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Windows

Windows 7 : Getting to the Command Line (part 1)

12/5/2010 11:43:50 AM
To take advantage of the command line and all its many useful commands, you need to start a Command Prompt session. Windows 7 offers a number of different ways to do this, but perhaps the easiest is to select Start, type command, and then click Command Prompt in the search results. (It’s even faster to type just cmd in the Search box and then press Enter.) Windows 7 opens a Command Prompt window like the one shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Use the Command Prompt window for your Windows 7 command-line adventures.


  • It’s also possible to configure Windows 7’s Folder file type to open the Command Prompt in Windows Explorer’s current folder.

Running Command Prompt as the Administrator

Once in a while, you not only need to start a Command Prompt session, but you need to start an elevated session. That’s because there are certain Windows commands and utilities that require administrator-level permission. This is normally handled by User Account Control, which prompts you for administrator credentials before letting you continue with the operation. However, this is usually not the case with operations launched from the Command Prompt.

For example, in this article, “Customizing Startup and Shutdown,” you learn how to use the BCDEDIT tool to edit the Windows 7’s Boot Manager. This tool requires administrator permissions, but you run it from the Command Prompt, so UAC doesn’t come into play. To use BCDEDIT (or any Command Prompt utility or command that requires elevation) successfully, you need to run it within a Command Prompt session that has been elevated to administrator status. Here’s how it’s done:

1.
Select Start and type command in the Search box. The Command Prompt icon appears in the search results.

2.
Right-click Command Prompt and then click Run as Administrator. UAC prompts you for your credentials.

3.
Enter your administrator credentials to continue.

In this case, the Command Prompt window still appears, but the title bar reads Administrator: Command Prompt to remind you that you’re in an elevated session (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. When you launch an elevated Command Prompt session, Windows includes Administrator: in the window title bar.


Note

When you start your computer using the Safe Mode with Command Prompt startup option, the Command Prompt session you get is an administrator session.


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