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Simplify Command Prompt Access with CMD Prompt Here

Use this handy Resource Kit tool to jump to the command prompt from Windows Explorer.

CMD Prompt Here is one of the often-overlooked Windows Resource Kit tools and is still very useful today. If you're like most administrators, you have probably on several occasions had to navigate to an installed application's folder using Windows Explorer, find a diagnostic tool and then double-click on it to launch it. However, once you double-click on the tool you see that it must be run from the command shell. That usually means opening the command prompt and using the cd command to navigate to the appropriate directory.

An easier way to jump to the command prompt from within Windows Explorer is with the Resource Kit tool CMD Prompt Here. To use this tool, you will first need to install it by following these steps:

  1. Download the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools. Note that the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools can be installed on both Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 systems.
  2. Install the Resource Kit Tools using the default options.
  3. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools installation folder (default location is "C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools").
  4. Locate the cmdhere.inf file and then right-click on cmdhere.inf and select Install.

Once you've installed cmdhere.inf, you will see a change in the Windows Explorer power menu.

To test, open Windows Explorer and then right-click on any folder. You should see a "CMD Prompt Here" option in the right-click power menu. If you select "CMD Prompt Here," a command shell window will automatically open with the path at the directory that was selected in Windows Explorer.

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I often use this tool when I'm using Windows Explorer to examine log files when troubleshooting an application. Oftentimes, I then need to run a command line tool provided by the application as part of the troubleshooting or repair process.

With CMD Prompt Here installed, I can quickly open a command shell that is automatically navigated to whatever directory I'm working with.

About the Author

Chris Wolf is a Microsoft MVP for Windows --Virtual Machine and is a MCSE, MCT, and CCNA. He's a Senior Analyst for Burton Group who specializes in the areas of virtualization solutions, high availability, storage and enterprise management. Chris is the author of Virtualization: From the Desktop to the Enterprise (Apress), Troubleshooting Microsoft Technologies (Addison Wesley), and a contributor to the Windows Server 2003 Deployment Kit (Microsoft Press).learningstore-20/">Troubleshooting Microsoft Technologies (Addison Wesley) and a contributor to the Windows Server 2003 Deployment Kit (Microsoft Press).

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