How to install Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS)

Jonathan LefebvreActive Directory, SCCM, WINDOWS 102 Comments

One of the challenges faced by workstation administrators, is to manage the local administrator account in large environment. One of the options was to use Group Policy Preferences, but that was before KB2962486 removed the possibility to set password using Group Policy Preferences. Since then, Microsoft as come up with a solution : Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS).

Here’s the benefits of using LAPS :

  • Unique password for local administrator per computer
  • Password available from Active Directory, if needed to use local administrator account
  • Remotly change the local administrator password
  • Ability to use a custom administrator account

Limitation :

  • Only the local administrator account can be managed or a custom local account as administrator.

In this post, we will detail how to install Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS) to manage the local administrator password on a Windows 10 computer.

High-level steps to install Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS)

  • On management computers
    • Install Management tools
  • AD preparation
    • Schema extension
    • Edit permissions (ACL)
  • Group policy configuration
  • GP CSE (Group Policy Client Side Extension) Installation via MSI installation
    • Targetting clients to be managed

Pre-requisite

  • Download LAPS here
    • Download both x86 and x64 version as this MSI will be deployed on clients to be managed
    • Detailed documentation is also available from that link
  • Active Directory requirement
    • Windows Server 2003 SP1 and above
  • Minimum OS requirement
    • Vista with current SP and above
    • Windows Server 2003 with current SP and above
  • .NET Framework 4.0
  • PowerShell 2.0 and above

Management Computer

First step is to install the management tools for LAPS on a computer.

  • Execute LAPS.x64.msi from the downloaded files

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  • Click Next

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  • Accept Terms and click Next

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  • Install all the Management Tools
    • If you plan to manage this computer, you can also install the AdmPwd GPO Extension

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  • Click Install

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  • Click Finish

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  • In the start Menu, LAPS UI is available

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Active Directory preparation

Preparing the Active Directory for LAPS is a two steps configuration :

  • Schema extension
  • Edit permissions (ACL)

Schema Extension

The Active Directory Schema needs to be extended to add two new attributes that store :

  • Passwords of the managed local Administrator account for each computer
  • Timestamp of password expiration

Both attributes are added to the may-contain attribute set of the computer class.

ms-Mcs-AdmPwd – Stores the password in clear text

ms-Mcs-AdmPwdExpirationTime – Stores the time to reset the password

 

Update the Schema 

  • Open up an Administrative PowerShell window and use this command to import the module :
Command
Import-module AdmPwd.PS

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  • To update the Schema, use this command :

Command
Update-AdmPwdADSchema

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Edit permissions

Active Directory permissions should be modified for the following reasons and needs :

  • Remove the default permission
  • Add Computers rights to update the password and expiration  (write)
  • Allow specific user or group to read the password
  • Allow specific user or group to reset (write) the password for a computer

All of those needs are manageable on specific OU and child OU. This will be different for each organisation needs.

For an easy setup, use the PowerShell commands from the module AdmPwd.ps as it will do exactly what we need.

Remove default permission

By default, read permission could be available to many users trough the all extended rights on a Specific OU. This should be uncheck if needed :

  • Open ADSIEdit
  • Right Click on the OU that contains the computer accounts that you are installing this solution on and select Properties
  • Click the Security tab
  • Click Advanced
  • Select the Group(s) or User(s) that you don’t want to be able to read the password and then click Edit
  • Uncheck All extended rights

Allow computers to update password and expiration time

The Write permission on the ms-Mcs-AdmPwdExpirationTime and ms-Mcs-AdmPwd attributes of all computer accounts has to be added to the SELF built-in account. This is required so the machine can update the password and expiration timestamp of its own managed local Administrator password. This is managed per OU.

  • Run the following command to add the rights to SELF built-in account to a specific OU
Command
Set-AdmPwdComputerSelfPermission -OrgUnit “<DistinguishedName of OU>”

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Allow specific user or group to read password

To allow users or groups to read the stored password of the managed local administrator account, the Control_access permission must be given to ms-Mcs-AdmPwd attribute.

  • To do so, run the following Powershell command line :
Command
Set-AdmPwdReadPasswordPermission -OrgUnit “<name of the OU to delegate permissions>” -AllowedPrincipals <users or groups>

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Allow specific user or group to reset password

To allow users or groups to reset the  password for a  managed local administrator account, the write permission must be added on ms-Mcs-AdmPwdExpirationTime .

  • To do so, run the following powershell command line:
Command
Set-AdmPwdResetPasswordPermission -OrgUnit “<name of the OU to delegate permissions>” -AllowedPrincipals <users or groups>

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Group Policy

LAPS is manageable by GPO using a new template.

The templates are located on the management computer :

  • %WINDIR%\PolicyDefinitions\AdmPwd.admx
  • %WINDIR%\PolicyDefinitions\en-US\AdmPwd.adml

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If you use the Central Store, you need to copy both files to \\domain\Sysvol\Policies\PolicyDefinition

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The settings are located under Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\LAPS

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Available settings :

  • Password Settings
    • Complexity
    • Lenght
    • Age(days)
  • Name of the administrator account to manage
    • Do not configure if you use the default name
  • Do not allow password expiration time longer than required by policy
  • Enable local admin password management
    • this must be enabled in order to manage the local administrator password.
Configure and apply GPO just as any other GPO

Clients to be managed

To manage a client, we must install LAPS on it by using the same MSI files downloaded in the prerequisite section :

  • Create a standard package in SCCM

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  • Add a program to that package with the following command line :
Command
msiexec /i LAPS.x64.msi /quiet

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  • Deploy the package to the client you want to manage
  • Package can also be deployed as part of Task sequence

How to read and reset passwords

  • Start LAPS UI from the Start menu

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  • Search for computer name
  • Password is available with expire date and time

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  • To reset the password, select a new Expiration time and click Set

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  • Status of the request is displayed at the bottom

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  • Hit search after a minute or two, and a new password with expiration time will be available

Source : documentation of LAPS

Bonus – Add Laps to SCCM Console

Thanks to Mike -S- for this awesome LAPS  Extension for SCCM console and it works just fine with Current branch (tested with 1602 so far).

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Leave your LAPS experience in the comment section.

Contributor of System Center Dudes. Based in Montreal, Canada, Senior Microsoft SCCM consultant, working in the industry for more than 10 years. He developed a strong knowledge of SCCM and MDT to build automated OS deployment solution for clients, managed large and complexe environment, including Point of Sale (POS) related projects.
How to install Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS)
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2 Comments on “How to install Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS)”

  1. Pingback: Deploying Laps and Integrating with SCCM – Ramblings

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