WMI against remote machines

WMI is a great tool for managing your Windows machines – I’d argue that PowerShell wouldn’t be as powerful as it is without WMI. If you question that remember that 60% of the additional cmdlets in Windows Server 2012 & 2012 R2 are CDXML based i.e. publish a WMI class as  a PowerShell module.

PowerShell 2.0 introduced a suite of WMI cmdlets:


PowerShell 3.0 introduced the CIM cmdlets:


So which should you use?

There are a number of differences.

The WMI cmdlets return live objects and the CIM cmdlets return inert objects. This isn’t too much of an issue if you use Invoke-CimMethod.  I’d also recommend using Invoke-WMImethod over creating an object and calling the method on that.

The real difference is in the protocol used to access remote machines. The WMI cmdlets use DCOM and the CIM cmdlets default to WSMAN. At this point you may be thinking that you can just use the CIM cmdlets but the remote machine must be running WSMAN 3.0 which comes with PowerShell 3.0 or 4.0..  The CIM cmdlets can’t connect to WSMAN 2.0 which is the PowerShell 2.0 version.

At that point you have to use a CIM session that drops back to DCOM or run Get-WMIobject through a PowerShell remoting session.

Overall the CIM cmdlets win – especially when you consider Get-CimClass and Get-CimAssociatedInstance

Posted in CIM, PowerShell and WMI, PowerShell V3, PowerShell v4 | Leave a comment

PowerShell versions

I’ve been using the CIM cmdlets for a number of posts recently and had a comment that a reader got a message that Get-CimInstance didn’t exist on their Windows 7 machine. 

Windows 7 ships with PowerShell 2.0; Windows 8 with PowerShell 3.0 and Windows 8.1 with PowerShell 4.0.

You need PowerShell 3.0 or 4.0 to have the CIM cmdlets.

You can install PowerShell 3.0 or 4.0 on Windows 7.  You need to go to the Microsoft  download site,  download and install the appropriate version of Windows Management Framework (WMF 3 contains PowerShell 3.0 and WMF 4 contains PowerShell 4.0).

You can tell which version of PowerShell you are running by looking in the $psversiontable automatic variable:

£> $psversiontable

Name                           Value
—-                           —–
PSVersion                      4.0
WSManStackVersion              3.0
CLRVersion                     4.0.30319.34014
BuildVersion                   6.3.9600.16394
PSCompatibleVersions           {1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0}
PSRemotingProtocolVersion      2.2

Posted in PowerShell V3, PowerShell v4 | Leave a comment

Status of Office software

You can also use the SoftwareLicensingProduct CIM class to test the status of your Office products.

Get-CimInstance -ClassName SoftwareLicensingProduct -Filter “Name LIKE ‘Office%’” |
where PartialProductKey |
select Name, ApplicationId, LicenseStatus

You need to be careful with Office as you might find a lot more options than you expected. On my machine I found this:

Get-CimInstance -ClassName SoftwareLicensingProduct -Filter “Name LIKE ‘Office%’” | select Name -Unique | sort name

Office 15, OfficeO365ProPlusR_Grace edition
Office 15, OfficeO365ProPlusR_Retail edition
Office 15, OfficeO365ProPlusR_Subscription1 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365ProPlusR_Subscription2 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365ProPlusR_Subscription3 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365ProPlusR_Subscription4 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365ProPlusR_Subscription5 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365ProPlusR_SubTrial1 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365ProPlusR_SubTrial2 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365ProPlusR_SubTrial3 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365ProPlusR_SubTrial4 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365ProPlusR_SubTrial5 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365SmallBusPremR_Grace edition
Office 15, OfficeO365SmallBusPremR_Retail edition
Office 15, OfficeO365SmallBusPremR_Subscription1 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365SmallBusPremR_Subscription2 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365SmallBusPremR_Subscription3 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365SmallBusPremR_Subscription4 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365SmallBusPremR_Subscription5 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365SmallBusPremR_SubTrial1 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365SmallBusPremR_SubTrial2 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365SmallBusPremR_SubTrial3 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365SmallBusPremR_SubTrial4 edition
Office 15, OfficeO365SmallBusPremR_SubTrial5 edition
Office 15, OfficeProjectProCO365R_Subscription edition
Office 15, OfficeProjectProCO365R_SubTest edition
Office 15, OfficeProjectProCO365R_SubTrial edition
Office 15, OfficeProjectProDemoR_BypassTrial180 edition
Office 15, OfficeProjectProMSDNR_Retail edition
Office 15, OfficeProjectProO365R_Subscription edition
Office 15, OfficeProjectProO365R_SubTest edition
Office 15, OfficeProjectProO365R_SubTrial edition
Office 15, OfficeProjectProR_Grace edition
Office 15, OfficeProjectProR_OEM_Perp edition
Office 15, OfficeProjectProR_Retail edition
Office 15, OfficeProjectProR_Trial edition
Office 15, OfficeProPlusDemoR_BypassTrial180 edition
Office 15, OfficeProPlusMSDNR_Retail edition
Office 15, OfficeProPlusR_Grace edition
Office 15, OfficeProPlusR_OEM_Perp edition
Office 15, OfficeProPlusR_Retail edition
Office 15, OfficeProPlusR_Trial edition
Office 15, OfficeVisioProCO365R_Subscription edition
Office 15, OfficeVisioProCO365R_SubTest edition
Office 15, OfficeVisioProCO365R_SubTrial edition
Office 15, OfficeVisioProDemoR_BypassTrial180 edition
Office 15, OfficeVisioProMSDNR_Retail edition
Office 15, OfficeVisioProO365R_Subscription edition
Office 15, OfficeVisioProO365R_SubTest edition
Office 15, OfficeVisioProO365R_SubTrial edition
Office 15, OfficeVisioProR_Grace edition
Office 15, OfficeVisioProR_OEM_Perp edition
Office 15, OfficeVisioProR_Retail edition
Office 15, OfficeVisioProR_Trial edition

which was a lot more than I expected.

