Clearing all bin and obj folders using SlightlyPosher and PowerShell


Sometimes an msbuild.exe /t:Clear doesn’t remove everything and it can be a little slow on larger solutions. Within the SlightlyPosher environment you’ll find a Module called VS.psm1, and this contains a handy little script when you need to do some house keeping.

function Clear-Assemblies($directory)
    Get-ChildItem $directory -include bin,obj -Recurse | foreach ($_) { 
        "Cleaning: " + $_.fullname
        remove-item $_.fullname -Force -Recurse 


It’s pretty simply and to the point, just navigate to the root directory of the solution you want to clear down, and run this command.


It will recursively remove all bin and obj folders, and let you know what it deleted.


Great for when you need to copy source code without the added bulk of these folders or just purge any old bits for a clean build.

SlightlyPosher now supports 64bit PowerShell


When trying to write some scripts to automate IIS, I was getting some strange COM errors which were down to trying to run cmdlets targeted at a 64bit process.

It turns out Console2 as a 32bit process can only host a 32bit command prompt, which is unfortunate. Luckily Console2 does have a beta 64bit version, and I’m shipping this side by side with the 32bit version to satisfy everyone.

When you run update.bat you will find a new folder in your root.


Running [intptr]::size against the original shell yields:


And running it against the new shell:


I can now automate my 64bit IIS without errors. If everything is running fine you won’t need the new shell, but at least its there for the day you do need it.

Switching Visual Studio Environment Tools with Powershell and SlightlyPosher


Initially the SlightlyPosher environment configured the VS2008 tools as that was what I need on my project. Pascal was kind enough to send me a patch to use the VS2010 tools instead.

I thought it would be cool to satisfy both users, as not everyone has been lucky enough to switch to VS2010 yet.

In profile.ps1 by default the VS2010 tools are loaded.

Set-VsVars32 2010


If you would like to switch this, its as simple as calling:

Set-VsVars32 2008

Now you will have a VS2008 environment and MSBuild 3.5 at your fingertips.


The implementation for this is pretty straightforward…

#### Functions Used to Load VS Command Prompt #####
function Get-Batchfile ($file) {
    $cmd = "`"$file`" & set"
    cmd /c $cmd | Foreach-Object {
        $p, $v = $_.split('=')
        Set-Item -path env:$p -value $v

function Set-VsVars32($vsYear)
   switch ($vsYear)
        2008 {$vstools = $env:VS90COMNTOOLS}
        2010 {$vstools = $env:VS100COMNTOOLS }

   $batchFile = [System.IO.Path]::Combine($vstools, "vsvars32.bat") 
   Get-Batchfile -file $batchFile
   Write-Host -ForegroundColor 'Yellow' "VsVars has been loaded from: $batchFile"

The Get-BatchFile function is provided by many blogs describing how to use the Visual Studio tools with PowerShell. The Set-VsVars32 method takes the year as an argument, and loads the tools for that Visual Studio year.

Run update.bat to get these latest changes. Enjoy!

Finding all projects containing a reference to X assembly using POSH


Finding all the projects which reference a specific assembly can be a little tough in visual studio if you have hundreds of projects. NDepend can do this for you, but that requires you’re willing to pay for a licence (you should) if you need it commercially.

I wrote a little bit of POSH to do this for me…

function Get-ContainsReferenceTo($projectFile, $referenceName)
    [xml]$s = get-content $projectFile

    $references = $s.Project.ItemGroup | Where-Object { $_.Reference -ne $null }
    foreach($reference in $references.ChildNodes)
        if($reference.Include -ne $null -and $reference.Include.StartsWith($referenceName))
            return $true

    return $false


After loading the project file into an XmlDocument, we can iterate through each reference and do a string compare against the reference name.

Running this will return “True” or “False” as to whether the file contains the reference or not.

We can then do this for all project files in a directory by doing:

function Get-ProjectsContainingReferenceTo($directory, $referenceName)
    Get-ChildItem $directory -include *.csproj,*.vbproj -Recurse | foreach ($_) { 
        if(Get-ContainsReferenceTo $_.fullname $referenceName -eq $true){ $_.fullname }


Now if any project files match the reference, the full path of the project file will be output to the command window. We can use this to perform batch operations to change references, remove them or anything else we would like.

I hope you find this useful and you can find it bundled with SlightlyPosher.

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