Retrieving Shares in Powershell with WMI

Powershell one liners are a great way to work with Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).  One of the WMI features I use the most is Win32_Share. It is a fast and easy way to retrieve share information.

In this blog entry I would like to explore the capabilities of WMI by developing a WIN32_Share utility. To begin let’s look at the most simple command available.

Get-WmiObject win32_share

Basic WMI Win32_Share Command

You’ll see from the image above that we get back three types of information from this WMI query. Name, Path, and Description. It may not be readily visible, but we also get back several types of shares.  Above we see administrative shares, printer, and shares, and regular file shares. As a system administrator that is interested in managing the files shares available to my user I want to work with only file shares now.  We can add some syntax to filter the type of share that is returned. To do that we need to know the share type.

Here is a modified version of the basic command we used above:

Get-WmiObject win32_share | Select-Object name, path, description, type | Format-Table -autosize

I used the Powershell commandlette select-object to request four specific properties to be returned from the WMI query. They are name, path, description, and type.  Also, I’ve added the text “Format-Table -autosize” to make it all fit neatly on the screen. Here is the result of the query:

GWMI WIN32_Share with Select-Object

Now to make it even more useful, we only want the shares that would be accessed by our users. They don’t need access to the admin shares (type 2147483648), or the shared printer (type 1). To filter on the type property we can use the Powershell commandlette where-object:

Get-WmiObject win32_share | Select-Object name, path, description, type | Where-Object { $_.type  -eq ‘0’}| Format-Table -autosize

GWMI Win32_Share with Type Filtering

Finally we can use the sort-object commandlette to sort the WMI query based on any property we want:

PS>$ Get-WmiObject win32_share | Select-Object name, path, description, type | `>> Where-Object { $_.type  -eq ‘0’}| Sort-Object path | ft -autosize>>

WMI Win32_Share with Sort

One great feature of Powershell version 2.0 is the out-gridview commandlette. It allows you to sort and filter using a dotnet gridview. Here is the command a screen capture of the output. Notice how the actual command is much short as we are filtering and sorting in the resulting gridview object:

Get-WmiObject win32_share | Select-Object name, path, description, type | Out-GridView.

WMI Win32_Share with Out-GridView

So, that’s it for now. Next time we will expand this further to see how we can pull back the file shares from multiple servers at once.


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