Outlook goes blank and unresponsive when new email arrives

I believe Outlook windows seems to hang at times due to difference between hardware or software graphics acceleration setting. By default Hardware graphics acceleration is enabled.

If your Outlook goes blank or unreponsive or hangs, try disabling the hardware graphics acceleration. To do it, go to Outlook advanced settings (File ==> Settings ==>Advanced), uncheck the box for Disable hardware graphics acceleration.



Active Directory: How to delegate the right to unlock accounts?

This information is to provide rights to unlock accounts in a OU or domain for a user WITHOUT giving any other administrative rights. so here is how to do it?

  1. Right-click the OU or domain in Active Directory Users and Computers console and select Delegate Control from the context menu
  2. Click Next on the Welcome dialog
  3. Click Add to select the user or group and click OK
  4. Click Next
  5. Select Create a custom task to delegate and click Next
  6. Select Only the following objects in the folder. In the list, check User objects and click Next
  7. Clear the General checkbox and check the Property-specific box
  8. Check both the Read lockoutTime and Write lockoutTime boxes and press Next and Finish button.


Exchange: Meeting room disappears after adding to the meeting request in Outlook

Almost every one complained they can’t add a particular conference room to a meeting request in Outlook. They said the meeting room disappears from their meeting request. Strange, huh! When I checked it myself, sure the resource is added and after a second it did disappeared or removed automatically.

Without boring details of analysis, I found the conference room calendar settings is messed up (or someone messing things around). To test if this happened to you, do this:

1. Connect to Exchange Server (or Exchange Online) by PowerShell

2. Type this cmdlet to see if you get an error:  Get-MailboxCalendarConfiguration –Identity <Conference Room Display Name or email address>

If you get this error, that is our/your problem.

WARNING: The object “…” has been corrupted, and it’s in an inconsistent state. The following validation errors happened:
WARNING: The end time that you entered occurs before the start time. The start time must occur before the end time.

so as per the warning says working hours are setup wrong. Correct it by using this below cmdlet. I specified the working hours for the room is morning 8am to evening 6pm. Change the timings to your needs.

Set-MailboxCalendarConfiguration -Identity <Conference Room Display Name or email address> -WorkingHoursStartTime 08:00:00 -WorkingHoursEndTime 18:00:00

That’s all folks. No more disappearing of the resource. If this fixed your issue, leave me a reply below. Smile

Exchange: How to search by an email address?

What if you have an email address, you want to know which object that email address belongs to? Mailbox or Distribution Group or Contact or Public Folder?

You have to keep searching by the following commands till you find your object. Open PowerShell and connect to Exchange (or Exchange Online).

Get-Mailbox | %{$_.EmailAddresses | ?{$_ -like “*<email address>*”}}

Get-RemoteMailbox | %{$_.EmailAddresses | ?{$_ -like “*<email address>*”}}
Get-DistributionGroup | %{$_.EmailAddresses | ?{$_ -like “*<email address>*”}}

Get-MailContact| %{$_.EmailAddresses | ?{$_ -like “*<email address>*”}}
Get-MailPublicFolder | %{$_.EmailAddresses | ?{$_ -like “*<email address>*”}}


Hope you saved some time and found your Exchange Object. Enjoy!!

Find SQL Servers on the network by PowerShell

I will make simple and short. PowerShell command uses SQL Browser service to populate the local SQL servers and instances on the network.

So the requirements are:

  1. SQL Browser service installed and running (or run it on a SQL server)
  2. You should be a Administrator (preferably domain admin)
  3. You have to run this command on each site (on one of the local server)

Open PowerShell and run this command.


Things are getting much easier these days. 🙂

Office 365: Send service alert emails using PowerShell

Office 365 service health information (healthy, degraded, etc.,) can be checked at Office 365 Admin console or using Office 365 Admin App on the phone.

At least Office 365 Admin App (for iPhone/Android/Windows) alerts when there is a change in service status.

I wrote a script for old school boys and girls who want to receive the Office 365 service degradation in emails.

This script can be run in intervals using Windows Task Scheduler. There is no special requirements (PS Modules) to run the script in PowerShell.

First Step: Create a Password XML file

Copy/Paste the following two PowerShell commands to create the password XML file. We are saving just the password (of the Office 365 Administrator account) in encrypted form. When asked type the password carefully.

$text = Read-Host -AsSecureString -Prompt ‘Enter Password’
$text | Export-Clixml -Path “$home\Documents\mypassword.xml”

Note: We are only saving the password in encrypted form in XML file in the user profile. Since only the user has access to their user profile, password file is in safe location. And we are not storing the user name, so it is not useful without knowing which user this password belongs to.

Another Note: if you are going to run the script in different user context in Task Scheduler, you have move the mypassword.xml file to the user profile location of the correct user context.

Now the script:

Either copy/paste the script in NotePad and name it Get-O365-Service-Health-Alerts.ps1 or DOWNLOAD THE SCRIPT.

Important: Make sure you assign appropriate values in the beginning of the script.


