Robert Vance

Author's posts

HOWTO: Determine what wmiprvse.exe is actually doing (aka Troubleshoot WMI)

This HOWTO came about after watching the excellent video series on using Process Explorer available here: Case of the Unexplained: Troubleshooting with Mark Russinovich In this video, he talks about a case where wmiprvse.exe was causing Bluray video playback to stutter.  If you have worked in IT for any length of time, you’ve probably seen …

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HOWTO: Real world use case for Convert-FromString

This HOWTO covers a real world example of how to use Convert-FromString which was introduced in PowerShell 5.  As a reminder, this is the powerful new cmdlet that allows you to parse any kind of text data and convert the resulting data into structured PowerShell objects by defining “templates” for how the data is laid …

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HOWTO: Convert Complex Text Data into PowerShell Objects

PowerShell 5.0 introduces a wonderful new cmdlet called ConvertFrom-String.  Don’t let the simple name deceive you though.  There is some exceptionally complex math running behind the scenes here to do some truly wonderful things. In fact, the code that gets executed inside this function is based upon the "FlashExtract" project completed by Microsoft Research.  How …

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HOWTO: Monitor a webpage and alert on change

This is admittedly kind of a silly HOWTO but does contain a number of very useful concepts. I am eagerly awaiting the Lenovo Thinkpad P50 laptop.  The official webpage for this laptop went live today but for pricing it simply says “Coming Soon”. Rather than refresh the page constantly, I figured I’d let PowerShell do …

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HOWTO: Identify and Run every valid Get-* cmdlet on your system

I recently found myself on a long bus ride with my laptop and no Internet connection.  I decided to create a PowerShell puzzle for myself to keep me busy until I reached my destination.  It ended up being kind of interesting so I wanted to share my puzzle and the solution with here. Challenge PowerShell …

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HOWTO: Convert SQL data to PowerShell Objects

As you develop your PowerShell skills, you’ll start to see how they can be useful everywhere – even in places where it might not seem obvious. Let’s say you have a SQL database that you need to extract information from but you’re not terribly strong with SQL.  You are pretty good with PowerShell though. Wouldn’t …

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HOWTO: Create Fastest Possible Custom Objects [Revisit]

In November of last year I did a post called the "Fastest Possible Way to Make Custom Objects in PowerShell". http://pleasework.robbievance.net/howto-fastest-possible-way-to-make-custom-objects-in-powershell/ That post came about because I was frustrated with the techniques I was using at the time to make custom objects and decided to sit down and once and for all simply the process. …

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HOWTO: Reusable Template with Windows Server Trial

This HOWTO covers how use the free 180 trial version of Windows Server 2012 R2 to build a reusable template for lab and development purposes. The objective of the steps below are as follows: Ensure that whenever we need to deploy a new Windows Server for testing, it will always have the latest updates and …

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HOWTO: Desired State Configuration (DSC) Overview

I found myself curious if I could get my entire lab environment to build itself from scratch in a 100% automated fashion including deploying and configuring Active Directory. All of the cmdlets to perform these tasks already exist in PowerShell and are trivial to perform individually.  But what happens if you want to combine them …

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Why are people on Kijiji like this?

I’ve recently put up several items on Kijiji and in doing so received a number of interested replies.  Unfortunately, many of those replies are practically unintelligible. Why is this?  At first I thought that many of them are some kind of bot or automated software that intentionally uses exceptionally poor grammar but I couldn’t think …

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