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Written by Oleksandr Gavenko (AKA gavenkoa), compiled on 2018-02-10 from rev 9e6ad6607a9e.

Windows OS.

Determining windows version

To show GUI dialog with Windows build/version information type:

<Win+R> winver <Enter>

or run:

cmd> winver

cmd has built-in command ver.

For Win 2000 and upper check registry key:

cmd> reg query "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion" /v CurrentVersion

To check 32/64-bit OS use PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE env var (it has such values: x86, AMD64, IA64).

Full info about Windows edition available from this .vbs:

cmd> slmgr -dli

Windows history.

A history of Windows

Windows update

To find updates and drivers visit (подлинность Windows not checked):

You can search driver by keywords from Device Manager like:

VEN_10DE DEV_0247
VID_22B8 PID_2A62

After obtaining .cab file for driver unpack files:

cmd> expand FILE.cab -F:* c:\tmp\dir

and use that directory in "Update driver" dialog.

Also you can find updates on:

Updates that reset pirate copy of Windows: КВ971033.

List of installed updates with full information:

cmd> wmic qfe
power# get-hotfix

List only hotfix id:

cmd> wmic qfe get hotfixid
power# get-hotfix -id KB...,KB...
Microsoft Update Catalog FAQ
How to download updates that include drivers and hotfixes from the Windows Update Catalog.

Check system files integrity.

cmd> sfc /Scannow

To complete repair you may need original installation CD (you can mount it from .iso image for example with DemonTools). Look to c:/Windows/Logs/CBS/CBS.log for errors and warnings.

Works starting from Windows 2000.


Repair boot.

If you only damage boot sector of master or system partition boot from Windows XP installation CD, enter to recovery console and run:

cmd> fixboot
cmd> fixmbr


Automatically connect to shared resource.

Add to autorun such .bat file:

net use x: \\server\share /user:username password


Activate Windows.

Activate Windows from command line:

cmd> slmgr -ipk YGR45-THIS9-WONT5–0WORK-D7667

Reset the evaluation period/licensing status and activation state of the machine:

cmd> slmgr -rearm

Check activation:

cmd> slmgr /xpr


Windows Product Key Update Tool Instructions

Activate Windows XP.

Replace %WINDIR%/system32/winlogon.exe with valid in Safe Mode and run Windows Product Key Update Tool.

Windows images.

Windows XP Service Pack 3 - ISO-9660 CD Image File

hosts file.

Edit %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts. Under Windows 7/8/10 you need to run editor with "Run as administrator".

Access to Samba from Vista/7.

By default, you cannot authenticate and share files to and from Mac OS X or Linux Samba due to a well known authentication method turned off by default. To enable this,

Only for Windows Vista Ultimate/Business/Enterprise Editions.

Goto Start->Run and open gpedit.msc or secpol.msc

Select Continue on the User Account Control prompt. This will launch the Group Policy Object Editor for the Local Computer Policy.

In the Group Policy Object Editor, expand:

-> Computer Configuration -> Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Local Policies -> Security Options

Open the "Network security: LAN Manager authentication level" policy and change the Security Setting to:

Send LM & NTLM - use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated

Windows Vista Home Edition.

Since Windows Vista Home Edition does not feature the Group Policy Editor, you may do the following to enable this feature:

Goto Start->Run-> and type regedit.

Select Continue on the User Account Control prompt.

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlLsa

Create the following DWORD value (if it doesn't exist): LmCompatibilityLevel

And set its value to: 1

Map dir to disk.

To create:

cmd> subst [to-disk: [from-disk:]path]

To remove:

cmd> subst disk: /d

Standard scripts.

msconfig:System Configuration Utility, you can disable services registered at boot.
regedit:Registry Editor.
services.msc:Service management.
compmgmt.msc:Computer management.
devmgmt.msc:Device manager.
diskmgmt.msc:Disk management.
msinfo32:System Information.
perfmon.msc:Performance monitor.

These scripts can be invoked via Win+R:

dfrg.msc - Disk defrag
eventvwr.msc - Event viewer
fsmgmt.msc - Shared folders
gpedit.msc - Group policies
lusrmgr.msc - Local users and groups
secpol.msc - Local security settings
win.ini - windows loading information(also system.ini)
winver - Shows current version of windows
command - Opens command prompt
control fonts - Fonts Folder
control printers - Printers Folder

appwiz.cpl - Add & Remove Programs
timedate.cpl - Date/Time Properties
desk.cpl - Display Properties
inetcpl.cpl - Internet Options
mmsys.cpl - Sound Settings
sysdm.cpl - System Properties
password.cpl - Password Options
main.cpl - Mouse and Keyboard Options

.cpl scripts can be run from command line as:

cmd> Rundll32 Shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL
cmd> Rundll32 Shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL Mmsys.cpl,,0


Max path length

260 chars. Use MAX_PATH macros from 'windows.h'.

