PowerShell for Windows Admins

May 14, 2014  10:51 AM

Provider is not capable of the attempted operation

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

A question on the (powershell.org) forum described a situation where the user was trying to use Set-WmiInstance to set a property on a particular WMI class instance.

The attempt failed and the message “Provider is not capable of the attempted operation” was part of the reported exception.

This message very often indicates that you are trying to write to a readonly property – which was the case here.  The class was Win32_SystemEnclosure and the property was SMBIOSAssetTag.

If you use get-member

Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_SystemEnclosure | Get-Member

and look at the SMBIOSAssetTag property you’ll see this

SMBIOSAssetTag            Property      string SMBIOSAssetTag {get;set;}

BUT that’s not right because if you look at the documentation at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa394474%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

you’ll see this:


Data type: string
Access type: Read-only

Asset tag number of the system enclosure.

Get-Member doesn’t report correctly on whether a WMI class’ property is readonly.  The best way to find out is to use Get-CimClass

£> $class = Get-CimClass Win32_SystemEnclosure

£> $class.CimClassProperties[‘SMBIOSAssetTag’]

Name               : SMBIOSAssetTag

Value              :

CimType            : String

Flags              : Property, ReadOnly, NullValue

Qualifiers         : {MappingStrings, read}

ReferenceClassName :

And you can see in the flags that the property is ReadOnly.

Get-CimClass should be your starting point when investigating WMI classes.

May 13, 2014  12:45 PM

Working with Server Core–renaming the machine

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

When you create a new Windows server it usually assigns a name of its own. I always prefer using my own names for servers – I usually create the name so it gives some indication of the machine’s purpose.

Renaming a computer is simple

On the local computer run

Rename-Computer -NewName test01 -Force –Restart

This will rename the computer and force the restart.

If you want to do this remotely the cmdlet has a –ComputerName parameter plus the ability to define local or domain credentials.

May 12, 2014  1:07 PM

Working with Server Core–setting IP addresses

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

When you create a new Windows machine it defaults to using DHCP to get an IP address. While that is fine for client machines most people apply a static address to their servers. Up until Windows 2012 you had 2 choices – use the GUI or use PowerShell and WMI.

Server 2012 introduced a host of cmdlets for administering your network settings.  Setting an IP address is simple as this:

New-NetIPAddress -InterfaceIndex 12 -IPAddress ‘’ -AddressFamily IPv4 -PrefixLength 24

I haven’t used it but you can also set the default gateway which would make the command

New-NetIPAddress -InterfaceIndex 12 -IPAddress ‘’ -AddressFamily IPv4 -PrefixLength 24 -DefaultGateway ‘’

The DNS server addresses can be set like this

Set-DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceIndex 12 -ServerAddresses ‘’

The cmdlets are from the NetTCPIP and DnsClient modules respectively.


May 11, 2014  4:43 AM

PowerShell Summit Europe 2014 – Call for Topics

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

The PowerShell Summit is the number one place where PowerShell enthusiasts gather and learn from each other in fast-paced, knowledge packed presentations. Experts from all over the world including MVP’s, Guru’s, and PowerShell team members, join together for a few days to discuss and learn how to maximize using PowerShell in the workplace.

And now the PowerShell Summit is coming to Europe. PowerShell Summit Europe 2014 will be held September 29, 30, and October 1 at the Hotel Park in Amsterdam, Holland. http://powershell.org/wp/community-events/summit/powershell-summit-europe/ If you want to share your PowerShell expertise, then this is your official call to submit presentations for selection!

Topic Areas – What we are looking for W

e are looking for 45-minute presentations covering a wide aspect of PowerShell expertise. We have three main topic areas that may assist you in building an abstract. • PowerShell Internals – A deep look into the inside workings of PowerShell and practical solutions that are built from them. These presentations are more focused on the PowerShell development community that is building extensions and solutions relating to PowerShell. • PowerShell in Production – These presentations are focused on domain specific PowerShell solutions for IT Pro’s such as managing Exchange, System Center, IIS, SharePoint, VMware and more. • PowerShell Features Deep Dive – These presentations are a deep look into configuring and working with PowerShell features and capabilities such as PowerShell Remoting, PowerShell Web Access, Reporting and more.

