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vb.net and adding user to local group using PSEXEC

Posted on 2014-12-05
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Last Modified: 2014-12-08
I am attempting to add a domain user to the local admin group using psexec, when i use the below string in a cmd prompt, it works flawlessly:
psexec \\10.1.10.10 net localgroup administrators tbuser.text /add

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When i use the below vb.net code, the cmd window flashes and the local group doesnt get updated:

 
Dim targetpc As String = TextBox1.Text
            Dim pstools As String = "C:\SWDEPOT\SD Remote Tool\PSTools"
            Try
                Dim p As New Process()
                p.StartInfo.FileName = "C:\SWDEPOT\SD Remote Tool\PSTools\PsExec.exe"
                p.StartInfo.Arguments = "-s" & " " & "-i" & " " & "-d" & " " & "\\" & targetpc & " " & Chr(34) & "localgroup" & " " & "administrators" & " " & tbUser.Text & " " & "/add" & Chr(34)
                p.Start()
                p.StartInfo.CreateNoWindow = True
                p.WaitForExit()
            Catch ex As Exception
                MsgBox("Remote Workstation Unavailable", , "Information")
            End Try

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Question by:derek7467
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14 Comments
 
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Kimputer
Comment Utility
Your command line is different from the first psexec command, and the second as arguments.

-s -i -d \\10.0.0.0 "localgroup administrators user /add"

Not only did you not mention the -s -i -d in the first command, you added two quotation marks as well.

If the first command really works, mimic it in your code.
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Author Comment

by:derek7467
Comment Utility
I tried that already but i tried it again and the below still didnt work:

 p.StartInfo.Arguments = "\\" & targetpc & " " & Chr(34) & "localgroup administrators test\username /add" & Chr(34)

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Author Comment

by:derek7467
Comment Utility
Also, the quotation marks are needed if using psexec in vb, versus not needing them doing in a cmd prompt
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:it_saige
Comment Utility
Usually this is indicative of an error with running the command (as Kimputer pointed out, your command between the explicit command line running and the program process creation are different.  This is most likely producing a syntax error.).  Couple of options I can see.  

1.  Capture the redirected output from the console window.  Here is a very crude example:

Form1.vb -
Imports System.Net
Imports System.ComponentModel

Public Class Form1
	Private address As IPAddress

	Private Function ValidateText(ByVal text As String) As Boolean
		If String.IsNullOrEmpty(text) Then Return False
		Return IPAddress.TryParse(text, address)
	End Function

	Private Sub OnClick(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
		RichTextBox1.Clear()
		Button1.Enabled = False
		BackgroundWorker1.RunWorkerAsync()
	End Sub

	Public Sub OnDataReceived(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As DataReceivedEventArgs)
		If e.Data IsNot Nothing Then BackgroundWorker1.ReportProgress(0, String.Format("{0}{1}", e.Data, Environment.NewLine))
	End Sub

	Private Sub OnTextChanged(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles TextBox1.TextChanged
		ValidateText(TextBox1.Text)
	End Sub

	Private Sub OnValidating(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As CancelEventArgs) Handles TextBox1.Validating
		If ValidateText(TextBox1.Text) Then
			Button1.Enabled = True
		Else
			Button1.Enabled = False
			MessageBox.Show("Please enter a valid IP Address", "Invalid IP Address", MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Exclamation)
			TextBox1.Focus()
			e.Cancel = True
		End If
	End Sub

	Private Sub OnLoad(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load
		Button1.Enabled = False
	End Sub

	Private Sub OnDoWork(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As DoWorkEventArgs) Handles BackgroundWorker1.DoWork
		Dim [process] As Process = New Process()
		Dim startInfo As ProcessStartInfo = New ProcessStartInfo() With _
		    { _
		  .Arguments = address.ToString(), _
		  .CreateNoWindow = True, _
		  .FileName = "ping", _
		  .RedirectStandardError = True, _
		  .RedirectStandardOutput = True, _
		  .UseShellExecute = False _
		    }
		[process].EnableRaisingEvents = True
		AddHandler [process].ErrorDataReceived, AddressOf OnDataReceived
		AddHandler [process].OutputDataReceived, AddressOf OnDataReceived
		[process].StartInfo = startInfo
		[process].Start()
		[process].BeginErrorReadLine()
		[process].BeginOutputReadLine()
		[process].WaitForExit()
	End Sub

