Windows XP Command Line Utilities
a list of some new tools mixed up with the old favorites that will
make you love the command prompt as much as I do. A lot of these
commands are intended for the XP
Professional machine administrating a network,
but they can serve a purpose for the home user as well.
View your boot loader settings, such as your default
OS and selection timeout, as well as your boot entries and load
You probably already guessed that
this defrags your hard
drive. Type only "defrag" into your
command prompt to get a list of possible arguments, such as the drive
letter and the type of output.
your disk partitions. After you type "diskpart" into your
command prompt, your prompt will become "DISKPART." Type a
question mark to get a list of possible arguments. Type exit to leave
Will get you a nice list of
your drivers and their properties.
a handy command. You can do everything from managing your hardlinks
to querying the free space in a volume. Type "fsutil" into
your command prompt, and you'll see a list of options. I choose
"fsinfo" from the list, so I type "fsutil fsinfo"
into the prompt. Now I get even more options, but I choose drives by
typing "fsutil fsinfo drives." It's fun, it's easy, and
you'll get the hang of it. Explore this utility. There are a lot of
cool features and hidden twists.
the MAC (Media Access
the RSoP, user settings, and computer group policy settings.
netsh A network configuration tool. Type "netsh" to
enter the tool, or "netsh /?" to learn more about it. To
exit this tool, type "exit" at the "netsh>"
Allows an administrator to
display or disconnect open files in XP professional. Type "openfiles
/?" for a list of possible parameters.
command attempts to recover readable information from a damaged disk.
Type "recover" to get the syntax.
console registry tool. Get syntax help when you type "reg"
into the prompt. You can export the registry, copy, restore, compare,
The administrator can schedule,
run, change, or delete tasks on a local or remote machine. Type
"schtasks /?" without the quotes for a list of options.
The system file checker scans protected system files and
replaces the ones you (or your applications) hacked beyond repair
with the real, official Microsoft
versions. Type "sfc" into the command prompt to get a list
You can shut down or restart
your own computer, or an administrator can shut down or restart a
remote computer. Type "shutdown" into your command prompt
to see a list of possible arguments.
system configuration information, such as the system type, the
processor type, your time zone, your virtual memory settings, and
Want to know what's going on
behind the scenes? Type "tasklist" into the command prompt,
and get a list of current processes.
that you know what's going on behind the scenes, maybe you want to
shut a few of these extraneous tasks down. That's where taskkill
comes in. Type "taskkill /?" for a quick lesson in the
syntax of the command, then shut down all those random processes. I
just killed my MS messenger by typing "taskkill /PID 1680."
I got the PID from running tasklist, above.