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Windows 2000 Commandline and Help

Working complete PC
Blank Diskette
Student Diskette, "New Boot A Ver 2.0+"
Student CD-ROM, "Room 6359"
The student will become familiar with:
The Windows 2000 DOS Prompt,
How to obtain help from the system for any command,
The Windows 2000 online help system.
The student will learn how to start and use the Windows 2000 Command Prompt in order to be able to competently use the operating system and all of its diagnostics and settings tools and utilities many of which are far easier to use as prompt commands than as their GUI counterparts. The student will learn how to search the online help system for valuable information on using the operating system properly.
  1. In this exercise the student will learn some commands that are new to Windows NT/2000 and how to discover and find help on all commands, both new and old (inherited from DOS/Win9x)

  2. Procedures
  3. At the desktop of any Windows 2000 System click Start > Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt to open a DOS box. This DOS box is an application under Windows 2000 and is not a standalone OS kernel like COMMAND.COM is in the Win9x family of operating systems. The executable's name is CMD.EXE and it can be started by clicking Start > Run > "cmd" > OK also.

  4. At this prompt type the following command:

    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>help | more
  5. This will list all of the commands both internal and external that are available at this prompt:

    ASSOC    Displays or modifies file extension associations
    AT       Schedules commands and programs to run on a computer.
    ATTRIB   Displays or changes file attributes.
    BREAK    Sets or clears extended CTRL+C checking.
    CACLS    Displays or modifies access control lists (ACLs) of files.
    CALL     Calls one batch program from another.
    CD       Displays the name of or changes the current directory.
    CHCP     Displays or sets the active code page number.
    CHDIR    Displays the name of or changes the current directory.
    CHKDSK   Checks a disk and displays a status report.
    CHKNTFS  Displays or modifies the checking of disk at boot time.
    CLS      Clears the screen.
    CMD      Starts a new instance of the Windows 2000 command interpreter.
    COLOR    Sets the default console foreground and background colors.
    COMP     Compares the contents of two files or sets of files.
    COMPACT  Displays or alters the compression of files on NTFS partitions.
    CONVERT  Converts FAT volumes to NTFS.  You cannot convert the
             current drive.
    COPY     Copies one or more files to another location.
    DATE     Displays or sets the date.
    DEL      Deletes one or more files.
    DIR      Displays a list of files and subdirectories in a directory.
    DISKCOMP Compares the contents of two floppy disks.
    DISKCOPY Copies the contents of one floppy disk to another.
    -- More  --
  6. Once you know a command's name that this listing provides, you can then query the command for further help like this:

    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>color /?
    Sets the default console foreground and background colors.
    COLOR [attr]
      attr        Specifies color attribute of console output
    Color attributes are specified by TWO hex digits -- the first
    corresponds to the background; the second the foreground.  Each digit
    can be any of the following values:
        0 = Black       8 = Gray
        1 = Blue        9 = Light Blue
        2 = Green       A = Light Green
        3 = Aqua        B = Light Aqua
        4 = Red         C = Light Red
        5 = Purple      D = Light Purple
        6 = Yellow      E = Light Yellow
        7 = White       F = Bright White
    If no argument is given, this command restores the color to what it was
    when CMD.EXE started.  This value either comes from the current console
    window, the /T command line switch or from the DefaultColor registry
    The COLOR command sets ERRORLEVEL to 1 if an attempt is made to execute
    the COLOR command with a foreground and background color that are the
    Example: "COLOR fc" produces light red on bright white
  7. Based on that help setup the screen with gray letters on a blue background. If you like the result you can leave it like that otherwise change it back to white letters on a black background.

  8. The end of the HELP command invited the user to refer to the Windows 2000 on-line command reference before using the commandline commands. There is a repository of help screens in the Windows 2000 Help that cover all of the DOS commands of Windows 2000 and even go into the details of "subcommands" which are entered from within a command (like DEBUG.EXE for example). To get to the Command Reference click Start > Help > Search tab. Now type into the search text box "command reference" Now click the Display Topics button. In the topics list double click on "Windows 2000 Command Reference Main Page" and the A to Z listing will appear in the right hand side:

  9. Create a new empty directory in the root of the C: drive named TEMP. Open Notepad and create a batch file that will launch the Time/Date Control Panel applet. It will look like this:

    @echo off
    control timedate.cpl

    Save the batch file as settime.bat, in the C:\TEMP folder.

  10. Read the help for the AT command and note the system time as it appears in your PC's system tray in the taskbar at the lower right corner of the screen. Open a command prompt box and execute an AT command that will launch your batch file within the next two minutes. When you press [Enter] the AT command will announce the new job was added as job number = 1 (more than likely it will be job #1). Now execute the command AT \\pc01 and it will display the pending job. When the time arrives it will execute your batch file which should cause the Time/Date Control Panel applet to appear on screen. Be sure the time is correct and close the Time/Date applet. Check the pending jobs again and it will report that there are no pending jobs in the list.

  11. For homework list 10 commands that do NOT have an equivalent in DOS/Win9x, and read their help and practice them. Prepare a short paper (a paragraph or two per command will be fine) in which you explain to someone who does not know how to use the DOS prompt, what each command in your list does, how to use each command, and give an example. Be careful, some commands can be destructive and this exercise should be done in the Computer Repair open lab. Because Windows 98 does have some external commands particularly related to networking in common when the full networking drivers have been installed, do not choose any networking related commands.

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