Saturday, December 29, 2012

Top 20 Commands Every Windows 7/8 Server 2008 / 2012 Administrator Should Know

TechRepublic posted a list of "10 Windows 7 Commands Every Administrator Should Know", which is very good, and it includes the following:
  1. sfc
  2. sigverif
  3. driverquery
  4. nslookup
  5. ping
  6. pathping
  7. ipconfig
  8. repair-bde
  9. tasklist
  10. taskkill
I would have combined 9 and 10 with a "/" delimiter and added (at least) "reg.exe".  I mean, most administrators use it much more frequently, and with more urgency, than pathping or repair-bde.  Not to discount the value of those two, but there are others that really should be included. I guess I would have probably named that list "10 Windows 7 Commands That Would Be Helpful for Administrators To Know".  A little longer obviously, so how about "10 neat-o Windows Commands"?

In any case, I know this doesn't fit the "top 10" format, but maybe a "top 20" would be more suitable?  I could've just said to open a CMD console and type "HELP" and press Enter.  That will display a summary of CLI commands which are all extremely useful in particular situations.  But that would be un-administratively lazy of me, so I picked out ten of them to use for my add-on list.  For each command, just enter it with a trailing "/?" or "/help" or "-help" or "-?" (Microsoft is so standardized on the dash-or-slash thing).
  1. reg
    • For adding, editing, deleting, importing, exporting, loading and unloading items in the Registry
  2. cacls / icacls
    • For viewing and modifying ACL's (security descriptors / permissions settings) on Files and Folders.
  3. regini
    • For managing ACL's on Registry keys
  4. set
    • For viewing environment variable assignments, as well as assigning new variable/values
  5. shutdown
    • For initiating a shutdown, restart or logoff on a local, or remote, computer
  6. netsh
    • For viewing and managing network adapter and firewall configuration settings
  7. msg
    • For sending CLI alerts to other users or computers over the network (replaces the older "net send")
  8. schtasks
    • For viewing and managing (create, modify, enable/disable, delete) Scheduled Tasks
  9. diskpart
    • For viewing and managing logical disk partitions
  10. systeminfo
    • For displaying computer properties and configuration settings
Regardless, both lists are worth tucking away in your brain if you "manage" Windows clients and/or servers for a living.  Even if you do it as a hobby it's not going to hurt.  The list could easily go on and on.  I didn't include WMIC or PowerShell, which some would argue are equally, or more, important than these legacy CLI tools.
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