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Category Archives: Powershell

PowerShell – easily posting scripts to a website while maintaining syntax highlighting by copying as HTML

PowerShell – easily posting scripts to a website while maintaining syntax highlighting by copying as HTML

 

 

 

When sharing PowerShell scripts on the Internet there are a couple of options:

  1. Simply post it as plain text, which means syntax highlighting will not be included.
  2. Use available syntax highlighting for the platform you use. Sample platforms include:
    Microsoft ScriptCenter and a syntax highlighting example from a script of mine: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Determine-possible-values-eaf48782
    Wordpress : https://en.support.wordpress.com/code/posting-source-code/
  3. Copy code to HTML including syntax highlighting.

Option 2 and 3 are preferred, especially sharing to Microsoft ScriptCenter because others can then more easily find and use your scripts and maybe even improve them or give you tips on how to make better script.

Option 2 however requires that you have to accept whatever the platform provider has chosen with regards to syntax highlighting, which might differ between platforms. With option 3 you have more freedom with regards to the output and you are in control. Basically it means copying code to HTML including syntax highlighting. The solution I use mostly for this is the Windows PowerShell V3 ISE: Copy As HTML Add-On which adds a simple “Copy As HTML” option in the menu and which can also be used using the shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+C.

I don’t have experience with it, but you could take a look at the script that Lee Holmes from the PowerShell team provided: http://www.leeholmes.com/blog/2009/02/03/more-powershell-syntax-highlighting/
In the comments someone apparently also implemented it as a PowerGUI add-on.

For more PowerShell ISE Add-ons be sure to visit: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/2969.windows-powershell-ise-add-on-tools.aspx

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2016 in ICT, Microsoft, Powershell

 

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PowerShell – Get-EnumValue function to get possible values of properties / attributes

PowerShell – Get-EnumValue function to get possible values of properties / attributes

In my previous blog post I blogged about how to get the possible values of an attribute or property like by example the service starttype using enumerators.

For future use I’ve created this function called Get-EnumValue. The function (and any updated future versions) can be found on ScriptCenter: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Determine-possible-values-eaf48782

But for those that don’t want to click and just want to see the current version, here it is:

Function Get-EnumValue

{

    <#

    .SYNOPSIS

        Determine possible values of a property / attribute of the [system.enum] type

        By example the possible values of startup type of a service.

    .DESCRIPTION

        Determine possible values of a property / attribute of the [system.enum] type

        By example the possible values of startup type of a service

 

        In some cases this can easily be determined if there is a “set-” version of the cmdlet.

        By example with Get-Service, there is also a Set-Service where the StartUpType values can be determined using “Get-Help Set-Service -Full” or by simply typing: Set-Service -StartupType and using auto completion.

 

        In some cases this is however not possible and this function can be used.

    .PARAMETER EnumProperty

        Input a property of the [System.enum] type. By example: (Get-Date)[0].DayOfWeek or (Get-Service)[0].StartType’)    

    .EXAMPLE

        $FormatEnumerationLimit=-1

        $Property1 = (Get-Date)[0].DayOfWeek

        $Property2 = (Get-Service)[0].StartType

        Get-EnumValue -EnumProperty $Property1,$Property2

            

        Description

    

        ———–

    

        Set $FormatEnumerationLimit to -1 to prevent cutoff of the results.

        Store 2 properties in variables and use the Get-EnumValue function with the named parameter -EnumProperty to enumerate their values.

    .EXAMPLE

        $FormatEnumerationLimit=-1

        Get-EnumValue -EnumProperty (Get-Date)[0].DayOfWeek,(Get-Service)[0].StartType

            

        Description

    

        ———–

    

        Set $FormatEnumerationLimit to -1 to prevent cutoff of the results.

        Use the Get-EnumValue function with the named parameter -EnumProperty to enumerate their values without first storing them in variables.

    .EXAMPLE

        $FormatEnumerationLimit=-1

        $Properties = @((Get-Date)[0].DayOfWeek,(Get-Service)[0].StartType)

        Get-EnumValue -EnumProperty $Properties

            

        Description

    

        ———–

    

        Set $FormatEnumerationLimit to -1 to prevent cutoff of the results.

