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Mon, Jan 03, 2022 10:03 pm

Running an application under another account on a Windows system with runas

If you are logged into a system running the Microsoft Windows operating system and wish to run an application, e.g., Microsoft Outlook, under another account other than the one you are currently logged in under without switching to that other account, you can run the application as the other user using the runas command from a command prompt. If you don't know where the application is located on the system, you can find its location from a command prompt by changing the directory to the root directory of the drive where applications are stored, which is typically drive C:, then use the /s option of the dir command to search all subdirectories for the program, e.g., outlook.exe, which is the executable file for Microsoft Outlook.

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office>cd \

C:\>dir /s outlook.exe
 Volume in drive C has no label.
 Volume Serial Number is 9420-A68C

 Directory of C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14

03/16/2021  12:41 AM        15,794,840 OUTLOOK.EXE
               1 File(s)     15,794,840 bytes

 Directory of C:\Windows\Installer\$PatchCache$\Managed\00004109D30000000000000000F01FEC\14.0.4763

03/23/2010  12:57 PM        15,889,248 OUTLOOK.EXE
               1 File(s)     15,889,248 bytes

     Total Files Listed:
               2 File(s)     31,684,088 bytes
               0 Dir(s)   3,328,741,376 bytes free


In the example above, the program is located in the C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14 directory, so I can start the application as the user jdoe in the Windows domain Mordor with the command below (enclose the directory path and application name in double quotes if there are spaces in the directory path):

C:\>runas /user:mordor\jdoe "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\Outlook.exe"
Enter the password for mordor\jdoe:
Attempting to start C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\Outlook.exe as user "mordor\jdoe" ...


If the account under which I wanted to run Outlook is not in a Windows domain, but is, instead, an account on the same computer, I could omit the domain specification and just use /user:jdoe. You can also use the format user@domain, e.g., jdoe@mordor.lan, instead of the format domainname\username. To run a program as another user, you will need to know the password for the other account. In this case, the graphical user interface (GUI) for Outlook will open with the email, calendar entries, tasks, and contacts for the domain jdoe account once the password for that account is provided.

[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

Mon, May 07, 2018 11:42 pm

Performing a bare metal backup on a Windows 10 system

If you want to perform a "bare metal" backup of a Microsoft Windows 10 system to an external USB drive without a third-party application, you can use the Backup and Restore utility that is provided by Microsoft with the operating system. You can run the program from a command-line interface (CLI) by opening a command prompt window with administrator privileges and issuing the command wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:x -allcritical -quiet where x is the drive letter for the drive where you wish to store the backup. When you add the -quiet option, the backup will be run with no prompts for the user. The --allcritical option "creates a backup that includes all critical volumes (critical volumes contain the operating system files and components)."

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

Sat, Mar 24, 2018 10:46 pm

Deleting old Windows backups with wbadmin

I had set up the built-in Windows 7 backup utility to run on my mother-in-law's Windows 10 PC to back up the computer's internal hard disk drive (HDD) to an external USB drive. She asked me to verify that the backup was still functioning, so I checked the status of the backup process on her Windows 10 (version 1709) system using the wbadmin command by opening a command prompt window with administrator access to run the wbadmin get versions command to obtain a list of all the backups. I found that the last backup had occurred on December 31, 2017.

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[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

Sat, Oct 28, 2017 10:45 pm

Checking operating system information with WMIC

You can use wmic os get commands on a Microsoft Windows system to view information related to the operating system via a command-line interface (CLI). E.g., to determine the version of the operating system you can issue the command Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line (WMIC) command wmic os get version.

C:\Users\Public>wmic os get version


Or if you know the system is running a particular version of the Windows operating system, e.g., Windows 10, but want to see just the build number for that version of Windows, you could issue the command wmic os get BuildNumber.

C:\Users\Public>wmic os get BuildNumber


[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/commands/wmic] permanent link

Sat, Sep 16, 2017 11:05 pm

Determining the antivirus software on a Windows system from the command line

You can determine the antivirus software present on a system, if the antivirus software is registered with the Windows Security Center, using Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line (WMIC). E.g., for a Windows 10 system using Microsoft Windows Defender:

C:\>WMIC /Node:localhost /Namespace:\\root\SecurityCenter2 Path AntiVirusProduct Get displayName
Windows Defender


[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/commands/wmic] permanent link

Sun, Aug 27, 2017 11:14 pm

Displaying date and time information on a Microsoft Windows system

You can use the date and time commands on a Microsoft Windows system to display current date and time information:

C:\Users\Lila>date /t
Sat 08/26/2017

C:\Users\Lila>time /t
02:07 PM


Placing /t after the commands results in the current date and time information being displayed without an accompanying prompt to change the current settings.

You can display the information in a different format using the Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line (WMIC) command shown below:

C:\Users\Lila>wmic path win32_utctime get * /format:list



[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

Mon, Jul 10, 2017 10:47 pm

Viewing Partition Information on a Windows System

One way to see how disks are partitioned on a Microsoft Windws system is to view the information using Disk Management. You can start the utility from a command prompt with administrator privileges by typing diskmgmt.msc. That will provide a graphical display of the partitions on the drives in the system and externally attached to the system.

Another method is to use the diskpart command, which can be run from a command prompt - obtain a command prompt with administrator privileges. You can obtain help on using the utility by typing help at the DISKPART prompt.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

Sun, Jun 25, 2017 9:27 pm


On Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003 and later systems, you can use the Integrity Control Access Control List (icacls) program to display, modify, backup and restore Access Control Lists (ACLs) for files and folders. E.g.:

C:\>icacls C:\WINDOWS\system32\mmc.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\mmc.exe NT SERVICE\TrustedInstaller:(F)
                            NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM:(RX)

Successfully processed 1 files; Failed processing 0 files


In the above example, the "RX" indicates read and execute access for the file for the specified accounts.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

Sat, May 20, 2017 8:24 pm

Finding open files on a Windows SBS server

If you need to find files open on a Small Business Server (SBS) system, e.g., perhaps files have been opened on the server from other computers in the windows domain, you can do so by taking the following steps:
  1. Click on Start
  2. Select Administrative Tools then select Computer Management and then, under Sytem Tools, click on Shared Folders
  3. Double-click on Open Files. You will then see the files open on the server from other systems. You will see the files being accessed, who is accessing them, the locks, if any, and the mode in which it files have been accessed, e.g., whether they are open only for reading or whether they are open in read and write mode. Right-clicking on a file will give you the ability to close the open file.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

Thu, May 18, 2017 10:08 pm

Batch file to ping several hosts and log results

Since a connectivity issue between a Windows XP system in another country and systems in the United States seemed to correlate with the time of day that connectivity attempts were taking place, I wanted to have a batch file that would periodically ping from the source to the destination hosts and record the results, so that I could determine if packet loss was occurring at particular times every day because of contention with other traffic. So I created the following batch file (pinghosts.bat):

@echo off

set pingCount=5
set timeOut=500
set dirPath=%HOMEPATH%\Documents

REM ping,, and
for %%i in ("" "" "") do (
   if not exist %dirPath%\%%i.txt (
      systeminfo | find "Time Zone:" > %dirPath%\%%i.txt
   echo. >> %dirPath%\%%i.txt
   echo %date% %time% >> %dirPath%\%%i.txt
   ping -n %pingCount% -w %timeOut% %%i >> %dirPath%\%%i.txt

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/commands/batch] permanent link

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