Tag Archives: ShowWindow

Three Ways to Set $PSDefaultParameterValues

Update: When you’re done here, read Part II.

Although we’ve discussed the $PSDefaultParameterValues before, I wanted to a do a quick recap. I need one place that shows the various ways to set this variable. That’s what this post will do for me, and perhaps you too.

First, however, let’s remind everyone what the $PSDefaultParameterValues variable does for us. It allows us to set a custom, default value for a function, or cmdlet’s parameter. One of the examples I mentioned before, in one of the three posts I’ve written about $PSDefaultParameterValues (1 | 2 | 3), used Get-Help.

This cmdlet includes a ShowWindow switch parameter that will open the full help inside its own GUI window. I tend to use this option a great deal to keep my ConsoleHost clean. In order to keep this post short, I’m just going to write the three ways in which I’m aware that we can set this variable.

$PSDefaultParameterValues.Add('Get-Help:ShowWindow',$true)

$PSDefaultParameterValues = @{'Get-Help:ShowWindow' = $true}

$PSDefaultParameterValues['Get-Help:ShowWindow'] = $true

Oh, Lee Holmes posted a welcome PSDefaultParameterValues addition on Twitter recently. I’ve included that addition below using the three above options, as well. Unlike his example, I moved from three underscores, to two. You’ll see what I mean below, if you haven’t already read the Tweet.

With this example in place, the results of all the commands entered will end up in the $__ variable. Again, that’s two underscores. Run a Get-ADUser command, for instance, and you’ll get the results both on the screen, and in the $__ variable up until you run another command that can make use of the OutVariable common parameter.

$PSDefaultParameterValues.Add('Out-Default:OutVariable','__')

$PSDefaultParameterValues = @{'Out-Default:OutVariable' = '__'}

$PSDefaultParameterValues['Out-Default:OutVariable'] = '__'

Give a Parameter a Default Value (Part III)

Part II: http://tommymaynard.com/quick-learn-give-a-parameter-a-default-value-part-ii-2015

Didn’t know I’d be back for a third installment of this topic, but the $PSDefaultParameterValues variable is still such a huge convenience. While punching out commands today, I had a thought: Can $PSDefaultParameterValues be a bit more dynamic?

I’m not going to fully introduce the $PSDefaultParameterValues again, but I’ll leave a quick explanation. This hash table allows us to instruct cmdlets and functions to use a default value for one of their parameters. Here’s a couple examples borrowed from the first two $PSDefaultParameterValues posts. To read the first two posts, follow the links at the bottom of this post. Both of these examples do the same thing, outside of the fact they’re written for different cmdlets.

$PSDefaultParameterValues.Add('Test-Connection:Count','1')
$PSDefaultParameterValues = @{'Get-Help:ShowWindow' = $true}

After our variable is set, anytime I use the Test-Connection cmdlet, it will include the -Count parameter with the parameter value of 1. Additionally, when I use Get-Help, it will always include the -ShowWindow parameter, without the need to enter it myself. The examples show how to set the variable both by using the Add method, and as a hash table — which is really all the variable is anyway.

I had a recent need to ensure the -Server parameter value on the Get-ADPrincipalGroupMembership cmdlet used the PDC Emulator. If you see the error: “The operation being requested was not performed because the user has not been authenticated, then you may need to ensure you’re using the PDCE when using this cmdlet, too. Anyway, I didn’t want to hard code the PDCE value in $PSDefaultParameterValues, so I tried something new, and you’re reading this today, because it worked. Here’s how I updated the $PSDefaultParameterValues variable to dynamically obtain the value it should use.

$PSDefaultParameterValues.Add('Get-ADPrincipalGroupMembership:Server',"$((Get-ADDomain).PDCEmulator)")
$PSDefaultParameterValues | Format-Table -AutoSize

Name                                  Value
----                                  -----
Get-ADPrincipalGroupMembership:Server DC01.mydomain.com

Now, whenever I run the Get-ADPrincipalGroupMembership cmdlet (inside the PowerShell session where the $PSDefaultParameterValues has been set), it’ll include the -Server parameter and the value of the PDCE — which ever server that is, and without the need to hard code its name. So yeah, we can use dynamic content in $PSDefaultParameterValues.

Part I: http://tommymaynard.com/quick-learn-give-a-parameter-a-default-value-2015
Part II: http://tommymaynard.com/quick-learn-give-a-parameter-a-default-value-part-ii-2015

Give a Parameter a Default Value (Part II)

Part I: http://tommymaynard.com/quick-learn-give-a-parameter-a-default-value-2015
Part III: http://tommymaynard.com/quick-learn-give-a-parameter-a-default-value-part-iii-2016

An old co-worker and friend contacted me last week. We hadn’t chatted since the last time I was interviewing for a job — a job I have now (well, pretty close anyway). I remember telling him I wanted a job that allowed me to work with Windows PowerShell. While he probably wasn’t surprised to hear this job did just that, he might have been, to hear I had started this site — a site using my name, and all about PowerShell. It’s a pretty serious commitment to associate your name with a technology, and continue to provide new content.

He mentioned to me that he wasn’t aware of the $PSDefaultParameterValues preference variable until he read this post. No joke, but it’s exciting to know that something I wrote was helpful for him. You see, this isn’t your average intelligence IT Pro, no, this is walking, talking IT genius. You know the kind — one of the ones you’d hire first, if you opened your own consulting business. In fact, during that same first chat, I discovered that he spoke at the Microsoft Higher-Education Conference in October 2014. He’s definitely doing something right.