        Store 2 properties in a single array and use the Get-EnumValue function with the named parameter -EnumProperty to enumerate the values of the properties in the array.

    .EXAMPLE

        $FormatEnumerationLimit=-1

        (Get-Date)[0].DayOfWeek,(Get-Service)[0].StartType | Get-EnumValue | Format-Table    

    

        Description

    

        ———–

    

        Set $FormatEnumerationLimit to -1 to prevent cutoff of the results.

        Put 2 properties in the pipeline and pipe them to Get-EnumValue to get their values.

    .NOTES

        1) By default, the EnumValues are truncated like this for format-list, format-table, etc:

 

        For Format-List:

 

        TypeName   : System.DayOfWeek

        EnumValues : {Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…}

 

        TypeName   : System.ServiceProcess.ServiceStartMode

        EnumValues : {Boot, System, Automatic, Manual…}

 

        For Format-Table:

 

        TypeName                               EnumValues                            

        ——–                               ———-                            

        System.DayOfWeek                       {Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…}

        System.ServiceProcess.ServiceStartMode {Boot, System, Automatic, Manual…}

 

        By setting $FormatEnumerationLimit to -1 all values will be shown (https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/heyscriptingguy/2011/11/20/change-a-powershell-preference-variable-to-reveal-hidden-data/):

        $FormatEnumerationLimit=-1

 

        2) This example uses [Enum]::GetValues but it can easily be modified to use [Enum]::GetNames

 

        3) Additional information and resources:

        http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/26436.how-to-create-and-use-enums-in-powershell.aspx#UsingEnumsWiithFunction

        https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.enum.getnames(v=vs.110).aspx

        https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.enum.getvalues(v=vs.110).aspx

#>

    [CmdletBinding()] #Provides advanced functionality. For more details see “What does PowerShell’s [CmdletBinding()] Do?” : http://www.windowsitpro.com/blog/powershell-with-a-purpose-blog-36/windows-powershell/powershells-%5Bcmdletbinding%5D-142114

    Param

    (

        [Parameter(Mandatory=$true, #Parameter is mandatory.

                   ValueFromPipeline=$True, #Allows pipeline input.

                   Position=0, #Allows function to be called without explicitly specifying parameters, but instead using positional parameters in the correct order

                   HelpMessage=‘Input an object of the [System.enum] type. By example: (Get-Date)[0].DayOfWeek or (Get-Service)[0].StartType’)] #Enter a help message to be shown when no parameter value is provided.

        [ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()] #Validate the input is not NULL or empty

        [ValidateScript({$_ -is [System.Enum]})] #Validate whether or not the input is actually of the [System.enum] type.

        [System.enum[]]$EnumProperty

    )

    BEGIN

    {

    }

    PROCESS

    {

        $Output = @()

        Foreach($object in $EnumProperty)

        {

            TRY

            {

                $TypeName = ($object | Get-Member)[0].TypeName

                $EnumValues = [Enum]::GetValues($TypeName) #Pre-PowerShell 3.0

                $ObjectEnumResult = New-Object PSCustomObject -Property @{

                ‘TypeName’ = $TypeName

                ‘EnumValues’ = $EnumValues

                }

                $Output += $ObjectEnumResult

            }

            CATCH

            {

                Write-Verbose “Error occurred processing $object

            }

            FINALLY

            {

            }

        }

 

        #Send output to the pipeline

        $Output

    }

    END

    {

    }

}

 

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2016 in Automation, ICT, Microsoft, Powershell

 

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PowerShell – Determine possible values for an attribute

While working on a script for XenApp 6.5 I wanted to perform actions based on the session state. To me however, the possible state values were not clear.

Without knowing these states, I would have to make assumptions which could lead to unexpected behavior and results.

