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Discovering WMIC (WMI command-line)

Rooting around for a good way to view current drive letter associations at the command line this weekend, I stumbled across command line access to the Windows Management Interface, aka WMI. Known as WMIC (the WMI command-line utility) it delivers access to and control over all kinds of Windows settings and information. Right now I’m still just discovering WMIC , and learning about what it can do and how to use it. Even so, I already know it’s well worth digging into. That goes double for those who write command-line or PowerShell scripts, or Windows OS utility programs.

discovering wmic via diskinfo

Here’s a nice example that shows drive letters and their associated volume names at the command line.

Discovering WMIC via Drive Info at the Command Line

Working on test machines this weekend, I found myself facing another round of post Win10 install cleanups with holdouts in Windows.old. Having already blogged about this and knowing the drill, I booted into a Windows 10 UFD to root them out. That was when I found myself jumping to Google to refresh my memory on viewing current drive associations. In turn, this led me to WMIC through a Windows Club story entitled “List Drives Using Command Prompt & PowerShell in Windows 10.”

I like my example better than theirs because it shows volume name as well as drive letter. Together, that data lets me identify exactly which drive is which on my systems. This information didn’t come as easily as I might have wished, however. Even though there’s a ton of WMIC documentation available, there’s very little overview or “best use” discussion of this awesome utility. The best of what is around comes from Microsoft, as you might expect. I’ll recommend the “WMI Command Line Tools” section of the WMI Reference as a good place to start. The “Useful WMIC Queries” post to the Ask the Performance Team blog (2/17/2012) is also pretty helpful.

As for myself, I’m going to keep digging in and learning for some time yet. Count on further WMIC blog posts from me as I figure things out. Stay tuned: good stuff ahead!

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WMIC is the earliest ancestor to PowerShell. If you use PowerShell, which you should if you are an IT Pro, there's no need to go back to WMIC. You can access the same information, often with less effort and with even more formatting and output options.
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Dear Jeff:
Thanks for the heads-up. I guess that means I should be using the Get-WMiObject cmdlet to access WMI data instead of running the WMI CLI directly? Do you know of any good documentation that explains the full set of roles, objects and attributes so that I can organize and present this to my readers? I am still struggling with how best to get my hands around what an admin can and should do in PowerShell (or at the command line). As I look through the cmdlet library I see some related stuff but not a lot, and perhaps I just don't get the way things are organized. Any ideas?

Thanks again,

--Ed--

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Thanks: I'm off and running figuring out how to use get-WmiObject. It's proving relatively easy, thanks to lots of existing cmdlets from places such as computerperformance.co.uk. Good stuff!

--Ed--

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