Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Run dialog box Commands

Run List

This is my list of commands you can run in the "Run" dialog box on the 'Start' menu in Windows XP
(some work in other versions of Windows but not all)

  • CHKDSK/R will repair bad sectors on your hard drive. You will probably need to reboot to run it. May need to enter the CMD command to get a DOS box.
  • Defrag Windows Prefetch Files. This should help your OS from slowing down as it gets older... Open Run and type: defrag C: -b. This will open a DOS box and your HDD light on your beige box will light up as it defrags the prefetch area of your hard drive. When it is done the DOS box will close itself. Not as great as the mythical Super Prefetch in XPSP2 but every bit helps....
  • Disable Windows Firewall (even when the option is greyed out): enter net stop SharedAccess. To restart it type: net start
  • File Signature Verification Utility checks for unsigned files (not drivers). Have your WinXP CD ready....
  • net user username random randomly generates a secure password and assigns it to the account (so write it down!). Replace "username" with your login/account name.
  • convert c:/fs:ntfs Converts your Hard Dive (in this example C:) thru the command line to the NTFS file system.
  • secpol.msc Launches the Local Policy Editor
  • chkdsk c: /r This wil run a full surface scan when you reboot your PC.
  • System Configuration Utility Here's my favorite Run shortcut: msconfig. This is what you need to use if your wanting to get rid of stuff that automatically start when Windows starts up. Recently updated (10-05) to include a "Tools" tab which lets you access about a dozen diagnostic and information services. The download is in the form of a Windows Update. Get it at
  • System Information To view detailed system information. Type > MSinfo32 [Small letters are ok]. 'System Information utility' is just information about your computer and you cannot change any setting using this (use Device Manager). If it won't launch then the folder that holds the executable probably isn't in the right path. Right click 'my computer' and select 'properties'. Click the 'environment variables' button on the 'advanced tab'. Double click 'path' in the system variables list. goto the end of the variable value and add a semicolon and this path: C\:PROGRAM FILES\COMMON FILES\MICROSOFT SHARED\MSinfo. No problem right ? If you want to save this information to send to a support tech, click 'file' and 'save'. It will save as a 'NFO' file. To save it as a text file click 'file and 'export'. Printing it can result in a whole bunch of pages...
  • Registry Editor Type > regedit This opens Windows "Registry". EVERYTHING in windows gets registered. Devices, programs... you name it! You screw this baby up and your computer will stop working! So ALLWAYS back it up BEFORE doing anything with it. If you don't know what your doing don't mess with it.
  • Open Device Manager in WinXP = devmgmt.msc. You can also make a desktop shortcut for this by 'right-clicking' the desktop and selecting new>shortcut and type devmgmt.msc in the location field. In Windows 98 and ME type C:\windows\control.exe sysdm.cpl,system,1 in the 'Command line' field. Click 'next' and name the shortcut something that makes sense to you.
  • Windows version Type > winver Displays the Windows verson installed on the computer, very helpful for those over the phone help sessions.
  • System configuration Utility Type > sysedit Opens a buch of windows in Windows 3.11 style...not too useful these days.
  • Make XP concentrate on task at hand Type in the Run box: Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll ,ProcessIdleTasks. [Make sure of the capital letters, cy]
  • Group Policy Type > gpedit.msc This snap-in allows you to edit Group Policy Objects which can be linked to a Site, Domain, or Organizational Unit in the Active Directory or stored on a computer. You can use this to allow users access to your network using blank passwords. Under "Computer Configuration" expand these: Windows Settings- Security Settings- Local Policies- and select Security Options. Then on the right side double click "Accounts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console logon only". Then select "Disabled" under the Local Security Setting tab.
  • Shared File Folder Wizard Type 'shrpubw' To open "Create a Shared Folder Wizard" .
  • Locate a list of 'Shares' on your computer. In the 'Run' dialog box type 'cmd', [click 'ok'] and when the DOS promt windows opens type 'net share' this will show you all the shared files currnetly on your computer.
  • "Stored Usernames and Passwords" Type rundll32.exe keymgr.dll, KRShowKeyMgr - This lets you edit your saved passwords [nice, cy].
  • Services = services.msc Try using this to disable "Windows Security Center" Once open scroll down to "Security Center" and set it to Disabled. You can disable a lot of automatically started services for Windows thru this but be VERY careful. Go to BLKVIPER to get an idea of what your shutting down. Or go to
  • On Screen Keyboard= osk
  • Clipboard Viewer Type > clipbrd
  • Character Map Type > charmap Opens the 'character map' which shows all the different letter and sysmbols you can insert into documents and things.
  • Volume controls Type > sndvol32 Opens the master control panel for sound levels of speakers, microphone, cd-rom ...etc.
  • Sound Recorder Type > sndrec32 Opens a very simple sound recorder to use with your microphone.

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