	Private Sub OnProgessChanged(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As ProgressChangedEventArgs) Handles BackgroundWorker1.ProgressChanged
		RichTextBox1.AppendText(e.UserState)
	End Sub

	Private Sub OnWorkerCompleted(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As RunWorkerCompletedEventArgs) Handles BackgroundWorker1.RunWorkerCompleted
		Button1.Enabled = ValidateText(TextBox1.Text)
	End Sub
End Class

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Form1.Designer.vb -
<Global.Microsoft.VisualBasic.CompilerServices.DesignerGenerated()> _
Partial Class Form1
    Inherits System.Windows.Forms.Form

    'Form overrides dispose to clean up the component list.
    <System.Diagnostics.DebuggerNonUserCode()> _
    Protected Overrides Sub Dispose(ByVal disposing As Boolean)
        Try
            If disposing AndAlso components IsNot Nothing Then
                components.Dispose()
            End If
        Finally
            MyBase.Dispose(disposing)
        End Try
    End Sub

    'Required by the Windows Form Designer
    Private components As System.ComponentModel.IContainer

    'NOTE: The following procedure is required by the Windows Form Designer
    'It can be modified using the Windows Form Designer.  
    'Do not modify it using the code editor.
    <System.Diagnostics.DebuggerStepThrough()> _
    Private Sub InitializeComponent()
		Me.RichTextBox1 = New System.Windows.Forms.RichTextBox()
		Me.Button1 = New System.Windows.Forms.Button()
		Me.TextBox1 = New System.Windows.Forms.TextBox()
		Me.Label1 = New System.Windows.Forms.Label()
		Me.BackgroundWorker1 = New System.ComponentModel.BackgroundWorker()
		Me.SuspendLayout()
		'
		'RichTextBox1
		'
		Me.RichTextBox1.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(13, 13)
		Me.RichTextBox1.Name = "RichTextBox1"
		Me.RichTextBox1.ReadOnly = True
		Me.RichTextBox1.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(368, 239)
		Me.RichTextBox1.TabIndex = 0
		Me.RichTextBox1.Text = ""
		'
		'Button1
		'
		Me.Button1.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(305, 258)
		Me.Button1.Name = "Button1"
		Me.Button1.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(75, 23)
		Me.Button1.TabIndex = 1
		Me.Button1.Text = "Ping Me!"
		Me.Button1.UseVisualStyleBackColor = True
		'
		'TextBox1
		'
		Me.TextBox1.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(79, 259)
		Me.TextBox1.Name = "TextBox1"
		Me.TextBox1.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(220, 20)
		Me.TextBox1.TabIndex = 2
		'
		'Label1
		'
		Me.Label1.AutoSize = True
		Me.Label1.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(12, 262)
		Me.Label1.Name = "Label1"
		Me.Label1.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(61, 13)
		Me.Label1.TabIndex = 3
		Me.Label1.Text = "IP Address:"
		'
		'BackgroundWorker1
		'
		Me.BackgroundWorker1.WorkerReportsProgress = True
		'
		'Form1
		'
		Me.AutoScaleDimensions = New System.Drawing.SizeF(6.0!, 13.0!)
		Me.AutoScaleMode = System.Windows.Forms.AutoScaleMode.Font
		Me.ClientSize = New System.Drawing.Size(393, 293)
		Me.Controls.Add(Me.Label1)
		Me.Controls.Add(Me.TextBox1)
		Me.Controls.Add(Me.Button1)
		Me.Controls.Add(Me.RichTextBox1)
		Me.Name = "Form1"
		Me.Text = "Form1"
		Me.ResumeLayout(False)
		Me.PerformLayout()

	End Sub
	Friend WithEvents RichTextBox1 As System.Windows.Forms.RichTextBox
	Friend WithEvents Button1 As System.Windows.Forms.Button
	Friend WithEvents TextBox1 As System.Windows.Forms.TextBox
	Friend WithEvents Label1 As System.Windows.Forms.Label
	Friend WithEvents BackgroundWorker1 As System.ComponentModel.BackgroundWorker

End Class

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Produces the following output when ran:Initial startup, enter an IP valuePing ouput redirected to RichTextBox
2.  Redesign your application as a console application and use command line parameters.  But then, you might as well just use a batch file or vb script if that is the case.

