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Tech Tip: Explore additions to the command shell in Windows Server 2003

Take a look at Windows Server 2003's additions to the command shell.

With Windows Server 2003, Microsoft breathed new life into the often overlooked command shell. There are dozens of new commands, and it's difficult to find a task that you can't accomplish via the command prompt.

Here's a partial list of the services that you can manage almost 100 percent from the command line:

  • Windows Management Instrumentation (using wmic)
  • Networking (using netsh)
  • Power management (using powercfg)
  • Encryption services (using cipher)
  • Active Directory (using dsadd, dsget, dsmod, dsmove, ldifde, csvde, and others)
  • Certificates (using certreq and certutil)
  • Clustering (using cluadmin and cluster)
  • Windows Scripting Host (using cscript or wscript)
  • Terminal Services (using change logon, change user, cprofile, logoff, msg, mstsc, query, register, reset, shadow, tscon, tsdiscon, tskill, tsprof, and tsshutdn)

In addition, Windows Server 2003's command shell sports autocompletion using the [Tab] key. For example, type cd \dir, and press [Tab] to complete the cd \directory command. If there's more than one match to the partial string, press [Tab] repeatedly until you see the desired match.

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