PowerShell Quick Tip: Getting all of the members of an object

If you weren’t already aware, using the Get-Member cmdlet is essential to understanding what you can do with PowerShell.  Get-Member allows you to identify the members (properties, methods, events, etc.) that are available on the objects you are working with.  What some people don’t realize with Get-Member however is that by default it does not identify all members that are available on the objects that are passed into it.

For example, let’s take a look at how you might use Get-Member to see what you can do with Win32_BIOS objects, like this:

Get-WmiObject Win32_BIOS | Get-Member

That command yields the following results:

   TypeName: System.Management.ManagementObject#root\cimv2\Win32_BIOS

Name                  MemberType   Definition
—-                  ———-   ———-
BiosCharacteristics   Property     System.UInt16[] BiosCharacteristics {get;set;}
BIOSVersion           Property     System.String[] BIOSVersion {get;set;}
BuildNumber           Property     System.String BuildNumber {get;set;}
Caption               Property     System.String Caption {get;set;}
CodeSet               Property     System.String CodeSet {get;set;}
CurrentLanguage       Property     System.String CurrentLanguage {get;set;}
Description           Property     System.String Description {get;set;}
IdentificationCode    Property     System.String IdentificationCode {get;set;}
InstallableLanguages  Property     System.UInt16 InstallableLanguages {get;set;}
InstallDate           Property     System.String InstallDate {get;set;}
LanguageEdition       Property     System.String LanguageEdition {get;set;}
ListOfLanguages       Property     System.String[] ListOfLanguages {get;set;}
Manufacturer          Property     System.String Manufacturer {get;set;}
Name                  Property     System.String Name {get;set;}
OtherTargetOS         Property     System.String OtherTargetOS {get;set;}
PrimaryBIOS           Property     System.Boolean PrimaryBIOS {get;set;}
ReleaseDate           Property     System.String ReleaseDate {get;set;}
SerialNumber          Property     System.String SerialNumber {get;set;}
SMBIOSBIOSVersion     Property     System.String SMBIOSBIOSVersion {get;set;}
SMBIOSMajorVersion    Property     System.UInt16 SMBIOSMajorVersion {get;set;}
SMBIOSMinorVersion    Property     System.UInt16 SMBIOSMinorVersion {get;set;}
SMBIOSPresent         Property     System.Boolean SMBIOSPresent {get;set;}
SoftwareElementID     Property     System.String SoftwareElementID {get;set;}
SoftwareElementState  Property     System.UInt16 SoftwareElementState {get;set;}
Status                Property     System.String Status {get;set;}
TargetOperatingSystem Property     System.UInt16 TargetOperatingSystem {get;set;}
Version               Property     System.String Version {get;set;}
__CLASS               Property     System.String __CLASS {get;set;}
__DERIVATION          Property     System.String[] __DERIVATION {get;set;}
__DYNASTY             Property     System.String __DYNASTY {get;set;}
__GENUS               Property     System.Int32 __GENUS {get;set;}
__NAMESPACE           Property     System.String __NAMESPACE {get;set;}
__PATH                Property     System.String __PATH {get;set;}
__PROPERTY_COUNT      Property     System.Int32 __PROPERTY_COUNT {get;set;}
__RELPATH             Property     System.String __RELPATH {get;set;}
__SERVER              Property     System.String __SERVER {get;set;}
__SUPERCLASS          Property     System.String __SUPERCLASS {get;set;}
PSStatus              PropertySet  PSStatus {Status, Name, Caption, SMBIOSPresent}
ConvertFromDateTime   ScriptMethod System.Object ConvertFromDateTime();
ConvertToDateTime     ScriptMethod System.Object ConvertToDateTime();

That’s a pretty good list of 40 members, but there are actually many more that you might like to see as well.  For example, it can be useful to see the different member sets available on an object as well as any get_ and set_ methods that object has.  You can see that information by using the –Force parameter with Get-Member.  It can also be useful to see any hidden members that an object has, whether they come from the base member set, extended member set, or adapted member set.  To see all of these hidden members, you can use the –View parameter and specify you want to see members from All views.  When you put the –Force and –View parameters together, you end up with the following command:

