2.0 Operating Systems

Unless otherwise noted, operating systems referred to within include Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional, XP Home, XP MediaCenter, Windows Vista Home, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate, Windows 7 Starter, Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate.

2.1 Select the appropriate commands and options to troubleshoot and resolve problems


    The System Configuration utility (MSCONFIG) automates the troubleshooting steps used when diagnosing system configuration issues. You must be logged on as an administrator or as a member of the Administrators group to use the System Configuration utility.

    More on Msconfig

  • DIR

    DIR displays a list of files and subdirectories in a directory.

    More on DIR

  • CHKDSK (/f /r)

    The chkdsk or “Check Disk” utility is used in Windows to locate and repair logical file system errors or check the disk surface for physical errors and bad sectors.

    • /f : Fixes errors on the disk. The disk must be locked. If chkdsk cannot lock the drive, a message appears that asks you if you want to check the drive the next time you restart the computer.
    • /r : Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information. The disk must be locked.

    More on CHKDSK

  • EDIT

    The EDIT command invokes the MS-DOS Editor

    More on EDIT

  • COPY (/a /v /y)

    Copies one or more files from one location to another.

    The following parameters may be addressed on the CompTIA A+ exam.

    • /a : Indicates an ASCII text file.
    • /v : Verifies that new files are written correctly.
    • /y : Suppresses prompting to confirm that you want to overwrite an existing destination file.

    More on COPY


    Copies files and directories, including subdirectories.

    More on XCOPY


    The FORMAT command is used to erase information from a computer diskette or fixed drive and prepare the disk for use with a specific operating system.

    More on FORMAT

  • IPCONFIG (/all /release /renew) The IPConfig command line utility is used to display or set TCP/IP configuration settings of network interfaces including the IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, MAC address, and DNS names. It also helps with reconfiguration of your IP address through release and renew.

    To use Ipconfig in Windows 2000 or XP;

    • Begin with Start, and select Run. This opens the "Run Line" dialog frame. Type cmd on the line and press Enter to invoke the Command Prompt utility. At the command prompt, type ipconfig, and press Enter.

    In Windows 7;

    • Begin with Start, type cmd in the Search Bar and press Enter to invoke the Command Prompt utility. At the command prompt, type ipconfig, and press Enter.

    Optional switches for Ipconfig include:

    • /? Displays the Help menu for ipconfig.
    • /all Displays full configuration information.
    • /release Releases the IP address for the specified adapter.
    • /renew Renews the IP address for the specified adapter.

  • PING (-t -l) The PING utility tests connectivity between two hosts by sending an ICMP Echo Request to a destination host to verify IP connectivity. Ping can also be used to isolate network hardware problems and incompatible configurations by providing indicators of the general speed or reliability of network connections.

    Command options include:

    • -t : Pings the specified host until stopped
    • -a : Resolves addresses to hostnames
    • -n : Count Number of echo requests to send
    • -l : Adjusts the size of the ping packet
    • -w : Adjusts the time-out (in milliseconds)
    • hostname : Tests connectivity to a particular host

  • MD / CD / RD
    • MD - Make directory

      Creates a directory or subdirectory. MD is the equivalent of MKDIR.

      More on MD

    • CD - Change directory

      Displays the name of the current directory, or changes the current directory. CD is the equivalent of CHDIR.

      More on CD

    • RD - Remove directory

      Removes a directory, and all of it's subdirectories. RD is the equivalent of RMDIR.

      More on RD

  • NET

    The NET command is used to manage network resources. You can view a list of all available net commands by typing net /? at a command prompt.

    More on NET services

    More on NET services commands

  • TRACERT Traceroute is a utility program very similar to Ping, except that Tracert identifies the network path of test data sent to a remote computer, rather than the time it takes for each packet to return. It will list all the routers it passes through until it reaches its destination, or fails to and is discarded. In addition to this, it will tell you how long each 'hop' from router to router takes.


    Nslookup.exe is a command-line administrative tool for testing and troubleshooting DNS servers. In its most basic usage, NSLookup returns the IP address with the matching host name.

  • [command name] /?

    Entering a specific command followed by the /? switch at the Command Line will provide an explanation of the given command, the syntax to be followed, and a list of available switches and their uses. In some cases, examples for the command may be provided. The same result is provided by typing "help", followed by the command name.

  • SFC

    System File Checker (SFC) allows users with administrative permissions to scan and verify the versions of protected system files.

    Files that are critical for restarting Windows that do not match the expected Windows version may be replaced with the correct versions. If a file is repaired, the corresponding registry data is also repaired. Protected files not critical to restart Windows are not repaired.

    In Windows XP;

    • sfc /scanboot : Scans all protected system files at every boot.
    • sfc /scannow : Scans all protected system files immediately.