Powershell Here

Remember the Power Toys where you could add open prompt here? Did you know there is an even easier way?

Navigating the file system isn’t that hard in the Powershell CLI to start with considering tab completion and all of that but there is an even easier way….

In your file explorer window type powershell in the address bar. A new Powershell window will start and as the included video a simple get-location will show your working directory is same as the explorer window you launched powershell from. It may look different than what you expect when starting the Powershell CLI but you can change that with the window’s defaults settings.


A quick example (video) here.


Very handy

mukesh notes

This PowerShell script can be used to download some of the common cloud (Azure and AWS) management tools available on Windows Platform.

Earlier I had seen Download and Install SharePoint 2013 Prerequisites on Windows Server 2012.  However this technet script uses Start-BitsTransfer cmdlet from BitsTransfer module. I was toying with similar idea while working on my last workshop (Cloud Automation Using PowerShell) preparation. Since some of the URLs do redirect the Start-BitsTransfer wasn’t working for me initially.

I started with simple Invoke-WebRequest cmdlet and added second variation to handle redirected URLs and pass it to Start-BitsTransfer. So let’s go through the script and output for the both the approaches.

I am using Downloads directory to store the files. For demo I have created CloudTools folder inside. I already have AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell downloaded in the folder.


I am already into the working directory where the script is saved.

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Episode 166 – Alan Renouf talks PowerCLI

Great episode, especially if you are starting to use PowerCLI.

PowerScripting Podcast

A Podcast about Windows PowerShell.

In This Episode

Tonight on the PowerScripting Podcast, we talk to Alan Renouf about PowerCLI!


This segment brought to you by Start-Automating

Start Scripting to Your Fullest Potential.  At Start-Automating, we can help you unleash the full Power of PowerShell V2.  You can use our deep PowerShell expertise to build rich PowerShell solutions, or we can train you to use PowerShell like a pro. Isn’t it time you Save-Time, Save-Money, and Start-Automating?  Find out more at Start-Automating.com.


Chatroom Buzz

[21:53:59] <Josh_Atwell> ### ? for Alan…do you think PowerCLI would be as popular without the strong community it has?

[21:59:15] * BartekB blushing like teenage girl

[22:00:55] <JHofferle> ## How big can an environment get before you just *can’t* manage it without PowerCLI?

[22:03:30] <JHofferle> ## So vcheck…

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New Gig

So I have been working at this new gig for over two weeks now.   Personal note, my hesitation about being a contractor were valid for sure.  So  a  few odd things as I started this new spot, Windows 7 on the desktop which in previous shops making the move to Windows 7 is probably a year away at least.  In terms of Powershell, it  would seem no one is using it and the one person I have  encountered  that does scripting, he shuns powershell and instead uses ASP and vbscript.  I have started applying and showing how not just for scripting, Powershell could make some of their processes much easier.  I will post more when I have some free time…


Yes, there are some duplicates from my other blog.  Sorry about that but I am experimenting with moving my blog.  The Go Daddy admin tools are just too tedious and with the constant wordpress updates, it just seems like time to explore an alternative.

First annoyance here is displaying code.  Since this is primarily powershell code oriented, that is a big gotcha so I will be experimenting to see if I can work around it.

Version 2 vs CTP3 – Test-connection

Interesting little discovery.  Working an a new Windows2008 R2 Server I started working with the test-connection cmdlet.  After testing some code I was ready to reduce some lines of code in some production scripts.  I quickly found out that test-connection <machine name> –quiet doesn’t work.  This would have helped because in current scripts there is an elaborate use of ping and reading the results which with Powershell V2 can be replaced with:

if (test-connection <machine name or ip> -quiet){ 

    # Some code here } 

Else {"Can not contact target machine"}

Well I will have to put this in the snippet library and put it into action when the full version 2 is available for XP.

Scripting On the Fly

Okay so this code is not the elegant sort of code you see on other sites, it is truly a SysAdmin writing functional code while performing Admin functions (hence why the output is handle on the command line and not inside of the script). 

The patch released this past week to address the critical security vulnerability in Internet Explorer prompted action.  On a Friday evening the call went out to get all servers patched this weekend.  Having gone through this before I also knew someone will be asking for a report of what servers have been patched.  In the past I would have written something in vbscript. 

First step was to verify the WMI portion, to include the segment that would indicate the patch had been installed.  Going back one step, there had been a similar critical patch and was never able to get the Powershell code (V1) to work and ended up going with vbscript.  After verifying the WMI with some test cases, I passed on how to use Powershell to check a server to include offering my colleagues a WMIC alternative.

This code was tweaked several times, as the weekend progressed.  The final step was to provide more feedback.  At first it would just report, could not connect, installed and not installed.  I knew people would raise the eyebrows with that information.  I knew that things such as test-connection failing could be for several reasons and leaving it at “could not connect” would make the report suspect.  Also, the WMI query returning no data could mean the patch wasn’t installed but it could be because of other reasons such as Access Denied or RPC issues.

So the process was, patch a server while the code was running, keep checking the output looking for anomalies.  Then with some extra time I started looking at how I could include the current error data to the output instead of the generalized result I was presenting at first.

Below is the code, caution any of you Powershell purists because it might not be pretty but seems to work. 🙂

#requires -Version 2



      Checks for install status of KB978207.


      Uses a source file of server names, makes sure the server can be connected to,

      then uses WMI to query the QFE information.  Looks for the instance in the QFE

      where HotFixID matches 978207.  


      c:\temp\run.ps1 | out-file c:\temp\audwstats.txt




function chk-updt {

$curError=$Error.count    # establish current index of the error variable

$qfedat = gwmi win32_quickfixengineering -computer $server  |  where {$_.hotfixid -like "*978207*"}

      #if no data is returned the qfedat variable will be null

      if ($qfedat -eq $Null){

      # Since no data was returned check to see if that was because of an error, if so report the 

      # returned error message

          if ($Error.count -gt $curError){$server + ": " + $Error[0].Exception.Message}

          # No error generated by WMI query so consider the patch not installed

          else {"Patch not installed on " + $server}

       } # Finished processing Null $qfedat

      # An instance was returned therefore the patch has been installed 

      else {$qfedat.HotFixID + " Installed on " + $server}

}  # end chk-updt


# Format report header



$ErrorActionPreference="SilentlyContinue"       # Keep the screen chatter done and continue after error


$servers = gc c:\temp\full.txt                              # Define array of server names from text file

foreach ($server in $servers) {

      # verify the server can be connected, if it can call the chk-updt function

      if (Test-Connection $server -Count 1){chk-updt}

      # if the server can not be connected, report the specific reason for failure

      else { $server + ": " + $error[0].Exception.Message

          $noconnect=$noconnect +1 }



"Servers Checked:  " + $servers.count 

"Servers not reachable: " + $noconnect




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