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Top Windows command-line commands

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When to use a command-line command

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Visual Editor: Sarah Evans/TechTarget

For desktop administrators,a graphical user interface provides helpful display features such as windows, pull-down menus and scroll bars. But a tried-and-true command-line command can accomplish almost all of the same tasks -- sometimes more efficiently, especially if you're scripting.

Windows 7 has myriad command-line scripts built into the operating system that you can use to shut down a user's computer, turn a firewall on or off, or force an update. Because they're so useful and there are so many, it's a good idea to start exploring some basic Windows 7 command prompts.

Here's one to get you started. If you run a large network space, you can apply all of the commands in this slideshow to a group of remote computers with this command-line command:

FOR /L %i IN (1,1,254) DO netsh -r 192.168.1.%i advfirewall show allprofiles >192.168.1.%i.firewallstate.txt.

This will execute whatever command you need on multiple computers or IP addresses.

In the example above, netsh is a place holder. You can put any switch you want in its place to execute across multiple computers.

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