When you compose an LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) query, or a DSQUERY query, or an Adfind.exe query, you can test an attribute to be NOT EQUAL by preceding the attribute name with an exclamation mark (!).

Examples:

If you query all users and display their sAMAccountName and distinguishedName, using: <font size="1">dsquery * domainroot -filter "(&(objectCategory=Person)(objectClass=User))" -attr sAMAccountName distinguishedName -limit 0</font>the output might look like:
  sAMAccountName      distinguishedName
  Administrator       CN=Administrator,CN=Users,DC=JSIINC,DC=COM
  Guest               CN=Guest,CN=Users,DC=JSIINC,DC=COM
  Jerry               CN=Jerold Schulman,CN=Users,DC=JSIINC,DC=COM
  Jennifer            CN=Jennifer Schulman,CN=Users,DC=JSIINC,DC=COM
  test                CN=test,CN=Users,DC=JSIINC,DC=COM
  John.Doe            CN=John Doe,CN=Users,DC=JSIINC,DC=COM
  Jane.Doe            CN=Jane Doe,CN=Users,DC=JSIINC,DC=COM
If you them specified that the sAMAccountName should NOT contain an S anywhere within the string, using dsquery * domainroot -filter "(&(objectCategory=Person)(objectClass=User)<b>(!sAMAccountName=*s*)</b>)" -attr sAMAccountName distinguishedName -limit 0the output would look like:
  sAMAccountName    distinguishedName
  Jerry             CN=Jerold Schulman,CN=Users,DC=JSIINC,DC=COM
  Jennifer          CN=Jennifer Schulman,CN=Users,DC=JSIINC,DC=COM
  John.Doe          CN=John Doe,CN=Users,DC=JSIINC,DC=COM
  Jane.Doe          CN=Jane Doe,CN=Users,DC=JSIINC,DC=COM
If you then specified that the sAMAccountName should NOT contain an S anywhere within the string, AND, should not contain a period (.) anywhere within the string, by using: dsquery * domainroot -filter "(&(objectCategory=Person)(objectClass=User)<b>(!sAMAccountName=*s*)(!sAMAccountName=*.*)</b>)" -attr sAMAccountName distinguishedName -limit 0the output would look like:
  sAMAccountName    distinguishedName
  Jerry             CN=Jerold Schulman,CN=Users,DC=JSIINC,DC=COM
  Jennifer          CN=Jennifer Schulman,CN=Users,DC=JSIINC,DC=COM
NOTE: See How can I filter an Active Directory query using a bitwise flag?

NOTE: See How can I filter an Active Directory query by testing an attribute to be this OR that?

NOTE: See What operators can I use when filtering an Active Directory query?