface. This update also introduces support for Mac OS X 10.6.

Imaging Maturity for Mac OS X environments

Seems like most companies start out manually installing their computers.  This works for awhile but then they run into a situation where they’re manually installing too many and realize that for the most part they’re all pretty much the same.  That’s when products like Carbon Copy Cloner and Ghost (for those pesky Windows workstations) come into play.  Suddenly they’re saving time by mounting up an image and restoring it.  Then there is a collection of post-flight tasks they perform, like setting up user environments, settings and directory services bindings.  Then, there are just too many for this, so people start doing network based imaging.  Something like NetInstall, NetRestore, ASR or Ghost.  Some do unicast and then move into multicast but this seems to be the next step.  At this step people are typically still doing monolithic imaging, or one image as one big file.   The next step is where things start to get really interesting.  And NetInstall, NetRestore and Ghost Enterprise still have options for it.  But in some cases, not a lot.  This is where specialty options come into play.  This is Jamf software’s Casper Suite, LANrev, etc.  At this point, people are typically building a package based set of installer files and distributing them along with a base image, which is basically just a bare metal image.  At this point many environments start to save a lot of time by doing what, in essence, is object-oriented imaging. Once people start building out all these packages, some start to realize that they can then start to automate more and more.  Suddenly you’re writing shell scripts for everything, including getting you coffee and donuts and even putting down small revolts in the Balkans.  But there’s still one more step.  And this is where things get really interesting.  Regression testing.  The software isn’t cheap, but in a Mac environment you can leverage Eggplant from Redstone Software to do it.  Eggplant uses VNC to perform image recognition and uses those images to process scripts.  Eggplant takes a few days to get used to, but once you do you will start finding that if you want to open Office and verify there are no errors on 15 different image sets that you can do so easily and effectively without manually going through your images.