Tips

Colour

To set the console colour:

COLOR 1F

The above command sets the background color to 1 (blue) and text color to F (bright white).

There are 16 color combinations:

0

Black

1

Blue

2

Green

3

Aqua

4

Red

5

Purple

6

Yellow

7

White

8

Gray

9

Light blue

A

Light green

B

Light aqua

C

Light red

D

Light purple

E

Light yellow

F

Bright white

File Associations

To see the file associations for text files:

>assoc .txt
.txt=UltraEdit.txt

…take the output from the assoc command to see how the file is opened:

ftype UltraEdit.txt
UltraEdit.txt="C:\Program Files\IDM Computer Solutions\UltraEdit-32\uedit32.exe" "%1"

To associate an extension with a file type, first create the file type:

FTYPE LOGFILE=%SYSTEMROOT%\SYSTEM32\NOTEPAD.EXE %1

…then associate it with an extension:

ASSOC .LOG=LOGFILE

MODE

…set the number of columns and rows on the console:

MODE CON COLS=90 LINES=30

Note: setting the LINES value also affects the command prompt window’s ability to scroll back through commands.

…to see the current settings:

MODE CON

ROBOCOPY

DOS lives! Secrets of the Windows command prompt - Copying whole directories

ROBOCOPY… comes standard with Vista and is available for download as part of the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit

This command directs ROBOCOPY to duplicate, or mirror, the contents of the current directory (abbreviated by the dot) - and all files and subdirectories in that directory - to the directory DAN on drive E. All files will be copied. If the operation stops - it will hang if a file is busy and try it back 1 million times unless you intervene - you can resume it at any time simply by reissuing the ROBOCOPY command, which will pick up where it left off:

ROBOCOPY . E:\DAN /MIR

To backup photos on a friends machine:

ROBOCOPY "C:\My Pictures" H:\backup-photos\ /E /W:20 /R:15 /TEE /LOG:C:\bin\robolog.txt

Note:

  • The /MIR option (see above), is equivalent to /E /PURGE i.e. it will remove files from the destination if they are deleted from the source. I don’t want this to happen, so I am just using the /E option (copy all subdirectories even empty ones).

  • /R the number of times to retry.

  • /W waits for the specified number of seconds between re-tries.

  • /TEE show output on the console as well as to the log file.

START

Start a specified program or command in a separate window:

start "my env" /d %home%\env /I /LOW dir

In this example:

"my env"

Title of the new window.

/d

Starting directory for the new window.

/I

Ignore any changes to the current environment.

/LOW

Start application in the IDLE priority class.

dir

The command to run in the new window.

SUBST

Associates a path with a drive letter:

subst e: c:\repository\email_gateway