Tag Archives: PowerCLI

Copy and Mount a CD with PowerCLI

The other day I realized I needed to rebuild my SQL Server 2012 installation which I’m running on a virtual machine running on an ESX box. Given that I have PowerCLI and I like to do things from the command prompt when I can, I decided to mount the SQL Server 2012 ISO on the VM using PowerShell. This actually requires a few steps that I thought I would share.

First, you naturally need to have PowerCLI installed. You will need to import the necessary snapins and connect to the ESX host.

Add-PSSnapin VMware.VimAutomation.core
Connect-viserver -Server ESX

Once connected, I can begin the process. Next, I need to copy the ISO file the datastore so that I can mount it from the VM. While the vmstore: PSDrive is fun to work with, you can’t copy from the filesystem. Copying between providers is simply not allowed. Instead I’ll use the Copy-DatastoreItem cmdlet. This will allow me to copy a local file to the VMware datastore.

The tricky part here is to get the right format for the datastore destination. This is where I want to copy to:

PS vmstore:\ha-datacenter\datastore3\ISO> dir

Datastore path: [datastore3] ISO

LastWriteTime Type Length Name
------------- ---- ------ ----
8/18/2009 9:09 AM IsoImageFile 2996799488 en_windows_server...

The “trick” is to grab the value for Datastore path from the directory listing. Thus, I can run this to copy the ISO file to the datastore.

Copy-DatastoreItem -Item $iso -Destination $dest -passthru

You get a nice progress bar and in a few minutes the file is copied. Now I can mount it in the VM’s CDDrive using Set-CDDrive. The cmdlet will need a CDDrive object from a VM and the path to the ISO file. I’ll have to construct a path using the VMware datastore format. It looks a little funny because it is not a typical Windows path.

$isopath = "[datastore3] ISO\en_sql_server_2012_standard_edition_with_sp1_x86_x64_dvd_1228143.iso"

For situations like this, I find it easiest to use the corresponding Get cmdlet, and pipe the resulting object to the Set cmdlet.

get-cddrive -VM "globomantics db" | set-cddrive -IsoPath $isopath -Connected $true

The only other parameter I specified was to connect the CDDrive to the VM. This command takes a moment to run and then in the VM I can “see” the DVD and use it normally. Awesome. When I’m finished I can dismount the CD much the same way.

get-cddrive -VM "globomantics db" | set-cddrive -NoMedia

This may seem like a lot of typing, but if it is something I need to do a lot I could build a simple script or function. And it is still faster (for me) than navigating the GUI.

Techmentor Orlando 2011 Decks and Demos

As promised, I have put together the most current versions of my slide decks and demos. A word of caution on the demos: many of them were designed to be used with my Start-Demo function, which essentially steps through the demo file one line at a time. The AD demos do include a few scripts but don't assume that anything is ready to run. Use the demos more for review or as a jump start for your own scripts.

Managing Active Directory with Windows PowerShell Slide deck demo files
Getting Started with PowerCLI Slide deck demo files
PowerShell Scripting Best Practices Slide deck demo files

In my PowerCLI session I also showed a VMware health check script written by Alan Renouf. You can download that script from his site.

I hope you found the sessions informative and useful. Of course a conference presentation just gets you started. If you or your organization would like more fomallized traiining, just ask.

PowerCLI VM Peek

Now that I believe I’ve resolved my hardware issues with my VMware server, I’m expecting to use it much more. I’m also continuing my exploration of the PowerCLI tool set which allows me to manage my virtual infrastructure from a Windows PowerShell session. One task that I frequently need is to identify which virtual machines are running, and especially the guest host name. Last week I tweeted a PowerShell one-liner.
[cc lang=”powerShell”]
get-vm | where {$_.powerstate -match “on”} | get-vmguest | select State,VMName,Hostname,OSFullname,IPAddress
This finds all virtual machines that are powered on then pipes that object to the Get-VMGuest cmdlet which returns the information I’m really after. Here’s a sample result.
[cc lang=”Powershell”]
State : Running
VmName : MyCompany Windows 7
HostName : Win7Desk01.MYCOMPANY.LOCAL
OSFullName : Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)
IPAddress : {}
Now, I could have simply saved that one-liner as a function or script block but naturally I had to take things a step further. I wanted a function that would also include some error handling and handle a connection to my VM host if it wasn’t already connected. Thus was born Get-RunningVM.
[cc lang=”Powershell”]
Function Get-RunningVM {


#verify we’re connected to a VM host
Try {
if (get-vmhost -Server $VMhost -State connected -erroraction “Stop”) {
Catch {
#Try to connect
Try {
$viserver=Connect-VIserver -Server $VMhost -protocol $protocol -port $port -user $user -password $password -errorAction “Stop”
Catch {
$msg=”Failed to connect to server {0} on {1}:{2} as user {3}” -f $vmhost,$protocol,$port,$user
Write-Warning $msg
Write-Warning $error[0].Exception.Message

#if we’re finally connected to a host, get running VMs
if ($connected) {
#get the powered on VMs and display VMGuest information
get-vm | where {$_.powerstate -match “on”} | get-vmguest |
select State,VMName,Hostname,OSFullname,IPAddress

} #end function
The function requires that the VMware snapin already be loaded. I have a nested set of Try/Catch constructs to check if I’m connected to VM host and if not, to do so. Once connected I execute my one-liner. I’m using basic, default connection information for my host since I’m not in a large enterprise environment. You might need to tweak the parameters. In fact, since I only have a single VM host, I’m not sure what other tweaks might be necessary for a multiple server environment. I’d love to get some real-world feedback on that. In fact, you will have to edit the default parameter values since the default VMHost is my server name. Using default values saves a lot of typing.

Download Get-RunningVM.