Powershell Scripting

I know Powershell has been around for quite some time – about the time it was introduced I was actively trying to learn batch files. I ended up using batch files pretty much for everything I could and only relying on powershell for Exchange-related administrative tasks. So this post may be a little ancient for some people.

My imaging process successfully dropped the time required to deploy a newly minted workstation (Windows 10, Office, Updates, Oracle, Java, Firefox/Chrome, Adobe Reader, etc) from 5 hours down to 2 hours. The imaging process used to be 1) Boot workstation from Windows 10 USB thumb drive, 2) Install and configure Windows, 3) Manually install updates, 4) Manually install drivers, 5) Manually install Office, 6) Manually install Oracle, 7) Manually install… the list went on and on.

However, there are several applications that I cannot include in the image as they are either tied to a specific user or tied to a specific workstation name. Antivirus suites generally say not to include in an image process and I’ve adhered to that logic. Some of my other applications below *can* be included in the image, but I wanted to flex my after-image process muscles a bit too. All of these other applications added significant time – just over an hour – and I wanted to be able to script them instead of relying on a semi-manual approach.

  • Image laptop – Installs Windows, Office, Oracle, semi-recent drivers; Join to the Domain
    • 45 minutes
  • Run batch script – Installs Firefox, GoToAssist, Chrome, Acrobat Reader, AnyConnect VPN, Sophos AV; Reboot
    • 30 minutes
  • Download Slack client, Zoom client, and Dell SupportAssist; Install and run, let SupportAssist find missing drivers/update BIOS; Reboot
    • 30 minutes
  • Run Windows Updates; Reboot
    • 15 minutes

So the initial image process (45 minutes), followed by the setup of 3rd party applications (I used a batch script that would install most of what I needed without any interaction) would take upwards of the 2 hours to deploy. Then logging in as the user, setting up their Outlook profile, connecting OneDrive and backups, Configuring VPN, Installing and testing Slack, Zoom, Java and permissions et all. It added up quickly and I was tired of the manual and tedious approach.

My new powershell script will auto download, auto install. This is mostly for my own records, but some of it is commented if you wanted to use it. Total time savings? Another 20 minutes! We’re down to 1 hour and 40 minutes start-to-finish.

My next steps would be to auto install and configure Java (we have a lot of security exceptions), join the domain with a specific OU and prompted name, Remove the Mail App, hide the Cortana button, hide the Search box, hide the Task View button, etc.

# Check for run as administrator

function Test-Admin {
    $currentUser = New-Object Security.Principal.WindowsPrincipal $([Security.Principal.WindowsIdentity]::GetCurrent())

if ((Test-Admin) -eq $false)  {
    if ($elevated) {
        # tried to elevate, did not work, aborting
    } else {
        Start-Process powershell.exe -Verb RunAs -ArgumentList ('-noprofile -noexit -file "{0}" -elevated' -f ($myinvocation.MyCommand.Definition))

# Set Execution Policy (if not already GPO'd)
Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope CurrentUser -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted -Force

# Download the newest files from their various sites (requires internet access)
msg * /w First we download Slack, Zoom, and SupportAssist, then this will install Firefox, GoToAssist, Chrome, Adobe Reader, AnyConnect, Sophos, Slack, Zoom, and SupportAssist.
$progresspreference = 'silentlyContinue'
Invoke-WebRequest https://slack.com/ssb/download-win64 -OutFile C:\Downloads\slack.exe
Invoke-WebRequest https://zoom.us/client/latest/ZoomInstaller.exe -OutFile C:\Downloads\zoom.exe
Invoke-WebRequest https://downloads.dell.com/serviceability/catalog/SupportAssistInstaller.exe -OutFile C:\Downloads\dell.exe
msg * The Downloads Have Finished. Now Installing software.

# Similar process to the .bat file; installs the MSI and EXE files
Start-Process msiexec.exe -Wait -ArgumentList '/I "\\schfile01\public\helpdesk\_OtherApps\Firefox\Firefox Setup 71.0.msi" /qn'
Start-Process msiexec.exe -Wait -ArgumentList '/I "\\schfile01\public\helpdesk\_OtherApps\GoToAssist_Remote_Support_Unattended_TT_Unattended.msi" /qn'
Start-Process msiexec.exe -Wait -ArgumentList '/I "\\schfile01\public\helpdesk\_OtherApps\Chrome\GoogleChromeStandaloneEnterprise64.msi" /qn'
\\schfile01\public\helpdesk\_OtherApps\AcroRdrDC1902120058\setup.exe | Out-Null
Start-Process msiexec.exe -Wait -ArgumentList '/I "\\schfile01\public\helpdesk\_OtherApps\Cisco\anyconnect-win-4.8.01090-core-vpn-predeploy-k9.msi"'

# Installs the downloaded files from the first steps. Does NOT delete them afterwards
cd C:\Downloads\
./slack.exe | Out-Null
./zoom.exe | Out-Null
./dell.exe | Out-Null
\\schfile01\public\helpdesk\_OtherApps\SophosSetup.exe | Out-Null
msg * Installs complete!

msg * /w Please set the date and time
Start-Process "ms-settings:dateandtime"

msg * /w Run Windows Updates
Start-Process "ms-settings:windowsupdate"

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