Computers today have what is known as a GUI ( or Graphical User Interface) that is used to move around and makes changes on the computer. Before the GUI computer users would navigate and make changes on their computers using commands at a terminal window.
The terminal window still exist in operating systems, such as Windows 10, and still hold some relevant uses. I will show you 5 command Prompt commands that could help make your life easier.
At its core, the Command Prompt is command line interface between the GUI and the underlaying operating system, in this case windows. Often referred to as CMD, users can use this program to input specific commands and the results will be displayed on the screen. This can be especially useful for automation and quickly gathering information.
Opening Command Prompt/CMD
The easiest way to open is to click the Start Button and type CMD. The first option will be Command Prompt
The Hostname command will tell you what name your computer has been assigned. This can be useful if you are tracking down your device in a DHCP Pool or if you have a project that requires the Hostname.
There are times when I am working on a computer for a customer and I forget if I logged in or if the customer is still logged in. A quick why to see what username you are sing in with is using the Whoami command.
Bonus: Many of these commands have extra information that you can get by using switches. To see the available switches type the command then /? such as Whoami /? you will then see a list of all the switches for Whoami and how to use them.
It is very common these days to have multiple computers connected to the same network in your home. There may be times where you want to know if a computer is online and active, to do this we use the Ping command. You can ping a computer by its host name or IP address. You can also Ping websites such as Googl.com that are on the internet. If you Ping a device and do not receive a response you should check the device to confirm it is online.
Bonus: Try the Ping command with Ping /? to see other options. Depending on the network you might receive a response in the IPV6 format. If this happens try
Ping Google.com -4 and you should receive the response from the IPV4 address.
Nslookup is a tool that query an IP address to find the host name or you can query a host name to find the IP address, this is especially useful if the host is load balanced between a group of servers,
The last, and in my opinion the most important, command in the list is the Systeminfo command. This command presents you with a lot of useful information such as, the computer name, the last time the computer was rebooted, the OS install date and more. This is an amazing command to use for troubleshooting.
There you have it, these are some of the most useful CMD commands that can come in handy when troubleshooting a computer or if you just want to find some information about your computer without clicking through the GUI. Click the link below if you want to find out more about the Command Prompt from Microsoft.