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Category Archives: Applications

PowerShell – Using PowerShell 5 to automate the installation of your favorite Windows applications

In this blog post I will explain why to automate installations of Windows applications and how you can do this.

Why automate the installation of applications?

But first, why is this useful? Well this depends on your situation and there are probably many good reasons. For me though, it basically boils down to this:

  1. I often reinstall my computers with new (preview) versions of Windows operating systems and having to install applications each time is a waste of time. Also sometimes you forget to install some things.
  2. On a regular basis, friends and family either want me to install or upgrade their PC and I want to provide them with a standard set of programs that most people need/want without having to spend a lot of time on it. By example virus scanner, burning program, media player, codecs, etc.
  3. I want to update existing installed applications to the latest (and hopefully more secure and feature packed) versions.
  4. When installing applications, there are often checkboxes enabled to install other applications (you generally don’t want to install). Automated solutions using packages generally prevent these additional unwanted applications from installing.

Which tools to use to automate the installation of applications?

Before PowerShell 5 preview was released, I used both Ninite and Chocolatey to perform to automate installations. They both have their advantages as described on this wiki page.

The PowerShell 5 preview version of OneGet installs and searches software from Chocolatey repositories, but support of additional repositories will come in subsequent versions.

How to automate the installation of applications using PowerShell 5 preview?

To automate the installation of applications a couple of things are required:

  1. You need to determine which applications you want to install automatically.
  2. You need to determine the package name that Chocolatey uses for this application. Options include:
    -Using a browser to browse the Chocolatey packages
    -Using PowerShell and a part of the name of the application you’re looking for. By example if you’re looking for Irfanview, use:
    Find-Package -Name “fan”
  3. Store the package names to install somewhere (e.g. in a .txt file on OneDrive for easy access). My .txt file by example includes:
    AdobeReader
    Directx
    ffdshow
    Flashplayerplugin
    GoogleChrome
    Imgburn
    IrfanView
    Javaruntime
    Keepassx
    Mp3tag
    mpc-hc
    PDFCreator
    Silverlight
    TeamViewer
    Totalcommander
    Winrar
    greenshot
  4. Use the Install-Package cmdlet to install all the packages whose name is in the file from step 3.
    Install-Package -Name (Get-Content C:\OneDrive\AppsToInstall.txt) -Confirm:$False
  5. Wait for the programs to install

My opinion

It’s great to be able to use PowerShell to install my list of favorite applications similar to like I did with Chocolatey and I’m also looking forward to see what benefits the additional repositories will bring in the future.

I did encounter some errors however while trying to install some applications like Firefox and dotnet3.5. But since it’s still a preview, this will probably be fixed.

For regular users, I think they are better off sticking to by example Ninite because they’re often afraid of anything that involves a CLI.

Blog posts by other people about OneGet

Some other people have also blogged about the OneGet module and have gone in more technical detail, so be sure to take a look at their posts as well:

More information about PowerShell 5 Preview including a download link

Windows Management Framework v5 preview, includes also Desired State Configuration (DSC) improvements and NetworkSwitch commandlets to manage network switches that pass the Certified for Windows Program. For more information including a download link, you can read the initial blog post. : Windows Management Framework V5 Preview

 

 

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LazyWinAdmin – a great powershell script for more efficient Windows management

The last couple of months I’ve been playing around a lot with PowerShell and I’ve also been trying to make some nice GUI versions for my script using PowerShell Studio 2012 from Sapien Technologies Inc. While looking for more information how to best use PowerShell Studio 2012 I came across LazyWinAdmin.

LazyWinAdmin is a great tool created by Francois-Xavier C that will save you a lot of time. It provides you with most of the commonly used tools and commands in a very structured and easy to access way. In the picture below you can see what I mean.

For more info on the tool, take a look at the website and be sure to download and test it yourself.

If you want to take a look at other useful tools I’ve found in the past, take a look at my applications list.

 
 

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Free – Paragon Partition Manager 12 Home Special Edition *only 2 days*

Paragon is giving away “Paragon Partition Manager 12 Home Special Edition” for 2 days if you like them on FaceBook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paragon-Software-Group/116815481437?sk=app_129643070561720&app_data

I don’t know when this offer started, but it would be best to use the offer as quick as you can and at least before the weekend.

I hope it is of use to you.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Applications

 

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VMware – Free e-learning courses and free tool (vCenter Operations Manager Foundation) available

In the last week, a couple of cool VMware related things have been made available for free:

  1. vCenter Operations Manager Foundation is the entry-level edition of the vCenter Operations
    Management Suite that will help you manage the health and performance of your vSphere environment. It is now included for free with all vSphere editions. For more information about the complete suite, read the VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite Edition Comparison. Eric Sloof from NTPRO.NL also created a video showing of this tool.
  2. E-learning vSphere Data Protection and Recovery Fundamentals
  3. E-learning VMware vCloud Director Fundamentals

I didn’t have time yet to check these out myself. If you’re already using this tool or have already completed a course, please let me know if you liked it.

To keep track of free e-learning courses, bookmark mylearn.vmware.com.

 

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Windows 8 – Tweakers.net AppRace 2012 kick-off event December 6th at 18:30 CET with live stream

Tweakers is hosting the AppRace 2012 together with Microsoft. If you have the skills and time to build it, be sure to sign up for the AppRace. The best 5 apps are being rewarded with a Windows 8 RT device and the winner also gets a ticket for TechDays.

Today (December 6th) the kick-off will be at 18:30 CET. There will also be a live stream available if you’re curious about the event.

 

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Altaro offers 50 Free Home PC Backup Licenses until December 24th

Altaro is offering 50 Free PC Backup Licenses for ALL Hyper-V admins to use or give away to friends/family. You only have to send a screenshot of your Hyper-V manager together with your name and E-mail.

I have no experience with Altaro Home PC Backup, but since it is free, why not take advantage of ths offer and test it.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2012 in Applications, Backup, ICT, Windows, Windows 8

 

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Windows 8 – Windows store app installation fails on Windows 8 with error code 0x80070057

Last week I encountered error code 0x80070057 while trying to install an update to the “Fruit Ninja” windows store app.

The steps below were used to fix this error:

  1. Run powershell as administrator
  2. get-appxpackage -name *fruitninja* | remove-appxpackage
  3. Run “wsreset”
  4. Go to store page and click install

Thanks to this post that helped me resolve the issue:
http://www.pocketables.com/2012/10/how-to-fix-fruit-ninja-or-any-other-broken-app-on-windows-8.html

PS: I had already tried syncing the app licenses, but this didn’t resolve the issue.

 

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