PowerShell 2 for XP, Server 2003, Vista and Server 2008 is available!

Microsoft are calling it the “Windows Management Framework” but in reality this is PowerShell 2.0 and it’s now available for download: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968929

If you install over the top of PowerShell 1.0 on XP the startmenu link will go but you’ll be left with the documentation links. So it might be better to uninstall 1 then install 2. Not sure yet.
Part of this is the new ISE (Integrated Scripting Environment) too and it’s wonderfully good. Just go start, run, then type: powershell_ise

Note: it supports only XP SP3, Server 2003 SP2, Vista SP1+, and Server 2008 SP2.
Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 have PowerShell 2 built-in of course.

Update on 7th Sep 2012: If you want PowerShell 3 click here

Patching without Rebooting – HotPatching

I just stumbled upon the Microsoft articles explaining about HotPatching. A facility in Server 2003 SP1 and above that lets admins install updates without rebooting. Doesn’t work for all updates, but could be used for a lot.
Put simply you just add “/hotpatch:enable” as a switch at the end of a downloaded hotfix and it’ll try and HotPatch instead of ColdPatch. If the hotpatch fails it will do a normal coldpatch.

It’s a really cool idea really. They just append the modified code to the end of the binary and tell the app that running in memory to use the new code. After the next reboot the modified binary get’s replaced with the proper updated version.

Here’s a KB talking about what updates are compatible and how to use it: KB897341
And here’s a TechNet article about the technology: Whitepaper

New sysprep.exe (deploy.cab) for Server 2003 SP2

Here’s the deploy.cab file that you need for Server 2003 SP2 (kb926028): x86 / x64

Personally I couldn’t get the download to run properly on my Vista box (didn’t actually try very hard) so I ran it from an admin console with the /x switch.
It extracts some rubbish into a folder along with the deploy.cab that you want.

[Update 2011-06-15: Links refreshed]