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VBScript, WMI, and ADSI Unleashed: Using VBScript, WMI, and ADSI to Automate Windows Administration Paperback – June 3, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0321501714 ISBN-10: 0321501713 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Sams Publishing; 2 edition (June 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321501713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321501714
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #758,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

If you're a Windows administrator, scripting expertise can liberate you from boring, repetitive work-so you can take on the sophisticated, high-value projects you really want. Top scripting guru Don Jones has written the definitive administrator's guide to getting results with Microsoft's key scripting technologies: VBScript, WMI, and ADSI.


Jones draws on his unsurpassed experience training Windows administrators in conferences, classes, and from his enormously popular site,


You'll learn how to use VBScript, WMI, and ADSI to gain administrative control over nearly every aspect of every recent Windows server or client, including Windows Server 2003, Vista, XP, 2000, and NT. As you gain experience, Jones introduces more advanced techniques, ranging from modular scripting and script encryption to integrating VBScript with HTML code.


Jones concludes with a full section of ready-to-run, real-world examples-from logon/logoff scripts to automated domain and network administration, from querying WMI to creating Active Directory groups. Every script is explained line-by-line, with challenging techniques described in even greater detail.


Detailed information on how to…


  • Decide what you can script: a framework for getting started fast
  • Understand how scripts are designed, assembled, and run
  • Master VBScript from start to finish: functions, I/O, data manipulation, program flow, and much more
  • Use scripting objects for tasks ranging from retrieving network information to mapping drives
  • Utilize FileSystemObject to manipulate the Windows filesystem
  • Write ADSI scripts to manipulate any directory service your company uses, from Active Directory to Novell NDS
  • Modify domain information, users, groups, and policies
  • Query WMI information-from basic to advanced
  • Plan for errors, and test and debug your scripts
  • Build your own “resource kit” of reusable script components



Download all examples and source code presented in this book from, where you'll also be able to post follow-up questions directly to the author in a moderated, active community.


Introduction 1


Part I: Introduction to Windows Administrative Scripting 11

Chapter 1: Scripting Concepts and Terminology 13

Chapter 2: Running Scripts 21

Chapter 3: The Components of a Script 39

Chapter 4: Designing a Script 55


Part II: VBScript Tutorial 73

Chapter 5: Functions, Objects, Variables, and More 75

Chapter 6: Input and Output 101

Chapter 7: Manipulating Numbers 115

Chapter 8: Manipulating Strings 129

Chapter 9: Manipulating Other Types of Data 145

Chapter 10: Controlling the Flow of Execution 155

Chapter 11: Built-In Scripting Objects 173

Chapter 12: Working with the File System 193

Chapter 13: Putting It All Together: Creating Your First Script from Scratch 219


Part III: Windows Management Instrumentation and Active Directory Services Interface 245

Chapter 14: Working with ADSI Providers 247

Chapter 15: Manipulating Domains 257

Chapter 16: Manipulating Users and Groups 271

Chapter 17: Understanding WMI 283

Chapter 18: Querying Basic WMI Information 299

Chapter 19: Querying Complex WMI Information 317

Chapter 20: Putting It All Together: Your First WMI/ADSI Script 335

Chapter 21: Testing and Debugging WMI and ADSI Queries 357


Part IV: Advanced Scripting Techniques 371

Chapter 22: Modular Script Programming 373

Chapter 23: Scripts Packaging and Protection 389

Chapter 24: Scripting Security 399

Chapter 25: Introduction to HTML Applications 409

Chapter 26: Debugging Tips, Tools, and Techniques 421


Part V: Ready-to-Run Examples 437

Chapter 27: Logon and Logoff Scripts 439

Chapter 28: Windows and Domain Administration Scripts 455

Chapter 29: Network Administration Scripts 481

Chapter 30: WMI and ADSI Scripts 497


Appendix 509

Index 523


About the Author

Don Jones is an internationally recognized scripting guru, speaker, and author. He serves as the Director of Projects and Services for SAPIEN Technologies, where his primary job is to drive the development of new products and services for Windows administrative scripting. Don is the founder of, the web’s friendliest community for Windows scripting. Don has written more than 30 books on information technology, including Managing Windows with VBScript and WMI (Addison-Wesley; the first edition of this book), Windows Administrator’s Automation Toolkit (Microsoft Press), Advanced VBScript for Windows Administrators (Microsoft Press), and Windows PowerShell: TFM™ (SAPIEN Press). Don heads SAPIEN Technologies’ Las Vegas office, speaks at a half-dozen technical conferences each year, and contributes monthly content to Microsoft TechNet Magazine.

More About the Author

With more than two decades of IT experience, Don Jones is one of the world's leading experts on the Microsoft business technology platform. He's the author of more than 45 books, including Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, Windows Administrator's Scripting Toolkit, VBScript WMI and ADSI Unleashed, Special Edition Using Commerce Server 2002, Definitive Guide to SQL Server Performance Optimization, and many more. Don's devotion to technology education culminated in The Nine Principles of Immediately Effective Design, an instructional design book that outlines Don's bestselling approach.

