PowerShell for Windows Admins

August 21, 2012  2:09 PM

Windows 8 upgrade experience: #1

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

I’ve upgraded two machines to Windows 8

The first is my main working laptop:

  • Windows 8 Enterprise can’t do an in place upgrade of Windows 7 Ultimate. So had to re-install all my applications. Took the opportunity to upgrade to Office 2013 and Visual Studio 2012
  • Following installed and work:
    • Adobe Digital Editions
    • Camtasia
    • Snaggit
    • Live mail 2012
    • Palm eReader
    • Skype
  • Magic Disk is no longer required because Windows 8 can mount .iso files in the file system.  Right click an .iso file in File Explorer and Mount is the first choice on the context menu
  • Windows defender now does Anti-Virus


The second machine was my Dell Duo:

  • Installed windows 8 as an upgrade to Windows 7 Home premium
  • Kindle for PCs doesn’t work on Windows 8. Download the free Kindle app from the Microsoft  store. Its not obvious where the downloaded books are stored
  • The DUO is a hybrid netbook/tablet. The accelerometer stopped working post upgrade meaning the screen didn’t rotate. Not good for a tablet. Dell don’t appear to do an updated driver but a web search found the issue was fixable using the Samsung driver from http://www.samsung.com/global/windowspreview/
  • Running as a tablet swipe & touch all seem to work OK

One draw back to the Kindle app is that it only seems able to access ebooks through the Amazon store. With Kindle for windows PC I could add books in from other sources. Stopping this is a backward step.  Luckily I have other means of reading those ebooks

August 19, 2012  2:38 AM

PowerShell v3 goodness

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

Downloaded and installed PowerShell v3 and its associated new operating system (Windows 8) from MSDN in the week.

One nice new cmdlet is Unblock-File.

Download a bunch of files from the Internet and you have to unblock them.  Its now this easy

Get-ChildItem -Filter *.d* | Unblock-File

July 28, 2012  3:02 AM

UK PowerShell Group session–31 July 2012 *** CANCELLED

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

Next weeks session


is CANCELLED due to illness.

I’ll reschedule for late August / early September

July 12, 2012  12:21 PM

PowerShell in Depth Offer

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

Would you like a copy of PowerShell in Depth signed by the authors plus a DVD narrated by the authors demoing many of the concepts in the booK? Oh and the book is signed by all three authors and is parted of a limited edition?

You would?

Then visit




Its a limited one off offer & when they’re gone – they’re gone

July 11, 2012  12:28 PM

UK PowerShell Group session–31 July 2012

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

When: Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012 7:30 PM (BST)

Where: Virtual


Workflow is one of the big new features in PowerShell v3. This session introduces how it works and some of the quirks associated with this new technology


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July 5, 2012  1:08 PM

PowerShell and XenDesktop recording

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

The recording from last nights PowerShell group session – PowerShell and XenDesktop is available from



The slides and demo are available from




July 3, 2012  11:37 AM

PowerShell and XenDesktop

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway


Jonathan Medd will be presenting tomorrow @ 8.30 BST on PowerShell and XenDesktop


Details from


July 2, 2012  1:40 PM

Free books 27 June 2012

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

Want some free ebooks?

Check out


July 2, 2012  1:34 PM


Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

You may have noticed that I mention WMI from time to time


Up to now WMI has been a Windows technology. Powerful but limited to Windows.  WMI has taken a giant step into the big bad world with the creation of OMI – Open Management Infrastructure thats WMI for non-Windows systems

Details are here




Expect more on this in the months to come

June 26, 2012  1:50 PM

Write-Host Wrong!

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway

Many scripting languages require you explicitly write out to screen – VBScript was an example.

This leads to PowerShell that looks like this

Get-Service |
foreach {
  Write-Host $_.Name, $_.Status

This is bad on so many levels.

Firstly you are doing too much work. Secondly you are emitting text not objects. Thirdly you are doing too much work.

Get-Service |
Format-Table Name, Status –AutoSize

gives a much better result and if you are working at the prompt can be aliased to

gsv | ft Name, Status –a

The last act of the pipeline is to pass the data to Out-Default which performs the screen writing.  Write-Host also passes data to Out-Default which effectively terminates the pipeline.

You should always format the data for display as far into the processing as you possibly can. Once you have called a format cmdlet or Write-Host you have terminated the pipeline.

The best you will get is the text representation that would have been displayed on screen. The worst is garbage output.

So if you want to create a HTML report then

Get-Service |
Select Name, Status |
ConvertTo-Html |
Out-File test.htm

Invoke-Item test.htm

Stick with objects and let the pipeline do the work

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