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#PSTip Get the path to x86 special folders

Note: This tip requires PowerShell 2.0 or above.

Using the System.Environment+SpecialFolder enumeration we can retrieve a list of all paths to system special folders. One of the values is: System which holds the path to the Windows system folder.

PS> [System.Environment]::GetFolderPath('System')
C:\Windows\system32

On 64-bit machines with .NET Framework 4 installed you will find another value: SystemX86 (there are more x86 items in the SpecialFolder enumeration).

PS> [Enum]::GetNames('System.Environment+SpecialFolder') | Sort-Object
(...)
SendTo
StartMenu
Startup
System
SystemX86
Templates
UserProfile
Windows

PS> $sysx86 = [System.Environment]::GetFolderPath('SystemX86')
PS> $sysx86
C:\Windows\SysWOW64

We can use it to construct a path and invoke a 32-bit instance of Windows PowerShell.

PS> $psx86 = Join-Path -Path $sys86 -ChildPath WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe
PS> $psx86
C:\Windows\SysWOW64\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe

PS> Start-Process -FilePath $psx86
Filed in: Columns, Tips and Tricks Tags: , ,

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