Use PowerShell 3.0 to Find Enabled Windows 8 Features

Use PowerShell 3.0 to Find Enabled Windows 8 Features

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Summary: Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, shows how to use Windows PowerShell 3.0 to find enabled Windows 8 features.

Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. One of the neat things about Windows (does not matter the version) is how I can customize the installation or deployment. In fact, nearly every version of Windows I have ever worked with has had very sophisticated deployment tools. For the majority of my needs, they are a bit too sophisticated.

All I would like to do is add or remove features from a client operating system in an easy-to-use manner. In the past, I used a tool called sysocmgr. I wrote a number of rather complicated VBScript scripts to automate the use of sysocmgr. It worked, and it was the tool that I had to use to get the job done. A few years ago, Microsoft introduced DISM. This powerful tool permits easy manipulation of images. Cool.

Use the DISM cmdlets to determine enabled features

In Windows 8 with Windows PowerShell 3.0, there are a number of cmdlets supplied as part of the DISM module. These cmdlets are listed in the following table along with a synopsis of their functionality.

Name

Function

Add-AppxProvisionedPackage

Adds an AppX package that will install for each new user to a Windows image.

Use-WindowsUnattend

Applies an unattended answer file to a Windows image.

Get-AppxProvisionedPackage

Gets information about AppX packages in an image that will be installed for each new user.

Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage

Removes an AppX packages from a Windows image.

Add-AppxProvisionedPackage

Adds an AppX package that will install for each new user to a Windows image.

Add-WindowsDriver

Adds a driver to an offline Windows image.

Add-WindowsPackage

Adds a single .cab or .msu file to a Windows image.

Clear-WindowsCorruptMountPoint

Deletes all of the resources associated with a mounted image that has been corrupted.

Disable-WindowsOptionalFeature

Disables a feature in a Windows image.

Dismount-WindowsImage

Dismounts a Windows image from the directory it is mapped to.

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature

Enables a feature in a Windows image.

Get-AppxProvisionedPackage

Gets information about AppX packages in an image that will be installed for each new user.

Get-WindowsDriver

Displays information about drivers in a Windows image.

Get-WindowsEdition

Gets edition information about a Windows image.

Get-WindowsImage

Gets information about a Windows image in a .wim or .vhd file.

Get-WindowsOptionalFeature

Gets information about optional features in a Windows image.

Get-WindowsPackage

Gets information about packages in a Windows image.

Mount-WindowsImage

Mounts a Windows image in a .wim or .vhd file to a directory on the local computer.

Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage

Removes an AppX packages from a Windows image.

Remove-WindowsDriver

Removes a driver from an offline Windows image.

Remove-WindowsPackage

Removes a package from a Windows image.

Repair-WindowsImage

Repairs a Windows image in a .wim or .vhd file.

Save-WindowsImage

Applies changes made to a mounted image to its .wim or .vhd file.

Set-WindowsEdition

Changes a Windows image to a higher edition.

Set-WindowsProductKey

Sets the product key for the Windows image.

Use-WindowsUnattend

Applies an unattended answer file to a Windows image.

Note   The Get-WindowsOptionalFeature cmdlet must run with elevated rights. Right-click the Windows PowerShell 3.0 console while holding the CTRL key, and select Run As Administrator from the action menu.

The Get-WindowsOptionalFeature cmdlet reveals information about the status of the optional Windows features. The trick, unless you really are manipulating a Windows image, is to use the online switch. When used, the online switch tells the Get-WindowsOptionalFeature cmdlet to return the status of the current installation. The syntax for this command is shown here.

Get-WindowsOptionalFeature –Online

By default, the Get-WindowsOptionalFeature returns about all information about all features—enabled, disabled, or otherwise. To return only enabled features, use the Where-Object to filter on the state property. The default display of information is a list that makes the information cumbersome to read. I like to pipe results to Format-Table and use the autosize parameter to create a nice, tight display. This technique is shown here (ft is an alias for Format-Table and –a is the partial parameter for autosize).

Get-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online | where state -eq enabled | ft –a

The command and output associated with the command are shown in the image that follows.

Image of command output

The command works against remote computers in addition to local ones by using Windows PowerShell remoting. I use the same technique that I have used in the past.

First, I import the Active Directory module. (This module does not exist unless the RSAT tools are installed on the local computer, or unless you use implicit remoting to bring them from a remote server.) Next, I use the Get-ADComputer cmdlet to find all of the Windows 8 computers, and then I use the Invoke-Command cmdlet to use the Get-WindowsOptionalFeature cmdlet to find the enabled optional features. This bit of code is shown here.

Get-EnabledWindowsOptionalFeatures.ps1

Import-Module activedirectory

$c = Get-ADComputer -Filter * -Properties operatingsystem |

   where operatingsystem -match 8

Invoke-Command -cn $c.name -SCRIPT {

  Get-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online |

  Where-Object state -eq enabled

   }

Join me tomorrow when I will talk about more cool things you can do with Windows PowerShell.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions, send email to me at scripter@microsoft.com, or post your questions on the Official Scripting Guys Forum. See you tomorrow. Until then, peace.

Ed Wilson, Microsoft Scripting Guy 

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  • Altough the 5 part videos he made about PowerShell didn't help me really, he's still a great scripter.

  • @Livio Von Buren I have two five part series of videos. The first part is called PowerShell: Learn it now before its an Emergency. The Second part is called PowerShell essentials for the busy admin. They are both available via the Learn PowerShell page: www.scriptingguys.com/LearnPowerShell

  • So that works but how do you add or install-windowsoptionalfeature?