New Active Directory User and Office365 New User Powershell Procedure

As a systems administrator, quite often you’ll need to create new user accounts in Active Directory and MSOnline Office 365. It’s good to streamline your new user creation procedure as much as possible to make the process faster and more accurate. Thanks to PowerShell, we can turn a whole bunch of point and clicks into just a few PowerShell commands. In this example procedure we will first create an Active Directory AD user account with powershell and a .csv file and then add that user into multiple groups with a different powershell script and a .txt file that has a list of the groups. We will also use another powershell script to get the canonical name of the groups so that our script can find the LDAP location of the group in Active Directory. Secondly, because we do not run our own exchange server we will use powershell to connect to Office365, and create a new user there, license the user, and then add the user to some distribution groups. Prerequisites are powershell, and import AD components and MSOnline components.


  1. Go to and download the and extract to c:\newusers\
  2. Edit create_ad_users.ps1 lines 92 and 98 to accommodate longer last names. In the original script it only allows for first initial and then a truncated last name of 4 characters. In my case, we have some users with long last names, so I set those values to 20:
  3. If($replace.length -lt 20)
      $lastname = $replace
      $lastname = $replace.substring(0,20)


  4. Copy info from your HR department about the new user into the .csv file c:\newusers\import_create_ad_users.csv
  5. Run PS C:\newusers> .\create_ad_users.ps1
  6. Next check the new username in ADUC for such things as account name, address, phone number etc. to ensure the entries are accurate.
  7. With our new user account created, most likely we will want to make that user a member of several security groups. To do that with PowerShell, we need to make sure that we have the correct LDAP names for our groups and place them into a file named groups.txt. In order to do so, we need to run another powershell script named find-dn.ps1 . The code is as follows:
    # Function Find Distinguished Name
    function find-dn { param([string]$adfindtype, [string]$cName)
        # Create A New ADSI Call
        $root = [ADSI]''
        # Create a New DirectorySearcher Object
        $searcher = new-object System.DirectoryServices.DirectorySearcher($root)
        # Set the filter to search for a specific CNAME
        $searcher.filter = "(&(objectClass=$adfindtype) (CN=$cName))"
        # Set results in $adfind variable
        $adfind = $searcher.findall()
        # If Search has Multiple Answers 
        if ($adfind.count -gt 1) {
            $count = 0 
            foreach($i in $adfind)
                # Write Answers On Screen
                write-host $count ": " $i.path
                $count += 1
            # Prompt User For Selection
            $selection = Read-Host "Please select item: "
            # Return the Selection
            return $adfind[$selection].path
        # Return The Answer
        return $adfind[0].path

    This code should be inserted into a new PowerShell ISE tab and then saved as find-dn.ps1 . Running the code will produce a new PowerShell function (but will not write any output to the screen.) Find the group names in ADUC that you want the CN name for, and then use the following command(s) to return the CN name:

    find-dn "group" "FinanceGroup"

    The script will return something similar to the following:


    Remove the part “LDAP://” and copy the remaining string into the c:\newusers\groups.txt file, which after finding the rest of your group CN names, should look something similar to the following:



  8. Now that we have our CN security group names, we can add the user(s) into the groups with the following script. For this step we can utilize the script found here: – which was contributed by Martin9700 . Copy the following script into a new PowerShell ISE tab and name the file Add-MultipleGroups.ps1 :
    #requires -Version 3.0
    Param (
    Begin {
        Try { Import-Module ActiveDirectory -ErrorAction Stop }
        Catch { Write-Error "Unable to load Active Directory module, is RSAT installed?"; Exit }
        $Result = @()
    Process {
        ForEach ($Group in $Groups)
        {   Try {
                Add-ADGroupMember $Group -Members $Users -ErrorAction Stop
                $Result += [PSCustomObject]@{
                    Group = $Group
                    AddMembers = $Users -join ", "
            Catch {
                Write-Error "Error adding members to $Group because $($Error[0])"
                $Result += [PSCustomObject]@{
                    Group = $Group
                    AddMembers = $Error[0]
    End {
        If ($Passthru)
        {   $Result


  9. Run the following command to add user to the appropriate security groups:
PS C:\newusers> .\Add-MultipleGroups.ps1 -Groups (Get-content c:\newusers\groups.txt) -users user1, user2

With the above script you can use the file to run a number of different options as well such as:

You can just put the group names in -Groups:

.\Add-MultipleGroups.ps1 -Groups "testgroup1","testgroup2" -users user1,user2,user3,user4

You can use a text file (either in Groups or via pipeline):

.\Add-MultipleGroups.ps1 -Groups (Get-content c:\groups.txt) -users user1,user2,user3,user4

Get-content c:\groups.txt | .\Add-MultipleGroups.ps1 -Groups -users user1,user2,user3,user4

You can also use Get-Content for users, but you can pipe it:

Get-content c:\groups.txt | .\Add-MultipleGroups.ps1 -Groups -users (Get-content c:\users.txt)


You can confirm in ADUC that the users are now members of the security groups in our groups.txt file.

