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Use PowerShell to Paste Passwords into ScreenConnect

ScreenConnect is a remote support tool that Apex uses in conjunction with LabTech, similar to the built in VNC solution, but more robust. We also use password vaults such as KeePass and LastPass for managing secure access to our clients’ environments using complex, generated passwords. Because of these long, complex passwords, it can be difficult to type passwords since copy/paste does not work in login screens with ScreenConnect like it does with RDP. Here is a PowerShell Module (ScreenConnect) with a single function (Send-Clipboard) that will type out the contents of the clipboard into the ScreenConnect window and log in. I have set up the below PowerShell so that it will automatically create a Module file and store it in your “My Documents” folder in the location reserved for these PowerShell modules. Pretty neat, huh? Just run it in PowerShell and it will do the rest. $text = @" function Send-Clipboard { $clip = Get-Clipboard [void] [System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("'Microsoft.VisualBasic") $SCProcID=Get-Process Elsinore.ScreenConnect.WindowsClient | select -expand ID [Microsoft.VisualBasic.Interaction]::AppActivate($SCProcID) [void] [System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("'System.Windows.Forms") [System.Windows.Forms.SendKeys]::SendWait($clip) [System.Windows.Forms.SendKeys]::SendWait("{ENTER}") } "@ New-Item "$([Environment]::GetFolderPath('MyDocuments'))\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\ScreenConnect\ScreenConnect.psm1" -Type File -Force -Value $text Now that we’ve got that file created, make sure that PowerShell can see the new module. Run “Get-Module -ListAvailable -Refresh” in PowerShell and you will see the newly added ScreenConnect module listed under the path of your Documents folder. Just fire up a ScreenConnect session, punch in your username, copy the password into your clipboard, and run “Send-Clipboard” in PowerShell to have the session logged in without having to type in the complex password manually! One unfortunate caveat of this cool function is that it only supports alpha-numeric passwords due to the...

Apex Earns Fifth Microsoft Award in Four Years

For Release on July 20, 2015    Apex Digital Solutions Named 2015 US SMB Champions Club Central Regional Compete Partner of the Year   STERLING HEIGHTS, MI — July 20, 2015 — Apex Digital Solutions, a Managed IT Provider specializing in aligning technology needs with business objectives, today announced it has been named Regional Compete Partner of the Year by Microsoft’s US Small and Mid-sized Business (SMB) Champions Club. The award recognizes the US SMB Champions Club partner that demonstrates key competitive wins achieved in the Central Region.  Members of the US SMB Champions Club have shown dedication to arming the small business community with the right technology and services they need to be successful. Apex Digital Solutions is a Managed IT Provider in the Metro-Detroit Area. We specialize in aligning IT strategy to business objectives that help take your business to the next level. We utilize cloud technologies such as Office 365 and Azure to bring efficiencies to life in your organization saving you time, effort and enabling you to focus on achieving business goals. “Apex Digital Solutions is pleased to receive the honor of being the Central Region Compete Partner of the Year” said Jason Lambiris, CEO of Apex Digital Solutions. “I am proud of our team for making the Compete Partner of the Year award possible. This is the fourth consecutive year of Microsoft awards for Apex. We have been able to enhance our customer’s effectiveness through the use of Microsoft technologies.” Apex Digital Solutions along with winners in six other categories were recognized during the Microsoft SMB Champions Award Reception in Orlando, FL on July 13, 2015. “As Microsoft has accelerated the development of innovative technologies such as Azure and Office 365, Microsoft’s productivity suite, to deliver a new mobile first, cloud first approach, we’ve looked to our partners to help bring that vision to life,” said Cindy Bates, vice...

Great features coming in Windows Server 2016

Even though Windows 10 for desktop is being released this year, the normal distribution cycle of desktop/server operating systems will be staggered.  In other words, Windows Server vNext (2016) is slated for release in CY 2016.  For those of you with the ability to plan into the next year or two, here is a list of some of the great features coming with Server 2016. New Features Windows Nano Server – Recompiled code to yield an incredibly small footprint for a server, with no GUI, and no command line. Intended for simple hosting needs on Hyper-V and Scalable File Servers. PowerShell Direct – manage your VMs remotely without the need to use network bandwidth. No configuration necessary, just provide the credentials to authenticate to the virtual machine. Improved ADFS to allow synchronization with an AD Lightweight Directory Services (LDS) instance. Streamlined Azure AD Join allows improved data retention for roaming users by synchronizing user settings. Also, the removal of a required Microsoft account to allow for better compliance across domains. Microsoft Passport is an attempt at “tokenizing” user access in a step that will lead toward the end of passwords. This will include improved security for domains and networks as passwords are no longer transmitted. Integrated server anti-malware is now included in all server code. Storage options have increased: Storage Spaces Direct – using local storage to build highly available storage including support for SATA and NVMe disks Storage Replica – Allows for a hardware independent, synchronous replication between servers, clusters and between sites. Deduplication – native! Easier virtualized backups, and storage savings. In addition to the items mentioned...