Allowed characters

Not allowed: * characters from 0 to 31 * < (less than) * > (greater than) * : (colon) * " (double quote) * / (forward slash) * \ (backslash) * | (vertical bar or pipe) * ? (question mark) * * (asterisk)

Naming Files, Paths, and Namespaces.


Boot Parameters to Configure DEP and PAE


All 32-bit Windows XP support only 4 GiB RAM. To enable PAE (Physical Address Extension) edit c:\boot.ini, add option /pae:

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="MS Windows XP Prof" /fastdetect /pae
/pae option.
PAE support.


NX (no execute) in Windows realised in Data Execution Prevention (DEP) technology.

On 64-bit processes, DEP is enabled by default and cannot be disabled. For 32-bit Windows DEP is supported in Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows XP with SP2, Windows Vista, and later versions of Windows.

To enable NX on 32-bit Windows edit 'c:boot.ini', add option '/noexecute=...' (alwayson/optout/optin/alwaysoff):

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="MS Windows XP Prof" /fastdetect /noexecute=alwayson

To see current DEP status run:

cmd> wmic OS Get DataExecutionPrevention_Available
cmd> wmic OS Get DataExecutionPrevention_SupportPolicy
cmd> wmic OS Get DataExecutionPrevention_Drivers
/noexecute parameter
How to determine that hardware DEP is available and configured on your computer

Windows ISO images.

Windows XP Service Pack 3 - ISO-9660 CD Image File

Life cycle.

Windows Service Pack Road Map
Windows Life-Cycle Policy
Life-Cycle Policy by product
Microsoft Product Lifecycle Search. Type product name into search box (like "Windows 95", "Windows XP", "Windows Server 2003", etc)!

NTFS junction points.

To craete use 'junction.exe' from Mark Russinovich or 'linkd.exe' from Microsoft Windows 2000 Resource Kit.

'junction.exe' included with Sysinternals suite:

cmd> md c:\Program-Files
cmd> junction c:\Program-Files "c:\Program Files"
Junction v1.05, Published: July 24, 2007
How to create and manipulate NTFS junction points
NTFS junction point

Microsoft Windows 2000 Resource Kit.

Windows 2000 Resource Kit Tools for administrative tasks separate tools downloads

Microsoft security tools.


Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 2.1.1 (for IT Professionals)
Enhanced Mitigation Evaluation Toolkit
Announcing the release of the Enhanced Mitigation Evaluation Toolkit (old version 1.0)


Enable/Disabling UAC.

To disable UAC on the computer, you must be able to log on with or provide the credentials of a member of the local Administrators group.

Starting with Windows 7, UAC is disabled by following these steps:

  1. On the Start menu, type "UAC" and then click Change User Account settings.
  2. Move the slide bar to the bottom (Never Notify) and then click OK.

On Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, UAC is disabled by following these steps:

  1. Start Control Panel and double-click User Accounts.
  2. In the User Accounts tasks window, click Turn User Account Control on or off.
  3. Clear the Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer check box, and then click OK.
Turn User Account Control on or off

Fix file association.

Check current association:

$ cmd /c assoc | grep -i "^\.mp3"

Get list of all available commands:

$ cmd /c ftype
AIMP.mp3="C:\Program Files\AIMP2\AIMP2.exe" "%1"

and select one on them:

$ cmd /c assoc .mp3=AIMP.mp3

Clean up Windows system directories

Run cleanmgr.exe.

Disable hibernation:

powercfg /hibernate off

On Windows 10 use compaction (compressing Windows bloatware). It frees about 2 GiB:

Compact.exe /CompactOS:always

Clean up WinSXS directory (from admin permission):

DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /SpSuperseded
DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase

You can safely remove SP restore files:


Also check such directories:

%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program Files\Common Files
%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Documents and Settings\USER\Application Data
%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Documents and Settings\USER\Local Settings
HOW TO: Remove the Service Pack Restore Files and Folders in Windows
Automating Disk Cleanup Tool in Windows
Tips to free up drive space on your PC.
Clean Up the WinSxS Folder.
How to address disk space issues that are caused by a large Windows component store (WinSxS) directory.

Schedule Tasks in Windows

List registered of task:

$ schtasks /query

Create task:

$ schtasks /create /tn %TASK_NAME% /ru %ROOT% /sc daily /st 23:00:00 /tr "rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation"

/sc can be one of:


Delete task:

schtasks /delete /tn %TASK_NAME% /f

Change NTFS permissions

icacls allow option:

Permissions description:

To review current permissions:

cmd> icacls %dir% /t


To get brief view of permissions use AccessEnum utility from Sysinternals.

