Tag Archives: command prompt

Batch Files Are Still Valuable

Here we are in 2017 and as I think about the past I realize that the future still holds much valuable use of batch files. Microsoft introduced the VBS-based Windows Scripting Host (WSH)┬áin the late 90s. Then PowerShell and yet Command Prompt commands and, therefore, batch files still live on. The simple fact is that batch files are still much easier to create and edit than WSH scripts or PowerShell scripts. This does not mean that PowerShell lacks value. It simply means that, when you want a quick solution to automation, batch files work well – usually very well.

Just a few example uses of batch files are:

  • Automating local user account and group management with NET USER and NET GROUP
  • Backing up closed files to an external drive or network share
  • Generating reports related to network operations
  • Configuring complex networking parameters automatically

Many, many more could be listed. To prove that the Command Prompt really isn’t going anywhere, Microsoft gave us a new tool with Windows 10 called MpCmdRun.exe. This command is used to execute Windows Defender scans from the Command Prompt. Adding yet another useful batch file example, malware scanning.

For example, the simple command mpcmdrun -scan -scantype 1 executes a quick scan from the Command Prompt. The command provides a return code of 0 when no malware is found. Consider, then, the coupling of the previous command with an if errorlevel == 0 (echo Success) else (echo Failure). The end result is the output of the word Success when no malware is found or Failure when malware is found.

Now, this example is not extravagant, but imagine if the if statement called other commands or applications to take action. As you can see, indeed, batch files are still valuable and powerful. Even in Windows 10, the latest and greatest from Microsoft.

MpCmdRun.exe example


The Command Prompt Lives

The Windows Command Prompt, which is the proper name of the Windows command line interface, is still wildly popular. Did you know that more than 1.5 million Google searches are performed each month related to Command Prompt commands? It is estimated that more than 2.5 million total searches are performed across all search engines. This shows a lot of interest in the windows command line and this site is here to help you learn and master each and every command.

The point is that the Windows command line is alive and well. The good news for those who may be old hats with the Disk Operating System (DOS) of years gone by is that the majority of the DOS commands still work in the Windows command line. In fact, the Command Prompt (which is launched with the CMD.EXE program) looks just like the old DOS interface.

In addition, you can still create batch files at the windows command line. These batch files still support the GOTO command and other logic constructions to create advanced scripts for automation of administration tasks. And, yes, you can still find programs that will compile the batch file into an executable so that others cannot easily tamper with your logic.

Now, if you’re completely new to the text-based interfaces, that’s no problem. This site will get you up to speed quickly. Here at WindowsCommandLine.com, we are building a site that will teach you how to use every single command that comes with every version of Windows from Windows XP through to Windows 7 and even those commands that are only on the Windows Server platform. You’ll also learn about batch file programming, interacting with the command line and configuring the Command Prompt application to your liking.

Watch for content to start arriving in April. The site will have complete coverage of all commands by mid-Summer. Thanks for stopping by.

-Tom Carpenter