How to Make PowerShell Portable

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Microsoft Windows PowerShell is a command-line shell used by system administrators to interact with the Microsoft .NET Framework. It includes an interactive prompt and, unlike many other shells, accepts and returns .NET Framework objects. Although Windows 7 comes with PowerShell by default, other versions of Windows, including Windows Server 2003, do not have this tool. If you want to use it on any workstation, you must make it portable and place it on a USB flash drive. The only way you can do this is by using the VMware ThinkApp virtualization software. This tool is able to pack both the Microsoft .NET Framework and PowerShell on a flash drive.

Things You'll Need

  • VMware ThinApp
  • USB flash drive
  • Plug the USB flash drive in one of your computer's free USB ports. Windows detects it as an external storage device and assigns a new drive to it.

  • Open your favorite Web browser and navigate to Microsoft to download the Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 Redistributable Package.

  • Click on the "Download" button and save the file on your desktop.

  • Navigate to CNET to download Microsoft Windows PowerShell 1.0.

  • Click on the "Download Now" button and save the file on your desktop.

  • Launch VMware ThinApp Setup Capture.

  • Click "Next" and then "Prescan" to scan your system. Do not install or delete anything while the tool is scanning the system.

  • Double-click on the "dotnetfx.exe" file you downloaded earlier to start installing the Microsoft .NET Framework. Follows the instructions on your screen to complete the installation.

  • Double-click on the "WindowsXP-KB926139-v2-x86-ENU.exe" file you downloaded earlier and follow the instructions on your screen to install PowerShell.

  • Click "Postscan" in the VMware ThinApp window and wait until the software scans your system again. Do not install or delete anything.

  • Place a check mark in front of the "Powershell.exe" entry in the list of executable files created by the installation. Make sure not other executables are selected and click "Next."

  • Click "Next" to allow everyone to use Powershell.

  • Click "Next" to give full access to the new application.

  • Click on the "Save directory as the application" radio button and click "Next." You want Powershell to be portable, so all its files must be placed on the USB drive.

  • Click on the "No, do not send any information to VMware" radio button and click "Next."

  • Type "PowerShell" in the "Inventory name" text box. Click "Browse" and select the external storage device's drive — for example, drive G. Click "Next."

  • Click on the "Use separate .DAT file" radio button and click "Next." The files are transferred to the USB flash drive. Do not interrupt the process.

  • Click "Build" and wait until the software builds the project. Click "Finish" to close VMware ThinApp.

  • Connect the USB flash drive to the target computer, and navigate to the "bin" folder on the drive.

  • Double-click on the "Windows PowerShell.exe" file and PowerShell will start. It doesn't matter if you don't have the Microsoft .NET Framework installed.

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