Remove Hidden KACE Agent

We utilize KACE (SMA K1000) for our helpdesk/ticketing, and inventory management. Part of our deployment packages include the KACE agent – this agent is required to send back data about the system it is installed upon (username, OS specs, hardware specs, etc).

Unfortunately, there are some times that the KACE agent doesn’t play nicely and it needs to be reinstalled. Or, in my case (pun intended), I needed to make a new GM image for deployment and it is recommended to NOT have the KACE agent installed prior to sysprep.

Open an administrator command prompt:

wmic product where "name like '%kace%'" call uninstall /nointeractive

This will find and remove any “KACE” related software currently residing on your system. You should see the messages “Method execution successful” and “ReturnValue = 0” if this runs successfully.

Note: This does not remove any existing firewall rules or files created outside of the standard install/uninstall configuration.

List Members of Dynamic Distribution Group

Like all good companies, we have dynamic distribution groups / lists that are based on the location of the user. Example, a user has the Office location of “Australia”, the dynamic list has the filter of:

((((((Office -eq 'Australia') -and (RecipientType -eq 'UserMailbox'))) -or (((CustomAttribute2 -like 'IncludeAllAUSLists') -and (-not(CustomAttribute1 -like 'excludefromdynamic')))))) -and (-not(Name -like 'SystemMailbox{*')) -and (-not(Name -like 'CAS_{*')) -and (-not(RecipientTypeDetailsValue -eq 'MailboxPlan')) -and (-not(RecipientTypeDetailsValue -eq 'DiscoveryMailbox')) -and (-not(RecipientTypeDetailsValue -eq 'PublicFolderMailbox')) -and (-not(RecipientTypeDetailsValue -eq 'ArbitrationMailbox')) -and (-not(RecipientTypeDetailsValue -eq 'AuditLogMailbox')) -and (-not(RecipientTypeDetailsValue -eq 'AuxAuditLogMailbox')) -and (-not(RecipientTypeDetailsValue -eq 'SupervisoryReviewPolicyMailbox')))

The user was added and then the office location was of Australia was added (after troubleshooting below). He complained he did not receive an email that was sent to this distribution list, so I had to verify he was a member.

Connect to your Office 365 online powershell (I have it previously documented if you don’t remember).

$GROUP = Get-DynamicDistributionGroup "All-Australia-Employees"
Get-Recipient -RecipientPreviewFilter $FTE.RecipientFilter -OrganizationalUnit $FTE.RecipientContainer

File Folder Permissions

Had a user with full modify permissions to some directories on a file server. They managed to completely fubar up the permissions when trying to 1) lock it down to just them and 2) disallow other users. You can see where this is going.

The backup user and local administrator no longer had access. I attempted to take ownership using the GUI, but it would just fail saying I don’t have permissions. I even “ran as administrator” to no avail.

Command line to the rescue!

  • Open Command Prompt as an Administrator
  • takeown /f “directory\subdir\moredir\*.*” /r /d y

O365 Powershell CLI

Needed to connect to O365 when my account has MFA enabled.

New computer, so here’s the full setup.

Using Internet Explorer or Edge, open your ECP/EAC (Admin of Exchange) portal page on your O365 account.
Click on Hybrid
Click on Configure
This installs a clickonce app for the Exchange Online powershell module.

Open PowerShell as an Administrator
winrm quickconfig
Enable per the wizard
winrm set winrm/config/service '@{AllowUnencrypted="true"}'
winrm set winrm/config/service/auth '@{Basic="true"}'

Now connect to your O365 system
Open PowerShell (the exchange-based one from the first steps)

Connect-EXOPSSession -UserPrincipalName yourusername@yourdomain.tld
If prompted, sign in

Top of Screen Black Bar

Windows 10 Pro 1809/1903/1909, Pro N 1909 have all experienced this issue in my tenure. I’m sure it’s more than that.

Basically when I have a maximized application on my primary screen, the top of the screen is blank (black bar). This has happened with Chrome, Slack, and Adobe so far. I should point out that this is both through a docking station as well as direct monitor connections; in any case I have 2 total displays active.

I’m not sure of a permanent fix, but the temporary ones include:

  1. Moving the application to the secondary monitor
  2. Un maximizing the application
  3. Pressing Shift + Ctrl + WIN + B – this resets the video driver
  4. Reboot

The reset of the video driver is not very impactful and definitely fixes my issue, so I usually try that one first.

