Run powershell.exe hidden; since `-WindowStyle Hidden` isn't sufficient.
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HiddenPowershell.vbs
README.md

README.md

This VBScript will run powershell.exe hidden; since -WindowStyle Hidden isn't sufficient. Hopefully, we'll have a pwshw.exe soon and this repo can be antiquated.

You're probably here because you've already realized that using PowerShell's -WindowStyle Hidden parameter without this script, doesn't completely hide the PowerShell console.

If you're wanting to run something other than PowerShell hidden, try HiddenRun.

Usage

Download HiddenPowershell.vbs

I suggest grabbing it at boot with a startup script, via GPO. Users won't see the PowerShell console of a startup script, so it's not invasive. Be sure to adjust the $path and keep the Script Parameters length under 520 characters; the max in GPO:

powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -NoProfile -NonInteractive -WindowStyle Hidden -Command "$path = 'C:\Temp'; [Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls12; Invoke-WebRequest -Uri 'https://raw.githubusercontent.com/UNT-CAS/HiddenPowershell/v1.0/HiddenPowershell.vbs' -OutFile ('{0}\HiddenPowershell.vbs' -f $path) -UseBasicParsing"

‼️ Wherever you put it, be sure users can read, but not write to it.

Be sure you check for the latest release. I don't expect a lot of changes to this script, but now that it's open source ... who knows?

I know this seems simple, but practical implementation is usually a bit more complex. Here's how I've made it happen.

Execute Powershell

Do not use cscript.exe; it will cause a console window to appear.

wscript.exe HiddenPowershell.vbs -ExecutionPolicy ByPass -File "C:\Program Files\Get-HelloWorld.ps1"

This Will run Powershell in a completely hidden console by calling PowerShell like this:

powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy ByPass -File "C:\Program Files\Get-HelloWorld.ps1"

I recommend that you also pass the -WindowStyle Hidden parameter so that the executing PowerShell script knows that it's hidden. You may also want to include the -NonInteractive parameter for the same reason.

If you have machines that have Windows Scripting Host (WSH) file extensions (like .vbs) disassociated from WSH; then you will need to add the //E:vbscript parameter:

wscript.exe //E:vbscript HiddenPowershell.vbs ...

Examples

Run File

wscript.exe HiddenPowershell.vbs -ExecutionPolicy ByPass -File "C:\Program Files\Get-HelloWorld.ps1"

Run URL

wscript.exe HiddenPowershell.vbs -ExecutionPolicy ByPass -Command "[Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls12; Invoke-WebRequst -Uri 'https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Project/Repo/master/deploy.ps1' -UseBasicParsing | Invoke-Expression"

Logging

Logging is done to Event Viewer. There will be two events for every run of the script. One at the start of the run, and the other at the completion/finish. The details of the logs are:

  • Event Path: Windows Logs\Application
  • Source: WSH
  • Event ID: Depends on Status
    • Success: 0 Script Finished; Powershell Exited with 0.
    • Error: 1 Script Finished; Powershell Exited with something other than 0.
    • Information: 4 Script Starting

Start

The Event ID of the starting message will always be 4 (informational). Here's an example of what that will look like:

HiddenPowershell Running: 
	C:\Temp\HiddenPowershell.vbs
	powershell.exe -WindowStyle Hidden -ExecutionPolicy ByPass -Command Write-Host "Hello World!"

Finish

The Event ID of the finished message will be 0 (success). If PowerShell exits with a non-zero exit code, the Event ID will be 1 (error).

Here's an example of what a success looks like; Event ID is 0:

HiddenPowershell Exited: 
	C:\Temp\HiddenPowershell.vbs
	powershell.exe -WindowStyle Hidden -ExecutionPolicy ByPass -Command Write-Host "Hello World!"
	Exit Code: 0

Here's an example of what an error looks like; Event ID is 1:

HiddenPowershell Exited: 
	C:\Temp\HiddenPowershell.vbs
	powershell.exe -WindowStyle Hidden -ExecutionPolicy ByPass -File ScriptDoesNotExist.ps1
	Exit Code: -196608