Essential Powershell

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Use PowerShell to Streamline and Automate Your Most Time-Consuming Windows Administration Tasks

With Windows PowerShell, Microsoft brings innovative console-based system administration and scripting to Windows clients and servers. PowerShell combines the best features of traditional UNIX shells with the immense power of the .NET Framework, offering a consistent and easy-to-use replacement for both the Windows command line and the Windows Script Host. In Essential PowerShell, noted expert Holger Schwichtenberg gives Windows sysadmins all the knowledge and sample scripts they need to successfully administer production systems with PowerShell.

Schwichtenberg begins by introducing the innovative PowerShell architecture, along with crucial PowerShell concepts such as pipelining and navigation. Next, he introduces the PowerShell Script Language, shows the secure execution of command sequences as scripts, and demonstrates how to use PowerShell to access essential operating system interfaces such as COM, WWI, ADSI, and ADO.NET.

After you've mastered the fundamentals, Schwichtenberg presents an extensive collection of PowerShell solutions for virtualy every area of day-to-day administration. For each topic, he presents dozens of self-contained examples, all downloadable from a companion Web site. He covers both Microsoft's standard PowerShell commandlets and the free commandlets available as PowerShell Community Extensions. He also presents a full chapter of tips, tricks, and troubleshooting solutions. Coverage includes

• Understanding PowerShell's components and features

• Setting up your PowerShell scripting environment

• Creating and using commandlets

• Using object-oriented pipelining for filtering, sorting, grouping, comparisons, calculations, and more

• Mastering PowerShell's uniform navigation model and using it with all types of data

• Programming command sequences with the PowerShell Script Language

• Making the most of the PowerShell console and third-party tools

• Managing processes, event logs, and registry entries

• Controlling networking, printing, and software installation

• Manipulating Active Directory and other enterprise services with PowerShell

• Using PowerShell to enforce stronger system and network security

• Storing data files, documents, and databases

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Dr. Holger Schwichtenberg holds a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in business informatics, both from the University Duisburg-Essen in Germany. He has had more than ten years experience as a lead developer and trainer. With his company, based in Germany, he works as a software architect, technology consultant, and trainer for leading companies throughout Europe. Holger is one of Europe’s well-known experts for .NET and Windows Scripting technologies, recognized by Microsoft as a Most Valuable Professional (MVP), a .NET Code Wise Member, a board member of, an MSDN Online Expert, and a speaker for the International .NET Association (INETA). Based on his expertise in software  development and the Windows operating system, Holger is one of the experts in the European Union versus Microsoft antitrust case. He has published more than 30 books for Addison-Wesley and Microsoft Press in Germany, in addition to more than 400 journal articles, notably for the IT journals iX, DOTNET Pro, and Windows IT Pro. His community websites and are members of the Codezone Premier Website program. Holger regularly speaks at professional conferences (for example, Microsoft TechEd, Microsoft IT Forum, Advanced Developers Conference, OOP, Net.Object Days, Online, BASTA, and DOTNET Conference). Holger can be reached at

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Read an Excerpt


Windows PowerShell is one of the most amazing products Microsoft has released in recent years, because it brings console-based system administration and scripting to the next level of abstraction. PowerShell is an excellent replacement for classic Windows shell commands and for Windows Script Host (WSH). PowerShell copies a lot of good features from UNIX shells and combines them with the power of the .NET Framework. In contrast to WSH, PowerShell enables consistent, straightforward, command-line system administration that does not require much software development knowledge.

Unfortunately, in the first version of PowerShell, the number of high-level commands is limited. For many tasks, lower-level concepts are required, especially the .NET Framework and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).What Does This Book Cover?

This book covers the standard PowerShell commandlets, additional free commandlets (e.g., PowerShell Community Extensions), and the direct use of classes from the .NET Framework, the Component Object Model (COM), WMI, and the Active Directory Service Interface (ADSI).

Because PowerShell is an extensive topic, this book cannot provide an exhaustive reference of all PowerShell commands and solutions for all possible administrative tasks. However, you will find a concise introduction to the most common command and scenarios. For more detailed information about PowerShell, refer to the Microsoft documentation for PowerShell, WMI, ADSI, and the .NET Framework (approximately 100.000 pages) as an additional source.Who Should Read This Book?

The primary target audience comprises Windows administrators seeking a method ofautomated system administration that is more powerful than the classic Windows Shell but less complex than WSH and the associated COM components. After reading this book, administrators will be able to use PowerShell as their day-to-day command-line interface for all administrative tasks.

As a prerequisite, aside a good knowledge of the Windows operation system, you should have a basic understanding of object-oriented programming languages. Basic concepts of object orientation such as classes, objects, attributes, and methods are not explained in this book.How This Book Is Structured

This book is organized into 24 chapters, some of which, based on your previous experience and knowledge of certain concepts, you might find easier to understand than others. The 24 chapters are split into 2 parts:

  • Part I: Getting Started with PowerShell. Part I introduces the PowerShell architecture, all basic concepts (such as pipelining and navigation), the PowerShell Script Language, and the tools you should know.

  • Part II: PowerShell in Action. Part II covers PowerShell script solutions for day-to-day administrative tasks related to Windows services and Windows application, such as file system, processes, event logs, registry, networking, printers, documents, databases, Active Directory, and software installation. Each chapter contains dozens of self-contained examples.

The appendixes contain a list of all commandlets from PowerShell 1.0, the PowerShell Community Extensions 1.1.1, and the PowerShell Extensions 2.0. You will also find a short preview of the next version of Windows PowerShell (Version 2.0).This Book's Website

Many of the scripts are available for download from This website also contains errata for this book and the option to offer feedback to the author.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 First Steps with Windows PowerShell 3

Ch. 2 Commandlets 25

Ch. 3 Pipelining 43

Ch. 4 Advanced Pipelining 59

Ch. 5 The PowerShell Navigation Model 81

Ch. 6 The PowerShell Script Language 89

Ch. 7 PowerShell Scripts 115

Ch. 8 Using Class Libraries 129

Ch. 9 PowerShell Tools 151

Ch. 10 Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting 171

Pt. II Windows PowerShell in Action 203

Ch. 11 File Systems 205

Ch. 12 Managing Documents 235

Ch. 13 Registry and Software 253

Ch. 14 Processes and Service 267

Ch. 15 Computers and Hardware 281

Ch. 16 Networking 295

Ch. 17 Directory Services 313

Ch. 18 User and Group Management in the Active Directory 335

Ch. 19 Searching in the Active Directory 349

Ch. 20 Additional Libraries for Active Directory Administration 361

Ch. 21 Databases 373

Ch. 22 Advanced Database Operations 389

Ch. 23 Security Settings 401

Ch. 24 Advanced Security Administration 413

Appendix A PowerShell Commandlet Reference 429

Appendix B PowerShell 2.0 Preview 445

Appendix C Bibliography 449

Index 453

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