Kae Travis

Running the x64 Powershell from x86 SCCM ConfigMgr

This post describes running the x64 Powershell from x86 SCCM ConfigMgr. I stumbled upon an issue when I’d created a powershell script to manage App-V 5 packages. On an x64 platform, we tried to launch the powershell script with the x64 version of Powershell (i.e, the version in %windir%\system32) via an SCCM 2007 program like so:

%windir%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\PowerShell.exe .\AV5Admin.ps1 {parameters}

Upon running this program we received the following Powershell error:

The current processor architecture is: x86. The module ‘C:\Program Files\Microsoft Application Virtualization\Client\AppvClient\AppvClient.psd1’ requires the following architecture: Amd64.

This immediately made me think that SCCM was launching the x86 Powershell console as opposed to the x64 one. But strangely enough, the execmgr log file still said it was running the x64 Powershell at %windir%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\PowerShell.exe. This log file entry was incorrect, and was just spitting out the exact command line in the SCCM program as opposed to what was actually running.

It turns out that the program execution environment in the SCCM 2007 ConfigMgr is 32-bit, and hence the x86 version of Powershell was being launched. You can find out more information on the redirection process here. To circumvent this issue, the command line needed to be tweaked to use the SysNative alias like so:

%windir%\Sysnative\windowsPowershell\V1.0\PowerShell.exe .\AV5Admin.ps1 {parameters}

WOW64 recognizes Sysnative as a special alias used to indicate that the file system should not redirect the access, and should instead use the native system folder. This alias was introduced in Windows Vista and can not be used with x64 applications. Note that you can ONLY use this alias from 32-bit applications, and it would not be recongnised if, for example, you used it from a 64-bit instance of cmd.exe.

As an example, if you launch cmd.exe on an x86 platform, and run the following command:


You will get the error:

The system cannot find the path specified.

Because the Sysnative alias is not supported on x86 platforms. Also, if you launch the same command on an x64 platform, using the native x64 cmd.exe, you will get the same error because the Sysnative alias is not supported on x64 applications.

However, if you launch an x86 version of cmd.exe on an x64 platform and run the same command, it will launch the native (x64) version of notepad.exe.

Out of interest if you just run the command:


from the x86 version of cmd.exe on an x64 platform, it will launch the x86 version of notepad.exe.


Running the x64 Powershell from x86 SCCM ConfigMgr
Running the x64 Powershell from x86 SCCM ConfigMgr

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