Reset passwords for Active Directory Users

Reset and manage your Active Directory users' Passwords

Active Directory is one of the most esential and important tool in any company whether small or big. In most cases big companies have uncountable amount of tools to maintain and protect users and their credentials however almost most of those companies are not prepared to the time when their systems have been compromised or to say the least their servers have been hacked or encrypted by ransomware which is something we hear very often nowadays like the case with Louisiana Hospital that was attacked by Ransomware exposing the data of 270000 patients. 

Realistic scenario

What if your users passwords were compromised and you’re not sure who is still safe or not but you need to act as fast as possible? 

To act fast, I created a script that would generate a complex 32 Char long password with 4 different Non Alphanumeric Characters using the System.Web.Security.Membership  class. here’s an example of this password:


The script details

The script will first check if you have the Powershell Get and ImportExcel Module installed, if not it’ll ask you to install it or not. 

You will need to amend few things

1- The path to reflect where you want to save the Logs, CSV and Excel sheet. as of now it’s in c:\SyncReports. 

2- Importing users, In the script I am grabbing users directly from a specific OU in AD. so you’ll need to decide how you want to do it. I have added another line in case you’re planning to 

3- The password reset command is setup with -whatif parameter for you to test this before you run it. so just remember to remove it when you’re done with the changing and testing.

I have added mailbody and send-message command to send the excel as an attachment along with the excel password protection. 

Running the script will result in the following

Once you get the Excel sheet and try to open it, you will realize that it’s password protected. The password should be in the email body that’s sent in the script.

Excel sheet result will be looking as follows:

The script
The script 90%
#This script will generate randdom complex passwords for all AD users

#Using Time class and start reporting
$TimeStamp = [datetime]::Now.ToString(“MM-dd-yyyy-HH-mm”)
Start-Transcript -Path C:\SyncReports\Logs\Logs_$TimeStamp.txt -IncludeInvocationHeader

#Generate report
$Report = [System.Collections.Generic.List[Object]]::new()

#Check if Excel Module is installed, if not it’ll ask to install it

##Check Protocol and Setting Secure Connectivity

[System.Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [System.Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls, [System.Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls11,[System.Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls12

#Install PowershellGet and ImportExcel Modules
if (Get-Module -ListAvailable -Name PowershellGet) {
    Write-Host “PowershellGet exists”
} else {Install-Module PowershellGet -Force}
if (Get-Module -ListAvailable -Name ImportExcel) {
    Write-Host “ImportExcel exists”
else {
    Write-host “Module does not exist, Would you like to install it?”
    $options = [System.Management.Automation.Host.ChoiceDescription[]] @(‘&Yes’, ‘&No’)
    if(0 -eq $host.UI.PromptForChoice(‘Install?’ , ‘Would you like to install ImportExcel’ , $Options,0)){
        Write-Host “Installing Excel Module”… -fore green
        Install-Module -Name ImportExcel

# Import System.Web assembly
Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Web

#Defining where to get users from:
$Users = Get-ADUser -SearchBase “OU=Moh10ly_Users,DC=moh10ly,DC=local” -Filter * -Properties *
#$Users = Import-Csv “C:\SyncReports\Users.csv”
foreach ($User in $Users){
        $UID = $User.UserPrincipalName
        $ObjectProp = Get-ADUser -Filter {(Mail -like $UID) -or (UserPrincipalName -like $UID)} -Properties *

        #Generate New Password
        $Password= ConvertTo-SecureString $newPassword -AsPlainText -Force
        $TEXTO = “$newPassword”
        $ENCODED1 = [Convert]::ToBase64String([Text.Encoding]::Unicode.GetBytes($TEXTO))
        $Name = $ObjectProp.Name
        $SAM = $ObjectProp.SamAccountName

                         $ReportLine = [PSCustomObject][Ordered]@{
                            DateandTime                 = $TimeStamp
                            UPN                         = $ObjectProp.UserPrincipalName
                            DisplayName                 = $ObjectProp.Displayname
                            Email                       = $ObjectProp.Mail
                            Encoded                     = $ENCODED1
                            Password                    = $newPassword
                            Error                       = $ObjectProp.Exception.Message
            #Wait for Email to send
            #Start-Sleep -Seconds 15

