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    Describes the full and relative path name formats in Windows PowerShell. 


    All items in a data store accessible through a Windows PowerShell provider  
    can be uniquely identified by their path names. A path name is a  
    combination of the item name, the container and subcontainers in which  
    the item is located, and the Windows PowerShell drive through which the  
    containers are accessed. 
    In Windows PowerShell, path names are divided into one of two types: fully  
    qualified and relative. A fully qualified path name consists of all  
    elements that make up a path. The following syntax shows the elements in  
    a fully qualified path name: 
    The <provider> placeholder refers to the Windows PowerShell provider  
    through which you access the data store. For example, the FileSystem 
    provider allows you to access the files and directories on your computer. 
    This element of the syntax is optional and is never needed because the  
    drive names are unique across all providers. 
    The <drive> placeholder refers to the Windows PowerShell drive that is  
    supported by a particular Windows PowerShell provider. In the case of the 
    FileSystem provider, the Windows PowerShell drives map to the Windows  
    drives that are configured on your system. For example, if your system  
    includes an A: drive and a C: drive, the FileSystem provider creates the 
    same drives in Windows PowerShell. 
    After you have specified the drive, you must specify any containers and  
    subcontainers that contain the item. The containers must be specified  
    in the hierarchical order in which they exist in the data store. In  
    other words, you must start with the parent container, then the child  
    container in that parent container, and so on. In addition, each  
    container must be preceded by a backslash. (Note that Windows PowerShell 
    allows you to use forward slashes for compatibility with other  
    After the container and subcontainers have been specified, you must  
    provide the item name, preceded by a backslash. For example, the fully  
    qualified path name for the Shell.dll file in the C:\Windows\System32  
    directory is as follows: 
    In this case, the drive through which the containers are accessed is  
    the C: drive, the top-level container is Windows, the subcontainer is 
    System32 (located within the Windows container), and the item is Shell.dll. 
    In some situations, you do not need to specify a fully qualified path  
    name and can instead use a relative path name. A relative path name is  
    based on the current working location. Windows PowerShell allows you to  
    identify an item based on its location relative to the current working 
    location. You can specify relative path names by using special characters. 
    The following table describes each of these characters and provides  
    examples of relative path names and fully qualified path names. The  
    examples in the table are based on the current working directory being  
    set to C:\Windows. 
    Symbol Description                Relative path    Fully qualified path 
    ------ -------------------------- ---------------- -------------------- 
    .      Current working location   .\System         c:\Windows\System 
    ..     Parent of current working  ..\Program Files c:\Program Files 
    \      Drive root of current      \Program Files   c:\Program Files 
           working location 
    [none] No special characters      System           c:\Windows\System 
    When using a path name in a command, you enter that name in the same  
    way whether you use a fully qualified path name or a relative one. For  
    example, suppose that your current working directory is C:\Windows. The  
    following Get-ChildItem command retrieves all items in the C:\Techdocs  
        Get-ChildItem \techdocs 
    The backslash indicates that the drive root of the current working  
    location should be used. Because the working directory is C:\Windows,  
    the drive root is the C: drive. Because the techdocs directory is located  
    off the root, you need to specify only the backslash. 
    You can achieve the same results by using the following command: 
        Get-ChildItem c:\techdocs 
    Regardless of whether you use a fully qualified path name or a relative  
    path name, a path name is important not only because it locates an item  
    but also because it uniquely identifies the item even if that item  
    shares the same name as another item in a different container.  
    For instance, suppose that you have two files that are each named  
    Results.txt. The first file is in a directory named C:\Techdocs\Jan,  
    and the second file is in a directory named C:\Techdocs\Feb. The path  
    name for the first file (C:\Techdocs\Jan\Results.txt) and the path name  
    for the second file (C:\Techdocs\Feb\Results.txt) allow you to clearly  
    distinguish between the two files.