Windows Enterprise Desktop

May 7 2018   12:43PM GMT

MS Publishes Big Free Command Line Reference

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

Command line
Command Prompt window
Windows 10

Last Friday, my partner in crime at Win10.Guru, Kari Finn, sent me a link to a very interesting document. It comes from the Microsoft Download Center and shows up with very little descriptive information or fanfare. It’s a 948-page PDF file that includes comprehensive and current coverage for ALL commands from the Windows command line. Most of these items work in both PowerShell and in the old cmd.exe “Command Prompt” window. I don’t know why, but it wasn’t until I saw Martin Brinkmann’s article this morning, that the value of this not-so-little item struck me. It’s also what led to the headline for this blog post — namely “MS publishes big free command line reference.”

MS Publishes Big Free Command Line Reference.dl-page

There’s not enough information to really clue readers into what’s inside this document. It covers hundreds of common commands of interest to admins and power users.
[Click image for full-size-view. Command Line Reference download link.]

Why MS Publishes Big Free Command Line Reference Is a Big Deal

A few simple observations will explain the preceding assertion.
1. The document is 948 pages long, 4.6+ MB in size, and covers commands relevant to Windows 8.1 and 10, and Server versions 2008 through 2016 (including R2s ).
2. Though MS describes the document as a “complete listing of Windows commands” I must quibble. It doesn’t include bootrec or dism. But those are .exe files, so I understand why Microsoft might not include them in a command reference.
3. I count 273 individual commands documented in the PDF file, where at least another 100 sub-commands have subsidiary entries.
4. If you follow any of the linked references in the PDF, it takes you to the Windows Commands online reference. For those who want to access current info online, this link is also handy.

Great stuff, though, all the way around! Grab a copy of the PDF, and add the online reference to your bookmarks or favorites today.

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  • GeoffP1501
    I downloaded this and went to look up my very first command, and it was missing... LOL. My Luck. 
    DISKPART. I was hoping it would be more descript than this:
    Microsoft DiskPart version 10.0.16299.15
    Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation.
    On computer: XXXXXX
    DISKPART> help
    Microsoft DiskPart version 10.0.16299.15
    ACTIVE      - Mark the selected partition as active.
    ADD         - Add a mirror to a simple volume.
    ASSIGN      - Assign a drive letter or mount point to the selected volume.
    ATTRIBUTES  - Manipulate volume or disk attributes.
    ATTACH      - Attaches a virtual disk file.
    AUTOMOUNT   - Enable and disable automatic mounting of basic volumes.
    BREAK       - Break a mirror set.
    CLEAN       - Clear the configuration information, or all information, off the
    COMPACT     - Attempts to reduce the physical size of the file.
    CONVERT     - Convert between different disk formats.
    CREATE      - Create a volume, partition or virtual disk.
    DELETE      - Delete an object.
    DETAIL      - Provide details about an object.
    DETACH      - Detaches a virtual disk file.
    EXIT        - Exit DiskPart.
    EXTEND      - Extend a volume.
    EXPAND      - Expands the maximum size available on a virtual disk.
    FILESYSTEMS - Display current and supported file systems on the volume.
    FORMAT      - Format the volume or partition.
    GPT         - Assign attributes to the selected GPT partition.
    HELP        - Display a list of commands.
    IMPORT      - Import a disk group.
    INACTIVE    - Mark the selected partition as inactive.
    LIST        - Display a list of objects.
    MERGE       - Merges a child disk with its parents.
    ONLINE      - Online an object that is currently marked as offline.
    OFFLINE     - Offline an object that is currently marked as online.
    RECOVER     - Refreshes the state of all disks in the selected pack.
                  Attempts recovery on disks in the invalid pack, and
                  resynchronizes mirrored volumes and RAID5 volumes
                  that have stale plex or parity data.
    REM         - Does nothing. This is used to comment scripts.
    REMOVE      - Remove a drive letter or mount point assignment.
    REPAIR      - Repair a RAID-5 volume with a failed member.
    RESCAN      - Rescan the computer looking for disks and volumes.
    RETAIN      - Place a retained partition under a simple volume.
    SAN         - Display or set the SAN policy for the currently booted OS.
    SELECT      - Shift the focus to an object.
    SETID       - Change the partition type.
    SHRINK      - Reduce the size of the selected volume.
    UNIQUEID    - Displays or sets the GUID partition table (GPT) identifier or
                  master boot record (MBR) signature of a disk.
    Keep up the great work! GeoffP
    10 pointsBadges:

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