lfcode.ca notes compiled for future reference

Launching PowerShell using the Win32 API

I was working on a personal project in C on Windows when I stumbled upon a really strange roadblock: a PowerShell instance would not actually run the script given to it when started via Windows API but it would when launched manually from a cmd.exe.

Eventually the realisation came to me: PowerShell doesn't like the DETACHED_PROCESS option for CreateProcess(). I have no idea what it was doing with it there, but it didn't involve actually working.

I changed it to CREATE_NO_WINDOW and all is fine in the world.

Tags: windows, PowerShell, win32

Setting up DHCP on a DC with secure dynamic DNS

So, in my virtual homelabbing, I decided I was going to get a Windows based network set up with more or less only PowerShell. In these efforts, I discovered a pretty poor pile of documentation (such as this insanity where they tell you to create credentials with netsh, restart the service, then delete the credentials and restart again [optional step: wonder why it doesn't work]).

Here's how I set it up:

Create AD account:
# Get username and password for the new account (remember to include your domain!)
$cred = Get-Credential

# Create the user (it needs no special permissions)
New-ADUser -Enabled $true -SamAccountName $cred.UserName -AccountPassword $cred.Password
Make the DHCP server use it:
# Set the credentials for the DHCP server
Set-DhcpServerDnsCredential $cred

# Restart the DHCP Server
Restart-Service DhcpServer

You're set!


Also remember to set the DNS server to only allow secure updates!

Set-DnsServerPrimaryZone -DynamicUpdate Secure

Tags: PowerShell, Active Directory, dhcp, dns

General Network Error when running Install-ADDSForest

When I was messing about with AD DS a bit on Windows Server 2016 TP 2, I encountered the error General Network Error, with error ID 54. This is obviously a very unhelpful error. In troubleshooting, I noticed that the VM was being assigned an address in 169.254.x.x. This wasn't part of my intended IP range, so I started investigating.

It turns out that 169.254.x.x is a reserved range for APIPA (Automatic Private IP Addressing), where an operating system automatically assigns an IP when there is no DHCP available (which there wasn't because I intended to set up Windows DHCP). After disabling this, the AD setup worked correctly.

You may be wondering how to disable this problematic system. Here's how you do it (in PowerShell):

# Disable DHCP
Get-NetAdapter | Set-NetIPInterface -Dhcp Disabled
# Disable APIPA
Set-ItemProperty 'HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters' -Name IPAutoconfigurationEnabled -Value 0 -Type DWord
# Reboot to apply

Tags: PowerShell, Windows Server, Active Directory