Build a better pull server

DSC functions in 2 modes – push (most basic) and pull. Creating a pull server is a non-trivial task and the out-of-the-box pull server has some issues. Some of the folks at powershell.org have decided its time to build a better pull server.

There’s a project on github that supplies the code for the open source, cross platform, pull server project known as tug.  pull – tug – pull… you get the picture.

You can find the project at https://github.com/PowerShellOrg/tug

If you’re using DSC download it, give it a try and feed back to the project what you’ve discovered. 

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Diskpart and PowerShell – part 6: Multiple partitions on a disk

So far we’ve looked at creating a single partition on a disk. This time we’ll look at how you can create multiple partitions on a disk. The are good reasons not to do this but its something I’ve seen done on a frequent basis.

Lets create a 20GB disk as an example and mount it

New-VHD -Path C:\test\Test1.vhdx -Dynamic -SizeBytes 20GB
Get-VHD -Path C:\test\Test1.vhdx | Mount-VHD

Initialise the disk

Initialize-Disk -Number 1

Now we can create some partitions

New-Partition -DiskNumber 1 -DriveLetter F -Size 5GB
New-Partition -DiskNumber 1 -DriveLetter G -Size 5GB
New-Partition -DiskNumber 1 -DriveLetter H -Size 5GB
New-Partition -DiskNumber 1 -DriveLetter I -Size 4.87GB

The reason that the last partition is only 4.87 G is that 128MB of disk space is reserved

PS> Get-Partition -DiskNumber 1 | Format-Table -AutoSize


   DiskPath: \\?\scsi#disk&ven_msft&prod_virtual_disk#2&1f4adffe&0&000003#{53f56307-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}

PartitionNumber DriveLetter Offset         Size Type
--------------- ----------- ------         ---- ----
1                           17408        128 MB Reserved
2               F           135266304      5 GB Basic
3               G           5503975424     5 GB Basic
4               H           10872684544    5 GB Basic
5               I           16241393664 4.87 GB Basic

You can format the 4 new volumes in one pass

Get-Partition -DiskNumber 1 | 
where Type -ne 'Reserved' | 
Format-Volume -FileSystem NTFS -Confirm:$false –Force

PS> Get-Partition -DiskNumber 1 | Get-Volume | select DriveLetter, FileSystem, Size

DriveLetter FileSystem       Size
----------- ----------       ----
          H NTFS       5368705024
          G NTFS       5368705024
          I NTFS       5229244416
          F NTFS       5368705024

The Storage module can be used to simply and easily create multiple volumes on a disk

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PowerShell in Azure Cloud Shell

if you are an Azure user see this post from the PowerShell team – https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/powershell/2017/05/23/coming-soon-powershell-in-azure-cloud-shell/

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Diskpart and PowerShell – part4: Remove a partition

So far you’ve seen how to create and modify partitions and volumes. Its now time to look at how you remove a partition.

Mount the test VHD

Get-VHD -Path C:\test\Test1.vhdx | Mount-VHD

You can’t remove a volume – you have to remove the partition. Identifying the CORRECT partition to remove is the challenge

PS> Get-Partition | select PartitionNumber, DriveLetter, Size, Type

PartitionNumber DriveLetter         Size Type
--------------- -----------         ---- ----
              1                134217728 Reserved
              2           F   8589934592 Basic
              1                367001600 IFS
              2           C 511269232640 IFS
              3                470810624 Unknown

Not every partition has a drive letter and partition numbers are repeated. The partition object holds the disk number

PS> Get-Partition | select DiskNumber, PartitionNumber, DriveLetter, Size, Type | Format-Table

DiskNumber PartitionNumber DriveLetter         Size Type
---------- --------------- -----------         ---- ----
         1               1                134217728 Reserved
         1               2           F   8589934592 Basic
         0               1                367001600 IFS
         0               2           C 511269232640 IFS
         0               3                470810624 Unknown

