by: Helge, published: Sep 15, 2009, updated: Oct 27, 2010, in

Useful PowerShell Scriptlets for Files and Folders

What is the best way to learn PowerShell? Never use cmd.exe again!

With PowerShell 2.0 on my Windows 7 machine I decided it finally is time to polish my rusty knowledge of the language dating back to the days when PowerShell was still called Monad. In my attempt to re-familiarize myself with PoSh I consciously use it for tasks that would take me mere seconds with other tools like cmd.exe, or even old friends like Perl. But, hey, learning takes time, and there is nothing better than practice! Here are a couple of things I have learned en route.

Searching for a Particular File

Long version:

Get-ChildItem c:\ -Include advapi32.dll -Recurse -Force -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Select-Object FullName

Short version:

gci c:\ advapi32.dll -r -fo -ea silentlycontinue | select fullname

This recursively scans drive C: for the file advapi32.dll, looks at hidden and system files (-Force) and ignores errors that might be caused by insufficient permissions. For each file found, the full path is displayed.

Sample Output:


Cmd.exe equivalent:

dir /a /s /b c:\advapi32.dll

Listing Encrypted Files and Folders

Long version:

Get-ChildItem c:\ -Include * -Recurse -Force -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Where-Object {$_.Attributes -ge "Encrypted"} | Select-Object FullName

Short version:

gci c:\ * -r -fo -ea silentlycontinue | ? {$_.attributes -ge "encrypted"} | select fullname

This iterates over all objects on drive C: and displays the full path of those that have the encrypted attribute set.

Cmd.exe equivalent:

None (without resorting to external tools, which would be possible with PowerShell, too).


Is there a more elegant way of doing this? If so, please let me know by posting a comment.

Update 1: Thanks to Shay Levy I replaced -gt with -ge in the search for encrypted files. Now the scriptlet also finds files that only have the encrypted attribute set.

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