Microsoft Controlled Folder Access: Its Impact

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Microsoft has baked into the upcoming Fall Creators Update of Windows 10 an interesting little feature called Controlled Folder Access, which allows you to set restrictions on which executables can make changes in certain directories. In the recent Insider Preview builds of Server 2016, Controlled Folder Access has been present, so it’s probably safe to assume the next iteration of Windows will also include this. This addition appears to be in response to recent highly-publicized ransomware attacks.

Plenty of security companies offer products that provide control over which applications are allowed to execute in which directories. Carbon Black, Trend Micro, McAfee, and many others have application control solutions that allow you to create and manage policies to keep your network safe while allowing your end-users to do their work. Make no mistake, this feature in Windows is not quite as sophisticated, but it can provide a fairly useful service for individual users if configured wisely.

So, you ready to rumble and enable it? …hold that thought!

If not implemented properly, this feature has the potential to prevent remote management such as software deployment and inventory collection, aka PDQ Deploy and PDQ Inventory.


End of Life – Microsoft XP and Server 2003

Leave a commentPDQ Deploy, PDQ Inventory

Dear Admins of Microsoft XP and Server 2003 clients,

We feel your pain and offer our deepest sympathies. However… computers with Microsoft XP or Server 2003 can no longer be managed using PDQ Deploy 14. 

XP End of life

XP and Server 2003 were end-of-lifed by Microsoft in 2014 and 2015 and have been unsupported by since 2015. Unsupported by means that testing PDQ Deploy and PDQ Inventory with XP and Server 2003 was officially stopped. While our products still worked with these two operating systems, without testing them, we could no longer guarantee functionality.


Export Custom Fields using Reports in PDQ Inventory

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Custom Fields iconSo, you’re ready to make the switch to Central Server mode in PDQ Inventory and indulge in all the sweet, sweet goodness it provides?  Hurray! Welcome to the club!

But, what about all that awesome custom data in your local database? You know, that data that you painstakingly input by hand for each and every computer in your database?

How are you going to get all that fancy data into the database housed on the server?!

“Good news, everybody!” It’s fairly straightforward to grab and export this info using a PDQ Inventory report. I’ve broken it down for you into 3 easy parts.


PowerShell: Using Subexpressions Within Strings

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Much like a poorly crafted sandwich, have you ever tried to access properties of an object from within a string only to have it fall apart?

Good news, everybody! Subexpressions are the answer! (Not to your sandwich woes, though. You’ll still need to work on that one).

Did you know that you can do subexpressions within your strings? *le gasp!* Did you also know that you can use subexpressions to access object properties within strings? *le double gasp!*

You can use the subexpression operator $() to do some awesome things within strings. For more information on PowerShell operators, check out this link.


Turn PowerShell into a Magic 8-ballTM using Get-Random

Leave a commentPDQ Inventory, PowerShell, Tools

Zapp quote

“In the game of chess, you can never let your adversary see your pieces”
–Zapp Brannigan, Futurama

People here at know how much I love Futurama, and Zapp Brannigan quotes are some of my favorites.

Since I can never decide on my favorite quote, it only seemed natural to throw together a quick PowerShell function to get a random Zapp quote any time that I wanted.

I’ve had a few people ask me about it, so I figured that I’d throw a blog together.

(drum roll please) Enter PowerShell!


Delete all Target History from a Schedule

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Today, we’re going to show how to delete all target history from a schedule using PowerShell.

Summer is almost over. Those of you who work in education may be feeling the stress of back-to-school related responsibilities. is here for you. We’ve got your back. (Unless you need a glass of whiskey, then you’re on your own there.)

If you’re using PDQ products, you’re already ahead of the game. We’ve got packages, and schedules, and collections! (oh my!)

We know how “fun” it is re-imaging and baselining all your computers. Getting everything installed perfectly can be a challenge.

When it comes time to re-image and baseline your computers, however, you’ll probably want to delete any existing target history from your schedules.

So sit back, relax, grab that whiskey and let’s “learn” you something new in PowerShell.


7 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do In PDQ Inventory

Leave a commentCollections, PDQ Inventory, Reports, Scanning, Tools

As the saying goes, “Ya know, you don’t know what you don’t know”. Instead of delving into the tautology of that statement, let’s just start right out describing seven features of PDQ Inventory that may have been lost in the cracks, fallen through the weeds, been forgotten, are brand new, or have otherwise gotten lost in another mixed metaphor. Here are some things you didn't know you could do in PDQ Inventory