Tonight, while working on my previous script, I ran into an interesting problem when testing the presence of a value.

Consider this:

PS C:\> [int]$IntValue0 = 0 PS C:\> [int]$IntValue1 = 1 PS C:\> [string]$StringValue0 = "0" PS C:\> [string]$StringValue1 = "1" PS C:\> $IntValue0 0 PS C:\> $IntValue1 1 PS C:\> If ($IntValue0) { "exists" } PS C:\> If ($IntValue1) { "exists" } exists PS C:\> if ($StringValue0) { "exists" } exists PS C:\> if ($StringValue1) { "exists" } exists PS C:\> if ($IntValue0 -eq $null) { "null" } PS C:\> if ($IntValue0 -lt 1) {"less than 1" } less than 1 PS C:\> $IntValue0.GetType() IsPublic IsSerial Name BaseType -------- -------- ---- -------- True True Int32 System.ValueType

My short lesson: when setting an integer value to 0, you can’t test for it using **If ($Value****)**, as that will return * false*. If you want to test for the presence of a value AND determine that it’s greater than 0, it would seem that you have to use

**If ($Value -lt 1) { “do this if less than 1” }**.

Let’s do a story problem.

You have 4 oatmeal raisin cookies. Alice wants 3 cookies, James wants 2 cookies, and Mickey wants 0 cookies (since they contain that dreaded fool’s chocolate).

$Alice = 3 $James = 2 $Mickey = 0

You can then attempt to test for the presence of $Alice, $James, or $Mickey in a simple If statement, and then see the problem if you’re attempting to do something based on the integer value. It works as expected until you get to Mickey:

You can see *why* we got the result we did:

You can still do arithmetic with $Mickey, since it’s an integer:

So, while it’s technically not null, when testing for its presence using the **If ($value)** construct, a variable set to “0” will return a boolean False (since 0 is false and 1 is true). You can, however, test for a variable with a value of 0 a few ways that I’ve discovered:

**If ($Value -ne $null****)** – Again, having a value of 0 is different than $null, so this will return True (I think this is probably the best?)

**If ($Value -lt 1) **– The numerical value of 0 is less than 1, so this will return True

**If ($Value.Length -ge 1) **– You can use the length of the variable (a length greater than or equal to 1) to test for its presence

**If ([string]$Value) **– You can test **$Value** as a string (the text value is 0), and this will also return True