            #Resetting user’s password
            Set-ADAccountPassword -Identity $User.SamAccountName -NewPassword $Password -WhatIf

    else {$Error = Write-Host -f Red “$($User) Couldn’t be found”    
    #send-mailmessage -from “” -to “” -subject “Password reset didn’t work for $($User.UserprincipalName) on $TimeStamp” -body “$Error” -Priority High -smtpServer}
Write-Host (“{0} Users processed” -f $Users.count)
#$Report | Out-GridView
$ExcelPassword =[System.Web.Security.Membership]::GeneratePassword(32,4)
$Report | Select-Object UPN,Displayname,Email,Encoded,Password | Export-Csv -NoTypeInformation “C:\SyncReports\UserReset_$TimeStamp.csv”
$Report | Export-Excel “C:\SyncReports\UserReset_$TimeStamp.xlsx” -WorksheetName Users -TableName Users -AutoSize -Password “$ExcelPassword”
$Exported = “C:\SyncReports\UserReset_$TimeStamp.xlsx”
$MailBody = “
            <font color=’006400′> Dear Team, Please find attached the list of users and their passwords encoded … `
            The file is protected with password // $ExelPassword // If any issue you can send an email to .</font>
$CC = @(‘’)

#Get-ChildItem $Exported | send-mailmessage -from “” -to “” -Cc $CC -subject ” User Passwords List for the date $date” -body “$MailBody” -Priority High -smtpServer -BodyAsHtml


I have added this script to github, so feel free to comment or add your contribution if needed.

Finding Exchange Database hidden mailboxes. ​

Finding Exchange Database hidden mailboxes.


Maybe you have been in this situation before, trying to delete an Exchange database after moving all of its mailboxes, arbitration or archives to another server or database but it didn’t work and said that there is still something in the database? 

Now I am in a similar situation however I checked nothing in the database as you can see in the below screenshot. 

I have noticed that these issues could happen when an Exchange server gets broken or forcefully deleted from AD without properlty uninstalling it. some traces of system mailboxes might remain there with database attributes pointing to the database. 


Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.Exchange.Management.PowerShell.Snapin
Function Get-HiddenMailbox
<#Check for any remaining mailboxes in a database that you can’t delete.


[PS] C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\scripts>Remove-MailboxDatabase a-sb-com-udb1-v1
This mailbox database contains one or more mailboxes, mailbox plans, archive mailboxes, public folder mailboxes or
arbitration mailboxes, Audit mailboxes. To get a list of all mailboxes in this database, run the command Get-Mailbox
-Database <Database ID>. To get a list of all mailbox plans in this database, run the command Get-MailboxPlan. To get
a list of archive mailboxes in this database, run the command Get-Mailbox -Database <Database ID> -Archive. To get a
list of all public folder mailboxes in this database, run the command Get-Mailbox -Database <Database ID>
-PublicFolder. To get a list of all arbitration mailboxes in this database, run the command Get-Mailbox -Database
<Database ID> -Arbitration. To get a list of all Audit mailboxes in this database, run the command Get-Mailbox
-Database <Database ID> -AuditLog. To disable a non-arbitration mailbox so that you can delete the mailbox database,
run the command Disable-Mailbox <Mailbox ID>. To disable an archive mailbox so you can delete the mailbox database,
run the command Disable-Mailbox <Mailbox ID> -Archive. To disable a public folder mailbox so that you can delete the
mailbox database, run the command Disable-Mailbox <Mailbox ID> -PublicFolder. To disable a Audit mailbox so that you
can delete the mailbox database, run the command Get-Mailbox -AuditLog | Disable-Mailbox. Arbitration mailboxes should
be moved to another server; to do this, run the command New-MoveRequest <parameters>. If this is the last server in
the organization, run the command Disable-Mailbox <Mailbox ID> -Arbitration -DisableLastArbitrationMailboxAllowed to
disable the arbitration mailbox. Mailbox plans should be moved to another server; to do this, run the command
Set-MailboxPlan <MailboxPlan ID> -Database <Database ID>.
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidOperation: (a-sb-com-udb1-v1:DatabaseIdParameter) [Remove-MailboxDatabase], Assoc
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : [Server=SBG-MX03,RequestId=480ce97d-8492-41a9-82fa-93ed30efe652,TimeStamp=6/28/2022 9:04
   :09 AM] [FailureCategory=Cmdlet-AssociatedUserMailboxExistException] 45D30D02,Microsoft.Exchange.Management.System
    + PSComputerName        : server.domain.local


#Fist get DB’s HomeMDB value


#Write-host ‘Enter your Database Name’ -ForegroundColor Red -BackgroundColor Black


$DN = (Get-MailboxDatabase $Database).distinguishedName
$Date = (Get-date).ToString(“MM-dd-yyyy”)


