My usergroup has an Active Directory study group going of which I am a member. Each week we review a chapter in the wonderful “Configuring Windows Server 2008 Active Directory 2nd Edition” self-paced training kit. The authors have done a fantastic job. All the members of the group are experienced long time IT professionals. We have 3 consultants, 2 internal IT and 1 looking for an internal IT position as members. We all have many years experience but decided that a refresher course was a good idea. Sure we all know how to use the basics in AD but we have probably missed some Best Practices, Tips and Tricks along the way. We’ve probably also forgotten some things that we knew but didn’t use often enough. This is the reason for the study group and all of the above has been absolutely true. It’s been fun as well, since we all have years of experience we bring those examples to the table and it makes for great geek conversation.
Here are a couple of the items that have made my Best Practices list so far:
Protecting from Accidental Deletion Now here is an under the radar item that is going to prove very useful. You can now protect OU’s, Containers, Groups and Objects from accidental deletion. It is as simple as a checkbox and for most new items in AD the box is checked by default. But for existing items it is not. You’ll need to go in and retro fit those with protection.
If you have a big complex AD then you can use PowerShell to fit the whole thing with this protection. But what is that Check box actually doing? It is changing the ACE permissions on the object. When that box is checked an ACE is added to Deny Everyone group Delete and Delete Subtree.
This isn’t the kind of thing that you’ll find yourself needing often (I hope) but now that you’ve read this, if you don’t go and set that check box you’ll kick yourself later.
Redirecting the Default Computer and User Containers New computers and users being left in the Computers and Users containers for long periods of time has long been one of my pet peeves. It distresses me that no one notice that this person or computer has not been subject to Group Policy, as the rest of the domain is. So when I found this little gem, it made my day.
The commands are: RedirCmp and RedirUsr to redirect anything that lands in the Computers container and the Users container respectively.
The command is entered in an elevated command prompt like this: redircmp “DN of OU for new computer objects” So simple! But you do need to be careful. Take a look at the Computers containers after you do this, there is no reference that it’s been redirected. Therefore, TODO make a note in the description of the container to remind you and future IT admins that this container is redirected and to where.
I have a few more items that have made my BP list but I’ll save those for another post. Keep reading!