Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Third Edition
Working with the
Command-line Interface
Chapter 15
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Overview
Third Edition
• In this chapter, you will learn how to
– Explain the operation of the command-line
interface
– Execute fundamental commands from the
command line
– Manipulate files and folders from the command line
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Historical/Conceptual
Third Edition
• IBM invented the PC in the late ’70s but
needed an operating system
– Digital Research had an OS but turned them down
– IBM went to a small company (Bill Gates at
Microsoft) that had created BASIC
– Microsoft had never written an OS but accepted
the challenge
• Gates found an OS called Quick-and-Dirty-OperatingSystem (QDOS) and purchased it from the person who
wrote it
• Microsoft released it as MS-DOS V 1.1 (Microsoft Disk
Operating System)
• MS-DOS 6.22 ultimately released in 1994
• DOS used a command-line interface
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Practical Application
Third Edition
Deciphering the Command-line
Interface
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Command-line Interface (CLI)
Third Edition
• How does a command-line interface
work?
– Begins with a prompt indicating the computer is
ready to do something (such as C:\>)
– Type in a command and press ENTER
– The command is executed
– A new prompt is displayed—ready for the next
command
– CLI executes commands like the Windows GUI
• In CLI, type the command and press ENTER
• In GUI, point and click to execute commands
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Accessing the Command Line
Third Edition
• Use the Run dialog box or Start Search
text box
– Start | Run
– Type cmd
(or)
– Type command
– Either runs the
cmd.exe executable
program found in
%systemroot%\system32
• You may also access the command line
through the Start | All Programs menu
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
The Command Prompt
Third Edition
• The command prompt is always focused
on a specific folder
– Commands operate on the files and folders in the
folder on which the command line is focused
– You can first focus on the drive and folder where
you want to work to make commands simpler
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Filenames and File Formats
Third Edition
• Each program or piece of data is stored
as a file on the drive
• Filenames have two parts
– Filename
• In DOS, up to 8 characters long
– Extension
• In DOS, up to 3 characters long
• Optional
• The filename and extension are
separated by a dot
– Called the 8.3 naming system
• These characters may not be used today
/\<>| :"*?
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Filenames and Formats
Third Edition
• Windows does not restrict the filename
to 8.3 (can be up to 255 characters)
– To be backward-compatible with DOS you need to
follow the 8.3 standard
– Windows creates two filenames for every file to
ensure backward-compatibility
• The extension tells the computer the
type of file
– .exe, .doc, .xls
– .gif, .jpg, .png
– .chm (help file)
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
File Formats
Third Edition
• All files written in binary format
– Different programs have unique methods of reading and
writing, so one program may or may not understand
files from another program.
– Need for a universal format
• American Standard Code for Information
Interchange (ASCII) used for text
– First universal file format
– Defines 256 8-bit characters
• Unicode
– Uses 16-bit code to cover every character for the most
common languages
– First 256 characters are the ASCII characters
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
ASCII Character Chart
Third Edition
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Folders and Files
Third Edition
• Folders and files must be unique
– Can’t be the same name in the same folder
• C:\ represents the root directory of C
• To describe a subfolder, add the name of
the folder
– C:\TEST
• The location of a file is called the path
– The path of C:\test\file.txt is C:\test
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Directory Tree
Third Edition
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Third Edition
Mastering Fundamental Commands
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Structure: Syntax and Switches
Third Edition
• The command line requires the exact
syntax for each command
• Type the name of the command and
desired or allowed switches, and then
press ENTER to execute the command
– Switches modify the behavior of the command
– Multiple switches may be allowable
– DIR /W /P
displays the directory in wide mode and one page
at a time
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Help
Third Edition
• Help with any command is readily
available in one of three ways
– HELP gives a one-line description of each
command
– HELP [command] gives specific help for the
command
– [Command] /? gives specific help for the command
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
DIR Command
Third Edition
• The DIR command lists the contents of a
particular directory
– The DIR /W command lists only the folder and file
names
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
DIR Command Switches
Third Edition
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Directories: CD Command
Third Edition
• The CD (or CHDIR) command is used to change the
focus to a different directory
• The CD\ command is used to return to the root
directory
• Type CD [folder name] and then press ENTER to
change focus to that folder or directory
• Type CD .. and press ENTER to go up one directory
• To switch between drives, type the drive letter
followed by a colon, and then press ENTER
– C:
– D:
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Making and Removing Directories
Third Edition
• The MD (or MKDIR) command is used for
creating a directory
• The DEL command is used for deleting
files, and the RD (RMDIR) command is
used for deleting directories and
subdirectories
• RD /S will removed populated folders
and their contents
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Third Edition
Lab – Making and Removing
Folders
1. Change focus to root
2. Create three folders
– class
– docs
– backup
3. Create a subfolder in backup
– temp
4. Delete RD the temp folder
5. Use DIR to check each step
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Running a Program
Third Edition
• To run a program
– Change the prompt focus to the directory where
the program is stored
cd c:\windows\system32
– Type the filename with or without its extension and
press ENTER
edit.com
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
EDIT
Third Edition
• EDIT is a command-line command that
starts a basic text editor
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Third Edition
Working with Files
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Start at the Root
Third Edition
• What's in your root directory?
