For many Windows users, the thought of using the Command Prompt is either a scary experience or something that they will never need. But for some, the command prompt is a powerful tool that can be far more useful than many graphical tools available in Windows.

Being a System Administrator, I constantly use the command prompt, mostly because I access systems remotely and many tasks can be performed quickly with out the graphics over head (even though connecting via Terminal Server is very convenient).

So if you are an avid user of the command line, here are my top 10 built-in (non third party) command line tools for XP, Vista and WIndows server versions (remember these commands are not your typical tools, such as find, copy, move, dir, etc..).

1 – systeminfo – Have a need to display operating system configuration information for a local or remote machine, including service pack levels? Then systeminfo is the tool to use. When I need to connect to a system that I am not familiar with, this is the first tool I run. More »

If you are a regular visitor to these pages you should know all about the current epidemic of zombification. For those of you that missed it, this is when a PC is hijacked and used with other PCs to spread Spam and viruses. Some experts reckon that as much as 80 percent of Spam could be coming from zombie PCs, working together in so-called botnets.
Some of these infections, which often hide in downloaded software called a rootkit, are extremely devious and may not show up on a routine anti-virus scan, so how can you tell if you have been infected?

It is not easy but if you know your way around Windows a built-in utility called Netstat can help, by displaying all of the attempts to use your PC is network and Internet connections. To fire it up go to Run on the Start menu and type (without the quotes) and this opens a DOS-like window, at the flashing prompt type netstat (again no quotes and the list of connections. It probably mean much to you but check the list of IP addresses, as this is where the rootkit infection will show its hand. More »