Get-WmiObject Win32_BIOS | Get-Member -Force -View All

Running that command yields the following results:

   TypeName: System.Management.ManagementObject#root\cimv2\Win32_BIOS

Name                      MemberType            Definition
—-                      ———-            ———-
pstypenames               CodeProperty          System.Collections.ObjectModel.Collection`1[[System.String, mscorlib…
Disposed                  Event                 System.EventHandler Disposed(System.Object, System.EventArgs)
psadapted                 MemberSet             psadapted {__GENUS, __CLASS, __SUPERCLASS, __DYNASTY, __RELPATH, __P…
psbase                    MemberSet             psbase {Scope, Path, Options, ClassPath, Properties, SystemPropertie…
psextended                MemberSet             psextended {ConvertToDateTime, ConvertFromDateTime, PSStatus}
psobject                  MemberSet             psobject {Members, Properties, Methods, ImmediateBaseObject, BaseObj…
PSStandardMembers         MemberSet             PSStandardMembers {DefaultDisplayPropertySet}
add_Disposed              Method                System.Void add_Disposed(System.EventHandler value)
Clone                     Method                System.Object Clone()
CompareTo                 Method                bool CompareTo(System.Management.ManagementBaseObject otherObject, S…
CopyTo                    Method                System.Management.ManagementPath CopyTo(System.Management.Management…
CreateObjRef              Method                System.Runtime.Remoting.ObjRef CreateObjRef(type requestedType)
Delete                    Method                System.Void Delete(), System.Void Delete(System.Management.DeleteOpt…
Dispose                   Method                System.Void Dispose()
Equals                    Method                bool Equals(System.Object obj)
Get                       Method                System.Void Get(), System.Void Get(System.Management.ManagementOpera…
GetHashCode               Method                int GetHashCode()
GetLifetimeService        Method                System.Object GetLifetimeService()
GetMethodParameters       Method                System.Management.ManagementBaseObject GetMethodParameters(string me…
GetPropertyQualifierValue Method                System.Object GetPropertyQualifierValue(string propertyName, string …
GetPropertyValue          Method                System.Object GetPropertyValue(string propertyName)
GetQualifierValue         Method                System.Object GetQualifierValue(string qualifierName)
GetRelated                Method                System.Management.ManagementObjectCollection GetRelated(), System.Ma…
GetRelationships          Method                System.Management.ManagementObjectCollection GetRelationships(), Sys…
GetText                   Method                string GetText(System.Management.TextFormat format)
GetType                   Method                type GetType()
get_ClassPath             Method                System.Management.ManagementPath get_ClassPath()
get_Container             Method                System.ComponentModel.IContainer get_Container()
get_Item                  Method                System.Object get_Item(string propertyName)
get_Options               Method                System.Management.ObjectGetOptions get_Options()
get_Path                  Method                System.Management.ManagementPath get_Path()
get_Properties            Method                System.Management.PropertyDataCollection get_Properties()
get_Qualifiers            Method                System.Management.QualifierDataCollection get_Qualifiers()
get_Scope                 Method                System.Management.ManagementScope get_Scope()
get_Site                  Method                System.ComponentModel.ISite get_Site()
get_SystemProperties      Method                System.Management.PropertyDataCollection get_SystemProperties()
InitializeLifetimeService Method                System.Object InitializeLifetimeService()
InvokeMethod              Method                System.Object InvokeMethod(string methodName, System.Object[] args),…
Put                       Method                System.Management.ManagementPath Put(), System.Management.Management…
remove_Disposed           Method                System.Void remove_Disposed(System.EventHandler value)
SetPropertyQualifierValue Method                System.Void SetPropertyQualifierValue(string propertyName, string qu…
SetPropertyValue          Method                System.Void SetPropertyValue(string propertyName, System.Object prop…
SetQualifierValue         Method                System.Void SetQualifierValue(string qualifierName, System.Object qu…
set_Item                  Method                System.Void set_Item(string propertyName, System.Object value)
set_Options               Method                System.Void set_Options(System.Management.ObjectGetOptions value)
set_Path                  Method                System.Void set_Path(System.Management.ManagementPath value)
set_Scope                 Method                System.Void set_Scope(System.Management.ManagementScope value)