• Double-click C: drive in My Computer
– Hey! Where are the Windows system files, like
NTLDR and BOOT.INI?
– Could go to Folder Options and display hidden and
system files, or could go to the prompt
• DIR /P still doesn't show the system files,
so we need a new tool
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Working with Files
Third Edition
• Attributes (H, R, S, A) are special values
assigned to a file
– Hidden: hides the file
– Read-only: protects a file
from being deleted or modified
– System: identifies system files
– Archive: identifies files that
have not been backed up
• The ATTRIB.EXE program is used to
inspect and change file attributes
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
ATTRIB
Third Edition
• ATTRIB can be used to change the
attributes
– Use + to add attribute
– Use – to remove attribute
ATTRIB +R AILOG.TXT
Makes the file read only
ATTRIB –H AILOG.TXT
hidden
Makes the file no longer
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Working with Files
Third Edition
• Wildcards
– Wildcards are special characters that enable
commands to act on more than one file at a time
– The * represents any number of characters
– The ? represents a single character
DIR *.TXT
Lists all files that end in .TXT
DIR *.?XT
Lists all files that end in XT
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Working with Files (continued)
Third Edition
• REN command is used to rename files
• DEL and ERASE commands are used to
delete files
• COPY command is used for making a
copy of the file in a new location
• MOVE command is used for moving the
file to a new location
• XCOPY command is used for working
with multiple directories
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Lab – Create, Copy, Move
Third Edition
1. Use EDIT to create two text files in the \docs
folder
2. Use COPY to copy both to the \backup folder
3. Use MOVE to move both to \class folder
4. Use DIR to verify each step
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Third Edition
Mike’s Five-Step COPY/MOVE
Process
1. Point the command prompt to the directory
containing the files to be copied or moved
C:\>CD \DOCS
2. Type COPY or MOVE and a space
C:\DOCS>COPY
3. Type the name(s) of the file(s) to be
copied/moved and a space
C:\DOCS>COPY *.doc
4. Type the path of the new location for
the files
C:\DOCS>COPY *.doc c:\Steam
5. Press ENTER
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Working with Batch Files
Third Edition
• Batch files are text files that store a
series of commands
– One command on each line
– Batch files use the .BAT extension
– Batch files may be edited with any text editor
• Notepad
• EDIT
– Batch files get their own type of icon
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Lab – Creating a Batch File
Third Edition
1. Get to the root directory and type EDIT to
run Edit
2. Using EDIT, type in some commands on their
own lines, like this
– md greatbook
– cd greatbook
3. Save the file with a .BAT extension
– C:\test.bat
4. From the command prompt, run the batch
file
– C:\>Test.bat
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Lab – Batch Rename
Third Edition
1. Using EDIT, create a batch file in \class
folder
– Contents should be
• REN *.TXT *.NICE
– Save as
• REN.BAT
2. Use DIR to verify that contents of the
\class folder have .TXT extensions
3. Run batch file
4. Use DIR to verify that the file extensions
have changed
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Useful Utilities
Third Edition
• CHKDSK (/f /r)
– Runs the command-line version of error-checking
– Run to recover from accidental shutdown, such as
during a disk defragmentation
• FORMAT
– Normally done from the GUI, but can do this
quickly from the CLI
– FORMAT X: /q is a great way to wipe a drive
• SFC
– System File Checker helps restore Windows files
– SFC /scannow from a command prompt
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Third Edition
Beyond A+
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Using Special Keys
Third Edition
• F1 function key brings back the previous
command one letter at a time
• F3 function key brings back the entire
command at once
• Arrow keys
– You can also use the arrow keys (up and down) to
scroll through commands
– Arrow keys (left to right) enable you to edit
commands
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
COMPACT Command
Third Edition
• COMPACT
– Displays or alters the compression state of files
– compact /c
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
CIPHER Command
Third Edition
• CIPHER
– Displays or alters the encryption state of files
– /e specifies encryption operation
– /a says to apply it to the files as well as the
directory
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Mike Meyers’ CompTIA
A+® Guide to
Managing and
Troubleshooting PCs
Third Edition
© 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
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Working with the Command