Allen White wrote this handy blogpost on how to handle error message and get more information out of an error record:
There is an addtional method to get more information available. I found myself sending this little code snippet in email to many, and almost always I get the response that it saved that person with a ton of work, as new users to PowerShell are often left bewildered by the sparse error information; I had colleagues grabbing for the debugger to find the more detailed error messages...
An example; let's generate a simple error (recreate master will not work on most systems):
$db = new Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Database
$db.Name = "master"
$db.Parent = get-item .
Exception calling "Create" with "0" argument(s): "Create failed for Database 'master'. "
At line:1 char:11
+ $db.Create( <<<< )
Not very helpful is it?
Here is where this little gem comes in:
Now let's take a look at the details this emits:
Exception : System.Management.Automation.MethodInvocationException:
Exception calling "Create" with "0" argument(s): "Crea
te failed for Database 'master'. " ---> Microsoft.SqlSe
rver.Management.Smo.FailedOperationException: Create fa
iled for Database 'master'. ---> Microsoft.SqlServer.M
anagement.Common.ExecutionFailureException: An exceptio
n occurred while executing a Transact-SQL statement or
batch. ---> System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException: Databas
e 'master' already exists. Choose a different database
<cutting middle part out>
CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) , MethodInvocationException
FullyQualifiedErrorId : DotNetMethodTargetInvocation
InvocationInfo : System.Management.Automation.InvocationInfo
Well, now THAT's more like it!
As you can see the -force flag does a couple of nice things.
It concatenates the error messages into a somewhat understandable result.
It dumps stack information + all other error information avalable.
Generally it's a time saver as you have this command readily available for you at the command line.
Do you have any tips on error handling? I'd love to hear about it.