Add users to Office 365 and Distribution Groups with PowerShell

Great! Now that we have our user accounts created on the AD side of things, we will move on to adding our user(s) into Office365:

With PowerShell up and running will will issue the following commands:



Import-Module MSOnline


Now we will create the user with the following command:

New-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName -DisplayName ‘User 1’ -FirstName User -LastName 1

This command will return something like the following (sorry about the formatting:)


PS C:\Users\jcoltrin> New-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName -DisplayName ‘User 1’ -FirstName User -LastName 1

Password                                   UserPrincipalName                          DisplayName                                isLicensed

--------                                   -----------------                          -----------                                ----------

Suso4007                                                User 1                                False


Now we need to add a license to the user account. We need to do two things before we can assign the licenses. First is we need to to determine the different sku’s we have available to license, and second, we need to set the usage location. To accomplish the first part, we can issue the command:


Second, by using the instructions here:

We can set the MS Online user’s principal location:

Set-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName -UsageLocation US

Set-MsolUserLicense -UserPrincipalName -AddLicenses Contoso:STANDARDPACK

Now that the user is licensed, we will add the account to a few Exchange Distribution Groups. We will need to import a new PSSession from before we can run the Exchange commands. Import the session with the following commands:


$creds = Get-Credential

$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri -Credential $Creds -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection

Now we can add the distribution group members with the group identity and member name in quotes:


Add-DistributionGroupMember -Identity "Finance" -Member ""

Add-DistributionGroupMember -Identity "AllEmployees" -Member ""

A number of these scripts and commands can be combined into .ps1 files to optimize the workflow even further. With the information here you should have a good place to start. Let me know in the comments how you added your own features to the procedure.


Dell Latitude 3570 SSD HDD upgrade procedure reinstall reset recover Windows 10 on blank disk from DVD

So you received a Dell Latitude e3570 for business and the laptop already has a downgrade Windows 7 Pro Operating System installed on the existing 500GB 7200RPM hard drive. You want to make the machine faster and upgrade to Windows 10, so you decide to install a 120GB SSD HDD and then install Windows 10 Pro from scratch. You already have the Dell Windows 10 Pro DVD. The problem is that you don’t have a hard disk image, clone image, cloning software, or machine to clone from the old HDD to the new SSD, nor do you even want to use an existing Operating System image. You don’t want to go through the steps of an upgrade from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 Pro and then perform a clone as well. Well that’s what happened to me and I usually prefer to perform a clean installation from a certified Dell Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit DVD for use with a licensed Dell computer like the one in the picture below. After banging my head over what amounts to a relatively simple solution, and doing some research, I thought I’d spare someone else the pain of what I went through by documenting the solution here.

So, you gleefully pop open the back of the laptop by loosening the cover screws, replace the SATA HDD with you new SSD HDD, and close up the cover again. With an external USB DVD drive, power on the laptop, hit F12, select the Dell DVD as your boot device, and hit a brick wall with the following sequence:

Language > Country > Choose option: Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Reset this PC: Remove everything :

Error: Reset this PC – Unable to reset your PC. A required drive partition is missing. (cancel)

In this event, what the setup is doing is that it’s assuming you already have Windows 10 installed on the hard drive, and that perhaps it’s corrupted, and you are choosing to have the installer find the default recovery partition that’s already on the hard drive (which it isn’t because it’s a brand new-wiped-clean-by-the-factory SSD). Also, you’d already probably know that if you DID already have the recovery partition on the hard drive that you’d chose the “Repair my computer” option in the boot menu by hitting F12 when starting…

So the problem is actually not difficult to resolve because in summary, the solution is you merely need to choose the following sequence instead and perform a “Recover from a drive“, not “Reset this PC”. *Note: if you do this, your BIOS may still hold non-recommended Boot and Drive configurations for Windows 10, so be sure to follow the instructions after the screenshots that your BIOS and new SSD HDD is setup for correct secure-boot operations.

Language > Country > Choose option: Troubleshoot > Recover from a drive > Fully clean the drive

Like I said, it’s a good idea to check some BIOS settings and secure your new SSD HDD boot device prior to running the system Recover > Fully clean the drive operation.

  1. First hit F12 and select OTHER OPTIONS: BIOS Setup
  2. Next, under General heading, select Advanced Boot Options and uncheck “Enable Legacy Option ROMs”
  3. Next under General > Boot Sequence, set the Boot List Option to UEFI
  4. Next, under System Configuration, make sure SATA Operation is set to AHCI:
  5. Next, go to the heading Secure Boot and set Secure Boot Enable to Enabled:
  6. Now save all the changes to the BIOS and restart/Save, and hit F12 again, where at the next menu you will use the UEFI BOOT: to your external USB/DVD drive:
  7. Now go ahead and go back to the Troubleshoot > Recover from a drive > Fully clean the drive. *Note: this action will completely destroy anything that is already on the hard drive so before you do this action, be sure you have a backup of what was previously on the drive; if anything.
  8. Once the procedure runs and the machine reboots, you should see the “Recovering this PC” and a percentage status.
  9. The machine will complete the procedure and you may receive the following warning: A configuration change was requested to enable, activate, clear, enable, and activate the TPM – This action will clear and turn on the the computer’s TPM (Trusted Platform Module) – WARNING: This request will remove any keys stored in the TPM: Press F12 to enable, activate, clear, enable, and activate the TPM or Press Esc to reject this change request and continue. Unless you have stored keys and want to retain them, go ahead and hit F12. 
  10. The machine will restart a couple more times and finally you should be prompted with the traditional setup:
  11. Complete the setup, remove the DVD from the computer, restart and enjoy your newly installed Windows 10 Pro on your Latitude 3570 with an SSD hard drive. In my opinion this is a very worthwhile upgrade and the speed difference between Windows 7 Pro on a spinning HDD as compared to Windows 10 on an SSD is like night and day.