Best Command Prompt Tricks & Hacks for Windows
Guest Post by my Friend Abhishek…
This is an excellent post which can really make your life easier in the *NIX world. But, for many, it is a Windows kind of life. So, for those of you out there, I have put together some Windows command line tricks that might make your life easier.
15 Popular Command Prompt Tricks & Hacks
Save A List of Files to a Text File by Extension
dir *.ext /s /b > files.txt
This command line will create a file called files.txt. When you open this file, there will be a complete list of all the files in that directory and all subdirectories with the .ext extension. You can then open up this text file in any text editor and work this the information.By changing the ext part, you can select different files. For example, if you wanted to list all of the PDF documents, you would type:
dir *.pdf /s /b > files.txt
Get Your IP Address Information
This will retrieve a pile of information about your network connection and IP information. From this command, you can get:
- Host Name
- Primary DNS Suffix
- Node Type
- IP Routing Enabled
- WINS Proxy Enabled
- DNS Suffix Search List
- Connection-specific DNS Suffix
- Network Adapter Description
- Physical (MAC) Address
- DHCP Enabled
- IP Address
- Subnet Mask
- Default Gateway
- DNS Servers
Get Installed Driver Information
It can be very useful when troubleshooting to know what drivers are installed on a system. This command will give you a complete listing of the drivers and when they were installed.
Copy Files Via Infrared Port
This will fire up the Wireless Link dialog so that you can copy the specified file via an infrared port.
Find Files Opened By Network Users
If you are running a system and you want to know who has files open on your computer, this command will provide you a list of those users and the files that they have open.
Note: If you get an error saying The system global flag ‘maintain objects list’ needs to be enabled to see local opened files, you can fix this issue by typing
openfiles /local on. You will have to reboot the system but it will resolve the issue.
Monitor Port Activity
netstat -a 30
This will show you all of the TCP/IP ports that are being used on your system and what they are connecting to (or being connected from). It will continue to monitor these ports and refresh the information every 30 seconds. You can change the refresh rate by changing the number at the end of the command.
Recover Information From A Corrupt File
If you have a disk with damaged sectors, you can attempt to recover as much information as possible from the damaged file. Data that is not damaged can be retrieved but data in damaged sectors will be lost.
Defragment Remote Computer
rexec remotePC defrag C: /F
This command used the rexec command to force a defragment of the C: drive on the computer named remotePC. You can use whatever you want to for the command (I just used defrag C: /F as an example). This is very useful for remote maintenance.
Retrieve Detailed System Information
With this command, you can retrieve the following information:
- Host Name
- OS Name
- OS Version
- OS Manufacturer
- OS Configuration
- OS Build Type
- Registered Owner
- Registered Organization
- Product ID
- Original Install Date
- System Up Time
- System Manufacturer
- System Model
- System type
- BIOS Version
- Windows Directory
- System Directory
- Boot Device
- System Locale
- Input Locale
- Time Zone
- Total Physical Memory
- Available Physical Memory
- Virtual Memory Max Size
- Virtual Memory Available
- Virtual Memory In Use
- Page File Location(s)
- Logon Server
- NetWork Card(s)
Automatically Defragment C: Daily
schtasks /create /tn "Defrag C" /tr "defrag c: /f" /sc daily /st 23:00:00 /ru "System"
This will set your computer to automatically perform a complete defrag of the C: drive each day at 11:00:00 PM (23:00:00). It does this by creating a scheduled task called Defrag C. It will run this command under the computer’s system account.
Map A Drive Letter to a Folder
subst W: C:windows
Sometimes, your directory structure can get pretty deep and complicated. You can simplify this a bit by mapping a drive letter to commonly used folders. In the example that I have given, this will create a drive letter W: and map it to the C:windows directory. Then, whenever you go into My Computer, you will see a W: drive and when you browse to it, it will automatically take you to the contents of the C:windows folder.
You can do this with any unused drive letter and any folder that exists on your system.
List All Tasks Running On The Computer
It’s always good to know what is running on your system. This is the command line version of the processes tab in Taks Manager.
Kill A Program
taskkill /im programname.exe /f
If, when using the tasklist command, you discover that there is something running you just want killed. This is the way to do it! Just note the program name and use it in place of programname.exe.
Reboot a Remote Computer
shutdown -r -f -m remotePC -c "System will be rebooted in 20 seconds"
Sometimes, you just need to reboot a system. This will do it remotely and give the user a 20 second warning.
Tip : To open Command Prompt, click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
Some More Command Prompt Tricks & Hacks – Video
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