December 2010 - Power Tips

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  • Comparing Services

    Compare-Object can help when troubleshooting computers. For example, you should try this to compare the service status on two machines and find out where services are configured differently: $machine1 = Get-Service -ComputerName server1-or -IP1 $machine2...
  • Checking Whether User or Group Exists

    To find out whether a given local or domain user/group exists, you can simply use the static method Exists(): [ ADSI ]:: Exists ( 'WinNT://./Tobias1' ) This will check whether there is a local account named "Tobias1." To check domain...
  • Reading Text Files as One Chunk

    In a previous tip, you learned how to quickly read in text files. The result was a string array. If you want to read the text as one large string ultrafast, you can use this approach: [ System.IO.File ]:: ReadAllText ( "c:\somefile.txt" ) ReTweet...
  • Reading Text Files Fast

    Let's assume you want to read a large text file. Let's create one: Get-Process | Export-CliXML $home \data. xml (Dir $home \data. xml | Select-Object -expandProperty Length) / 1MB It should be roughly 5MB in size. Now let's read it using Get...
  • Making Your Keyboard Sound like Typewriter

    PowerShell is all about typing. But if you'd like to get back the old-fashioned typewriter sound, here is a freeware tool that can bring it back: ReTweet this Tip!
  • Disabling Automatic Page Files

    If you would like to programmatically control page file settings, you can use WMI but must enable all privileges using -EnableAllPrivileges. The code below will disable automatic page files: $c = Get-WmiObject Win32_ComputerSystem -EnableAllPrivileges...
  • Eliminating Duplicate Words

    Let's assume you want to eliminate duplicate words in a text. Here is how you can do this: 'this text text contains duplicate words words following each other' -replace '\b(\w+) ` (\s+\1){1,}\b' , '$1' ReTweet this Tip!
  • Add Whitespace after Commas

    Operator replace is extremely powerful when you use back references. For example, to make sure in a text that there is a space after each comma, you can try this: 'After each comma,I want a whitespace,but only if there was no whitespace in the first...
  • Use Back References with -Replace

    If you need to replace text with some other text and keep a reference to the original text, you can use the backreferenceback reference placeholder $0: 'The problem was described in KB123456. Look it up.' - replace 'KB\d{6}' , 'KB99999...
  • Adding Quotes in Quotes

    If you need quotes to appear inside a quoted string, you should use quotes: $text = "Hello ""World""" $text = 'Hello ''World''' ReTweet this Tip!
  • Running Native Commands in PowerShell

    Sometimes it only takes a little tweaking to make a native command run well inside PowerShell. For example, this line runs in cmd.exe but fails in PowerShell: find "dir" * . ps1 As it turns out, the command requires the quotes, and PowerShell...
  • Create Complex Random Passwords

    Here is how you can create random passwords that meet certain requirements: function Get-RandomPassword { param ( $length = 10, $characters = 'abcdefghkmnprstuvwxyzABCDEFGHKLMNPRSTUVWXYZ123456789!"§$%&/()=?*+#_' ) # select random...
  • Create Random Passwords

    Whenever you need to create a new random password, be sure to check out this function: function Get-RandomPassword { param ( $length = 10, $characters = 'abcdefghkmnprstuvwxyzABCDEFGHKLMNPRSTUVWXYZ123456789!"§$%&/()=?*+#_' ) # select...
  • Using MsgBox Dialogs

    Have you ever used VBScript? Would you like your MsgBox dialog back? Here is how: [ System.Reflection.Assembly ]:: LoadWithPartialName ( 'Microsoft.VisualBasic' ) | Out-Null $rv = [ Microsoft.VisualBasic.Interaction ]:: MsgBox ( 'Do you want...
  • Creating Shortcuts on your Desktop

    PowerShell and .NET can do amazing things, but they are not good at creating shortcuts. However, you can create a shortcut on your Desktop in a matter of only a few lines by using COM objects instead: $shell = New-Object -ComObject WScript.Shell $desktop...
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