As last weekend passed, I occasionally thought about that $PSDefaultParameterValues post and decided I should add something more to it, especially since I highlighted what I would consider to be the less used approach for populating this variable. First off, for those that haven’t read the previous post, the $PSDefaultParameterValues variable allows you to specify a default value for a cmdlet’s, or function’s, parameter(s).

For example, if I wanted the Get-Help cmdlet to always include the -ShowWindow parameter, then I can add that default value to the cmdlet like so:

PS C:\> $PSDefaultParameterValues
PS C:\> # Proof the variable is empty.
PS C:\> $PSDefaultParameterValues.Add('Get-Help:ShowWindow',$true)
PS C:\> $PSDefaultParameterValues

Name                           Value
----                           -----
Get-Help:ShowWindow            True

With this value set, every time we use the Get-Help cmdlet, it will include the -ShowWindow parameter, even though I don’t specifically enter it at the time the command is run. In the previous example, we use the .Add() method to add a key-value pair; however, I suspect that most people will actually be more likely to use a hash table to add the cmdlet and parameter, and its new, default parameter value. Here’s the same example as above using the hash table option.

PS C:\> $PSDefaultParameterValue
PS C:\> # Proof the variable is empty.
PS C:\> $PSDefaultParameterValues = @{'Get-Help:ShowWindow' = $true}
PS C:\> $PSDefaultParameterValues

Name                           Value
----                           -----
Get-Help:ShowWindow            True

Now for the reason I led with with .Add() method: If you use the hash table option above, and the variable is already populated, then it’s going to overwrite the value it’s already storing, unless we use the += assignment operator. Follow along in the next few examples under the assumption that $PSDefaultParameterValues, is already populated from the previous example.

PS C:\> $PSDefaultParameterValues

Name                           Value
----                           -----
Get-Help:ShowWindow            True

PS C:\> $PSDefaultParameterValues = @{'Get-ADUser:Server' = 'MyClosestDC'}
PS C:\> $PSDefaultParameterValues

Name                           Value
----                           -----
Get-ADUser:Server              MyClosestDC

In the example above, using the = assignment operator overwrote our Get-Help ShowWindow key-value pair, as it would with any populated variable. The idea here is that we either need to assign all the parameter default values at once (when using a hash table), or use the += assignment operator to append other key-value pairs. Here’s both ways:

PS C:\> $PSDefaultParameterValues
PS C:\> # Proof the variable is empty.
PS C:\> $PSDefaultParameterValues = @{'Get-Help:ShowWindow' = $true;'Get-ADUser:Server' = 'MyClosestDC'}
PS C:\> $PSDefaultParameterValues

Name                           Value
----                           -----
Get-ADUser:Server              MyClosestDC
Get-Help:ShowWindow            True

PS C:\> $PSDefaultParameterValues = $null
PS C:\> $PSDefaultParameterValues
PS C:\> # Proof the variable is empty.
PS C:\> $PSDefaultParameterValues = @{'Get-Help:ShowWindow' = $true}
PS C:\> $PSDefaultParameterValues += @{'Get-ADUser:Server' = 'MyClosestDC'}
PS C:\> $PSDefaultParameterValues

Name                           Value
----                           -----
Get-ADUser:Server              MyClosestDC
Get-Help:ShowWindow            True

That’s all there is to it. If you’re going to use a hash table and assign values to your $PSDefaultParameterValues at different times, then be sure to use the correct assignment operator, or use the .Add() method — it’s up to you. For me, I populate this variable in my profile, so overwriting it, is something in which I’m not concerned. Thanks for reading!

Out-GridView in a PSRemoting Session

Twitter Reply to:

We can’t use the Out-GridView cmdlet in a remote session. How do we know this? Well for one, the documentation says so (search for ‘You cannot use a remote command’ on that webpage), and two, because if you try, you’ll get a straight forward error message on the topic: “Out-GridView does not work in a remote session.” Okay, but why?

Out-GridView produces a Graphic User Interface (GUI) — something we don’t use in PSRemoting sessions. In fact, everything about a PSRemoting session is text only. This isn’t just about Out-GridView, though. Other graphical elements in Windows PowerShell aren’t going to work either. This includes Get-Help’s -ShowWindow parameter, and the Show-Command cmdlet. It just wasn’t designed to work this way.

Other GUI elements don’t work either. While you won’t get a helpful message, like you do with the PowerShell cmdlets and parameters, launching notepad.exe and calc.exe isn’t going to work like it does on a local computer. Those programs work a little differently though, as they will actually launch on the remote computer. It just won’t be in any useable fashion from your remote session. Bonus: They may lock up your remote session until they are closed.

Note: If you were to try this, one way to rectify the situation would be to open a second PowerShell console and run the following, assuming you launched calc.exe: Invoke-Command -ComputerName computername -ScriptBlock {Get-Process -Name calc.exe | Stop-Process}. This would end the process on the remote computer, and give you back your prompt on the console where you were running your PSRemoting session.

Everything until now, assumed we were talking about an interactive PSRemoting session (using the Enter-PSSession cmdlet). Well, what about Invoke-Command? Invoke-Command is used to run commands on remote systems and return the results to the local computer. As you can see in the examples below, we can run a command on a remote computer and then display the results on our local computer, inside Out-GridView.

Note: Although I didn’t have any problems with the small handful of cmdlets I tried, the same webpage linked above indicates that data returned from a remote computer may not be formatted correctly for use with Out-GridView.

PS C:\> $Services = Invoke-Command -ComputerName dc01 -ScriptBlock {Get-Service}
PS C:\> $Services | Out-GridView
PS C:\> $PSWARules = Invoke-Command -ComputerName PSWAServer01 -ScriptBlock {Get-PSWAAuthorizationRule}
PS C:\> $PSWARules | Out-GridView

Thanks for the inspiration to write a little about this topic, Tim.