PowerShell ConvertFrom-CSV

PowerShell ConvertFrom-CSV

The purpose of this page is two-fold, to give working examples of ConvertFrom-CSV and to revive interest in the operating system's built-in 'WhoAmI' command.

Topics for PowerShell's ConvertFrom-CSV

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Introduction to ConvertFrom-CSV

To see ConvertFrom-Csv in action let us create a file using notepad, or better still Excel.  In the test file create 3 rows of data with each item separated by the default delimiter, the comma, and then 'Save as' using a .txt or .csv extension. Here is an example:

Colour,Ford,Audi,Nissan
Blue,87,37,45
Red,56,21,23
Green,41,32,44

Save the file; call it cars.csv.  Make a note of the full pathname, mine was
D: \PShell\cars.csv.

Alternatively, you could call it research.txt, it does not require a csv file extension.

Example 1: Simple ConvertFrom-Csv

The purpose of this preliminary script is simply to check the path to the file containing the list the cars.

# PowerShell Get-Content
$File ="D:\PShell\cars.csv"
Get-Content $File

Note 1: I am expecting the same output, in the same format, as the above example in the yellow box.

Now let us pipe the output into ConvertFrom-Csv:

# PowerShell ConvertFrom-Csv
$File ="D:\PShell\cars.csv"
Get-Content $File | ConvertFrom-Csv

Note 2: The neatest way to view this data is to employ Out-GridView to take care of the formatting.  Real-life examples have more rows than this test file, this is where Out-GridView's ability to filter the data is valuable.

# PowerShell ConvertFrom-Csv
$File ="D:\PShell\cars.csv"
Get-Content $File | ConvertFrom-Csv | Out-GridView

Example 2: To Display the Groups Unearthed by WhoAmI

To see the problem that ConvertFrom-Csv can solve, I suggest that you begin with these commands:

WhoAmI
WhoAmI /Groups
WhoAmI /Groups /FO CSV

Note 3: FO stands for Format, and not something rude!

# PowerShell with WhoAmI and ConvertFrom-Csv
WhoAmI /Groups /FO CSV | ConvertFrom-Csv

Take this opportunity to learn about ConvertFrom-Csv's parameters, append -header thus:

Clear-Host
$Columns = "Group Name", "Type", "Sid"
WhoAmI /Groups /FO CSV | ConvertFrom-Csv -Header $Columns

Alternatively, employ Out-GridView once more.

# Final code
WhoAmI /Groups /FO CSV | ConvertFrom-Csv | Out-GridView

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Example 3: Display User Name for Processes

In this scenario we would like to see who is the owner of a particular process.  Such knowledge is useful in eliminating known processes when investigating malware.

Clear-Host
Tasklist /V /FO CSV | ConvertFrom-Csv | Sort-Object "User Name", "Image Name" `
| Format-Table "User Name", "Image Name", "Session Name" -AutoSize

Note 4: I cannot find a way of obtaining "User Name" information using plain Get-Process. 

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Further Research

We have employed the -Header parameter, but if you want to experiment with other parameters, for example alternative delimiters, then I recommend calling for PowerShell's help:

#Research parameters and examples
Clear-Host
Get-Help ConvertFrom-Csv -full

Note 5: Help always surprises me, in this case I discovered the -UseCulture parameter to make my scripts more reliable when used in other countries.

Investigate similar PowerShell cmdlets

Clear-Host
Get-Command -Verb Convert*

See also ConvertTo-Csv »

Summary of PowerShell's ConvertFrom-Csv Cmdlet

Here we employ PowerShell's ConvertFrom-Csv cmdlet to solve real problems, such as how to format WhoAmI /Groups, and how to list processes by User Name.

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See more Microsoft PowerShell output tutorials:

PShell Home   • Out-File   • Out-GridView   • ConvertTo-Csv   • ConvertTo-Html   • ConvertFrom-Csv

Tee-Object   • Import-CSV   • Format-Table   • PowerShell Here-String  • ConvertFrom-JSON

Export-CliXml   • Format-List   • Read-Host    • PowerShell Get-History   • -f format   • Pipe to file

Please email me if you have a better example script. Also please report any factual mistakes, grammatical errors or broken links, I will be happy to correct the fault.

 

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