Microsoft Command Line Tools | CompTIA A+ 220-1002 | 1.4

In this video you will learn about various Microsoft command line tools.

Command Prompt

The command line, also called the Windows command line, is a user interface that’s navigated by typing commands at prompts, instead of using a mouse. Unlike a GUI operating system, a command line only uses a keyboard to navigate by entering commands & does not utilize a mouse for navigation.

Command Prompt

Accessing Command Prompt

Command prompt can be accessed by on a Windows computer by clicking the Command Prompt option in the Start menu.

Command Prompt

In Windows 8/8.1 & 10, you can press Windows+X & then click Command Prompt to run in standard mode (Command Prompt (Admin)) to run in administrator mode. You can also press Windows+R to open the “Run” box. Type “cmd” & then press OK to open a command prompt.

Command prompt is often used to do the following by technicians:

  • Data recovery from systems that cannot boot manually
  • Reinstall lost or corrupted system files
  • Print file listings
  • Copy, move, & delete data
  • Display or configure operating system settings

Basic Windows Commands

Keep in mind that commands can be entered in lowercase, uppercase, or mixed case.

  • Navigation
    • DIR — displays list of the current folder’s files & subfolders
    • CD (CHDIR) — changes the working directory
    • CD .. — navigates to the previous directory
  • IPCONFIG — displays TCP/IP network information on a computer
  • PING — sends IP packets to check network connectivity
  • TRACERT — similar to PING but returns path information to an IP address destination; in macOS & Linux the command is TRACEROUTE
  • NETSTAT — displays a list of active TCP connections on a local network
  • NSLOOKUP — gathers the network’s DNS (domain name system/server) information
  • SHUTDOWN — shuts down the computer
  • DISM — Deployment Image Servicing & Management; services images
  • SFC — System File Checker; scans system files & replaces damaged or missing files (must be run in admin mode)
  • CHKDSK — scans specified drive for errors & repairs them (must be run in admin mode)
  • DISKPART — creates, removes, & manages disk partitions (must be run in admin mode)
  • TASKKILL — stops specified tasks on a local or remote computer
  • GPUPDATE — refreshes group policy on local or Active Directory systems
  • GPRESULT — displays the resultant set of policy for the specified computer & user
  • FORMAT — creates or recreates the specified file system on recordable or rewritable storage (magnetic, flash, or optical) & overwrites the contents of the drive
  • COPY — copies one or more files to another folder or drive
  • XCOPY — copies one or more files & folders to another folder or drive
  • ROBOCOPY — Robust File Copy; copies or moves files/folders
  • NET USE — connects to shared folders; similar to mapping a network drive
  • NET USER — manages user accounts (add, remove, change)
  • [Command]/? — displays help for a specified command

XCOPY Advantages

XCOPY can be used in place of COPY to provide the following advantages:

  • Faster operation on a group of files:  XCOPY reads the specified files into RAM before copying them to their destination.
  • Creates folders as needed:  Specifying a destination folder name in the XCOPY command line will create a destination folder if needed.
  • Used as a backup utility:  Can be used to change the archive bit from on to off on files to allow XCOPY to be used in place of commercial backup programs.


ROBOCOPY functionally replaces XCOPY with more options such as:

  • Capability to tolerate pauses in network connections
  • Capability to mirror contents of the source & destination folders by removing & copying files
  • Capability to perform multithreaded copies for faster copying on multicore PCs
  • Can log copy processes
  • Can list or copy files matching specified criteria including minimum file sizes