Windows XP and DOS Help and Tips

Use the DOS command prompt in Windows XP. Display system process information, find Windows XP replacements for the tail, sleep, and grep commands, and more batch file tips.

#1: Unix Du (Disk Usage Command)
This Windows XP - Windows 7 DOS replacement for the Unix du command determines the disk space used in various directories, and can output to CSV for import into Excel.

#2: Display Whois Information in a DOS Prompt or Batch File
Display whois information for a domain or IP address directly from the DOS prompt without having to open a web browser.

#3: Whois Alternative with Optional Summary Display
WhosIP is a version of the whois command for the DOS prompt running under Windows 95 and up.

#4: Tabbed DOS Prompt with Command AutoCompletion
PromptPal for Windows 2000, Windows XP, and above adds a variety of features for frequent DOS command prompt users including command autocompletion and automatic displaying of command help.

#5: Create a Directory or Directory Tree
Use the MKDIR command at a DOS prompt or batch file to create directories.

#6: Batch File to Correctly Determine Operating System Version
Inside a batch file determine if the operating system is Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, or Windows 7.

#7: Modify a File's Access, Creation, and Modification Date / Time with File Touch
For programmers and system administrators - File Touch can modify a file's access, creation, and modification date / time.

#8: Output Directory to CSV File for Spreadsheet, Database
FileList for Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista outputs a directory to a CSV file for processing inside a spreadsheet or database.

#9: Unix Style Tail Command
Display the most recent results of a log file with the tail command for Windows XP.

#10: Defragment Drives in DOS or a Batch File
As an alternative to Windows XP's GUI-based Defrag application, use DOS's defrag command from the command prompt or a batch file.

#11: Open Control Panel - Event Viewer - Task Manager from Prompt or Batch
Open common Windows components from the DOS prompt or a batch file.

#12: Display All Login Sessions and Associated Processes
Show a list of user and system login sessions at the Windows XP DOS command prompt.

#13: Place User Input into an Environment Variable
Allow a batch file in Windows XP to accept user input and place the results in an environment variable.

#14: SYNC Command to Flush Buffered Information
Download a substitute for the Unix SYNC command that flushes information to disk.

#15: See Which Process Has Opened a File or Other Object
Display the list of files opened by running processes in Windows XP.

#16: Defragment Just One File or Directory
Only defragment a particular file or directory that you frequently access.

#17: Start a Program Minimized or Maximized via a Batch File
Force a program executed by a batch file to minimize to the Windows Taskbar or appear full-screen.

#18: Display Hidden Files at the DOS Prompt
View files Windows may be trying to hide via the DOS prompt.

#19: Echo Date, Time, and Message
Easily allow your Windows XP batch files to display debugging information along with a timestamp.

#20: Display All System Shares and Privileges
From the Windows XP command-line you can determine all available shares on a remote or local system.

#21: Ask the COPY Command to Verify Files Were Written Correctly
Help ensure the DOS COPY command in Windows XP accurately writes files, especially to external media.

#22: Print Spooler Information in a Batch File
Diagnose printer errors and determine how many documents are waiting to be printed on remote servers using Windows XP.

#23: Printer Driver Information
For diagnostic purposes, display detailed information about currently installed printers on a Windows XP system on the DOS command line.

#24: Output to a Log File
Debug a Windows XP batch file and output the current date and time to a log file.

#25: Display Files to be Moved or Deleted on Next Reboot
Display a list of files scheduled for moving or deletion when you reboot your Windows XP system.

#26: GREP Command for Windows XP
Search text files for matching strings with the GREP-like command for Windows XP and DOS.

#27: Run a DOS Application in Full Screen
Force DOS applications running underneath Windows XP to display taking up the full-screen.

#28: Pause Batch Files with a User-Defined Message
Pause a Windows XP batch file with a prompt other than "Press any key to continue."

#29: Burn DVDs From the Command Line
The Windows XP/DOS dvdburn command line utility burns DVDs from .ISO files.

#30: Display a Directory Tree of all Subdirectories and Files
Display a directory's subdirectories and (optionally) all files contained therein.

#31: Output the Date in a Batch File
Two options for outputting the current date in a DOS batch file running underneath Windows XP.

#32: Display Command History
Display a list of previously executed DOS commands under Windows XP.

#33: Top Command Alternative to View Processes
View Windows XP process information in the DOS prompt.

#34: UNIX Style Less Command
Scroll through text files inside the Windows XP DOS prompt with a command similar to UNIX's less command.

#35: Change the DOS Prompt Size in a Batch File
Add or reduce lines or columns to/from a DOS prompt in Windows XP.

#36: Display Local or Remote Server Debug Information
Help determine if a remote or local Windows XP server has certain security hotfixes installed. Also see what services it is running and more.

#37: Display Directory and File Owners
If you share your Windows XP machine with others, this parameter lets you display directory and file ownership at the DOS prompt or in a batch file.

#38: Test the Speed of Batch Files By Creating Dummy Files
The CREATFIL DOS command, available for Windows XP, can help test the speed of batch files and also how applications handle low hard drive space scenarios.

#39: Remove a Directory and All Subdirectories
Use these Windows XP and DOS command line parameters with the RMDIR command to remove all subdirectories.

#40: Use NTimer to Display How Long a Program Takes to Execute
Benchmark how long it takes a process to run under Windows XP from the DOS prompt.

#41: Change Title of a DOS Prompt Window
Since "C:\windows\system32\cmd.exe" isn't very descriptive, you can change the title of DOS prompt windows running in Windows XP.

#42: Batch file SLEEP Command
Cause Windows XP batch files to sleep for a given number of seconds.

#43: Ask the COPY Command to Verify Overwriting Files
Help prevent the DOS COPY command in Windows XP from accidentally overwriting files.

#44: Search Google and Other Search Engines from the Command Prompt
Create a Windows XP/DOS command line utility that lets a batch file search Google by starting a web browser or displaying the results in a DOS prompt.

#45: Burn CDs From the Command Line
The cdburn command burns CDs from .ISO files on the Windows XP DOS command line.

#46: List all DLLs Loaded on a System
The listdlls command displays a list of Dynamic Link Library (dll) files loaded on a Windows XP system.

#47: Show Which Users Have Which Privileges
Quickly determine, from the Windows XP command line, which users have certain rights on a particular workstation or server.

#48: Display a Directory List Without Header or File Information
Display a barebones list of files in a directory without the volume name, serial number, bytes free, and other information.

#49: Change the DOS Prompt Color in a Batch File
Grab the user's attention if a batch file running underneath Windows XP's DOS fails by changing the text color.

#50: Hexadecimal to Decimal Conversion on the Command Line
Download a Windows XP command line tool to simply convert decimal numbers to hexadecimal and vice-versa.

#51: Open the Registry to a Specific Key
This DOS command in Windows XP will open the registry editor to a specific key.

#52: Modify the System and User Paths
The PATHMAN DOS command can make it easier to modify the system and user paths used by Windows XP.

#53: Remembering Directories (PUSHD and POPD)
Use the PUSHD and POPD commands to remember directory names in DOS with Windows XP.

#54: Open a System Management Console
Open computer management consoles from a Windows XP/DOS batch file.

See Also:

Windows 2000 and DOS

Combining the power of DOS and Windows 2000. Tweaking the prompt, resetting your Internet connection, developing replacement commands, and more.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language.