Recursively change the owner of all matching files to the specified user:

cmd> icacls %dir% /setowner %user% /t /c

or simply:

cmd> takeown /r /f %file%


Sometimes you don't have enough permssion to change permission. Run commands from administrator shell.

Recursively grand full access for everyone:

cmd> icacls %dir% /t /grant:r %user%:(f)
cmd> icacls %dir% /t /grant:r *S-1-1-0:(f)

Somtimes it fail due to permission inheritance, try to strip them:

cmd> icacls %dir% /inheritance:r /t /grant:r %user%:(f)

Remove all permissons from file (first reset to inherited, then remove inherited):

cmd> icacls %FILE% /reset
cmd> icacls %FILE% /inheritance:r

Read file attributes:

cmd> attrib %FILE%

Set/remove attributes (/s - recursive):

cmd> attrib +r -h %DIR% /s
The Icacls.exe utility is available for Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2.
Geek of all Trades Setting Permissions from the Command Line.
Attrib utility.

User management

List available users:

cmd> net user
cmd> wmic useraccount list brief

List available groups:

cmd> net localgroup

List available users in group:

cmd> net localgroup %GROUP%
cmd> net localgroup Administrators
cmd> net localgroup Users

Current logged user:

cmd> whoami

Create new user by supplying password argument:

cmd> net user /ADD %USER% %PASS%

Create new user by entering password in prompt:

cmd> net user /ADD %USER% *

Well-known security identifiers (SID).

Pring SIDs of groups:

cmd> whoami /groups

Print current user SID:

cmd> whoami /user

Get name from SID:

cmd> PsGetsid.exe S-1-0-0

Get SID from name:

cmd> PsGetsid.exe "NT AUTHORITY\System"
cmd> PsGetsid.exe "NT AUTHORITY\LocalService"

Well known users/groups:

Nobody. A group with no members. This is often used when a SID value is not known.
World/Everyone. A group that includes all users.
Local. A group that includes all users who have logged on locally.
Console Logon. A group that includes users who are logged on to the physical console.
Creator Owner ID. A security identifier to be replaced by the security identifier of the user who created a new object. This SID is used in inheritable ACEs.
Creator Group ID. A security identifier to be replaced by the primary-group SID of the user who created a new object. Use this SID in inheritable ACEs.
Service. A group that includes all security principals that have logged on as a service. Membership is controlled by the operating system.
Anonymous. A group that includes all users that have logged on anonymously. Membership is controlled by the operating system.
Administrators group.
Users group.
Guests. By default, the only member is the Guest account. The Guests group allows occasional or one-time users to log on with limited privileges to a computer's built-in Guest account.
Power Users. Power users can create local users and groups; modify and delete accounts that they have created; and remove users from the Power Users, Users, and Guests groups. Power users also can install programs; create, manage, and delete local printers; and create and delete file shares.


Well-known SIDs
Well-known security identifiers in Windows operating systems.
Service User Accounts.
Security Identifier

Converting SID to names and inside out.

Use 'PsGetSid' utility from Sysinternals:

cmd> PsGetSid S-1-3-0
cmd> PsGetSid "\NULL SID"

Gathering info about Windows.

cmd> systeminfo

From Win+R:

helpctr.exe -mode hcp://system/sysinfo/msinfo.xml

or by:

cmd> %SystemRoot%\pchealth\helpctr\binaries\helpctr.exe -mode hcp://system/sysinfo/msinfo.xml

Automatically logon to Windows

cmd# control userpasswords2

Time synchronization in Windows

Most of registry tweaks have no effect or inconsistent on Windows time scheduling.

Better way to control time sync is via Windws Task with commands (start service and force update):

%windir%\system32\sc.exe  start w32time task_started
%windir%\system32\w32tm.exe  /resync
Make Windows synchronize time more often.
Automatically sync Windows time more often than default.
How to update Windows 8 clock with the internet every time I boot the system?
Windows Time Service Tools and Settings.
Online in browser service to find time difference.

Format drive.

Replace with own disk letter:

cmd# format E: /q /fs:ntfs


Formats the disk in the specified volume to accept Windows files.

Login/logout user scripts

%SystemRoot%\system32\GroupPolicy\User\Scripts\Logoff and %SystemRoot%\system32\GroupPolicy\User\Scripts\Logon.

hosts file


Path to directory defined by registry key:

bash# cat /proc/registry/HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Services/tcpip/Parameters/DataBasePath