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Scripting Winbatch or Windows Powershell - w/ Windows Deployment Services & Vista

Posted on 2006-12-01
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have recently started doing some minor scripting in Winbatch. This was the previous method they used to automate installation of software, so basically I continued doing what they did and used what they used. Basically what they did was run RIS to install the OS, then calls the EXE created by winbatch to run scripts to install software.

But is there any good reason I should be thinking of switching to Powershell or some other scripting language?
I saw these links on the Vista webpage and it was boasting how powerful it is.. but is it really any different? It's still relatively new, right? Anyone had a chance to use Powershell and see just how it is? We're in the process of learning about Vista and possibly switching from RIS to WDS sometime later (bc according to them RIS is harder to implement and WDS would possibly fix these problems).. so I wanted to know if it made sense to also the switch scripting languages? There was a comment I found somewhere online where they refered winbatch as "old"... should I be looking at something more current?  I'm new to all this so any info is appreciated. Thanks!

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/technologies/management/powershell/default.mspx
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/scriptcenter/hubs/msh.mspx
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Question by:ThinkPaper
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Shankadude earned 250 total points
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PowerShell is relatively new indeed. It is placed as the new command shell for sysadmin to perform system admin tasks from the commandline. PowerShell will be the tool for the future I think. It isn't installed by default (yet) so you have to install it by hand before you can do any scripting/installation with it. The graphical interface for Exchange 2007 is built on top of PowerShell as will a lot of other (new) products.

I think the question should be: Why do I need it?
The unattended process in the RIS installation provides a lot of stuff for automating software installation and configuration like the commands.txt file, the RunOnceEx key etc.

If you do have to automate something the installation process cannot then I would recommand the 'standard' batch files or vbscript. I recommend these because they are builtin and don't need any extra tool to create.

Extra info:
RunOnceEx: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/232509
Unattend: http://unattended.msfn.org/,
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windows2000pro/deploy/depopt/superris.mspx
vbscript: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/scriptcenter/guide/sas_vbs_overview.mspx

The latter article is about Windows 2000 Pro, but most of it also works for Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003 and XP.
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