Tag Archives: powershell

Construct a chain of commands with the PowerShell pipeline

Administrators new to PowerShell can construct intricate workflows within a single line of code once they learn how to tap into the automation tool’s piping abilities.

The ability to take output from one command and send it as input to the next command with the PowerShell pipeline is a major feature that sets PowerShell apart from other scripting languages. The pipeline links multiple commands to perform complex actions, such as configuration changes. In other operating systems such as Linux, the shell needs to parse the text output from a command before it can work with the data.

It’s useful to think of PowerShell objects as analogous to a car, and the methods as the actions a car can take, such as moving forward or backward. Usually, an administrator would need a separate script for each method, but the PowerShell pipeline enables admins to consolidate those scripts and pass — or pipe — rich objects from one command to another.

The PowerShell pipeline helps condense code. For example, take the script below:

$service = Get-Service -Name XXX

$serviceName = $service.Name

Stop-Service -Name $serviceName

The administrator can shorten this code with the PowerShell pipeline to chain commands to pass the objects. The previous script is now one line of code that begins the task and stops it automatically when it completes:

Get-Service -Name XXX | Stop-Service

This video tutorial further explains what the PowerShell pipeline is and demonstrates how it works with real-life examples. 

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How can IT put PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment to use?

PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment is a tool that can benefit all levels of users, which is why many developers and administrators use it almost exclusively when working with PowerShell — often skipping the original console altogether.

With PowerShell ISE, which provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for writing and fixing PowerShell scripts, IT administrators and developers can write, edit and run PowerShell scripts and commands. It provides a more user-friendly way to work with the wide range of features available for creating and testing PowerShell codes.

For example, PowerShell ISE includes IntelliSense for autocompleting commands and for matching cmdlets, variables, parameters and other language elements. The GUI also provides quick access to a variety of snippets that make it easier to construct command logic, such as looping structures. In addition, admins get multiple execution environments, selective code execution and the ability to run commands from either the PowerShell script or the console pane.

What else can PowerShell ISE do?

PowerShell script development

PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment provides many other features to support PowerShell script development, such as drag-and-drop editing, tab completion, block selection, syntax coloring, keyboard shortcuts and Unicode support. Plus, admins can open PowerShell script files by dragging them from Windows Explorer to the PowerShell ISE GUI. They can even extend the PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment object model to customize the deployment and add functionality.


Admins can also use PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment to troubleshoot and debug PowerShell scripts. Although this goes hand in hand with script development, sometimes admins must fix an existing script and want to use PowerShell ISE’s debugging capabilities. Not only do they get features such as selective execution and multiple execution environments, but they can also set up breakpoints, step through code, check variable values and display call stacks. In addition, PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment displays parsing errors as admins type.

PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment is also useful as a learning tool.

Running complicated commands

Admins might also use PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment when they want to run complex ad hoc commands and prefer to avoid the inherent clunkiness of the PowerShell console. With PowerShell ISE, they can type all their code in the script pane and then, when they’re ready, run part or all of the code. This also makes it easier to tweak the script if admins need to run it multiple times, incorporating slight modifications with each execution.


PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment is also useful as a learning tool. Someone new to PowerShell can benefit a great deal from built-in features, such as IntelliSense, snippet access and parse error displays.

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PowerShell Script: Change Advanced Settings of Hyper-V Virtual Machines

   Each Hyper-V virtual machine sports a number of settings that can be changed, but not by any sanctioned GUI tools. If you’re familiar with WMI, these properties are part of the Msvm_VirtualSystemSettingData class. Whether you’re familiar with WMI or not, these properties are not simple to change. I previously created a script that modifies the BIOS GUID setting, but that left out all the other available fields. So, I took that script back into the workshop and rewired it to increase its reach. If you’re fairly new to using PowerShell as a scripting language and use other people’s scripts to learn, there are some additional notes after the script contents that you might be interested in. What this Script Does This script can be used to modify the following properties of a Hyper-V virtual machine: BIOS GUID: The BIOS of every modern computer should contain a Universally Unique Identifier… Read More»

Read the post here: PowerShell Script: Change Advanced Settings of Hyper-V Virtual Machines

No more “out of memory” errors for Windows Phone emulators in Windows 10 (unless you’re really out of memory)

For those of you who run emulators in Visual Studio, you may be familiar with an annoying error:


It periodically pops up even when task manager reports enough available memory – this is especially true for machines with less than 8GB RAM.  Most of the time, it’s because there genuinely isn’t enough memory available but sometimes it’s because of Hyper-V’s root memory reserve (discussed in KB2911380).

This blog will tell you what the root memory reserve is, why it exists, and why you shouldn’t need it on Windows 10 starting in build 15002 (original announcement here).  I also wrote a mini script to clear the registry key that controls root memory reserve if you think it may be set on your system.

So, What is the root memory reserve and why is it there?

Root memory reserve is the memory Hyper-V sets aside to make sure there will always be enough available for the host to run well.

We change Hyper-V host memory management periodically based on feedback and new technology (things like dynamic memory and changes in clustering).  The root memory reserve is only one piece of that equation and even calculating that piece has several factors.  Modifying it is not supported but there is still a registry key available for times when the default isn’t appropriate for one reason or another.

KB2962295 basically describes measuring, monitoring, and modifying the root reserve.

KB2911380 tells you how to manually set it.

And now I’m here to tell you to remove it!

Why you don’t need root memory reserve any more.

We stopped using a root memory reserve in favor of other memory management tools in Windows 10.  The things that make it necessary are unique to server environments (clustering, service level agreements…).

However, while the default memory management settings on server are now different from Hyper-V on Windows,  if root reserve is set on Windows 10 Hyper-V will respect it — you won’t see any of the memory management changes we made.  Which is why now is the time to clear that custom root memory reserve.



ICYMI – Microsoft Connect, Linux, WIP and a new Insider Preview Build

Just when you thought you’d seen it all at the MVP Summit, we come back with a few exciting announcements from Connect. We want to thank you again for joining us, and if you couldn’t make it this time, continue reading to see what you might’ve missed.

Connect(); 2016

Connect, the annual Visual Studio-centered developer conference, announced the latest version of our favorite IDE, a preview for the new Visual Studio Mac edition, Team Foundation Server 2017 and a preview for Visual Studio Mobile Center. On top of that, we announced our platinum-level partnership with the Linux foundation. We’re thrilled to finally share all of these updates with you – follow the links below to learn more.

UWP Community Toolkit Update 1.2

Our goal with this update was to stabilize current features while adding the most wanted ones that were missing. Check out the blog to see the full list of updates, additions and assorted bells and whistles.

Windows Insider Preview Build 14971

Coming to you in this week’s build: improved reading experience in Microsoft Edge, new opportunities in 3D, PowerShell updates and a whole bunch of PC fixes.

And that’s all! Make sure to tweet us if you have any questions or comments and, as always, see you next week.

Download Visual Studio to get started.

The Windows team would love to hear your feedback.  Please keep the feedback coming using our Windows Developer UserVoice site. If you have a direct bug, please use the Windows Feedback tool built directly into Windows 10.