$Mailboxes = Get-ADObject -filter {(HomeMDB -eq $DN)}


$QueryResult = $Mailboxes.count
$CurrentCount = 0


foreach ($Mailbox in $Mailboxes){


         $ObjectProps = [Ordered]@{ ‘DisplayName’ = $Null; ‘UserPrincipalName’ = $Null; ‘Database’ = $Null; ‘Mailbox’ = $Null; ‘Arbitration’ = $Null; ‘Archive’ = $Null; ‘Audit’ = $Null; ‘Monitoring’ = $Null; ‘ErrorResponse’ = $Null}
         $MBX = $
         $CurrentCount ++


         Write-Progress -Activity “Checking Hidden Mailboxes in the database $DB $CurrentCount of $QueryResult -Status “Fetching $MBX -PercentComplete (($CurrentCount / $QueryResult) * 100)
         $Result = New-Object -TypeName PSObject -Property $ObjectProps


         $MailboxResult = Get-mailbox -Identity $MBX -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
         if ($MailboxResult){Write-Host “User $MBX. is a Mailbox” -ForegroundColor Green  }
            $ArbResult = get-mailbox -Identity $MBX -Arbitration -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
            if($ArbResult){Write-host “User $MBX. is an Arbitration Mailbox” -ForegroundColor White }


                 $ArchiveResult = get-mailbox -Identity $MBX -Archive -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
                    if($ArchiveResult){Write-host “User $MBX. is a Archive” -ForegroundColor Red}
                                $AuditResult = get-mailbox -Identity $MBX -AuditLog -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
                                   if($AuditResult){Write-host “User $MBX. is a Audit Mailbox” -ForegroundColor DarkRed}
                                        $Monitoring =  get-mailbox -Identity $MBX -Monitoring -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
                                            if ($Monitoring){Write-host “User $MBX. is a monitoring Mailbox” -ForegroundColor Yellow }


            $Result.DisplayName = $MBX
            $Result.UserPrincipalName = (Get-ADUser -Identity $Mailbox.DistinguishedName).UserprincipalName
            $Result.Database = $DB
            $Result.Mailbox = $MailboxResult
            $Result.Arbitration = $ArbResult
            $Result.Archive = $ArchiveResult
            $Result.Audit = $AuditResult
            $Result.Monitoring = $Monitoring
            $Result.ErrorResponse = ‘#N/A’
            $NewPath = $path.Split(‘.’)[0] + ‘_’ + $date + ‘.csv’


            $Result | export-csv -path $NewPath -Delimiter ‘;’ -NoTypeInformation -NoClobber -Append -Encoding utf8
                Write-Warning $_.Exception.Message}


                $Result | export-csv -path $NewPath -Delimiter ‘;’ -NoTypeInformation -NoClobber -Append -Encoding utf8


– You will have to run this script from Exchange Server.

– An account that can connect to Active Directory with at least read permission and Exchange admin read role. 

The script will utilize Active Directory and Exchange to get the Database’s distinguished name and scan any AD User Object that has this DB’s DN and post it to you as an output. 


Get-HiddenMailbox -Path ‘C:\example.csv’ -database ‘Affected Database’

As you can see in the below screenshot, I got mostly health mailboxes which should not really be a problme in case you’re deleting database, however I got one system mailbox that is still there and pointing to this Database however, I already have scanned the database for any arbitration mailboxes but Exchange CMDlet showed none. 

Now that I know which user it is, the solution for me to be able to remove/delete this database which I no longer need is to delete this AD user object since its no longer in use by Exchange. 

You won’t be able to get this mailbox through get-mailbox cmdlet because its not an active mailbox. however you will find it in AD. 

So I deleted the mailbox mentioned below and next I am going to try and delete the mailbox database in question. 


Here’s the result after deleting the user in Question.

Setting up ADConnect and PTA (Password auth through) servers agents behind proxy

If you’re using a Proxy server in your firewall or in your network and have AD Connect or/and Pass Through Auth agents installed on any of your servers, you will need to configure those agents to make sure they can see the proxy because setting up the proxy in your Internet Explorer or in your WinHTTP settings is not enough.

Azure AD Connect

For ADConnect to work behind Proxy better to use this miiservers.exe.config file which is located in

You will have to add the Proxy config in the last section of the File like in this screenshot

setting up proxy on Azure AD Connect and Pass Through Auth

For PTA: you have to update this file

After setting up the Proxy on both servers/agents, You might have to restart the server as sometimes restarting services is not enough.

Please let me know if you have any issues or addition to the article.