20 Tips Every Windows Administrator Should Know

March 24th, 2014 by Rossy Guide

The longer a person serves as a network admin, the more tips and tricks they are likely to pick up along the way. Some could be shortcuts, others might seem like magic, but all are intended to save you time and help you solve problems. Assume that all of these Windows commands should be run from an administrative command prompt if you are using Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 2008.


Active Directory

1. To quickly list all the groups in your domain, with members, run this command:
dsquery group -limit 0 | dsget group -members –expand

2. To find all users whose accounts are set to have a non-expiring password, run this command:
dsquery * domainroot -filter “(&(objectcategory=person)(objectclass=user)(lockoutTime=*))” -limit 0

3. To refresh group policy settings, run this command:

4. To check Active Directory replication on a domain controller, run this command:
repadmin /replsummary

5. To force replication from a domain controller without having to go through to Active Directory Sites and Services, run this command:
repadmin /syncall

6. To see what server authenticated you (or if you logged on with cached credentials) you can run either of these commands:
set l
echo %logonserver%

7. To see what account you are logged on as, run this command:

8. To see what security groups you belong to, run this command:
whoami /groups

9. To see the domain account policy (password requirements, lockout thresholds, etc.) run this command:
net accounts


Windows Networking

10. To quickly reset your NIC back to DHCP with no manual settings, run this command:
netsh int ip reset all

11. To quickly generate a text summary of your system, run this command:
systeminfo | more

12. To see all network connections your client has open, run this command:
net use

13. To see your routing table, run either of these commands:
route print
netstat -r

14. To add an entry to your routing table that will be permanent, run the route add command with the –p option. Omitting that, the entry will be lost at next reboot:
route add mask –p

15. You can use the shutdown to shutdown or reboot a machine, including your own, in a simple scheduled task like this:
shutdown –r –t 0 –m \\localhost


Windows 7

16. Want to enable the local administrator account on Windows 7? Run this command from an administrative command prompt. It will prompt you to set a password:
net user administrator * /active:yes


Windows 2008

17. Windows Key+G: Display gadgets in front of other windows.

18. Windows Key++ (plus key): Zoom in, where appropriate.

19. Windows Key+- (minus key): Zoom out, where appropriate.

20. You can see all the open files on a system by running this command:
openfiles /query

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