Find an Application that runs as a Service in your Environment with PowerShell

I recently worked with a vendor to remove an old application that was no longer being used from a server in one of my customer’s environments. While many applications may be left to die on the server long after they’re needed, this particular one transmitted data to a partner company so it definitely needed to be removed. The problem is the application was so old that no one knew which server of the hundreds of servers it was running on.

Video: Finding Performance Bottlenecks of Windows Based Systems with PowerShell

Earlier this month, I presented a session on Finding Performance Bottlenecks with PowerShell at the PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit 2019 in Bellevue, Washington. The session seemed to be well received by the audience based on the feedback that I received from the attendees. The video from this presentation is now available. The code and slides used during the demonstration can be found in my presentations repository on GitHub.

Using the AST to Find Module Dependencies in PowerShell Functions and Scripts

Earlier this week, Chris Gardner presented a session on Managing dependencies in PowerShell for the Mississippi PowerShell User Group. I mentioned that I had written a function to retrieve PowerShell module dependencies that’s part of my ModuleBuildTools module. Get-MrAST is one of the primary functions that numerous other functions in the module are built on. #Requires -Version 3.0 function Get-MrAst { <# .SYNOPSISExplores the Abstract Syntax Tree (AST). .DESCRIPTIONGet-MrAST is an advanced function that provides a mechanism for exploring the Abstract Syntax Tree (AST).

Sort PowerShell Results in both Ascending and Descending Order

A few weeks ago I was trying to figure out how to sort something in PowerShell with one property sorted descending and another one ascending. How to accomplish this was hiding in plain sight in the help examples for Sort-Object, but I thought I would documented it here for future reference. Use the Property parameter with a hash table to specify the property names and their sort orders. Get-Service -Name Win* | Sort-Object -Property @{ expression = 'Status' descending = $true }, @{ expression = 'DisplayName' descending = $false } This same command can be written on one line.

Use PowerShell to Identify the Process ID for SQL Server Services

I recently saw a blog article on How to Identify Process ID for SQL Server Services? – Interview Question of the Week #185 written by Pinal Dave. While his answer is simple with TSQL, what if you’re not a SQL guy? You can also retrieve this information with PowerShell from Windows itself. When it comes to retrieving information about Windows services with PowerShell, the first command that comes to mind is Get-Service.

Enable Tab Completion in VSCode for a PowerShell ISE like Experience

I’m using VSCode for all of my PowerShell development at this point. I reloaded my system from scratch on March 13th of this year. Yesterday was the first time I’ve opened the PowerShell ISE since then and it was only to determine if something worked differently between the two (I tweeted this out yesterday). One of the common problems I hear about and have experienced myself with VSCode (Visual Studio Code) is that tabbed expansion of command and parameter names doesn’t work like it does in the ISE (Integrated Scripting Environment).

Run SQL Server PowerShell Cmdlets as a Different User

One of the ways I practice the principal of least privilege is by logging into my computer as a domain user who is also a standard local user. I typically run PowerShell as a domain user who is a local admin and elevate on a per command basis using a domain account with more access only when absolutely necessary. The problem I’ve run into is neither the account I’m logged into my computer as or the one I’m running PowerShell as has the ability to execute SQL queries that I need to run against various SQL servers in my environment.

Audit Membership of the Local Admins Group with PowerShell

Recently, I needed to make sure that specific accounts were members of the local administrators group on several servers along with making sure that no other users were members of it. PowerShell version 5.1 introduced a module named Microsoft.PowerShell.LocalAccounts that contains the following commands for managing local users and groups. Get-Command -Module Microsoft.PowerShell.LocalAccounts Checking the group membership is as easy as running Get-LocalGroupMember within the script block of Invoke-Command and targeting remote systems.

Backup and Synchronize VSCode Settings with a GitHub Gist

Earlier this year, I watched a recording of the January 2019 Arizona PowerShell User Group meeting where Tim Warner presented a session on Easing your transition from the PowerShell ISE to Visual Studio Code. One of the things Tim demonstrated was a VSCode extension named Settings Sync where you can synchronize your VSCode settings to and from a GitHub Gist. While it seems to be designed to synchronize your settings between multiple computers, I recently found out that it can also be a lifesaver even if you only use it on one computer.

PowerShell Tokenizer more Accurate than AST in Certain Scenarios

As many of you know, I’ve been working on some module building tools. One of the things I needed was to retrieve a list of PowerShell modules that each function required (a list of dependencies). This seemed simple enough through PowerShell’s AST (Abstract Syntax Tree) as shown in the following example. $File = 'U:\GitHub\PowerShell\MrToolkit\Public\Find-MrModuleUpdate.ps1' $AST = [System.Management.Automation.Language.Parser]::ParseFile($File, [ref]$null, [ref]$null) $AST.ScriptRequirements.RequiredModules.Name The modules that are retrieved by the AST are simply the ones specified in a functions Requires statement.

My Solution to Iron Scripter 2019 Preparatory Challenge 1

Anyone who has competed in the scripting games before knows that I’m always looking for a challenge when it comes to writing PowerShell code. While the scripting games haven’t been held in the last several years, they’ve somewhat been replaced by the Iron Scripter competition at the PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit and 2019 is shaping up to be no different. Think you’ve got skills? Bring them on! and Get-Involved.

Unexpected Results when Comparing Different Datatypes in PowerShell

Earlier this week, I saw a tweet from a fellow PowerShell community member who mentioned PowerShell was returning inaccurate results. The command shown in the tweet was similar to the one in the following example. Get-AppxPackage | Where-Object -Property IsFramework -eq 'False' | Select-Object -Property Name, SignatureKind, IsFramework Why would results be returned where IsFramework is true when the command is filtering them down to only the ones that are false?

What’s a PowerShell One-Liner & NOT a PowerShell One-Liner?

Lately, I’ve seen a few examples of commands that aren’t PowerShell one-liners being passed off as such by people in the PowerShell community who “should” know better. If I were interviewing someone who claimed to be a PowerShell expert with more than five years of experience, I would definitely ask these types of questions. Example 1 - The following command is a PowerShell one-liner? (True or False) $Process = 'notepad.exe'; Start-Process $Process -PassThru -OutVariable NoteProc; Stop-Process -Id $NoteProc.

Return a List of the Private Functions in a PowerShell Module

In my quest to build a PowerShell module to convert a non-monolithic PowerShell module from development to a monolithic one for production, I wanted some way to validate that all of the functions were indeed migrated. While I’m pointing my tools to the public and private sub-folders within my development module and that should get them all, how can you be sure especially when a module may not have any private functions?

Resolving Microsoft SQL Server Error 4064 with PowerShell

Recently, a fellow IT Pro contacted me and stated they were unable to login to one of their SQL Servers using Windows Authentication. The following error was generated when attempting to login to SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). Their exact words were “I think we have a permissions problem”. Clicking on the “Show technical details” icon at the bottom of that error message showed the following information. You can work around this problem by clicking on the “Options »” button:

Use PowerShell to Install a DHCP Server on a Windows Server 2019 (Server Core) Active Directory Domain Controller

You need to have an Active Directory domain in place. I’m picking up where I left off in my previous blog article Use PowerShell to Create a New Active Directory Forest on Windows 2019 Server Core Installation (no-GUI). The procedure shown in this blog article is for demonstration purposes only. Install the DHCP server feature. Install-WindowsFeature -Name DHCP Add the DHCP scope to the server. Add-DhcpServerv4Scope -Name '192.168.129.x' -StartRange 192.