Using Visual Studio Developer Command Prompt With PowerShell

Running Developer Command Prompt for Visual Studio

The Visual Studio developer command VsDevCmd.bat only works with the cmd.exe command line shell/processor, which is still the native command prompt in Windows. Try writing some command in Start->Run or Explorer’s address bar, and you’ll find that you need to use the cmd/batch command syntax (for example, using %SOME_NAME% syntax for variables).

What if you want to us VsDevCmd.bat? You want the stuff it adds temporarily to the PATH and all the other goodies it brings, but prefer to work in Powershell?

Using VsDevCmd With PowerShell

You can try to run VsDevCmd.bat from PowerShell, but this will execute another command prompt shell on top of it.

However, you can also easily do the opposite. Run the VsDevCmd.bat, and from the command prompt, just type PowerShell and press ENTER. The new Powershell session will inherit all the fluff that VsDevCmd.bat added to the command prompt session.

A Quick Shortcut

You can always have a simple shortcut to load VsDevCmd.bat with Powershell instead of writing everytime.

Simply create a new text file, and enter the following in it:

Save the file and change its extension to .bat. When you run it, it will run the command prompt and keep it open, run VsDevCmd.bat, and then powershell.

You can test it by running, ensuring the prompt shows the PS > prompt for PowerShell, then run msbuild to ensure it was added to the PATH by DevCmd.bat.

Using By Default, ConEmu

On my personal machine, I use ConEmu as my all-time console environment. If you don’t know about it, Scott Hanselman described it in depth.

Among many other things, ConEmu allows you to create tasks that can be executed by default when you open a new console tab. This allows you to have for example some preset (task) for sat Bash/cygwin, another for cmd.exe, another for PowerShell, etc. Maybe even another task that loads some extra variables or whatever that you don’t want always attached, but still want them handy when you use the console. It also allows you to optionally choose one task to be the default when you open ConEmu.

So, for me, the task I set to be the default in ConEmu is the following:

the first * > bits are ConEmu specific, telling it to run task as admin and make it active tab (if you can set multiple tabs in the same task). And the -new_console: switch allows passing other parameters to ConEmu when starting, like d:D:\_data, which sets the start-up directory to a prefered directory I have. The rest in the middle is the simple command which calls VsDevCmd.bat and then starts PowerShell.


Resharper 8.0.1 RTM, Windows 8.1 RTM and Visual Studio 2013 RC

There are some recent releases (at the time of writing) that I think many of you will be interested in.



Resharper 8.0.1

This is a bug fix update for Resharper 8. It supports pre-release Visual Studio 2013 better and also Visual Studio 2012 as usual.

Summary of fix areas:

  • Unit test runner (freezes, crashes, incorrect test status, conflicts with NUnit Test Adapter etc.)
  • Export of settings
  • Code analysis (second check expression in a double-check lock reported as always true)
  • UI (License Information dialog box, VS2008 and VS2012 integration cosmetics)
  • Internationalization (Move HTML to Resource not working)
  • Code completion (double completion lists, broken IntelliSense in projects targeting Windows 8.1)
  • Performance (mostly with unit test runner and CSS)

For the entire list of fixes, please see ReSharper 8.0.1 release notes.

Learn more at:



Windows 8.1 RTM (And Windows Server 2012 RTM)

Windows 8.1 RTM was meant to be held until the retail version in October, but Microsoft changed their mind and made it available for MSDN & TechNet subscribers to allow developers to test their applications on the RTN version (which has several API changes from the preview). If you have an MSDN subscription, go ahead and check your subscriber downloads.

The versions available as of now are Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro, and Windows 8.1 N. Windows 8.1 Enterprise might be available in a week or two.

Note that many Microsoft partners, you should only use MSDN downloads for VMs not real machines, and should use the Microsoft Partner Network for the real machine installs. Unfortunately the Partner Network will et Windows 8.1 by October with everyone else.

Note that Windows Server 2012 RTM is also available with the same terms, which makes its availability as a hosting OS still practically on hold for many people, btu it’ll be useful for creating test labs, etc. inside environments that consider deploying it.

You can learn more about Windows Server 2012 RTM from:



Visual Studio 2013 RC (Release Candidate)

To help with application testing in Windows 8.1 without wrapping up Visual Studio 2013 RTM too early, Microsoft has released Visual Studio 2013 RC at the same time, with a go-live license (meaning you can use it for production applications). You don’t need a special MSDN subscription to use the RC, but if you plan to develop Windows Store applications, then you really need to install it on Windows 8.1.

There are many new features in Visual Studio 2013, several were available since the previous Preview, but also many have arrived with the RC, here’s a video and complete listing of what’s new in Visual Studio 2013 Release Candidate:

Before downloading, you may want to check out the compatibility information from:

Then you can download Visual Studio 2013 RC from: