When you call low level functions from PowerShell, often you get back a numeric return value. If the return value came from a Windows API function, here is a super easy way to translate it into a meaningful text:

For example, whenever an API function fails due to missing access, it returns the value 5. Let’s translate it to a meaningful text:

 
PS> New-Object -TypeName ComponentModel.Win32Exception(5)
Access is denied  
 

In PowerShell 5, you can also use this syntax:

 
PS> [ComponentModel.Win32Exception]::new(5)
Access is denied
 

Check this out:

1..200 | ForEach-Object { '{0} = {1}' -f $_, (New-Object -TypeName ComponentModel.Win32Exception($_)) }

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