Any ideas on what this error is trying to tell me?

Brass Contributor

I have a remediation script that runs with the users credentials. The script appears to do what it is supposed to do BUT... it is also throwing this error:

System.Management.Automation.ActionPreferenceStopException: The running command stopped because the preference variable "ErrorActionPreference" or common parameter is set to Stop: An error occurred while performing the specified operation.  See the error details for more information.
   at System.Management.Automation.ExceptionHandlingOps.CheckActionPreference(FunctionContext funcContext, Exception exception)
   at System.Management.Automation.Interpreter.ActionCallInstruction`2.Run(InterpretedFrame frame)
   at System.Management.Automation.Interpreter.EnterTryCatchFinallyInstruction.Run(InterpretedFrame frame)
   at System.Management.Automation.Interpreter.EnterTryCatchFinallyInstruction.Run(InterpretedFrame frame)

I am catching the error in an error variable via -ErrorVariable and saving that to a file but the above is all I'm getting. Any idea what this error actually represents? 

2 Replies

Hi @KevinWGagel,

The error message you’re seeing is System.Management.Automation.ActionPreferenceStopException.

This exception is thrown when a PowerShell command is stopped because the preference variable “ErrorActionPreference” or a common parameter is set to “Stop”. This usually happens when an error occurs while performing the specified operation.

The error message suggests that an operation in your script is failing, and because the “ErrorActionPreference” is set to “Stop”, it’s halting the execution of the script at that point.

The specific operation that’s failing isn’t clear from the error message alone.

To troubleshoot this issue, use the following steps:

  1. Check the operation that’s failing:
    Look at the operations being performed around the point where the error is thrown. The failing operation could be a cmdlet, function, or script call.
  2. Error details:
    The error message suggests to “See the error details for more information”. These details might be in the error variable you’re using with -ErrorVariable.
  3. Try/Catch block: If you’re not already doing so, consider using a try/catch block to handle exceptions. 

The goal is to identify the operation that’s causing the error, and then understand why it’s failing.

You can check these links for more information:
ActionPreferenceStopException Class (System.Management.Automation) | Microsoft Learn
Import-Module : Could not load file or assembly 'System.Management.Automation - Microsoft Q&A

Please click Mark as Best Response & Like if my post helped you to solve your issue.
This will help others to find the correct solution easily. It also closes the item.

If the post was useful in other ways, please consider giving it Like.

Kindest regards,

Leon Pavesic

@LeonPavesic thanks for taking the time to respond.
The operation is not actually failing - it is accomplished. All attempts to repeat the operation manually succeed without any error indication.
The script is using the try-catch and the catch is logging the error details which I posted in the original post - the one you're saying doesn't tell us much (I know, that's why I'm asking a more experienced crowd.)
The fact that the catch is logging tells me there was an error but the operation in the try statement gets accomplished! So, I'm a bit perplexed as to what is going on. I suspect it has something to do with the script timeout values. I've updated the client script timeout to 10 minutes. The increased timeout seems to have helped some...
While I'm still seeing errors being reported via the log file the remediation is in fact working.