Windows Administration Commands

Here are some of the more obscure, and yet extremely useful [tag]windows commands[/tag] every [tag]administrator[/tag] should know about. This is by no means an exhaustive list. These are simply windows utilities that I would feel naked without. Most of these are not present in XP home so I tend to carry them on a thumb drive or a CD when I plan to troubleshoot some windows installation.

Yes, the beautiful thing about these files is the fact that you can copy them from a XP pro box to an XP home box and they will still work. After all this is the same OS, only one is crippled more than the other.

I will go in alphabetical order:

[tag]cacls[/tag] – my favorite windows command line tool ever. It allows you to set and fine tune [tag]access permissions[/tag] on files. For example, this is the only way you can assign selective read/write permissions on per-user basis on XP home.

[tag]driverquery[/tag] – displays a list of [tag]drivers[/tag] installed on your system. Very informative, especially with the /v option. (not in XP Home)

[tag]getmac[/tag] – gives you the [tag]mac address[/tag]. Yes, you can always use ipconfig /all but why should you? (not in XP Home)

[tag]openfiles[/tag] – lists all the files that are currently open on this system. It also allows you to terminate connections to files. Imagine this scenario – some jackass opens a very important file on a network share, and then leaves for lunch. He locks down his machine, closes his office and takes the only key. Meanwhile 3 other people need write access to that file, and they are getting pissed off. Openfiles to the rescue. (not in XP Home)

[tag]reg[/tag] – command line utility to add and delete registry keys. This is an awesome tool for scripting. It allows you to query, add, delete, unload, import and export registry keys. It sure beats regedit if you know what you want to do and you want to do it quickly.

[tag]sfc[/tag] – scans and replaces damaged protected windows files. This is essentially your first line of defense. After you remove malicious shit from the system, it is always a good idea to run sfc to make sure the core system files are intact.

[tag]systeminfo[/tag] – provides exhaustive [tag]system information[/tag]. I love this little tool because it produces a truckload of information that is not readily available anywhere else. It will tell you your CPU speed, original windows installation date, current uptime, all the hot-fixes and windows updates installed, as well as vendor specific information that you may find useful. (not in XP Home)

[tag]tasklist[/tag] – equivalent of usinx [tag]ps[/tag] command. It lists all the running processes on this machine. Much more convenient than the task manager if you ask me.

[tag]taskkill[/tag] – a complement of tasklist with a very self explanatory name. You can use it to kill running processes from the command line.

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3 Responses to Windows Administration Commands

  1. BadMad GERMANY Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    you forgot “at”… you need this to get “SYSTEM” user ;)

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  2. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    LOL! Yes, but then again I rarely need to elevate privileges on a windows box. Everyone runs as an admin anyway, so you very rarely need to become SYSTEM.

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  3. Rakesh UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    yea, at is a great tool (hack and microsofts bad) that grants a user the systems privileges…funny but true…

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