Generic example

Since not everyone is using Citrix, here’s a more generic sample using Get-EventLog to determine the possible values for attribute EntryType

1. Get-EventLog -LogName System | Select EntryType -First 1 | Get-Member

This resulted in:

   TypeName: Selected.System.Diagnostics.EventLogEntry

Name        MemberType   Definition
—-        ———-   ———-
Equals      Method       bool Equals(System.Object obj)
GetHashCode Method       int GetHashCode()
GetType     Method       type GetType()
ToString    Method       string ToString()
EntryType   NoteProperty System.Diagnostics.EventLogEntryType EntryType=Information

2.  Enumerate the values using:
[Enum]::GetValues(‘System.Diagnostics.EventLogEntryType‘)

This results in the following possible values:

Error
Warning
Information
SuccessAudit
FailureAudit

XenApp 6.5 example

To determine the possible states, I did the following:

1. Get-XASession | Select State | Get-Member

This resulted in:

TypeName: Selected.Citrix.XenApp.Commands.XASession

        Name        MemberType   Definition
—-        ———-   ———-
Equals      Method       bool Equals(System.Object obj)
GetHashCode Method       int GetHashCode()
GetType     Method       type GetType()
ToString    Method       string ToString()
State       NoteProperty Citrix.XenApp.Commands.SessionConnectionState State=Disconnected

2.  Enumerate the values using:
[Enum]::GetValues(‘Citrix.XenApp.Commands.SessionConnectionState‘)

This results in the following possible values:

Unknown
Active
Connected
Connecting
Shadowing
Disconnected
Idle
Listening
Resetting
Down
Initializing
Stale
Licensed
Unlicensed
Reconnected

Alternative method for PowerShell 3.0 / .NET Framework 4.0 and later

After writing this blog post I came across this post http://www.powershellmagazine.com/2013/03/15/pstip-getting-enum-values-in-powershell-3-0/ explaining an alternative method that is available for PowerShell 3.0 / .NET Framework 4.0 and later :

[System.Diagnostics.EventLogEntryType ].GetEnumValues()

[System.Diagnostics.EventLogEntryType].GetEnumNames()

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2016 in Citrix, Microsoft, Powershell, XenApp

 

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Microsoft Ignite 2015 : huge collection of information enhanced with more detailed resources to get you up-to-date with less time and effort

As some of you might know already, the Microsoft Ignite 2015 conference has started where Microsoft talks about where they’re going and what they’re doing. I watched the keynote, took many notes and added other relevant information which I’m sharing with you. Since so much was told and shown it’s certain I’ve missed stuff. As time goes by I will update the information in this post so it can be used as a reference.

I hope it’s useful. If you find any errors or have other useful resources or feedback, please leave a comment.

Update log:

-05-05-2015: Created Initial version including the keynote and additional information.

 

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Free PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) training on February 25th and 26th

Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) is hosting 2 PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) training classes on February 25th and February 26th:

  1. Getting Started with PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC)
  2. Advanced PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) and Custom Resources

The links above provide include a course outline and a link to register for the Jump Start. And even if you can’t join live, the recordings will always be made available at a later time so you can watch whenever it suits you better.

PowerShell DSC is becoming increasingly important and I personally also still need to learn more about it and look forward to it.

I hope it’s useful to you as well.

 

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PowerShell – Book review of : Windows PowerShell Best Practices

Windows PowerShell Best Practices

Last week I completed PowerShell Deep Dives which got me excited again to read more about PowerShell. As such, I continued reading the next book on my reading list: Windows PowerShell Best Practices by Microsoft Scripting Guy Ed Wilson.

The book was released late January 2014 and is the most recent book about PowerShell that has been released to my knowledge. This means it includes PowerShell 4.0, Desired State Configuration DSC and references to Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

In my opinion the book was very well written and contains a good mix of theory, sample scripts and “notes from the field” from many PowerShell specialists. The sample scripts are available for download at Technet Script Center.

The best practices that are described in the book are very recognizable and I had already adopted many of them based on the many great blog posts by the community. In the book they are all bundled and well explained including examples. Where the book really shines though in my opinion is that it describes how PowerShell is used in real-life, how it relates to many other processes within a company and what you need to consider.

I think this book is a must-have for anyone working with PowerShell. For those starting with PowerShell, I recommend first reading the books “Learn Windows PowerShell In A Month Of Lunches” and “Learn PowerShell Toolmaking In A Month Of Lunches” and then read this book.

Notes:

 
 

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PowerShell – Book review of : PowerShell Deep Dives

PowerShell_Deep_Dives

I’ve had the book PowerShell Deep Dives laying around since August 2013. I had read some parts of it because I follow many of the great PowerShell community members that contributed to it. But I hadn’t gotten to reading it completely yet until now.

