Questions tagged [windows]

Windows is the brand name for a series of operating systems from Microsoft. Instead of tagging a post "Windows", try to use a more specific tag, like windows-7, windows-xp or windows-server-2008-r2 .

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548
votes
16answers
676k views

How do you find what process is holding a file open in Windows?

One thing that annoys me no end about Windows is the old sharing violation error. Often you can't identify what's holding it open. Usually it's just an editor or explorer just pointing to a relevant ...
505
votes
31answers
903k views

How do I tell Git for Windows where to find my private RSA key?

My Git setup runs fine on Linux, but when I try to set things up under Windows (using Git for Windows and TortoiseGit), I don't know where to put my private SSH key (or, better still, how to tell ssh ...
281
votes
160answers
294k views

Useful Command-line Commands on Windows

The aim for this Wiki is to promote using a command to open up commonly used applications without having to go through many mouse clicks - thus saving time on monitoring and troubleshooting Windows ...
262
votes
12answers
803k views

What's the command-line utility in Windows to do a reverse DNS look-up?

Is there a built-in command line tool that will do reverse DNS look-ups in Windows? I.e., something like <toolname> w.x.y.z => mycomputername I've tried: nslookup: seems to be forward look-...
229
votes
5answers
616k views

How to send ctrl+alt+del using Remote Desktop?

How can I send ctrl+alt+del to a remote computer over Remote Desktop? For example, if I wanted to change the local admin password on a remote PC using a Remote Desktop connection, it would be helpful ...
193
votes
7answers
352k views

How do you add a Windows environment variable without rebooting?

I would like to add an Environment variable to a Windows machine (desktop or server) and be able to use it without rebooting that machine. Say you have a production server which hosts a variety of ...
179
votes
10answers
383k views

How to refresh hosts file without rebooting

On Windows, how do you refresh the hosts file without rebooting?
167
votes
11answers
380k views

hosts file ignored, how to troubleshoot?

The hosts file on Windows computers is used to bind certain name strings to specific IP addresses to override other name resolution methods. Often, one decides to change the hosts file, and discovers ...
150
votes
2answers
316k views

What is Active Directory Domain Services and how does it work?

This is a Canonical Question about Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). What is Active Directory? What does it do and how does it work? How is Active Directory organized: Forest, Child Domain, ...
149
votes
11answers
289k views

Run a .bat file in a scheduled task without a window

I have a scheduled task that starts a batch script that runs robocopy every hour. Every time it runs a window pops up on the desktop with robocopy's output, which I don't really want to see. I ...
149
votes
4answers
363k views

How to sleep in a batch file?

How to pause execution for a while in a Windows batch file between a command and the next one?
146
votes
8answers
819k views

Resolve host name from IP address

I'm looking for a command line tool which gets an IP address and returns the host name, for Windows.
142
votes
4answers
5k views

Is my password compromised because I forgot to hit Enter after ssh username?

I've just tried logging into a Fedora (release 13 Goddard) server using SSH (PuTTY, Windows). For some reason the Enter after typing my username didn't go through and I typed in my password and hit ...
140
votes
9answers
1.0m views

Command line to list users in a Windows Active Directory group?

Is there a command line way to list all the users in a particular Active Directory group? I can see who is in the group by going to Manage Computer --> Local User / Groups --> Groups and double ...
138
votes
5answers
204k views

How to add dependency on a Windows Service AFTER the service is installed

I have a Windows Service that makes use of a SQL Server database. I don't have control over the installation of the service, but would like to add a dependency on the service to ensure that it starts ...
132
votes
9answers
775k views

What port should I open to allow remote desktop?

What port(s) should I open/NAT to allow me to use Remote Desktop?
127
votes
10answers
89k views

Can you run Docker natively on the new Windows 10 (Ubuntu) bash userspace?

My understanding was that the primary limitation of running docker on other OSs was the Linux Network containers that made it possible. (Certainly for Macs). Recently Microsoft announced a beta of a ...
121
votes
7answers
31k views

How does CTRL-ALT-DEL to log in make Windows more secure?

When logging into Windows, it says on that page that CTRL-ALT-DEL somehow makes Windows more secure. I have never been able to figure a mechanism where having to press some specific key combination ...
120
votes
6answers
380k views

Does Windows have a built-in ZIP command for the command line?

Since Windows Explorer (since at least Windows XP) has some basic support for ZIP files, it seems like there should be a command-line equivalent, but I can't seem to find any sign of one. Does ...
117
votes
8answers
221k views

Is there a global, persistent CMD history?

Sometimes I forget how the exact syntax of a CMD command looks and then I would like to search my own CMD history. Clearly, within the same session, you can browse it with the up and down arrow keys ...
114
votes
8answers
173k views

How do I create a symbolic link in Windows?

Windows Vista added the ability to create symbolic links to files and directories. How do I create a symbolic link and what are the current consumer and server versions of Windows that support it?
112
votes
8answers
18k views

Best practice: Should I always install a fresh OS for new employees?

I had an argument with a superior about this. Though at first glance the prior user of a laptop only did work in his own documents-folders, should I always install a new OS for the next user or is ...
112
votes
4answers
865k views

How to check if a port is blocked on a Windows machine?

On the Windows platform, what native options to I have to check if a port (3306, for example) on my local machine (as in localhost), is being blocked?
110
votes
9answers
159k views

How do I diff two text files in Windows Powershell?

I have two text files and want to find the differences between them using Windows Powershell. Is there something similar to the Unix diff tool available? Or is there another other way I haven't ...
103
votes
13answers
308k views

How can I tell what version of IIS is installed?

I've got a box running Win2k3 and some directions from Microsoft KB about SSL certificates, for IIS 5.0 and 6.0. How can I tell which version of IIS is currently installed?
101
votes
6answers
90k views

Where can I find data stored by a Windows Service running as “Local System Account”?

