While trying to create a batch file which redirected all output from its commands to a log file, I needed to redirect both standard and erroroutput to the same file. I couldn’t remember how to do it, and was searching the web for help. All the while, I was muttering to myself about Windows XP not having decent help with command-line stuff. I happened to come up on a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation on Microsoft’s site which mentioned that there *is* a help file in Windows XP for command-line stuff.
BTW, I have XP Pro – I don’t know if this file, or many of the commands it documents, is available to XP Home users. You can open the file from a command prompt thus:
This command reference contains an absolute goldmine of information on XP’s very rich collection of command-line utilities.
For example, here’s one I’ll bet not many people know about
fsutil hardlink create <new filename> <existing filename>
On an NTFS partition, this command creates a duplicate link and name (possibly in another folder) for an existing file. The two files are actually the same physical file on disk, but are available by two different names in (possibly) two different folders. You can create as many of these as you want, and, if you delete a file by one of these names, the file won’t actually be deleted until the last hardlink is deleted. (Note this is *not* just a Windows-style shortcut. This is an actual file-system object which has duplicate file-system entries, and can be opened and manipulated by any program from any of the "hardlinks".)
I have been amazed at… the plethora of commands available to the XP command-line junkie. Hopefully you and your readers can find something worthwhile here. Your faithful reader and Plus subscriber, Patrick Mills
Thanks, Patrick. Alas, XP Home lacks the full version of the command reference file; in XP Home, ntcmds.chm and many other standalone help files are just placeholders that point you back to the general Help and Support system. However, in both Home and Pro, many of the individual commands— like FSUTIL— are separately included in the main Help system. So, you can learn about command options in the Home edition— it’s just harder than it needs to be.
Subscribe to our Windows Secrets Newsletter - It's Free!
Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 480,000 subscribers!
Subscribe and get our monthly bonuses - free!
Your hard drives store photos, books, music and film libraries, letters, financial documents and so on. This ebook is aimed at helping you understand your hard drives, expand their capacities and length of life, and recover what you can from them when they fail. We're offering you a FREE Excerpt! Get this excerpt and other 4 bonuses if you subscribe FREE now!
NEW: The Data and Internet Security Guide (Vol2)
The Internet can be a dangerous place. We think these security guides, based on stories from the Windows Secrets archives, can help you make it significantly safer.
Get this newly released volume and check out the full collection!
- WS Security Baseline
- Protect your data
- Prevent and remove malware