WMI Command v1.1


This is a command line (aka console) based tool for executing WMI queries. It outputs a list of the matching objects with their relevant properties and can invoke queries against either the local or remote machines.

Like most of my tools, this was designed as a test harness for my WMI library and was originally written before PowerShell was prevalent in the wild. I sometimes find PowerShell a little too sluggish for running simple WMI queries and so this tool still has a place in my toolchest.


The tool currently only supports a single command, but the syntax allows for future extensions. The basic format for invoking WMI Command is to run it with a command type and then provide any arguments using switches, e.g.

C:\> wmicmd command --option1 value1 --option2 value2

The arguments can be specified using either Windows style (e.g. /option) or the more modern style (e.g. --option). Each switch has both a short name and a longer name and you can see the list of all supported commands using wmicmd -?. Each command also has its own help topic that describes it and lists the switches that are applicable, e.g. wmicmd query -?.

The Query Command

The query command allows you to execute a WMI query which is provided as a single argument after the command name (i.e. you must use quotes around the text). It lists all the objects in the result sets by enumerating their available properties.

C:\> wmicmd query "SELECT Name,State FROM Win32_Service"
Name: Alerter
State: Stopped
. . .
Name: Dhcp
State: Running
. . .
Name: xmlprov
State: Stopped
Remote Queries

The command can also be run against one or more remote machines using the --hosts switch. If required, an alternate set of credentials can be provided with the --user and --password switches; the same credentials will be used for all the listed hosts.

C:\> wmicmd query "SELECT State FROM Win32_Service WHERE Name='w32time'" --hosts machine1 machine2 machine3
C:\> wmicmd query "SELECT State FROM Win32_Service WHERE Name='w32time'" --hosts srv1 srv2 --user admin --password p455w0rd

Naturally a command line is not the easiest way to specify a long list of hosts and so there is the --hostsfile switch that allows you to store the host names in a text file and reference that instead.

# Hosts file - one per line, comments start with a hash, empty lines allowed


C:\> wmicmd query "SELECT State FROM Win32_Service WHERE Name='w32time'" --hostsfile hostlist.txt

When running a query on multiple hosts the output doesn't contain the host name anywhere by default so it may be tricky to work out which response was from which host. So, you can use the --showhost switch to output an extra property before each machine's results with the host name.

C:\> wmicmd query "select LastBootUpTime from Win32_operatingsystem" --hosts srv1 srv2 --showhost

Host: srv1

LastBootUpTime: 01/01/2012 02:05:35 +060

Host: srv2

LastBootUpTime: 02/03/2012 04:23:00 +060

By default datetimes and 64-bit integers in WMI are actually returned as strings, not the equivalent OLE data types. Consequently it can be hard to decipher the values. WMICmd attempts to detect both these data types and displays them in a more readable format.

C:\> wmicmd query "select LastBootUpTime,TotalVirtualMemorySize from Win32_operatingsystem"

LastBootUpTime: 25/06/2012 02:05:35 +060
TotalVirtualMemorySize: 2,097,024
However, if you are executing the query for the purposes of scraping the output to use in a command pipline you may want to ditch the formatting and just output the raw values. The --noformat switch will disable any formatting and line spacing and just return the raw propery names and values.

C:\> wmicmd query "select DeviceID,Size from Win32_LogicalDisk" --noformat
DeviceID: C:
Size: 78658318336
DeviceID: D:
Size: 41373122560

Conversely, if you have a wide variation in property name lengths in your output if can be hard to read. The --align switch causes the right of the property names and left side of the values to be aligned. This also has the effect of creating a fixed width output that may also make parsing easier.

C:\> wmicmd query "select DeviceID,Size from Win32_LogicalDisk" --align

DeviceID: C:
Size    : 78,658,318,336

DeviceID: D:
Size    : 41,373,122,560
Development Aids

If you're using the tool as a development aid and want to know what the actual COM types of the properties are you can use the --showtypes switch. This will append a string to the property name showing the VT_* symbols that represent the Variant types.

C:\> wmicmd.exe query "select * from Win32_operatingsystem" --showtypes

BootDevice [VT_BSTR]: \Device\HarddiskVolume1
. . .
CurrentTimeZone [VT_I2]: 60
DataExecutionPrevention_Drivers [VT_BOOL]: True
DataExecutionPrevention_SupportPolicy [VT_UI1]: 2
. . .
EncryptionLevel [VT_I4]: 168
ForegroundApplicationBoost [VT_UI1]: 2
. . .
LocalDateTime [VT_BSTR]: 20101011181637.234000+060
. . .
SystemStartupOptions [VT_BSTR|VT_ARRAY]: <array of VT_BSTR>

One more switch that is useful if you know the WMI class but don't know what properties it exposes, is --top. This acts just its SQL namesake and only lists the first N objects.

C:\> wmicmd.exe query "select * from Win32_Process" --top 1

CSCreationClassName: Win32_ComputerSystem
CSName: K9
Caption: System Idle Process
. . .


There is one other global switch that allows you to launch this helpfile if you should need it, --manual. If WMICmd is on your PATH then you can access it from anywhere.

C:\> wmicmd.exe --manual

License & Warranty

This application is freeware - you get what you pay for, nothing more, nothing less.

Source Code

The full source code (C++) is available from my web site listed below.

Contact Details

Using the --version switch will also display my contact details. Please check the web site for updates.

Email: gort@cix.co.uk
Web: www.cix.co.uk/~gort

Chris Oldwood
26th June 2012