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I am frequently making calls such as:

get-help <some-command>

in Powershell 2. For many, but not all, of these commands, I am not shown the contents of the help entry. Instead, I get duplicates, and only the help object itself is displayed:

[PS2]> get-help remove-distributiongroup | more

Name                              Category  Synopsis
----                              --------  --------
Remove-DistributionGroup          Cmdlet    Use the Remove-DistributionGroup...
Remove-DistributionGroup          Cmdlet    Use the Remove-DistributionGroup...

Being a complete PS novice, I hack around this by doing something similar to the following:

[PS2]> $var = get-help remove-distributiongroup
[PS2]> $var[0] | get-member
... Output ...
[PS2]> $var[0].Parameters |more
... Part of the documentation ...
[PS2]> $var[0].Synopsis |more
... Another part of the documentation ...

Couple of questions.

  • Will my Windows admin co-workers know how to remove the duplicate entries? I'm just a Unix guy.
  • If not, is there an easier method to get what I need instead of the convoluted hack I came up with above?



Tried pk's suggestion, but sadly that didn't work. Here's the output when piped through select -unique:

Name                              Category  Synopsis
----                              --------  --------
Get-DistributionGroup             Cmdlet    Use the Get-DistributionGroup cm...
share|improve this question
dont pipe to more thats automatic for one, other then that this is nuts can't repo. – tony roth Sep 20 '11 at 22:12
you don't have cygwin loaded by chance? – tony roth Sep 20 '11 at 22:13
@tony - nope, no cygwin loaded. – Larold Sep 20 '11 at 23:56

This is probably caused by duplicate PS Snapins loaded. If you are in the Exchange Management Shell and then load the Exchange 2010 management snapin (maybe in a script?), you will see these duplicate get-help responses. While running the EMS run get-pssnapin and check for the E2010 snapin. If it's there, use remove-pssnapin to unload it.

See "Get-Help Produces Duplicate Topics" for more info.

share|improve this answer
  1. never use "more" in powershell. more uses the default formatter (which format-table also uses.)
  2. if you had used the Format-list commandlet, you would have found that get-help returns an object with a 'pssnapin' property or a 'modulename' property.

The default formatter can mislead, but format-list or using get-member commandlet will list all the properties. I'll bet if you re-ran your command with a user format you would get: [PS2]> get-help remove-distributiongroup | select name,synopsis,modulename,pssnapin

Name                      Category  Synopsis                            PsSnapin
----                      --------  --------                            --------
Remove-DistributionGroup  Cmdlet    Use the Remove-DistributionGroup... ASnapin
Remove-DistributionGroup  Cmdlet    Use the Remove-DistributionGroup... AnotherSnapin

(above output is not real) But the nub of it is you would be able to see which module has the duplicate command.

It's not a duplicate really, because you can call each command like so Asnapin\Remove-DistributionGroup or AnotherSnapin\Remove-DistributionGroup to use the other version :)

share|improve this answer

I'm not sure why you're getting duplicates. I can't recreate the issue, but I do have on idea as to how to workaround it in a slightly more elegant fashion.

get-help remove-distributiongroup | select -unique

Does that work?

What does this return?

Test-Path -path "$pshome\Help.format.ps1xml"

This file contains the formatted views for MamlCommandHelpInfo objects that are returned by Get-Help.

share|improve this answer
Unfortunately, nope. Instead of seeing two entries, I get one. See answer above as comments don't allow for indented code that I know of. – Larold Sep 20 '11 at 19:45
I'll let you know what I get tomorrow - got sidetracked by another project. Thanks for the suggestion - will try. – Larold Sep 20 '11 at 23:56

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