Data Centers

Configure Windows Server 2008 quickly with command line shortcuts

Windows Server 2008's interface is quite a change from the familiar interfaces of Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Server. Find out how you can get the most important configurations via a command line.

You may see blank stares when administrators try to accomplish tasks in the new Windows Server 2008 environment. When a simple MMC snap-in won't do the trick, try my most frequently used command lines for Windows Server 2008.

  • ncpa.cpl: The additional clicks to get to the Manage Network Connections configuration are among the bigger learning curves for new installations. Simply running ncpa.cpl will take you right to the interface's configuration.
  • desk.cpl: The display and resolution configuration are also buried in different areas, but you can quickly access the resolution by running desk.cpl.
  • appwiz.cpl: Skip the visit to the Control Panel and simply run appwiz.cpl to jump into the Programs And Features applet.
  • sysdm.cpl: It is not as easy as right-clicking My Computer anymore, but running sysdm.cpl can take you to the system properties screen to perform server renames, domain joins and device manager access and enable remote desktop.
  • CompMgmtLauncher.exe: You can quickly access this server manager (which is much different than in Windows NT 4 version) by running CompMgmtLauncher.exe.

These handy shortcuts can help you make the transition to Windows Server 2008 quickly and, in some cases, perform tasks in the same fashion as in previous versions of Windows Server.

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Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.


Hay!! Nothing Great.. All above listed are CPL files .. we can say shortcuts to open and access the application. What deal in Command line?

Photogenic Memory
Photogenic Memory

Like for instance firewall configs in XP from command line go something like this: >netsh firewall set opmode disable can anyone update with some good system administrations commands? That is definitely worth a second look. The article sites apps that luanch a GUI interface.


I launch all my Control Panel applets using the Windows + R command and the appropriate *.cpl. Just go to system32 folder and do a search for cpl files. Run them, see what they do, and memorize them. Very handy. Works in XP and Vista, too. Can't see why this is so pertinent to Sk8...

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