Windows : Using the command line Part 1

How can we make a Windows computer useable even without having admin rights? With useable I mean things like

  1. automate frequent file backup jobs
  2. navigate QUICKLY to your work directories
  3. start the programs you need in the directories you want, on the files you want.

and so on. This will be a series, we gotta build this from the ground up because I presume no knowledge at all about the command line – which is the normal case with my bosses these days it seems. Not a problem, it’s not difficult.

First, use the start menu , enter “cmd” and press return. You’ll see something like


In case you’re scared now, just close it by clicking on the right upper corner.

Note regarding Windows 8: I won’t go into the Windows 8 “tiles” that replaced the Start menu here, but if you need help with that, just ask.

Calm down and start it again by entering “cmd” and return in the Start Menu. This time, after it comes up, enter “exit” and press return.

Congrats! You have now entered your first command; and what it did was it told the command line interpreter, “cmd.exe“, to close down!

Then try again, and this time enter “help” and press return. Now it shows you a bunch of commands; these are the commands that Windows comes with but we will extend them with our own “batch files” or “command scripts” as we go.

That’s it for now, I just wrote this up to have a basis I can later refer to, we’re gonna get something useful in two or three steps I promise.

(Note to self for follow up: we will need to find the cmd.exe on the harddisk. So, you can do this as well, enter in the command line interpreter; “cd \”<RETURN>, then “dir /s /b cmd.exe”<RETURN> and let it run… detailed explanation will follow in a few days… and I’ll link the parts properly so we’ll get a series of articles.)


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