Find who reset my password: The Powershell Script to Audit User Accounts Changes

Getting the account management activity is an essential process for auditing purpose. We can check it at the windows event log if the auditing for account management is enabled. To automate this tiresome job, I wrote this powershell script to make life easier.
This script will show you all the changes that admin made to the user/system account, such as the time when the password was reset and who reset the password; who added user to specified group; which attributes of user account was changed. Before running this script, you’ll have to enable auditing of account management to ‘Success’ in local security policy, for the enough of the time so that required events are collected. Don’t worry I have included the user’s option to enable from within this script. Continue reading “Find who reset my password: The Powershell Script to Audit User Accounts Changes”

Script to Log TCP Connections by Powershell


Logging TCP connection is useful for troubleshooting or for auditing purpose. You can use TCPView to view the real-time the incoming and outgoing TCP connections between servers and clients. To save the log into file, you need to use TCPLogView. But, the limitation is the duration of TCP capture, or based on log file size without actually doing the custom scripting. Windows has a built-in netstat command which can capture the TCP/UDP connection. So, with the help of powershell, I loop the execution of netstat command & capture the new TCP connection based on previous connections. With this script, you can capture new TCP connections to a specific time or until the log file size is reached to avoid the disk space consumption. Continue reading “Script to Log TCP Connections by Powershell”

A Quick Start Guide: How to Manage Veeam Backup & Replication 9 with Powershell

Most enterprise backup software has come with powershell support to make backup administrators life easier. In this post, we will play some veeam powershell
commands to backup/restore VMs or for listing current backup jobs. The veeam powershell has more cmdlets for advanced Vss aware backup (such as SQL, Exchange) which I do not cover here. Here, I will show only VM level backup/restore with powershell. Continue reading “A Quick Start Guide: How to Manage Veeam Backup & Replication 9 with Powershell”

Batch/Powershell: How to check Pending Computer Restart after Installing Windows Update

Some windows updates require a system restart after installation because it needs to change some system files which are currently used by running processes, or changes in registry. You’ll be prompted with the yellow icon shield like in fig-1.

Fig-1: Pending Restart after windows update install

Continue reading “Batch/Powershell: How to check Pending Computer Restart after Installing Windows Update”

PowerCLI Connection Error: The underlying connection was closed: An unexpected error occurred on a send

PowerCLI is a very flexible tool for vSphere automation. One morning, I connect to vSphere environment & found this error. See Fig-1.

“The underlying connection was closed: An unexpected error occurred on a send”

Fig-1: Error connecting to vCenter

Continue reading “PowerCLI Connection Error: The underlying connection was closed: An unexpected error occurred on a send”

Load Testing the FTP Site with Open Source Apache Jmeter

Sometimes we might have to load test your website/ ftp site for reliability or to measure performance. The top listed open-sourced tools are:

  • The Grinder
  • Gatling
  • Tsung
  • JMeter

(item list from
Out of the top 4, I’ll use Apache JMeter which has a good reputation and is available for windows platform. Continue reading “Load Testing the FTP Site with Open Source Apache Jmeter”

Powershell: How to Shift Time Offset of a Movie’s Subtitle

I usually go through my holidays with good movies. Some of the subtitles I downloaded do not have a correct timing with the video soundtrack. And it makes me re-adjust the subtitle whenever I re-play old movies. Since I do not want to install extra software or use websites to change my file whenever I get this problem, I decided to make it work in powershell. Continue reading “Powershell: How to Shift Time Offset of a Movie’s Subtitle”

Find all SNMP Settings of Windows Machine in Powershell

SNMP has a long history with Microsoft Windows. And Microsoft now said that it has been deprecated (moreover, snmp v1 or v2 is less secure than the latest snmp v3, but windows natively doesn’t support version 3 till now) and recommend using CIM for managing hardware and software layers. In this article, we will find the SNMP community string by batch method and powershell method. Continue reading “Find all SNMP Settings of Windows Machine in Powershell”

Set Windows Service Permission to Non-Administrator Accounts

Service related operations such as start/stop/restart windows services are usually assigned to Administrators. Sometimes, you might need to delegate these tasks to non-admin users. In this article, I will show the 4 methods to set the service’s permission to any user account/service account. I will use SQL service (MSSQLSERVER) in domain environment.

