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Beginners Guides: Windows Command Prompt

Beginners Guides: Windows Command Prompt - PCSTATS
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Abstract: Back in the heyday of text-based operating systems like Unix and DOS, the command prompt was the operating system.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Mar 05 2011   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Command Redirectors

The use of redirectors on command prompt commands is not something the average user really needs to know much about (despite screams of protest from assorted Linux enthusiasts), so we will not explore this area in much detail. However, there are some command filters which can benefit any user.

A command redirector takes the output or contents of one command or file and sends it to another file or command. That's pretty much it. Simple right? Well no, but we're going to keep it simple by only using a couple of them. For a full explanation/list see the documentation on Microsoft's website. The two redirectors we are concerned about deal with redirecting the output of commands to files. This allows you to conveniently store the results of your commands in text files and spreadsheets for archiving and/or printing.

To output the results of a command to a file, use the '>' sign. For example, to copy the results of your DIR command to a text file for storage;

type: Dir > c:\mydirfile.txt

This will create a file called 'mydirfile.txt' in your C:\ directory which will contain the results of your DIR command. I think you can see the potential usefulness of this. The '>' operator creates a new file every time it is used. This means that if you use the same file name twice, you will lose the previous data. To append data onto the end of an already created file, use the '>>' redirector.

Part 2: Command Prompt Functions You Need To Know

In the second part of this guide, we will be focusing on some commands and utilities available in the command prompt and nowhere else (or at least nowhere else easily). This is by no means a complete list, just a selection of some of the most useful functions that are unique to the command prompt. Feel free to contact us if you can think of something that should be added to this list, and let us know why.

DRIVERQUERY: Displays a list of the current drivers on your system. This command can operate remotely with the /s switch. It's also the easiest way of listing all installed drivers on a Windows system without the aid of third party software.

The /FO switch can be used to format the output in CSV or table form for saving to a spreadsheet file. See the '/?' help switch for more information.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Windows Command Prompt
 Pg 2.  Part 1: Entering and using the Windows XP command prompt
 Pg 3.  Moving Between Folders
 Pg 4.  Switches and Command Help
 Pg 5.  Creating and Deleting Folders and Files
 Pg 6.  — Command Redirectors
 Pg 7.  More Handy CMD Commands
 Pg 8.  All About IPConfig
 Pg 9.  Tree and Netstat
 Pg 10.  Tasklist and SystemInfo

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