Windows 10 Preview won’t update to latest build? (PowerShell fix)

A couple of my colleagues were stuck on older builds of the Windows 10 preview, and could not update to the latest builds no matter how many times they clicked “Check for updates”, the message was always the same: Womp, womp, wooooomp. Easy fix, just run this little bit of PowerShell as Admin and then check for updates again. The script stops a couple services, clears out the Windows Update directory, and resets some registry entries related to the Preview updates and then starts the services back up. Stop-Service -Name wuauserv,BITS Remove-Item -Path $Env:SystemRoot\SoftwareDistribution\ -Recurse -Force -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue $RegKey = "HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsSelfHost\Applicability" Set-ItemProperty -Path $RegKey -Name BranchName -Type String -Value fbl_impressive Set-ItemProperty -Path $RegKey -Name Ring -Type String -Value WIF Set-ItemProperty -Path $RegKey -Name ThresholdInternal -Type DWord -Value 0 Set-ItemProperty -Path $RegKey -Name ThresholdOptedin -Type DWord -Value 1 Set-ItemProperty -Path $RegKey -Name ThresholdRiskLevel -Type String -Value low Set-ItemProperty -Path $RegKey -Name UserPreferredBranchName -Type String -Value fbl_impressive Start-Service -Name wuauserv,BITS   For more information on how Apex Digital Solutions can help your organization stay on top of technology updates check out this page or contact our Sales Team: 248-270-9402 or Corey McClain is the Practice Director, Unified Communications for Apex Digital...

Lync 2013 – Convenient Features

Lync is an enterprise-ready unified communications platform from Microsoft. Lync enables users to communicate securely anywhere they have network connectivity. Lync unifies voice and video calls, Lync Meetings, presence, and instant messaging (IM) in one easy-to-use client, making it simple to choose and switch between different forms of communication. In this blog I’ll outline some useful Lync 2013 features and describe how to use them.   Phone Calls 1. Make Internal Calls to colleagues by double clicking on the user’s name and select call. You will also have the option to call other numbers that may be registered under the user.                 2. Transfer a call to another person using the internal address list or enter any external phone number to transfer a call to a vendor or client. Also try the Key Board shortcut Ctrl+Shift+T to transfer a call.                 3. Invite others to a call from the “Participants” button. You may also access this window using the keyboard shortcut Alt+V.             Voice Mail 4. When a voice mail is left through Lync, an email is sent with a written version of the message and an attached audio file.               Online Presence 5. Status updates and online presence are synced with Outlook, SharePoint and CRM platforms.           6. The Status Updates also determine whether a call will ring or be sent to your voice mail directly. If a call comes in when your Lync status is set to Available,...

Communication is Key to Customer Satifaction

In all areas of our lives we experience both good and bad customer service interactions. Last night my family and I were out for dinner – the service was awful. The wait time was long, our server kept disappearing and when our food arrived items that were supposed to be included were missing. When we left, we added that restaurant to the “do not dine there” list. Generally I’m not too hard to please, all I ask is for a little communication. Don’t leave me in the corner, walking by avoiding eye contact because you don’t know the answers to my questions. Be forthcoming with information. Simply communicating with me could have changed my perception of the situation and the establishment. Let’s bring this example into the B2B world. Could you imagine a place where when working with a vendor, and they set the expectation up front on when they were going to provide you status updates. If they don’t know the answer, they don’t ignore your email but respond quickly letting you know they have seen your request and even know they don’t know the answer they are going to try and figure it out. One step further, they informed me that they are going to let me know the status at the end of the day. When the end of the day comes, they follow up to let you know what they have done to find the answer but they are still working on it. It would be wonderful wouldn’t it? Here are some tips on how to effectively communicate with your customer: Set expectations up front on how...


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