Method-1: Using Powershell Module (from TechNet Script Repository, easiest but modules are not trusted by Microsoft)
Method-2: Using subinacl.exe (from Official Microsoft Download, need to install executable locally on computer, an easy method)
Method-3: Using built-in security configuration template in MMC console (do not need to install executable, easy with GUI but more steps are needed)
Method-4: Using built-in service control manager command line (difficult, prone-to-errors if manually configured)

Method-1: Using Powershell Module
Edit: As of Aug,2021, I found that PowershellAccessControl module is no longer available on microsoft gallery. So, alternatively you can download it from github. Extract the zip file and rename the folder name PowerShellAccessControl-master to PowerShellAccessControl and move it to C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules. Before we start, let’s see the  SQL service restart option is gray-out for ‘myuser’. See Fig-1.

Fig-1: Normal user can’t start/stop the service

Open the powershell and check the current service permission for ‘myuser’. To do this, make Get-service and pipeline into Get-EffectiveAccess. Type the following command.
Get-Service MSSQLSERVER | Get-EffectiveAccess -Principal contosomyuser
You can also check the service permission for domain admin account.
Get-Service MSSQLSERVER | Get-EffectiveAccess -Principal contosoadministrator
See Fig-2.

Fig-2: Check the users permissions on SQL service

Now, give the user start/stop permission of MSSQLSERVER. See Fig-3.
Get-Service MSSQLSERVER | Add-AccessControlEntry -ServiceAccessRights Start,Stop -Principal contosomyuser

Fig-3: Assign start/stop permission to ‘myuser’ in powershell

You can see that the ‘myuser’ now has the start/stop/restart permission on SQL service. See Fig-4.

Fig-4: SQL service can now be stopped
Method-2: Using subinacl.exe
As of Aug,2021, I found that Server 2003 Resource kit is no longer available from Microsoft downloads. So, I suggest you to use other three methods instead of this.
subinacl.exe is a command-line tool that is included in Server 2003 Resource kit. You can separately download it from Microsoft website here.
Install the subinacl.msi. See Fig-5.
Fig-5: Install subinacl.exe
After install is completed, go to the install directory and use subinacl.exe. For help, type subinacl.exe /?. See Fig-7.
Fig-7: Getting help with subinacl.exe
Since we are going to check/assign/revoke permission to sql service. We will use only these commands:
subinacl.exe /service <myservice> /accesscheck=<username>
subinacl.exe /service <myservice> /<grant/revoke>=<username>=<access>
Fig-8 shows how to check the current permission of sql service for ‘myuser’ and ‘contosoadministrator’ by using this command.
subinacl.exe  /service mssqlserver /accesscheck=contosomyuser
Fig-8: Check the sql permission for ‘myuser’ and ‘contosoadministrator’
Since we’re going to give start/stop permission. Use /grant parameter with username. See fig-9.
We also re-check if the permission is correctly assigned.
subinacl.exe /service mssqlserver /grant=contosomyuser=TO
Fig-9: Assign start/stop permission & re-check the permissions
From table, we can see that we have use TO alias in <access> parameter for starting & stopping the service. A full list of ACE aliases can be found here.
Full Control
Generic Read
Generic Write
Generic eXecute
Read controL
Query Service Configuration
Query Service Status
Enumerate Dependent Services
Service Change Configuration
Start Service
Stop Service
Pause/Continue Service
Interrogate Service
Service User-Defined Control Commands
Now, you can start/stop the SQL service !
If you want to revoke the permission. You can use with the subinacl.exe command with /revoke switch. See Fig-10.
subinacl.exe /service mssqlserver /revoke=contosomyuser
Fig-10: Revoke service permission
Method-3: Using built-in security configuration template in MMC console
You can also use local security configuration to assign necessary permissions. These are steps:
  1. Create new security template (in which security settings of service is defined)
  2. Create new security database with newly created security template
  3. Analysis the current configuration with the security database and find the conflicts
  4. Apply the security configuration
1) Create new security template
Create “Security Template” folder under C: where we can save our own security templates.
Open MMC console >> Add/Remove Snap-in >> Choose Security Templates >> Add >> OK
Right-click and “New Template Search Path”. See Fig-11.
Select the location to our newly created folder(C:Security Templates). The path will be listed in console as shown in Fig-12.
Fig-11: Set the new template search path
Then, right-click the new node and choose “New Template”. See Fig-12.
Fig-12: Creating new security template
Give the new template name and click OK. See Fig-13.
Fig-13: Give the new template name
You will see a bunch of security options (the same one you see in Local Security Policy Editor). Since we want to modify the security setting of SQL service, right-click SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER) and click Properties. See Fig-14.
Enable the check box to define the policy. Click Edit Security for more options.
Fig-14: Browse for sql service to edit security settings
You can see that “System” and “Administrators” already have full permissions. Add ‘myuser’ as new user and select ‘Start, stop and pause’ permission. See Fig-15.
Fig-15: Add new user and set service permissions
You need to save this modified security template. Right-click the template node and save. And the file will be saved as .inf file in your template directory. See Fig-16.
Fig-16: Save the template
2) Create new security database with newly created security template
From current MMC console >> Add/Remove Snap-in >> Security Configuration and Analysis >> Add >>OK. See Fig-17.
Fig-17: Add Security Configuration & Analysis Snap-in
Right-Click the “Security Configuration and Analysis” node and click open database…
Choose the location you want to save the security database file (I use the default directory “C:Users<myusername>DocumentsSecurityDatabase”). I give the name of the database as “ModifySQLServicePermission”. See Fig-18.
Fig-18: Set location to save the security database & give the file name
Then you will need to import the template. Choose your saved template which is stored at C:Security TemplateAssign MSSQLSERVER Start_Stop Permission to MyUser. See Fig-19.
Fig-19: Import the security template to use with security database
3) Analysis the current configuration with the security database and find the conflicts
Now, we can analyze your computer security’s setting whether it matches with our newly created security database.
Right-click the “Security Configuration and Analysis” and click Analyze Computer Now….See Fig-20.
Fig-20: Analyze if the current security setting matches with the security database
You will see the result tree after analysis is finished.
Go to SQL service and check the result and there you will see the red cross icon which indicates that it conflicts with your current (unmodified) security settings. See Fig-21.
Fig-21: The red-cross shows us the conflicted security settings
4) Apply the security configuration
You can now apply the security settings.
Click Configure Computer Now… as shown in Fig-22. You will see the progress status as in Fig-23.
Fig-22: Apply Security Settings
Fig-23: Apply Security settings in progress