set_Site                  Method                System.Void set_Site(System.ComponentModel.ISite value)
ToString                  Method                string ToString()
Item                      ParameterizedProperty System.Object Item(string propertyName) {get;set;}
BiosCharacteristics       Property              System.UInt16[] BiosCharacteristics {get;set;}
BIOSVersion               Property              System.String[] BIOSVersion {get;set;}
BuildNumber               Property              System.String BuildNumber {get;set;}
Caption                   Property              System.String Caption {get;set;}
ClassPath                 Property              System.Management.ManagementPath ClassPath {get;}
CodeSet                   Property              System.String CodeSet {get;set;}
Container                 Property              System.ComponentModel.IContainer Container {get;}
CurrentLanguage           Property              System.String CurrentLanguage {get;set;}
Description               Property              System.String Description {get;set;}
IdentificationCode        Property              System.String IdentificationCode {get;set;}
InstallableLanguages      Property              System.UInt16 InstallableLanguages {get;set;}
InstallDate               Property              System.String InstallDate {get;set;}
LanguageEdition           Property              System.String LanguageEdition {get;set;}
ListOfLanguages           Property              System.String[] ListOfLanguages {get;set;}
Manufacturer              Property              System.String Manufacturer {get;set;}
Name                      Property              System.String Name {get;set;}
Options                   Property              System.Management.ObjectGetOptions Options {get;set;}
OtherTargetOS             Property              System.String OtherTargetOS {get;set;}
Path                      Property              System.Management.ManagementPath Path {get;set;}
PrimaryBIOS               Property              System.Boolean PrimaryBIOS {get;set;}
Properties                Property              System.Management.PropertyDataCollection Properties {get;}
Qualifiers                Property              System.Management.QualifierDataCollection Qualifiers {get;}
ReleaseDate               Property              System.String ReleaseDate {get;set;}
Scope                     Property              System.Management.ManagementScope Scope {get;set;}
SerialNumber              Property              System.String SerialNumber {get;set;}
Site                      Property              System.ComponentModel.ISite Site {get;set;}
SMBIOSBIOSVersion         Property              System.String SMBIOSBIOSVersion {get;set;}
SMBIOSMajorVersion        Property              System.UInt16 SMBIOSMajorVersion {get;set;}
SMBIOSMinorVersion        Property              System.UInt16 SMBIOSMinorVersion {get;set;}
SMBIOSPresent             Property              System.Boolean SMBIOSPresent {get;set;}
SoftwareElementID         Property              System.String SoftwareElementID {get;set;}
SoftwareElementState      Property              System.UInt16 SoftwareElementState {get;set;}
Status                    Property              System.String Status {get;set;}
SystemProperties          Property              System.Management.PropertyDataCollection SystemProperties {get;}
TargetOperatingSystem     Property              System.UInt16 TargetOperatingSystem {get;set;}
Version                   Property              System.String Version {get;set;}
__CLASS                   Property              System.String __CLASS {get;set;}
__DERIVATION              Property              System.String[] __DERIVATION {get;set;}
__DYNASTY                 Property              System.String __DYNASTY {get;set;}
__GENUS                   Property              System.Int32 __GENUS {get;set;}
__NAMESPACE               Property              System.String __NAMESPACE {get;set;}
__PATH                    Property              System.String __PATH {get;set;}
__PROPERTY_COUNT          Property              System.Int32 __PROPERTY_COUNT {get;set;}
__RELPATH                 Property              System.String __RELPATH {get;set;}
__SERVER                  Property              System.String __SERVER {get;set;}
__SUPERCLASS              Property              System.String __SUPERCLASS {get;set;}
PSStatus                  PropertySet           PSStatus {Status, Name, Caption, SMBIOSPresent}
ConvertFromDateTime       ScriptMethod          System.Object ConvertFromDateTime();
ConvertToDateTime         ScriptMethod          System.Object ConvertToDateTime();

That result set shows 99 members, which is a lot more than the 40 members you get to see by default!

As you can see, there is a lot more to these objects than meets the eye.  Using Get-Member with –Force and –View All is a great way to get all of the information you need about objects so that you really know what your objects contain and are capable of.

Kirk out.

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