Windows 10 Start Menu Search Blank

So my freshly-installed Windows 10 Pro N 1909 had an issue – I have gotten so used to pressing Windows Key and then typing “settings” or “control panel” or “my document name here”. Unfortunately I was greeted with a blank search box instead. Nothing loaded. Just blank. Gray even. Light gray.

So I searched trusty Dr. Google for the answer.

One recommendation was to remove Bing Search from showing in my search box. Fired up regedit:

HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search

Add DWORD "BingSearchEnabled" =0

Since I haven’t rebooted yet I don’t know if that will actually fix anything. But here we are anyway.

Next I restarted the Windows Search service.

Start > Run > Services.msc
Right-click and restart Windows Search service

That didn’t help either.

Finally I just killed the SearchUI.exe in task manager (don’t worry, it auto restarts itself).

Open Task Manager
Click on the Details Tab
Right-click on SearchUI.exe and select End Task

Stuff I Use

After recently chatting with some friends about various technologies I utilize, I figured it would be a good idea to just document all of the various products with a brief overview/review of each.

Networking

Cisco Switching
Cisco Catalyst 3560G 24 port Layer 3 Switch (my old core).
Unifi Switching
I switched (pun intended) to Unifi equipment a while back due to the price, ease of configuration, and the “underdog appeal”.
I have a US-24-250W, and 2x US-8-60W
Unifi Access Points
I’ve used Unifi AP’s ever since my free Meraki bricked itself due to lack of support contracts. Currently using Unifi UAC-AP-PRO’s (quantity 2).
All of the Unifi equipment is controlled by a Cloud Key Gen 2 Plus.
Untangle UTM
I’ve used Untangle over PFSense for a while now. I like the ability to alter everything within PFSense, and the wicked speed of it, but overall the ease-of-setup and the “it just works” of Untangle won me over. Well worth the $50 annual home license fees.
Protectli Firewall J3160 with 4GB RAM, 32GB MSATA.
Although if I had an opportunity to do it again, I’d get the upgraded model instead with its J3160, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD.
Powerline
After trying 2 different netgear models, trendnet, and 2 different linksys models, I learned of a rather unknown manufacturer called Extollo. I use Powerline LANSocket 1500 for my hard-to-reach-network-places in the house.

Systems

I have too many systems and may eventually list them here. Currently typing on an MacBook Air while watching a movie streamed from my Plex server that’s running on a proxmox hypervisor on a supermicro server. Collectively we have 5 laptops, a gaming desktop, and 4 servers (only 1 is currently powered on to save some money). That plex box also uses a NAS from QNAP TS-228 and nas4free/ubuntu/debian/etc.

Security

I’ve used cameras both as a hobby (home use) as well as at several employers on a professional basis. These include cameras from Axis, HikVision, SuperCircuits, Unifi, Nest, Ring, and Blink.
In the house I have a Nest camera (with no storage plan) and a single Unifi UVC-G3-Micro. Outside I run the Blink XT2’s, a UVC‑G3, and a UVC‑G3‑DOME.
I also use the Nest Protects on each level of the house.

Home Automation

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Color Thermostat
Caseta Wireless Lighting Controls
Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door
Alexa – 2 Echo’s, an Echo Dot, and an Echo Show (5″ display)
Wink2
Panicky Solar Motion lights 3 in the backyard for the dog and 1 on the side for the garbage cans.

Power

After a 30+ hour power outage, we decided to get a standby generator. A ton of research later, we got a Kohler 14RESA Generator with service-entrance ATS. I have OnCue monitoring enabled so I can get alerts on the usage.
After a bit of a windfall of stock options, I moved forward with 15x 285w solar panels and an 5000w inverter.
Driving an electric car, we needed to enable some faster-than-120v-charging at home. Enter 50AMP 240v circuit! Ended up getting an GoPlug ESVE Car Charger.
Rechargable batteries from Fuvaly have been pretty awesome in our various remote controls.
We’ve signed up for the hourly pricing from our provider, so I also have a Rainforest EMU 2 to monitor our current power usage.

Telecom and Internet

Wowway
Tmobile
Yealink on voip.ms SIP
Apple

Other

I’m a flashlight collector.
Car, Flashlight, toilets, humidifer, ac/heat, sumppumps zoeller TV, audio equipment, roku

Ramblings Of An IT Person