Now, you can start/stop the SQL service with our normal user account.

Method-4: Using built-in service control manager command line
In this method, we edit the Security Descriptor of windows service in SDDL (Security Descriptor Definition Language) language. it is a bit difficult to understand if you’re not already familiar to SDDL descriptions. But there is an easy method to do this, which will be explained here. (I have written the another blogpost to explain the details of modifying these access control lists with example).
Here, you need to use sc.exe to check/get/set the service permissions. Its syntax is:
sc.exe sdshow <myservice>        Find the current security settings
sc.exe sdset <myservice>  <securitySettingsInSDDLformat>      Set the security settings

So, we will check the current permission of SQL service by the following command.

sc sdshow myssqlserver
Fig-24: Check the initial service security stings
Then, you need to generate the new security descriptor using the same method as we do in previous method with MMC console.
  • Open MMC Console
  • Add “Security Templates” and “Security Configuration and Analysis” Snap-ins (Fig-11)
  • Set the template path, create new template with desired settings and save the template (Fig-12,13,14,15,16)
There is an .inf file in your saved location. Open the file and you will see entries as the below one. See Fig-25.
Fig-25: Contents of security template (.inf) file
You will see there is an extra entry compared to our initial result which I highlighted in red color. This is the added user permission to start/stop the SQL service followed by user’s SID.
 Note: You can also get the user name back from this SID by the following command (optional, just for knowledge)
wmic useraccount where sid=”S-1-5-21-2647241702-1957647361-952520019-1197″ get name,sidNow, I can set this new permission with sc.exe sdset <newSDDL> command. See Fig-26.

Fig-26: Set the new permission with sc.exe sdset

The command completes successfully. And user now has start/stop permission on SQL service. See Fig-27.

Fig-27: User can now start/stop the service

Assign SQL service start,stop permission to Non-Administrator Account and SDDL explained

For full syntax of SDDL(Security Descriptor Definition Language) and ACEs (Access Control Lists), you can refer this TechNet article.
Here we will assign the start/stop permission of MSSQLSERVER to ‘MyUser’ domain user. Assume that computer has been SQL 2012 installed in domain environment. We can easily assign the necessary permission the by Powershell Access Control Module and will check which permissions are changed.Before doing this, we will run sc sdshow mssqlserver and check the initial service permission. See Fig-1.

Continue reading “Assign SQL service start,stop permission to Non-Administrator Account and SDDL explained”