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PowerShell 2.0 on Windows XP SP3 - Can It Be Upgraded?

In my last blog post I indicated that I would be adding learning PowerShell to my list of goals. I made the case as to why I haven't learned it already and basically my view hasn't changed. PowerShell at the present doesn't do anything I can't already do with other tools. But I know Microsoft is moving more and more to PowerShell and while I may be able to do the same thing with other tools, when looking at it from a team or organizational perspective (which I intentionally didn't cover yesterday, because I was talking about personal motivation), it makes more sense to do so. Chances are other admins I'll work with will be familiar with PowerShell over Perl. So it behooves me to get to the commonly shared tools.

With that said, I went out today and saw that PowerShell 2.0 downlevel packages (as part of the Windows Management Framework) had been released, including one for Windows XP SP3 and Vista. "Great!" I thought. But not so fast. I had PowerShell 1.0 installed and Windows XP SP3 was installed AFTER PowerShell1.0. Based on this KB article, I thought I was in a world of hurt. You have to uninstall the service pack before you uninstall PowerShell 1.0. Let's hope there's an upgrade path. And documentation like here, for Exchange Server 2010, indicate previous versions must be uninstalled first. I'm not really in a position where I can (or want to) uninstall SP3.

So that meant it was time to check the release notes, which are ambiguous. Pre-release versions (CTPs, RCs) of 2.0 have to be uninstalled. No specific mention of an upgrade from 1.0. So I went, grabbed the appropriate file, and ran the installer. Didn't encounter any issues, and a couple of the checks I did looks like I've got Windows PowerShell 2.0 installed. I'll play around some more tomorrow, but I'm more than a bit perturbed by the lack of clarity on whether or not an upgrade is OK in all cases. This is frustrating, especially since I can install/uninstall Perl and cygwin without worrying about things like Windows Service Packs.

EDIT: Chuck Boyce, Jr., (blog | twitter) sent me a link with some guidance. Basically, upgrading over the top of 1.0 is okay. Just the pre-release versions have to be uninstalled.


K. Brian Kelley - Databases, Infrastructure, and Security

IT Security, MySQL, Perl, SQL Server, and Windows technologies.


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