# Work day: PsTools

Having an elevated PowerShell prompt makes running tasks on remote computers easier, but it’s not the only tool I use. A bunch of my small scripts rely on PsTools to perform command-line actions. In this post I’ll describe how to obtain and install the PsTools suite, and provide an example of how they can be invoked in a PowerShell script.

Extract the .zip file. You can keep the extracted files anywhere, but I like to keep them in a subfolder below where I store my scripts for easy reference. That’s it for installation!

To include a call to one of these tools in a PowerShell script, use something like the following. These examples assume that you have extracted PsTools to a folder called PSTools, stored under the folder where you keep your scripts.

.\PSTools\psexec \\computername "c:\program files (x86)\path\to\executable.exe" /switches /and /arguments

or

.\PSTools\psexec "\\computername -s command.cmd arguments -switches"

I’ve found that the first style works when switches are expected to be prefixed with a slash, and the second when a dash is used. Note the -s in the second command; this means that the command is being started on the remote computer in the SYSTEM context.

PSExec is the tool I use most frequently, but there’s a lot to get into in this little toolkit! I’ll share my favourite example in my next “Work day” post.

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