It is possible to use WMI to set the product key – use the SoftwareLicensingService class

Posted in CIM, Office 2010, Office 2013, PowerShell and WMI, PowerShell V3, PowerShell v4 | 2 Comments

Checking license activation

I’m building some virtual machines for my demo’s at the upcoming PowerShell summit.  To make the demo’s, and setup, more interesting(?) I decided to use some Server Core instances.

The usual setup activities become a bit more interesting with Server Core – particular Windows activation. 

Windows 2012 R2 will activate itself if the new machine has an Internet connection when it is created. With the GUI version of Windows you can check that Windows is activated using the System applet in Control Panel.

If you’re using Server Core you can use WMI to test activation:

Get-CimInstance -ClassName SoftwareLicensingProduct |
where PartialProductKey |
select Name, ApplicationId, LicenseStatus |
Format-List *

Use the SoftwareLicensingProduct WMI class and filter for PartialProductkey  – that means a product key has been entered. You can then select the name of the product the ApplicationId and the LicenseStatus:

Name          : Windows(R), ServerStandard edition
ApplicationId : 55c92734-d682-4d71-983e-d6ec3f16059f
LicenseStatus : 1

A License status of 1 indicates that its licensed – i.e. activated

More on using WMI to test and set activation in chapter 13 of PowerShell and WMI – www.manning.com/siddaway2

Posted in PowerShell and WMI, PowerShell V3, PowerShell v4, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 | 2 Comments

PowerShell Deep Dive and Save the Children

I co-edited PowerShell Deep Dives – http://www.manning.com/hicks/ – alongside Jeff Hicks and other PowerShell MVPs.  The book is collection of chapters from  PowerShell experts from around the world.

The list of authors includes:

Jeffery Hicks, Richard Siddaway, Oisín Grehan, Aleksandar Nikolić, Chris Bellée, Bartek Bielawski, Robert C. Cain, Jim Christopher, Adam Driscoll, Josh Gavant, Jason Helmick, Don Jones, Ashley McGlone, Jonathan Medd, Ben Miller, James O’Neill, Arnaud Petitjean, Vadims Podans, Karl Prosser, Boe Prox, Matthew Reynolds, Mike Robbins, Donabel Santos, Will Steele, Trevor Sullivan, and Jeff Wouters.


Best of all the royalties from the book all go to Save the Children.  The more copies we sell the more they receive.  If you haven’t bought a copy please do so. Available from your favourite bookshop or direct from the publisher.

Posted in Books, Powershell | Leave a comment


A comment was left on my last post stating that the requires keyword could be used to test for modules.

Requires is a keyword that can be put at the top of scripts and modules. It will prevent the script or module running if the requirement isn’t met.  You can test for a number of items. This list is for  PowerShell 4.0.  earlier versions of PowerShell have fewer options.

PowerShell version:

#Requires –version 3

This means that the code will only run on PowerShell version 3 or later

PowerShell snapin

#Requires –PSSnapin Microsoft.Exchange.Management.PowerShell.E2010

Loads the Exchange snapin.  iIf its not available the script won’t continue.


#Requires -Modules PSWorkflow, @{ModuleName=”PSScheduledJob”;ModuleVersion=} 

Use the module name or a hash table with name, version and optionally the GUID for the module. If the required module can’t be loaded the script fails. This is different to my test-module function as I was only interested in discovery – I wasn’t actually using the test. If your script requires a module use the #Requires statement

Elevated privileges

#Requires –RunAsAdministrator

If PowerShell isn’t running with elevated privileges the script terminates.


#Requires –ShellId Microsoft.PowerShell   

This uses the default PowerShell Shell.  Note that the console and ISE both return Microsoft.PowerShell    when you test $shellid.  If you want to test for console vs ISE use

£> $host.name

£> $Host.Name
Windows PowerShell ISE Host

Posted in Powershell Basics, PowerShell v4 | Leave a comment

Testing module existance

I had a comment left on an old post stating that Get-ADuser errored stating it wasn’t a cmdlet.  This is because the module wasn’t loaded or on PowerShell 3 and above available to be auto-imported.  That got me thinking about testing for a modules existence.

function test-module {
param (





switch ($psCmdlet.ParameterSetName) {
‘Installed’ {
                Get-Module -Name “*$name*” -ListAvailable
‘Loaded’    {
                Get-Module -Name “*$name*”

default     {
                Throw “Error!!! Should not be here”


Define a parameter for the module name and 2 switch parameters – loaded tests if the module is loaded into PowerShell and installed tests if the module can be found on the module path.

I’ve used parameter sets to make the switches mutually exclusive. 

A switch statement based on the parameter set name calls the Get-Module in an appropriate manner. Notice that the module name you supply is wrapped in wildcards so you don’t have to type the full module name.

You can use the function like this:

test-module -name cim –installed


test-module -name cim -loaded

You can even do this:

if (-not (test-module -name cim -loaded)){throw “module not found”}

Posted in Modules, PowerShell V3, PowerShell v4 | 2 Comments