Redirecting Well Known Containers (CN=Users; CN=Computers etc.)

In this post we will see the Powershell way of redirecting Users and Computers containers (i.e. Powershell equivalent of tools: redirusr.exe and redircmp.exe).

By now you might know that you can use Get-ADDomain cmdlet for viewing the well-known containers of a domain, For example:

PS C:\Users\Administrator.DSWAMIPAT-W7-V1> Get-ADDomain | select *Container

ComputersContainer : CN=Computers,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
DeletedObjectsContainer : CN=Deleted Objects,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
DomainControllersContainer : OU=Domain Controllers,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
ForeignSecurityPrincipalsContainer : CN=ForeignSecurityPrincipals,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
LostAndFoundContainer : CN=LostAndFound,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
QuotasContainer : CN=NTDS Quotas,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
SystemsContainer : CN=System,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
UsersContainer : OU=SwamTempOU,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com

However, Get-ADDomain cmdlet does not show you all the well-known containers. For example some lesser known containers such as: Program Data Container, Managed Service Account Container (which is technically an Other-Well-Known container) etc. are missing. Also, one cannot change/redirect a well-known container to some other OU using Set-ADDomain cmdlets.

These limitations can be easily overcome using Get-ADObject and Set-ADObject cmdlets. This blog discusses how to do these tasks using ADObject cmdlets and also provides easy-to-use functions for them.

Fetching well-known containers is really simple. All you have to do is read the wellKnownObjects and otherWellKnownObjects properties of the domain’s default naming context.

PS C:\Users\Administrator.DSWAMIPAT-W7-V1> Get-ADObject (Get-ADRootDSE).DefaultNamingContext -Properties otherWellKnownObjects, wellKnownObjects | fl OtherWellKnownObjects, wellKnownObjects

OtherWellKnownObjects : {B:32:1EB93889E40C45DF9F0C64D23BBB6237:OU=TestMSAOU,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com}
wellKnownObjects : {B:32:A9D1CA15768811D1ADED00C04FD8D5CD:OU=SwamTempOU,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com, B:32:6227F0AF1FC2410D8E3BB10615BB5B0F:CN=NTDS Quotas,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com, B:32:F4BE92A4C777485E878E9421D53087DB:CN=Microsoft,CN=Program Data,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com, B:32:09460C08AE1E4A4EA0F64AEE7DAA1E5A:CN=Program Data, DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com...}

These properties contain a list of well-known object containers by GUID and distinguished name. Of course you must know the GUID of the container that you are looking for, to find its value.

Also, changing/redirecting a well-known container can be done using Set-ADObject cmdlet by removing the old value from wellKnownObjects/otherWellKnownObjects attribute on the default naming context (i.e. DC=domainname,DC=com) and adding a new value. For example in order to redirect the Users container, one would run the following command:

PS C:\Users\Administrator.DSWAMIPAT-W7-V1> Set-ADObject (Get-ADRootDSE).DefaultNamingContext -Remove @{wellKnownObjects = "B:32:A9D1CA15768811D1ADED00C04FD8D5CD:CN=Users,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com" } -Add @{wellKnownObjects = "B:32:A9D1CA15768811D1ADED00C04FD8D5CD:OU=SwamTempOU,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com" } -server (Get-ADDomain).PDCEmulator

NOTE: The operation must be performed on the Primary domain controller (PDC).

Though it is feasible to use Get-ADObject and Set-ADObject cmdlets to read and manipulate well known containers, it is cumbersome. I have written few functions that would Get and Set the values of these containers.

In order to express the container name in a user-friendly way (rather than a cryptic GUID) I have created a new Enum called: WellKnownGuid. (I used a modified version of Add-Enum script described here in order to create the Enum)

There are two functions Get-XADWellKnownContainer and Set-XADWellKnownContainer that would get and set the value of a well-known container identified by its WellKnownGuid.


PS C:\Users\Administrator.DSWAMIPAT-W7-V1> Get-XADWellKnownContainer UsersContainer

PS C:\Users\Administrator.DSWAMIPAT-W7-V1> Get-XADWellKnownContainer ComputersContainer

For getting the values of all the Well-known containers of a domain type this:

PS C:\Users\Administrator.DSWAMIPAT-W7-V1> [Enum]::GetNames([WellKnownGuid]) | %{ $_.PadRight(30) + " : "+(Get-XADWellKnownContainer $_)}
UsersContainer : OU=SwamTempOU,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
ComputersContainer : CN=Computers,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
SystemsContainer : CN=System,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
DCContainer : OU=Domain Controllers,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
InfrastructureContainer : CN=Infrastructure,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
DeletedObjectsContainer : CN=Deleted Objects,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
LostAndFoundContainer : CN=LostAndFound,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
ForeignSecurityPrincipalContainer : CN=ForeignSecurityPrincipals,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
ProgramDataContainer : CN=Program Data,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
MicrosoftProgramDataContainer : CN=Microsoft,CN=Program Data,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
NtdsQuotasContainer : CN=NTDS Quotas,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com
ManagedServiceAccountContainer : OU=LeakTestOU,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com

For changing/redirecting a well-known container simply pass the container name and new DN to Set-XADWellKnownContainer function.


PS C:\Users\Administrator.DSWAMIPAT-W7-V1> Set-XADWellKnownContainer  UsersContainer CN=Users,DC=dswamipat-w7-vm1,DC=nttest,DC=microsoft,DC=com"

PS C:\Users\Administrator.DSWAMIPAT-W7-V1> Get-XADWellKnownContainer UsersContainer

The script that contains these functions can be found attached to this blog.

For more information on well-known containers, read this: Binding to Well-Known Objects using WKGUID.




Comments (8)

  1. no dont says:

    dont ry this stuff it can break your AD

  2. coderaven says:


    All Active Directory modifications must be taken with caution. Make sure you know what you are doing before you start to make changes you do not understand.

  3. Lepide says:

    1: public partial class RedirectingContainer : TemplatePage

      2: {

      3:     private PageData _redirectTarget = null;


      5:     protected override void OnInit(EventArgs e)

      6:     {

      7:         base.OnInit(e);

      8:         // Detect edit mode by checking for underscore (workpage prefix) in id

      9:         if (!(Request.QueryString["id"] ?? String.Empty).Contains("_"))

     10:         {

     11:             // Perform redirect immediately

     12:             Response.Redirect(RedirectTarget.LinkURL);

     13:         }

     14:     }


     16:     protected override void OnLoad(EventArgs e)

     17:     {

     18:         base.OnLoad(e);

     19:         // Display a link to the redirect page

     20:         hlRedirect.NavigateUrl = RedirectTarget.LinkURL;

     21:         hlRedirect.Text = String.Format("{0} ({1})", RedirectTarget.PageName, RedirectTarget.PageLink.ID);

     22:     }


     24:     protected PageData RedirectTarget

     25:     {

     26:         get

     27:         {

     28:             if (_redirectTarget == null)

     29:             {

     30:                 // Get specified page or parent if empty

     31:                 PageReference pageLink = (PageReference)(CurrentPage["ContainerRedirectTarget"] ?? PageReference.EmptyReference);

     32:                 // Make sure the redirect target is not the current page (avoid infinite loop)

     33:                 pageLink = (PageReference.IsNullOrEmpty(pageLink) || pageLink.Equals(CurrentPage.PageLink)) ? CurrentPage.ParentLink : pageLink;

     34:                 _redirectTarget = DataFactory.Instance.GetPage(pageLink);


     36:             }

     37:             return _redirectTarget;

     38:         }

     39:     }

     40: }

    The above code can be used for the task as well

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