Don is a top-rated and in-demand speaker at conferences such as Microsoft TechEd, TechMentor, and more, and is an accomplished IT journalist with features and monthly columns in Microsoft TechNet Magazine and Redmond Magazine, and on Web sites such as TechTarget and Don is also a multiple-year recipient of Microsoft's prestigious Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award. He is also a sought-after technology educator, both for in-person classes and for his CBT Nuggets video-based training.

Don's broad experience includes work in the financial, telecommunications, software, manufacturing, consulting, training, and retail industries. He's worked as a technician, administrator, network architect, software developer, database administrator, manager, and director, making him one of the rare IT professionals who can not only "cross the line" between administration and software development, but also between IT and business management. Don's business and technology customers include Dell Software, SAPIEN Technologies, Microsoft, 1105 Media, Vanderbilt University, Morgan Stanley, and many others.

Don is also a founder and President of, a community dedicated to Microsoft's chief administrative automation technology. He continues to answer questions in that site's Q&A forums.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ken Tang on December 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be very helpful and practical with the examples given in the book. The examples have come in useful for me for basic systems administration in my Windows Server 2003 network with Active Directory. The author breaks down the example codes line by line and explains what is going on, which I found to be very helpful.

one thing I did not like was that some times the author purposely put mistakes in the code without initially telling you. Then towards the end of the section, he will ask you why the code did not work and will tell you what went wrong and why. He doesn't do this all the time, but a few times. It made me second guess myself and thought that the publisher had bad typos in the code, something familiarly seen in a lot of programming books. Good learning experience, I suppose.

Even if you are a beginner programmer wanting to learn VBscripting, I think you would be able to get the gist of VBscript by copying the examples in the book and tweaking them for your needs. This is my first VBscript book and it's definitely a keeper for me. Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Reagan on June 23, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had originally studied the Microsoft Press book "Microsoft Windows Scripting Self-Paced Learning Guide", but still needed more.

VBScript, WMI and ADSI Unleashed is the book that I wish I had read first. It is a good choice for a system admin who wants to start scripting administrative tasks.

Having never scripted before, I had many questions. This book started from the beginning, what editor should I use for programming, and took me all the way to my first scripted search AD for all Servers at or below a specified OU, remotely attach to each server, determine if it is a physical or virtual computer, run a hardware configuration utility as appropriate, reconfigure the hardware as appropriate based on the utilities output and report back to me the results. I went from nothing to decent in about two weeks.

This is a good choice for this type of book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hey all,

I was a noob in all of this scripting stuff when I bought this book. Frankly it was not a bad purchase but it did leave me kind of disappointed. The first few chapters are a waste of time because there just like a huge sales ad for the author's company that sells a VBScript IDE, added to that you never get that feeling that he's fully convinced of what he is telling you, i.e. "You should learn VBScript but it doesn't matter because we have the impending doom looming over called Windows Powershell".

Last but not least is the fact related to the title of my review, basically he stresses the point that to learn VBScript you should get the online documentation for it......then what the hell did I buy this book for? If I wanted to learn structured programming I would've bought a C++ book that will do a better job.

All in all, the book has it's good points..I just can't remember them right now 'cause I'm hungry and it's Christmas Day. It does give you the basic knowledge what scripts can do, although if you been a windows admin for a while then this will only confirm to you that there are other ways of doing stuff....and that you need the VBScript online documentation (which by the way was hard to find on Microsoft's website) to do them.

This is the only scripting book I've so sadly I can't give you an alternative to it or compare it against any but if you really are into self-learning I think that a little organization, time and all the documentation available at MS's website might do.

If you have the bucks to spare buy it, if you have time on your hands don't buy and turn over to the Net to learn.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Duffield on April 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have any scripting experience at all, you're better off with a different book. This one is definitely geared more toward the stereotypical minimally competent Windows domain administrator who may or may not be a paper MCSE and who can't be bothered to learn anything outside the specific scope of his job.

The book claims to aim at the VBScript neophyte, but it would help to have at least seen or, better, copy-pasted and modified some scripts before diving into this book. The author constantly uses concepts and language constructs from upcoming chapters before they're covered. This practice is frustrating, but may be justified in the very beginning of the book, while he's covering the VBScript language itself - it's difficult to put together a non-trivial program without using a few different programming concepts. However, he even does this after he's finished with the VBScript introduction; he uses ADSI stuff when he's trying to explain WSH, for example. It can be a little daunting trying to learn one concept when four new ones are being thrown at you.

I also felt, as I see in other reviews here, that the author spends way too much energy trying to sell the reader on his company's scripting IDE. Seriously, I bought a scripting book, not an advertisement. To top it off, it doesn't even sound like his program is any better than Notepad++ (which is free and GPL).

In addition, the author inadvertently helped me to choose JScript over VBScript, even though JScript is not covered in the book. It's obvious from the text and the information I find online that VBScript is a horribly crippled language, and I have a decent amount of experience with Javascript anyway.

In all, I wouldn't say that this is a BAD book, as I did learn enough about WSH, WMI, and ADSI to be able to search for what I really need on Microsoft's reference site, but I don't think I'll be buying another book from this author or Sams Publishing.
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