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Geekspeak

Cortana or Windows Search Blank? Try This!

Posted by iamsupergeek on

A few months ago, my techs were getting tickets from users stating that their Windows Search wasn’t working anymore. No results would populate the Search Box when users typed.

There are a multitude of sites/blogs that give instructions on how to fix this, and almost all of them essentially said, “If the above steps didn’t work, reinstall Windows!” This isn’t always convenient, or even an option

What I found works like a charm and usually takes just a few minutes to perform.

Geekspeak

Self-Deleting Scheduled Task via PowerShell

Posted by iamsupergeek on

Starting with PowerShell v4, there has been cmdlets available to create scheduled tasks instead of using the schtasks.exe program, or the wizard.

My organization is using PowerShell v5.1 and there is a lingering bug from the Windows Vista days relating to setting an “EndBoundary” in order to have a scheduled task expire.  An expiration date/time is needed for the scheduled task to delete itself.  But, if you try to set this using the cmdlets, you get an error message.

This post is a culmination of tidbits I found on several other blog/forum posts, and a metric crap-ton of my own trial and error.  All because I wanted a scheduled task to delete itself once it was done.  That doesn’t seem like much, does it?  Yeah, I didn’t think so either, but it was.  My pain is your gain.

Geekspeak

Software Uninstalls – How I Do It

Posted by iamsupergeek on

As a follow-up to my previous post on installing software via MSI, I thought it would be good to dive into uninstalling software.

There are a multitude of methods to install and uninstall software, and just as many (if not more) methods of automating this task. Going into “Programs and Features” or “Add/Remove Programs”, selecting the software, then clicking the uninstall button is very easy. But having the user do this can require permissions that they probably should not have, and the wrong item can be selected and removed. Automating the removal of software can have many pitfalls and unforeseen consequences. Sometimes, when you install a piece of software, it doesn’t always update a previous version of itself that may be on the device, then you’re left with two versions that can often conflict with each other. In this case, administrators will uninstall the old version during the installation process of the new version. It is important that the correct software be uninstalled the correct way.

Geekspeak

Software Deployment via MSI – How I Do It

Posted by iamsupergeek on

Part of my job is to deploy software to our fleet of Windows computers via SCCM.  This involves PowerShell scripts to automate the process and capture logs. So, I decided to make a post showing how I do it.

Anyone can double-click an MSI file to launch it and proceed through the GUI to eventually have the program install (as long as they have sufficient rights on the device to do so). In a business environment, it is best to not let the average user have this level of access – it often leads to malware and other problems. So, administrators use utilities like Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to wrap up programs in a cute little bow to be either automatically deployed to devices, or to be made available for the user to install at their convenience. Either way, the installations usually need to be “silent” (no GUI or user interaction) so they can be installed in the background, or to prevent the user from pressing a button you may not want them to. This can be challenging at times because every company is different, every programmer is different, and even if industry standards are followed, there is enough wiggle-room to make things crazy.