Script Name: Get-O365-Service-Health-Alerts.ps1
Purpose: Get the Office 365 tenant service health alerts using
JSON and send email to admins if the any degraded service is

Prerequiste 1: mypassword.xml file in your documents folder

You have to create the password.xml file using the
following PowerShell commands:

$text = Read-Host -AsSecureString -Prompt ‘Enter Password’
$text | Export-Clixml -Path “$home\Documents\mypassword.xml”

Prerequiste 2: Assign correct values to the variables
in this script (see below)

Written by: Anand, the awesome, Venkatachalapathy


#Assign the appropriate values in these variables
$username = ‘awesomeanand@company.com’
$SMTPServername = “mail-relay.company.com”
$SMTPPort = 25
$From = “Office-365-Service-Health-Alerts@company.com”
$To = “awesomeanand@company.com”


# read in the secret and encrypted password from file
$password = Import-Clixml -Path “$home\Documents\mypassword.xml”
# add the username and create a credential object
$credential = New-Object -TypeName PSCredential($username, $password)

# convert the credential to JSON format   
$jsonPayload = (@{userName=$credential.username;password=$credential.GetNetworkCredential().password;} | convertto-json).tostring()

# Fetch the Office 365 sevice health status using REST
$cookie = (invoke-restmethod -contenttype “application/json” -method Post -uri “
https://api.admin.microsoftonline.com/shdtenantcommunications.svc/Register” -body $jsonPayload).RegistrationCookie
$jsonPayload = (@{lastCookie=$cookie;locale=”en-US”;preferredEventTypes=@(0,1)} | convertto-json).tostring()
$events = (invoke-restmethod -contenttype “application/json” -method Post -uri “
https://api.admin.microsoftonline.com/shdtenantcommunications.svc/GetEvents” -body $jsonPayload)

#Assign the service health events to a variable
$serviceEvents = $events.Events

#Check each event
foreach($event in $serviceEvents)
    $status = $event.status
    $detailedstatus = $event.AffectedServiceHealthStatus
    $Title = $event.Title
    $UpdatedTime = $event.LastUpdatedTime
    $Messages = $event.Messages

    #Check if the status is degraded
    If ($status -like “*degradation” )
        #form the mail subject
        $subject = $detailedstatus.ServiceName + ” – $status at $UpdatedTime”
        #display the subject

        #form the mail body
        $text = “”
        foreach($Message in $Messages)
            $text += $Message.MessageText

        #Send email to the admin
        Send-MailMessage -SmtpServer $SMTPServername `
                         -Port $SMTPPort `
                         -From $From -To $To `
                         -Subject $subject -Body $text
******************* End of the script ********************

SharePoint Online: Get Site Owners list from all Sites

I have been asked to get list of all explicit user accounts  and group with site owner permissions for all sites. I wrote a script using Get-SPOSite, Get-SPOUsers and Get-SPOGroup commands.

To make it easier I wrote the script requires the mandatory parameter of Office 365 Tenant name. The script will create a CSV file on the script working (current) directory.


  • Install SharePoint Online Management Shell (Download it from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35588)
  • Copy or Create the script to the desired location (e.g., C:\Scripts).
  • Open PowerShell and change the working directory to the location where script is located
  • Run the script with parameter TenantName
  • When asked provide the SharePoint Administrator credentials

e.g.,  if the sharepoint admin URL is https://contoso-admin.sharepoint.com, then the tenant name is contoso.

.\SiteOwnersList.ps1 -TenantName contoso

Download the script from HERE.

You may also copy/paste the script in PowerShell ISE and save as SiteOwnersList.ps1.

***    Script Name: SiteOwnersList.ps1
***    Purpose: List all SharePoint Online sites and it’s Owners from the site permissions list (Users and Groups) and create the report to a CSV file.
***             The generated CSV file stored at PowerShell script running location (local directory)
***    Parameters: <TenantName> – provide your SharePoint Online (Office 365) Tenant Name (usually your domain name)
***    Written By: Anand, the awesome, Venkatachalapathy

param (  [Parameter(Mandatory=$True)]
[string]$TenantName )

#Form a SharePoint Admin URl
$AdminURL = “https://$tenantName” + “-admin.sharepoint.com”

#Add SharePoint PowerShell Snap-in and Importing the SharePoint Online module
Add-PSSnapin microsoft.sharepoint.powershell -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
Import-Module ‘C:\Program Files\SharePoint Online Management Shell\Microsoft.Online.SharePoint.PowerShell’ -DisableNameChecking

#Connect to SharePoint Online
Connect-SPOService -Url $AdminURL -Credential (Get-Credential)

#Headers for the data
“Site URL`tOwner`tUsers`tGroup`tGroup Members” | Out-File -FilePath .\SharePointSiteOwners.csv

#Get all Sites (Root sites only)
$sites = Get-SPOSite -Limit All

#Process all sites
foreach($site in $sites)
$siteURL = $site.Url
$siteOwner = $site.Owner

    Write-Host $siteURL -ForegroundColor Cyan
Write-Host $siteOwner -ForegroundColor Cyan

#Get all users with Site Owner permissions
$siteAdmins = Get-SPOUser -Site $siteURL -Limit All | select LoginName,IsSiteAdmin | ? { $_.ISSiteAdmin }

    #Collect all site owners (user accounts) to a variable $siteUsers
$siteUsers = “”
foreach($siteAdmin in $siteAdmins) { $siteUsers += $siteAdmin.LoginName + ” , ” }

    Write-Host $siteUsers -ForegroundColor Cyan

#Get all Groups from the site permissions
$sitegroups = Get-SPOSiteGroup -Site $siteURL

#Get Group info and members that have site owners permissions
foreach ($sitegroup in $sitegroups)
$i = 0
foreach($role in $sitegroup.Roles)
if ( $role.Contains(“Site Owner”) -or $role.Contains(“Full Control”) )
$i = $i + 1
Write-Host $sitegroup.Title -ForegroundColor “Yellow”
Write-Host $sitegroup.Users -ForegroundColor “Blue”

                if ($i -gt 1)
“`t`t`t” + $sitegroup.Title + “`t” + $sitegroup.Users | Out-File -FilePath .\SharePointSiteOwners.csv -Append
“$siteURL`t$siteOwner`t$siteUsers`t” + $sitegroup.Title + “`t” + $sitegroup.Users | Out-File -FilePath .\SharePointSiteOwners.csv -Append

***                                                                            The END