Create semi-automated reboot procedure in PowerShell?

Hey there all,
I am looking to create something that will make remote rebooting faster when I am running installs and updates on some of our boxes.

I have a series of computers that I am routinely servicing. Knowing Windows, there is a lot of restarting involved. I was wondering if I could create a PowerShell script to do the command needed for rebooting(shutdown -i for the Command Line) as quickly and with as little babysitting as possible. All of these computers have 9 character Device IDs, where the last 3 are the only ones that change.

So I’m looking for a script of CMDLet That would have a popup to ask for the last 3 characters, and then reboot the remote computer, maybe saving the task for the session so I could reboot the previous computer even quicker.

It seems like PowerShell should be able to do this, but I haven’t done that much with it, so I’m not positive.

Mike Wells

So, Restart-Computer will restart the computer, but I’m not certain what you mean about “popup to ask for the last 3 characters” or “saving the task for the session.”

If you have a series of tasks that you need to complete, and a restart is needed between some of them, then PowerShell Workflow is something to consider. Once a workflow starts, it can remember where it was at, and continue running after restart. Or, look at Desired State Configuration. It can ensure that a computer is placed into a desired state, even if that involves one or more reboots along the way.

Don, our computer names are all XXXXXXYYY, with they ‘Y’ part being the only part that changes, so I was looking to create a one click option that would just ask which computer I wanted to reboot, and fill the ‘X’ part of the name automatically. Putting in only the last 3 characters(The ‘Y’ part) would save time.

So… just use Read-Host to prompt for that information, store it in a variable, construct the entire computer name, and use Restart-Computer?

Don, that’s pretty much what I was looking for, an idea where to start and which commands to use. Looks like Read-Host prompts, like you said, then I could combine it with a static value(The X’s in my example), and then use Restart computer with the newly assembled Device ID. That sounds like exactly what I was looking for, if I have any issues, I’ll poke around the board.

Thank you

Versus Read-Host, you might consider a function. If your company name was Tech Corp, you would put a TC in your function naming conventions to know they are specific to your company. If you put this function in a Powershell profile, it would be available when you start Powershell. If you start to get multiple functions, consider making it a module and loading that module automatically with your profile.

function Restart-TCComputer {
    param (
        [string]$Prefix = "XXXXXXXXX"
        foreach ($Number in $ComputerNumber) {
            $ComputerName = "{0}{1}" -f $Prefix, $Number
            Write-Verbose ("Restarting computer {0}" -f $ComputerName)
            Restart-Computer -ComputerName $ComputerName -Force -WhatIf

123, 153 | Restart-TCComputer
Restart-TCComputer -ComputerNumber 234

Since a number is mandatory, if you tried to just call Restart-TCComputer, you would be prompted for input:

C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0> Restart-TCComputer
cmdlet Restart-TCComputer at command pipeline position 1
Supply values for the following parameters:
ComputerNumber[0]: 352
ComputerNumber[1]: 321
ComputerNumber[2]: 355

Using a function, you also validate that the numbers are 3 characters using ValidateLength and can use a -Verbose switch if you want visual output to indicate what server is being rebooted.

Cool, thanks guys, this is great! I learn all of this as I go, I’ve done a little in PowerShell, and a bunch of cool stuff in VBA for Excel, once I get the starting position like this, I can go through and tweak things, follow up similar examples, and all that. I appreciate the help again!

This looks like it works pretty well for a single computer, except that I get no prompt to enter data.

I commented out the “-WhatIf” to make it run, and I commented out line 22, as it was asking for computers with 123 and 153 as targets. I changed $Prefix to haev the starting part of the name. With line 23, it has -ComputerNumber 234, and if I change it to the last 3 characters of the one I need to reboot, it works perfectly. I just can’t get a prompt of any kind.

I found an example of ‘Read-Host’ to make it prompt for the number I need, but don’t know how to plug that value in.

If you don’t pass a ComputerNumber to the function, you will be prompted for input because it is Mandatory. So, simply just call the function with no parameters to be prompted: