Using Command-Line Utilities in Server 2003

Posted: April 18, 2010 in Active Directory, Server, Server 2003, System Information
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Many command-line utilities are included with Windows Server 2003. Most of the utilities you’ll work with as an administrator rely on Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). Because of this, you should install TCP/IP networking before you experiment with these tools.

Utilities to Know

As an administrator, you should familiarize yourself with the following command-line utilities:

  • ARP

Displays and manages the IP-to-Physical address mappings used by Windows Server 2003 to send data on the TCP/IP network.

  • AT

Schedules programs to run automatically.


Displays and manages the configuration of DNS services.

  • FTP

Starts the built-in FTP client.


Displays the computer name of the local system.


Displays the TCP/IP properties for network adapters installed on the system. You can also use it to renew and release DHCP information.


Displays statistics and current connections for NetBIOS over TCP/IP.

  • NET

Displays a family of useful networking commands.


Displays and manages the network configuration of local and remote computers.


Displays current TCP/IP connections and protocol statistics.


Checks the status of a host or IP address when used with DNS.


Traces network paths and displays packet loss information.

  • PING

Tests the connection to a remote host.


Manages the routing tables on the system.


During testing, determines the network path taken to a remote host.

To learn how to use these command-line tools, type the name at a command prompt followed by /?. Windows Server 2003 then provides an overview of how the command is used (in most cases).

Using NET Tools

You can more easily manage most of the tasks performed with the NET commands by using graphical administrative tools and Control Panel utilities. However, some of the NET tools are very useful for performing tasks quickly or for obtaining information, especially during telnet sessions to remote systems. These commands include


Sends messages to users logged in to a particular system


Starts a service on the system


Stops a service on the system


Displays the current system time or synchronizes the system time with another computer


Connects and disconnects from a shared resource


Displays a list of network resources available to the system

To learn how to use any of the NET command-line tools, type NET HELP followed by the command name, such as NET HELP SEND. Windows Server 2003 then provides an overview of how the command is used.


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