-saige-
0
 

Author Comment

by:derek7467
Comment Utility
But the below psexec process actually works.  IM just having trouble making the new one.  The below code i use on a different button to open regedit on a remote computer, and it works fine.

Dim pstools As String = "C:\SWDEPOT\SD Remote Tool\PSTools"
            Try
                Dim p As New Process()
                p.StartInfo.FileName = "C:\SWDEPOT\SD Remote Tool\PSTools\PsExec.exe"
                p.StartInfo.Arguments = "-s" & " " & "-i" & " " & "-d" & " " & "\\" & targetpc & " " & Chr(34) & "regedit" & Chr(34)
                p.Start()
                p.StartInfo.CreateNoWindow = True
                p.WaitForExit()
            Catch ex As Exception
                MsgBox("Remote Workstation Unavailable", , "Information")
            End Try

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0
 

Author Comment

by:derek7467
Comment Utility
going to use the below method to do this instead of psexec:

Private Sub adduserasadmin()
        Dim localusrname As String = "jdoe"
        Dim PCNAME As String = TextBox1.Text
        'Dim localusrname As String = UserNameTxtBx.Text
        Dim LCL As New DirectoryEntry("WinNT://" &amp; PCNAME &amp; ",computer")
        Dim DOM As New DirectoryEntry("WinNT://test.net")
        Dim DOMUSR As DirectoryEntry = DOM.Children.Find(localusrname, "user")
        Dim LCLGRP As DirectoryEntry = LCL.Children.Find("Administrators", "group")

        LCLGRP.Invoke("Add", New Object() {DOMUSR.Path.ToString})

    End Sub

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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:it_saige
Comment Utility
I don't doubt that your command runs (in either case).  But if you are not getting the expected results then you need to determine why.  The way that you determine why is by redirecting the console output, whether to a rich textbox or textbox as I have shown above, to a log file or some other means.

-saige-
0
 

Author Comment

by:derek7467
Comment Utility
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for derek7467's comment #a40483130

for the following reason:

better solution
0
 
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Kimputer
Comment Utility
Both solutions would have worked. In my case, I clearly said

If the first command really works, mimic it in your code.

You would know you're missing the "net" command.

The second solution would grant you insight on the error.
It would probably say "localgroup is not a valid command", thereby also directing you to put the "net" command in front of your code.

That you found a better solution is totally besides the point in question (even though it looks better, or even works better, the solution was provided by experts)
0
 

Author Comment

by:derek7467
Comment Utility
experts did not provide the solution.  Even when using net it still didnt work
0
 

Author Comment

by:derek7467
Comment Utility
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

identifying business info
0
 
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:it_saige
Comment Utility
Simply modifying my solution to use psexec with your initial command line parameters produces the following output:Capture.JPG

This give's you the reason that your command was not working as "PsExec could not start localgroup administrators paul /add on localhost".  This simply means that localgroup is not a valid command.

I believe that you were trying to do this:
Dim [process] As Process = New Process()
Dim startInfo As ProcessStartInfo = New ProcessStartInfo() With _
    { _
  .Arguments = String.Format("-s -i -d \\{0} net localgroup administrators {1} /add", targetpc, tbUser.Text), _
  .CreateNoWindow = True, _
  .FileName = "C:\_admin\PsTools\psexec.exe", _
  .RedirectStandardError = True, _
  .RedirectStandardOutput = True, _
  .UseShellExecute = False _
    }

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Which does execute and produces intended results.  (which is what Kimputer also recommended).Capture.JPG
-saige-
0
 
LVL 32

Accepted Solution

by:
it_saige earned 500 total points
Comment Utility
Also in the above, if you want the return value from your command then do not use the -d switch.Capture.JPG
I am getting an error code of 1.  Which means that net was not successful.  Net was not successful because paul does not exist as a local username.

-saige-
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