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Windows Command Line Shortcuts

The command line doesn’t have to be the sole domain of uber-geeks. With a little know-how, anyone can use the command line to perform simple tasks on their computer. Below is a short list of command line tips that I’ve found useful in the past. These steps are easy to follow and you don’t have to be a computer nerd to use them. The commands I’ve listed work on Windows XP or Windows Vista. To use the command line, just go to Start ==> Run, and the type in “cmd” (without the quotes) and hit “Enter” on your keyboard. On Vista, you can just type “cmd” (again, without the quotes) and “Enter” from the Search box on the Start Menu. Vista will know what you mean.

1. Driver List – Get a list of your drivers and export it to Excel. Your file will show up in (Users\YourUsername).

 driverquery /FO csv /v > text.csv

2. File Listing – Get a list of your files within a particular folder (in the example, I’m doing my Documents folder) and export it to a text file. (Note: Replace “Sarah” with your username) –

(Windows Vista) dir c:\users\Sarah\Documents>docs.txt

(Windows XP) dir c:\Documents and Settings\Sarah\My Documents>docs.txt

3. Remote into another computer via Remote Desktop – You can actually launch this one straight from the “Run” box, no command line needed:


4. Shutdown & Reboot a Computer – This one is especially useful when remoted into another machine (thanks to #3) and in need of the “Shutdown” button. The “01” on the end is how long before the computer shuts down. I like it to go fast, hence the 1 second until reboot!

shutdown -f -r -t: 01

5. System Info – Displays detailed configuration information about a computer, including operating system configuration, security information, product ID, and hardware properties, such as RAM, disk space, and network cards. Also lists the hotfixes you have installed.


6. Now make it pretty! The color command lets you change the command window’s background and/or font a different color. The command is color [F][B], where F is the foreground and B is the background. If you only enter in one character after the word color, then you’ll just change the font color. Here’s a list of the colors and their corresponding number or letter. And here’s an example of how to make your font light purple:

color D

Windows, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Command Line, Tips and Tricks, Shortcuts

Source:→ on10

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