I'm using a service which stores data on disk. The service is running as "local system account". Where is the stored data for that system user? I'm thinking about C:\Documents and Settings\Default ...
99
votes
10answers
715k views

How do I force sync the time on Windows Workstation or Server?

What is the command to sync a Windows workstation or server to its configured time source?
97
votes
18answers
148k views

Why hasn't rsync caught on in the Windows world? [closed]

It seems that rsync is the de-facto standard for efficient file backup and sync in Unix/Linux. Does anyone have any thoughts on why it wouldn't have caught on in the Windows world? Why hasn't it ...
97
votes
2answers
295k views

How can I connect to a Windows server using a Command Line Interface? (CLI)

Especially with the option to install Server Core in Server 2008 and above, connecting to Windows servers over a CLI is increasingly useful ability, if not one that's very widespread amongst Windows ...
96
votes
6answers
175k views

Boot and Install Windows from a USB thumb drive

Installing Windows from a thumb drive is vastly superior to burning a copy to a DVD which will fill some landfill somewhere with toxic stuff. Not to mention it's about 50x faster to install Windows ...
95
votes
7answers
482k views

In Windows, using the command line, how do you check if a remote port is open?

What is a simple way in Windows to test if traffic gets through to a specific port on a remote machine?
92
votes
5answers
103k views

Windows Active Directory naming best practices?

This is a Canonical Question about Active Directory domain naming. After experimenting with Windows domains and domain controllers in a virtual environment, I've realized that having an active ...
90
votes
11answers
443k views

Windows server last reboot time

How can I find a Windows server's last reboot time, apart from 'net statistics server/workstation'?
86
votes
6answers
698k views

How to determine the hostname from an IP address in a Windows network?

My LAN has 50 Windows hosts. At the Windows command line I try ping to get the IP address of a running Windows machine. The question is how to get hostname of a specific IP address in the same ...
85
votes
15answers
161k views

How to fix PuTTY showing garbled characters? [closed]

Connecting from a Windows 7 PC via SSH to an Ubuntu server using PuTTY, I get some screen errors: I.e. it: "Double-draws" the selection inside Midnight Commander (MC). Other characters like line ...
83
votes
6answers
401k views

How to delete cached temporarily credentials for a network share on a Windows machine without rebooting or logging off [duplicate]

This is more of a curiosity then a real problem, I am just to lazy to reboot or log off my laptop. I have connected to a network share on a Windows server with domain credentials from a non-domain ...
82
votes
2answers
143k views

How to configure a Windows machine to allow file sharing with a DNS alias

What process is necessary to configure a Windows environment to allow me to use DNS CNAME to reference servers? I want to do this so that I can name my servers something like SRV001, but still have \\...
78
votes
13answers
81k views

What's the reverse DNS command line utility?

What's the command to find the name of a computer given its IP address? I always forget what this command is, but I know it exists in Windows and I assume it exists on the *nix command-line.
77
votes
7answers
113k views

What is the Windows equivalent of Unix “whoami” command?

Is there a Windows equivalent of Unix "whoami" command? If so, what is it?
76
votes
16answers
61k views

Alternatives to Splunk?

I'm pretty impressed with Splunk, especially version 4. Pretty graphs, alerting (Enterprise only), and fast, accurate, searching. It's a great product. However, the cost just way too high to consider ...
72
votes
6answers
176k views

How do you free up a port being held open by dead process?

A colleague of mine recently ran into a problem where a process that had supposedly died was still bound to a network port, preventing other processes from binding to that port. Specifically, netstat ...
72
votes
6answers
69k views

swap partition vs file for performance?

What is better for performance? A partition closer to the inside of the disk will have slower access times, and we must wait for the drive to switch between the OS and swap partitions. On the other ...
70
votes
4answers
105k views

What is this IP address: 169.254.169.254?

I have always noticed an IP something "169.254.x.x" in my routing table even when I am not connected to any network in my Windows operating system. In Linux, when I list my routing table. $ ...
70
votes
4answers
217k views

How to grant network access to LocalSystem account?

How do you grant access to network resources to the LocalSystem (NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM) account? Background When accessing the network, the LocalSystem account acts as the computer on the network: ...
67
votes
3answers
12k views

Is a VM with 2 CPUs really faster than one with 4 CPUs?

Our IT created a VM with 2 CPUs allocated rather than the 4 I requested. Their reason is that the VM performs better with 2 CPUs rather than 4 (according to them). The rationale is that the VM ...
65
votes
9answers
93k views

What's the best way to move c:\users to d:\users under vista/W7 [closed]

I just installed Windows 7 RC1 and want to move c:\users to d:\users. What's the best way to do this? Due to the fact that Windows 7 creates a reserved partition that is mounted as C: in the ...
61
votes
14answers
440k views

Get list of AD groups a user is a member of

Suppose I have the user id of a user in Active Directory. I'd like to get a list of all AD groups in which that user is currently a member of. How can I do this from the Windows command line? I've ...
61
votes
15answers
241k views

How do I know if I'm working on a Virtual Machine or not?

Is there a way to know if the Windows machine I'm working on is virtual or physical? (I'm connecting with RDP to the machine. If it's a virtual machine it is working and handled by VMWare).
61
votes
4answers
165k views

How do I grant start/stop/restart permissions on a service to an arbitrary user or group on a non-domain-member server?

We have a suite of Windows Services running on our servers which perform a bunch of automated tasks independently of one another, with the exception of one service which looks after the other services....
61
votes
6answers
234k views

How can I query my system via command line to see if a KB patch is installed?

I'm looking to find out if a KB is installed via command line.

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