Bill Detwiler: The command line is often the best place toresolve Windows 7 desktop problems.
I'm Bill Detwiler, and during this episode of TR Dojo, I'llshow you several lesser-known commands that every Windows ninja should know.
In many large organizations today, in-house IT pros don'tspend much time troubleshooting PCs. If a problem takes more than an hour or soto fix, admins are likely to roll the machine back to an earlier restore pointor just re-image the hard drive. And if users work on VMs, you don't even needto do that.
But consultants and IT pros in smaller shops will stillspend time identifying and fixing desktop problems. And on Windows 7 machines,this often means delving into the command line.
So, TechRepublic blogger Brien Posey put together a list of10 Windows 7 commands every administrator should know. Because I don't havetime to go over all of them during this episode, I picked out four of thelesser-known ones.
I also won't have time to cover all the optional switchesand parameters for each command. But, I'll link to Microsoft's TechNetcommand-line reference site in the TR Dojo blog. Another point to remember,most if not all of these commands, must be run from either an account orcommand window with admin rights.
The first command on our list is the System File Checker orsfc. This tool has been around for over a decade, since Windows 2000. Yet, itstill seems to be rarely used.
This tool will verify the integrity of the Windows systemfiles. If any of the files are found to be missing or corrupt, it will replacethem with the correct version.
You can run the System File Checker by using the command:
The second command on our list will also help you verify asystem's integrity, but the File Signature Verification tool does this byensuring that all the system files are digitally signed.
To launch the tool, enter
at a command prompt.
The tool's GUI window should appear and you'll be able tosee which system files are signed and which aren’t. As a rule, all the systemfiles should be digitally signed, although some hardware vendors don’t signdriver files.
Although they usually don't cause the nightmares they oncedid, incorrect device drivers can still lead to system problems.
Now, if you want to see which drivers are installed on aWindows 7 system, the driverquery command is a perfect tool.
To get information on each driver enter
at a command prompt.
If you need a bit more information, you can append the -vswitch, which runs the command in verbose mode, or the -si switch, which showsthe signature information for each driver.
The last lesser-know command on our list, repair-bde, cansometimes help you recover data from a drive that's encrypted with WindowsBitLocker technology.
To use the command, you'll need a destination drive to whichthe recovered data can be written, as well as your BitLocker recovery key orrecovery password.
The basic syntax for this command is:
repair-bde <source> <destination> -rk | rp<source>
followed by the source drive, the destination drive, andeither the rk (recovery key) or the rp (recovery password) switch, along withthe path to the recovery key or the recovery password.
When you use the repair-bde command it might look somethinglike this or this.
Well that does it for this edition of TR Dojo. Thanks toTechRepublic blogger Brien Posey for putting this list together. I'll link toBrien's full list of 10 Windows 7 commands in the TR Dojo blog.
And as always, for more teachings on YOUR path to becomingan IT Ninja, visit trdojo.techrepublic.com, sign-up for our newsletter, orfollow me on Twitter.
Thanks for visiting the TR Dojo.