Beginners Guides: WindowsXP Command Prompt
Unlock the enigma that is DOS, and
get a handle on the command prompt
in Windows XP. PCstats covers the basics, and some commands you ought to
know. - Version
Back in the heyday of text-based operating systems like
Unix and DOS, the command prompt was
the operating system, and not knowing how to use it meant
that you could not really use your system without someone experienced in
computing holding your hand. This was the era of computing clubs, when
getting to grips with your computer required some serious devotion and
When the most successful graphical operating systems, the various Apple Mac
and Windows incarnations came along, they triggered a massive increase in the
popularity of computers by simplifying the whole process of using them. No
longer did users have to memorize reams of commands in order to simply configure
and navigate around their computers.
On the other hand, icon based graphic interfaces tend to reduce the
flexibility of the underlying operating systems considerably, especially since
they are designed to be accessible to the novice user. The various Windows
operating systems are instantly familiar to just about any citizen of a
developed country between the ages of 10 and 35, not to mention anyone who has
worked in an office within the last 10 years, but how many people know how to
properly configure and customize Windows XP? Judging by the proliferation
of computer service ads in every city, not many.
command prompt, a purely text-driven interface, is still present at the core of
Windows XP, and it contains many options that are not otherwise accessible
without third-party software, but which most 'experts' could not live without.
The mighty PING command being one simple example.
The road to becoming truly familiar with your windows XP system (and saving
on service calls) involves learning many of these commands, which in turn
requires at least a passing familiarity with using and navigating the command
prompt. Since comprehensive manuals are no longer included with computers to
detail all these commands, it's up to you to find the answers on your own. Which
is where PCstats comes in.
In this PCstats Guide, we will show you how to access and use the Windows XP/2000
command prompt and reveal some useful commands for administering your system
with it. If nothing else, you'll come out of this article with the ability
to navigate the command prompt, which may save you endless frustration somewhere
down the road.
We've split this guide into two parts; the first part deals with opening the command prompt, understanding its environment and learning
the basic navigational commands to get around in its
DOS-like environment. If you've used the command prompt much in the
past, or DOS for that matter, you can safely ignore this section and skip ahead to
the goods in the second half of this guide.
The second section of PCstats Guide
to the Windows XP Command Prompt covers a myriad of useful commands and
functions you can carry out with the command prompt, and your keyboard. Note that
this article is not intended as a comprehensive command prompt manual, but rather
as a jumping off point for your own explorations.
Keyboard's ready? Let's begin!