The title of the book includes “deep dives” implies very deep technical content and I can assure you, this type of content is present in the book. some of the stuff I still need to wrap my head around to understand properly. On the other hand, other parts of the book are more simplistic which you might not expect from a deep dives book.

The book covers a very broad number of topics and technologies. What I liked is that the articles were written by professionals and community members that are specialized in or are very knowledgeable about this specific topic/technology.

As a result of having the broad number of topics and technologies, not all parts of the book might be relevant to you (especially as a deep dive). I found myself skimming over some parts later in the book since it is very unlikely it is or will become useful for me. This will differ from person to person though, so take a good look at the topics being covered in the table at the end of the article.

All in all it was a good read and I think I’ll use the book mainly as a reference for those times that I need the deep dive insights. The book can be ordered from by example Manning.com and all royalties go to charity: Save the Children

 

Part 1 PowerShell administration
1 Diagnosing and troubleshooting PowerShell remoting (Don Jones)
2 CIM sessions (Richard Siddaway)
3 Collecting and analyzing performance counter data (Arnaud Petitjean)
4 TCP port communications with PowerShell (Boe Prox)
5 Managing systems through a keyhole (Bartosz Bielawski)
6 Using PowerShell to audit user logon events (Mike F. Robbins)
7 Managing and administering a certification authority database with PowerShell (Cadims Podans)
8 Using PowerShell to reduce Active Directory token bloat (Ashley McGlone)
Part 2 PowerShell scripting
9 The 10 PowerShell scripting commandments (James O’Neill)
10 Avoiding the pipeline (Jeff Wouters)
11 A template for handling and reporting errors (Will Steele)
12 Tips and tricks for creating complex or advanced HTML reports with PowerShell (Jonathan Medd)
13 Using and “abusing” dynamic parameters (Bartosz Bielawski)
14 PowerShell type formatting (Adam Driscoll)
15 Scalable scripting for large data sets: pipeline and database techniques (Matthew Reynolds)
16 Building your own WMI-based cmdlets (Richard Siddaway)
17 Turning command-line tools into PowerShell tools (Jefferey Hicks)
Part 3 PowerShell for developers
18 Using Source Control Software with PowerShell (Trevor Sullivan)
19 Inline .NET code (Richard Siddaway)
20 PowerShell and XML: better together (Josh Gavant)
21 Adding automatic remoting to advanced functions and cmdlets (Karl Prosser)
22 Taming software builds (and other complicated processes) with psake (Jim Cristopher)
Part 4 PowerShell platforms
23 PowerShell and the SQL Server provider (Ben Miller)
24 Creating flexible subscriptions in SSRS (Donabel Santos)
25 Inventory database table statistics using PowerShell and SQL Server Management Objects (Robert C. Cain)
26 WSUS and PowerShell (Boe Prox)
27 Provisioning IIS web servers and sites with PowerShell (Jason Helmick)
28 Active Directory Group Management application (Chris Bellee)

 

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2014 in Automation, ICT, Microsoft, Powershell, Windows

 

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Introduction to PowerShell – Also relevant for NON Microsoft administrators

Today I had the privilege that many colleagues of mine from Open Line decided to sacrifice their free time and attend my session: “Introduction to PowerShell – Also relevant for NON Microsoft administrators”

The goal of this session was to:

  • Inform people of the advantages of scripting/automation in general.
  • Inform people of the advantages of PowerShell over CLIs and other scripting languages.
  • Inform people that PowerShell is not just for Microsoft administrators.
  • Teach people about the PowerShell basics.
  • Inform people about the many possibilities with PowerShell.
  • Provide people with a lot of practical resources to increase their knowledge and skill.

I really enjoyed the session and got a lot of interactivity and positive feedback. Next up is a follow-up session which will be more of a workshop style.

I’ve uploaded the presentation in PowerPoint and PDF format here:
https://bjornhouben-web.sharepoint.com/Lists/Files/DispForm.aspx?ID=22

Please share this so that others can benefit from it as well.

Notes:

  • I’ve included many useful resources as notes in the PowerPoint presentation, which makes the presentation also interesting to people who are not PowerShell beginners.
  • Also if anyone has suggestions to make the presentation better, please let me know.
 
 

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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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