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Command Line Access to WMI in XP


Microsoft Windows XP includes a command-line utility (Wmic.exe) to access Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). Until now it has been necessary to write a script to gather information from WMI. Note that WMIC can only be used by the local system administrators regardless of WMI namespace permissions on the local machine.

When you run the Wmic.exe utility for the first time, the utility compiles its .mof files into the repository.

At a command prompt, type: wmic , and an interactive-mode prompt "wmic:root\cli" is displayed.

For help, type: /? .

Also see:

* WMI Command-line

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Windows Explorer Switches


EXPLORER.EXE [/n][/e][,/root,(object)][[,/select],{sub object}]


/n Opens a new window in single-paned (My Computer) view for each item selected, even if the new window duplicates a window that is already open.

/e Uses Windows Explorer view. Windows Explorer view is most similar to File Manager in Windows version 3.x. Note that the default view is Open view.

/root,[object] Specifies the root level of the specified view. The default is to use the normal namespace root (the desktop). Whatever is specified is the root for the display.

/select,[sub object] Specifies the folder to receive the initial focus. If "/select" is used, the parent folder is opened and the specified object is selected.

Also see:

* Change the Default Opening Folder in Windows Explorer

* Managing Files, Folders, and Search Methods

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If you create an image of Windows 2000 installation and then restore the image to a drive on a different computer (or, in some seconds, another drive on the same system) you may see the message "INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE."

This happens when Windows 2000 cannot access the hard drive due to a difference in device drivers between the computer imaged and the target computer. Your thinking, "I thought Windows 2000 was plug and play" and you'd be right...

Normally this is because the target computer had a hard drive controller that didn't exist on the originally imaged system where the image was created. Windows 2000 tries to access the device on the target computer, but can't as the drivers for it are not installed. Also, if the imaged computer had a drive that is not present on the machine being imaged, Windows 2000 chokes when it loads the old drivers, but cannot find the appropriate drive for them. Even if the source and destination computers use the same drivers, but the target's system partition is on a drive that is on a different IDE channel than the originally imaged computer- When Windows 2000 attempts to access the hard drive, it cannot find it because the drivers for it have not yet been installed for that IDE channel.

This can be taken care of by editing the SysPrep.inf file and using SysPrep prior to creating your image. Alternatively you could also correct this by configuring the destination computer's hardware to match the source computer's hardware before cloning, but this would require prior knowledge of the hardware on the target systems ahead of time. Using SysPrep is the best solution, and can be implemented in the following manner:

* Install SysPrep on the source computer.

* Edit the SysPrep.inf file using notepad or other text editor:

- If the problem is due to which IDE channel is in use, type the following two lines under the [SysprepMassStorage] section:

Primary_IDE_Channel = %windir%\inf\mshdc.inf

Secondary_IDE_Channel = %windir%\inf\mshdc.inf

- If the problem is due to a new hard drive controller, add an entry for that controller to the [SysprepMassStorage] section. Check your controller's documentation or manufacturer's web site for what is required as it will be different for each controller.

* Save the file

* Run SysPrep

* Create and image of the disk

If the problem was due to the IDE channel in use, Windows 2000 will boot from the correct IDE controller regardless of which IDE drive you wrote the image to.

You may also experience this error if you cloned a Windows 2000 disk to a different size drive or different drive location. Finally, the drive could be incorrectly configured to use DMA access. Turning off DMA access in the computer's BIOS may resolve the problem (before turning off DMA access, consult your hard drive's documentation and the computer's documentation.)

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7.8 Gigabyte Size Limit in NT''s NTFS

You won't even get away with a three gigabyte drive size when performing a Windows NT installation, but many of the imaging tools on the market allow you to grow your partition to the full size of your drive. Partition Magic has allowed this for some time as well. What a great thing- one big "C" drive- 20, 30, 40 gigabytes!

Now the bad news. Even though you can grow it as big as you like, there is at least one good reason to exercise some restraint. At boot time, only the first 7.8 gigabytes can be seen which will be a problem if an installation should move a needed file outside that range. It may seem unlikely if you are only using a couple of gig- but you are venerable nonetheless. Once such file you are likely to encounter this problem with is "c:\winnt\system32\c_1252.nls" 

Your screen will show something like this:

OS Loader V4.01

Disk I/O Error Stats=00000001

Windows NT could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

Unfortunately there is not much you can doabout it, you may get lucky with an emergency repair disk- but for me this has meant a system rebuild. Recommendation: Keep your C drive to 7.7 gigabytes on NT 4.0 NTFS formatted systems!

If it is too late for you to limit the partition space one visitor offers their means of recovery in our imaging message board, "We have deleted this file using a www.winternals.com tool, and then copied a fresh copy to the same location. We had to delete the file first and not simply copy over it. It took a while, but the machine revived without re-building."

A visitor offers this solution:
"You can get around the 7.8 gig limit by using the "NTLDR" from Windows 2000. We have been using it for some time now with no problems."

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AT command line problems after IE 4+

The below article is still offered for those of you who have not upgraded, but with IE 5.01 SP1 this problem has been corrected. Read this tip for a bigger and better solution than AT.EXE!

For those of you that rely on the scheduler server to perform deployments, you likely script those commands with the AT.EXE or SOON.EXE command line tools. With IE 4 and later you may find that you get inconsistent or unexpected results.

The problem is the Task Scheduler replaces the Scheduler service and does not provide the same support at the command line. It doesn't appear to be something on the drawing board to be fixed either- this is another "functions as designed" item. Events are to be scheduled using the GUI for the Task Scheduler.

So take it off! Check out Q196731 for details on how to remove the Task Scheduler and get you beloved Scheduler Service back again:

Change this:
Key Name:


Value Names:

DependOnGroup: REG_MULTI_SZ

DependOnService: REG_MULTI_SZ: RpcSs

DisplayName: REG_SZ: Task Scheduler

ErrorControl: REG_DWORD: 0x1

Group: REG_SZ:

ImagePath: REG_EXPAND_SZ: C:\WINNT\System32\MSTask.exe

ObjectName: REG_SZ: LocalSystem

Start: REG_DWORD: 0x3

Type: REG_DWORD: 0x120

To this:
Key Name:


Value Names:

ErrorControl:REG_DWORD: 0x1

ImagePath: REG_EXPAND_SZ: %SystemRoot%\System32\AtSvc.Exe

ObjectName: REG_SZ: LocalSystem

Start: REG_DWORD: 0x2

Type: REG_DWORD: 0x10

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