We are open to presentations across the entire ecosystem that has been built around PowerShell; so don’t hesitate to send an abstract for your particular area of expertise. And don’t think, “oh, I can’t do a presentation!” We aren’t looking for Toastmasters winners – we’re looking for folks to be a part of the community! Take the leap and present! Each session is only 35 minutes, with 10 minutes for Q&A!

Presentation submissions – What you should send to us

Presentations will be 45-minutes in length (planning for 30-40 minutes of material and 5-15 minutes of Q&A) and the submission should include the following: • Presentation Title • Presentation abstract – a description of the presentation and the topics covered. 100 words or less and suitable for marketing. • 50 word biography

You can submit multiple presentations in the same topic area or for different ones.

What you get if you present

The European Summit is working to a very tight budget as this is the first time we are running it. Compensation for speakers will be free admission (not free Association for Windows PowerShell Professionals membership, http://powershell.org/wp/association-for-windows-powershell-professionals, just free admission, which includes food). We will not reimburse hotel, expenses, or travel. It’s important that speakers not register for the conference, because we will not be refunding you if you do that. The financial situation may change to a certain degree if the event sells out but we can’t cover all of your expenses as a speaker and we can’t make any guarantees at this stage.

We also ask that you help publicize the event.

Presentation submission deadline – When you should send it by

Start sending your presentation submissions immediately! The selection committee will start selecting presentations as soon as they arrive so you don’t want to miss out. The last day we will accept presentation submissions will be May 23, 2014. Send your proposals to cft2014eu@powershell.org. Please either put multiple proposals in a Word doc, or send just one proposal in the body of an email, so that we can track these more easily.

When you will know you’ve been selected

The selection committee will start reviewing submissions immediately and begin the selection process. You will be informed if one or more of your presentations have been selected and sent a contract on or before June 14, 2014. You will need to return the signed contract by June 21, 2014.

The final agenda will be announced early July and posted on PowerShell.Org. We look forward to your submissions and your help in making PowerShell Summit Europe 2014 your most valuable IT/Dev conference of the year!

April 30, 2014  8:39 AM

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

We are trying to raise the money to purchase equipment to record the sessions at future PowerShell Summit’s


If you can help us – please do.

There have been some amazing sessions this year – when you watch people’s jaws drop you know the content is great.

If we can record the sessions attendees can see the sessions they missed and non-attendees can see what they are missing

Thank you

April 29, 2014  7:39 AM

Update on Office error

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

Back in this post http://richardspowershellblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/powershell-3-and-word/

I showed that this code

$word = New-Object -ComObject “Word.application”

$word.visible = $true

$doc = $word.Documents.Add()


$word.Selection.Font.Name = “Cambria”

$word.Selection.Font.Size = “20”



$word.Selection.Font.Name = “Calibri”

$word.Selection.Font.Size = “12”

$word.Selection.TypeText(“The best scripting language in the world!”)


$file = “c:\test1.doc”



Wouldn’t work because of an error in the way [REF] was treated. I had a comment left on the post saying it worked on PowerShell v4.

I’ve tested on PowerShell v4 on Windows 8.1 with Office 2013. It works. I can’t vouch for other combinations but it looks the problem has been resolved.

If you have the opportunity please try it and let me know if it doesn’t work for your particular combination of PowerShell v4, Windows and Office

April 29, 2014  7:20 AM

PowerShell Summit NA 2014–day 1

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

Day one of the Summit has been and gone and it has lived up to expectations. With more attendees and more sessions than last year this is the place to be if you want your PowerShell questions answered.

One of the highlights of day 1 was Steve Muraski’s sessions on DSC. He has recorded them and will be making them available – I’ll post the link when available.

