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Windows Tips & Tricks UPDATE, January 8, 2006--Windows PowerShell Documentation

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7 Vista Tips and Tricks

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Q. Where can I find documentation about Windows PowerShell 1.0?
Q. How can I programmatically get the GUID of my machine? Q. What's the best way to add applications to a Microsoft Vista image?
Q. How can I easily start a program in elevated permission mode?

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==== FAQs ====
by John Savill, FAQ Editor, [email protected]

Q. Where can I find documentation about Windows PowerShell 1.0?

A. Microsoft has released the PowerShell 1.0 documentation pack which is available for download at . It consists of these components:
- A getting started guide that goes over the basics of the PowerShell and some of the most common tasks you'll perform
- A foldable quick reference guide that gives basic information about the syntax and PowerShell commands
- A full user guide
- Release notes

After reading the getting started guide and the quick reference guide, you can really hit the ground running.


Q. How can I programmatically get the GUID of my machine?

A. You can use the uuID attributes of the Win32_ComputerSystemProduct class to retrieve the machine's GUID, which is read from the BIOS, as the following sample code shows:

strComputer ="."

' --------------------------------------------
Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strComputer & "\root\CIMV2")
Set colItems = objWMIService.ExecQuery ("SELECT * FROM Win32_ComputerSystemProduct")

' On Error Resume Next
For Each objComputer In colItems Wscript.Echo "uuID: " & objComputer.uuID Next


For example:

D:\temp>cscript getuuid.vbs

produces the following result:

uuID: 4C4C4544-0051-5810-8039-B6C04F533931


Q. What's the best way to add applications to a Microsoft Vista image?

A. As with previous deployment technologies, you can install applications onto a reference machine and capture the reference machine to an image that can then be installed to target machines. However, there are pros and cons to this approach.

With Vista, we have powerful facilities to mount the Windows Image (WIM) format images and modify files within the image, so we have two options:
1. Install applications onto a reference machine, then capture it to a WIM file.
2. Use the standard Vista WIM image from the media, mount the WIM file, and copy the installation files for the applications to the WIM file. When the WIM file is deployed, the local application installation files execute to install the applications

Although option 1 has the applications available straight away, once the image is deployed, it has a maintenance disadvantage: When you update an application, you can't slipstream the application fix into the image. With option 2, when a fix or update is available, you copy the files to the WIM image so future deployments have the update with no need to recreate a reference machine, apply the update, then recapture the WIM file.

Use whichever option works best in your environment, but don't forget options beyond putting applications in the deployment image. Combination solutions such as using WIM files for the OS deployment and Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) to deploy applications is often the best solution.


Q. How can I easily start a program in elevated permission mode?

A. You can usually start a program with elevated privileges by right-clicking the application and selecting "Run as Administrator" from its context menu. Alternatively, you can start an application from the Search menu and press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to execute in elevated mode. For example, in Search, type cmd (for command prompt), and press Ctrl+Shift+Enter. You'll be prompted to confirm to run with elevated credentials and when you do, you'll have an elevated command prompt.


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