So the combination of disk number and partition number is unique and will identify any partition. Remove our 8GB partition

Remove-Partition -DiskNumber 1 -PartitionNumber 2 -Confirm:$false

and the 128MB partition

Remove-Partition -DiskNumber 1 -PartitionNumber 1 -Confirm:$false

Get-Partition will show that the drive F: has been removed

Looking the disk organisation

Get-Disk -Number 1 | Select @{N='Size'; E={[math]::Round(($_.Size / 1GB), 2)}}, @{N='AllocatedSize'; E={[math]::Round(($_.AllocatedSize / 1GB), 2)}}, @{N='LargestFreeExtent'; E={[math]::Round(($_.LargestFreeExtent / 1GB), 2)}} | Format-List

Size              : 20
AllocatedSize     : 0
LargestFreeExtent : 20

The whole of the disk is now available for re-use

Posted in Powershell, Storage | Leave a comment

Diskpart and PowerShell–part 4: Expand a volume

Let’s create a new disk and mount it

New-VHD -Path C:\test\Test1.vhdx -Dynamic -SizeBytes 20GB
Get-VHD -Path C:\test\Test1.vhdx | Mount-VHD
Initialize-Disk -Number 1

This time we’ll create a volume that only uses part of the disk

New-Partition -DiskNumber 1 -DriveLetter F -Size 5GB

And now format the partition

Get-Partition -DriveLetter F |
Format-Volume -FileSystem NTFS -Confirm:$false –Force

The disk is organised like this

Get-Disk -Number 1 | 
Select @{N='Size'; E={[math]::Round(($_.Size / 1GB), 2)}}, 
 @{N='AllocatedSize'; E={[math]::Round(($_.AllocatedSize / 1GB), 2)}}, 
@{N='LargestFreeExtent'; E={[math]::Round(($_.LargestFreeExtent / 1GB), 2)}} |
Format-List

Size              : 20
AllocatedSize     : 5.13
LargestFreeExtent : 14.87

Lets expand the partition

Get-Partition -DriveLetter F | 
Resize-Partition -Size 8GB

And re-examine the disk organisation

Get-Disk -Number 1 | 
Select @{N='Size'; E={[math]::Round(($_.Size / 1GB), 2)}}, 
 @{N='AllocatedSize'; E={[math]::Round(($_.AllocatedSize / 1GB), 2)}}, 
@{N='LargestFreeExtent'; E={[math]::Round(($_.LargestFreeExtent / 1GB), 2)}} |
Format-List

Size              : 20
AllocatedSize     : 8.13
LargestFreeExtent : 11.87

The extra space is added to the volume and formatted to match the existing filesystem on the volume

Posted in Powershell, Storage | Leave a comment

Table or List

A question on the forum asked why a object is displayed in a table if it has 4 or fewer properties and as  a list if it  has more than 4 properties:

PS> [PSCustomObject]@{P1=1; P2=2; P3=3; P4=4}

P1 P2 P3 P4
-- -- -- --
 1  2  3  4
PS> [PSCustomObject]@{P1=1; P2=2; P3=3; P4=4; P5=5}


P1 : 1
P2 : 2
P3 : 3
P4 : 4
P5 : 5

This is a built in mechanism in PowerShell and is done automatically.

The quick way to get the output in table format is to use Format-Table

PS> [PSCustomObject]@{P1=1; P2=2; P3=3; P4=4; P5=5} | Format-Table

P1 P2 P3 P4 P5
-- -- -- -- --
 1  2  3  4  5
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PowerShell v6 beta

PowerShell v6 has reached a significant milestone – the release of the first PowerShell v6 beta version. There have been 18 releases of alpha code since August 2016 when the open source PowerShell v6 project started.

There is no indication of how many beta releases there will be before PowerShell v6 is ready to ship.

Code is available from https://github.com/PowerShell/PowerShell/releases

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