Bug Fixes in WMF 5.1#

Bug fixes

The following notable bugs are fixed in WMF 5.1:

Module auto-discovery fully honors $env:PSModulePath

Module auto-discovery (loading modules automatically without an explicit Import-Module when calling a command) was introduced in WMF 3. When introduced, PowerShell checked for commands in $PSHome\Modules before using $env:PSModulePath.

WMF 5.1 changes this behavior to honor $env:PSModulePath completely. This allows for a user-authored module that defines commands provided by PowerShell (e.g. Get-ChildItem) to be auto-loaded and correctly overriding the built-in command.

File redirection no longer hard-codes -Encoding Unicode

In all previous versions of PowerShell, it was impossible to control the file encoding used by the file redirection operator, e.g. Get-ChildItem > out.txt because PowerShell added -Encoding Unicode.

Starting with WMF 5.1, you can now change the file encoding of redirection by setting $PSDefaultParameterValues:

$PSDefaultParameterValues["Out-File:Encoding"] = "Ascii"

Fixed a regression in accessing members of System.Reflection.TypeInfo

A regression introduced in WMF 5.0 broke accessing members of System.Reflection.RuntimeType, e.g. [int].ImplementedInterfaces. This bug has been fixed in WMF 5.1.

Fixed some issues with COM objects

WMF 5.0 introduced a new COM binder for invoking methods on COM objects and accessing properties of COM objects. This new binder improved performance significantly but also introduced some bugs which have been fixed in WMF 5.1.

Argument conversions were not always performed correctly

In the following example:

$obj = New-Object -ComObject WScript.Shell

The SendKeys method expects a string, but PowerShell did not convert the char to a string, deferring the conversion to IDispatch::Invoke, which uses VariantChangeType to do the conversion, which in this example resulted in sending the keys '1', '7', and '3' instead of the expected Volume.Mute key.

Enumerable COM objects not always handled correctly

PowerShell normally enumerates most enumerable objects, but a regression introduced in WMF 5.0 prevented the enumeration of COM objects that implement IEnumerable. For example:

function Get-COMDictionary
    $d = New-Object -ComObject Scripting.Dictionary
    $d.Add('a', 2)
    $d.Add('b', 2)
    return $d

$x = Get-COMDictionary

In the above example, WMF 5.0 incorrectly wrote the Scripting.Dictionary to the pipeline instead of enumerating the key/value pairs.

This change also addresses issue 1752224 on Connect

[ordered] was not allowed inside classes

WMF 5.0 introduced classes with validation of type literals used in classes.
[ordered] looks like a type literal but is not a true .NET type. WMF 5.0 incorrectly reported an error on [ordered] inside a class:

class CThing
    [object] foo($i)
        [ordered]@{ Thing = $i }

Help on About topics with multiple versions does not work

Before WMF 5.1, if you had multiple versions of a module installed and they all shared a help topic, for example, about_PSReadline, help about_PSReadline would return multiple topics with no obvious way to view the real help.

WMF 5.1 fixes this by returning the help for the latest version of the topic.

Get-Help does not provide a way to specify which version you want help for. To work around this, navigate to the modules directory and view the help directly with a tool like your favorite editor.

powershell.exe reading from STDIN stopped working

Customers use powershell -command - from native apps to execute PowerShell passing in the script via STDIN unfortunately this was broken due to other changes it the console host.


powershell.exe creates spike in CPU usage on startup

PowerShell uses a WMI query to check if it was started via Group Policy to avoid causing delay in login. The WMI query ends up injecting tzres.mui.dll into every process on the system since the WMI Win32_Process class attempts to retrieve local timezone information. This results in a large CPU spike in wmiprvse (the WMI provider host). Fix is to use Win32 API calls to get the same information instead of using WMI.