2.1. Limitations of CMD.exe

The traditional Windows command shell hasn't changed fundamentally since the days of DOS, although as time has passed some new commands have been added to it. CMD.exe allows a user or administrator to carry out simple tasks such as listing the files in a directory using the dir command or format a disk using the format command, but it certainly doesn't provide anything remotely like a comprehensive tool to administer a single Windows machine. Many tasks that you want to carry out on your machine can only be done using the Windows graphical user interface. In fact, it's not one graphical user interface that you need to master. You need to use several tools to get a job done.

If it's a task that one user does once or only occasionally, then the GUI tools save the user the time it would take to learn the details of multiple command line commands. However, when it comes to trying to administer dozens, hundreds, or thousands of machines, then CMD.exe simply doesn't even come close to having what it takes to get the job done. Admittedly, some commands, such as AT, allow you to run a command on a remote computer, so you're not totally confined to administering a single machine. But the coverage an administrator needs is far from adequate with CMD.exe.

The Windows NT (and later) command line utility, CMD.exe, replaced the DOS and Windows 9X Command.com. Visually ...

Get Professional Windows® PowerShell now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.