April 25, 2014  3:49 PM

To the Summit

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

Off to the PowerShell Summit tomorrow morning – 3 days of wall to wall PowerShell with some of the most knowledgeable people in the world.  Its going to be fun.

More details of the European Summit will be coming soon – remember its 20 September – 1 October in Amsterdam

April 21, 2014  10:40 AM

Working with Server Core–Domain join

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

Windows Server can be installed in two ways – full fat GUI or Server Core.  The latter is Windows without Windows.  The GUI components are stripped off and you’re just left with the core components.  This results in a smaller server – I’ve got 2 machines running in my Hyper-V test environment. Both are set to use dynamic memory with 512MB startup RAM. The full GUI machine needs 1126MB while the Server Core version needs 566MB.

With Server Core all you get is a prompt for administration – unfortunately its cmd.exe but typing powershell starts PowerShell – including running a profile.

Without a GUI you need to use the command line to do everything – I’ll be doing my demos at the PowerShell Summit from Server Core machines so some things will have to wait until after then – and I’m going to do a series on posts on administering Server Core machines.

I’ve already shown you  how to test if your machine is activated.  This how you join it to the domain.

Make sure that the IP and DNS server addresses have been set so the machine can find a domain controller.

$cred = Get-Credential

Add-Computer -Credential $cred -DomainName sphinx -Restart

Create a credential for the account that can join the machine to the domain.  use Add-Computer and supply the credential and domain name. The –ReStart parameter forces a restart post domain join.

if you want to see the results of calling Add-Computer then drop the restart switch and use Restart-Computer whenever you want the restart to happen

April 19, 2014  7:52 AM

Subnets and prefixes

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

Sounds a bit like an old time role playing game but is actually a useful piece of knowledge.

You can define a subnet mask in 2 ways. Either use the full mask e.g. or define the number of bits in the mask e.gg 21 which is known as the prefixlength in the PowerShell networking cmdlets.

But can you relate a full subnet mask to the number of bits. Some are obvious but the others I need to work out.

Time for a quick PowerShell function:

function show-subnetmask{

foreach ($prefixlength in 8..30) {

switch ($prefixlength){

{$_ -gt 24}


$bin = (‘1’ * ($prefixlength – 24)).PadRight(8, ‘0’)

$o4 = [convert]::ToInt32($bin.Trim(),2)

$mask = “255.255.255.$o4”



{$_ -eq 24}


$mask = ‘’



{$_ -gt 16 -and $_ -lt 24}


$bin = (‘1’ * ($prefixlength – 16)).PadRight(8, ‘0’)

$o3 = [convert]::ToInt32($bin.Trim(),2)

$mask = “255.255.$o3.0”



{$_ -eq 16}


$mask = ‘’



{$_ -gt 8 -and $_ -lt 16}


$bin = (‘1’ * ($prefixlength – 8)).PadRight(8, ‘0’)

$o2 = [convert]::ToInt32($bin.Trim(),2)

$mask = “255.$o2.0.0”



{$_ -eq 8}


$mask = ‘’





$mask = ‘’



New-Object -TypeName psobject -Property @{

PrefixLength = $prefixlength

Subnetmask = $mask




Most people will be using subnets between 8 and 30 bits in length so start with that range and for each value work through the switch statement. If the value is 8,16 or 24 the subnet mask can be set directly. Otherwise it needs to be calculated. The calculations are the same – the difference is which octet of the subnet mask is affected.

For instance if the prefix length is between 16 and 24 (exclusive)

$bin = (‘1’ * ($prefixlength – 16)).PadRight(8, ‘0’)

$o3 = [convert]::ToInt32($bin.Trim(),2)

$mask = “255.255.$o3.0”


Convert the number to a binary representation – the amount you need to subtract depends on the octet with which you are working

Convert the binary to an integer and insert into the subnet mask string.

An object is output that has the subnet mask and prefix length as properties.

Put the function in a module on your module path and you’ll be able to use it as a quick lookup when you need to convert subnet masks to prefix lengths or vice versa

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