Page 2 902 Windows Operating Systems Study Guide for the CompTIA® A+ exam

Microsoft Command Line Tools

You are expected to have a working knowledge of basic command lines listed below.

TASKKILL—used to kill system processes given the process ID number PID

BOOTREC—a subset of the Recovery Environment used to address corrupted MBR

SHUTDOWN—command line to shutdown the system, know the various paraments used

TASKLIST—displays applications and services, displays Processor ID PID

MD—creating a new directory

RD—remove directories

CD—change directory used to navigate in the command line

DEL—deleting a file

FORMAT—create a file system on storage device

COPY—make a copy of one or more files

XCOPY—copy command with numerous options

ROBOCOPY—will replace Xcopy, has numerous options

DISKPART—tool for managing disks, partitions, and volumes

SFC—System File Checker; a Windows tool allowing users to scan for corruptions in system files and restore

CHKDSK—will verify the file system of a volume and fix logical file system corruption

GPUPDATE—refreshed Group Policy manual

GPRESULT—used to determine user and system policies

DIR—gives a listing of a directory

EXIT—exits user from command line

HELP—available from command line for all commands

EXPAND—expands update files

[command name] /?—example of the help function invoked from the command line

commands available with standard privileges vs. administrative privileges—Certain commands can only be run with administrative privileges; Ctrl + Shift + Enter will allow you to run a command as administrator.

Application of Microsoft Features and Tools

Make sure you can apply the following features and tools when given typical user scenarios. Microsoft puts all the various tools needed to manage a system on a single screen to simplify the process.

On Windows Vista, to load the Administrative tools,right-click Taskbar and then select the Start Menu tab > Custom > System Administrative tools.

On Windows 7, to load Administrative tools, click Control Panel > System Security > Administrative tools. Windows 8 and 8.1 Administrative tools can be found from in Settings > Tiles > Show Administrative Tools. Familiarize yourself with all the applications available in administrative tools.


Computer Management located in Administrative tools contains a variety of tools used to manage the operating system found under the heading System Tools. Review the function of these tools and be familiar with: Device Manager, Performance Monitor, Services, System Configuration, Task Scheduler, Print Manager, Memory Diagnostics, Windows Firewall, and Advanced Security.


The msconfig command is used to troubleshoot problems relating to the system startup process. From the msconfig command, there are tabs: Boot, Services, Startup and Tools. Be sure you understand the function of each tab.

Task Manager

The Task Manager enables users to monitor applications services and processes running on the PC. It can be used to start and halt programs/processes and display specific information regarding system performance. Be familiar with the six tabs that monitor: Applications, Processes, Services, Performance, Network, and Users.

Disk Management

The Microsoft Disk Management tool is part of Computer Management. This tool graphically displays the overall condition of the drive. With it, you can view the status of individual partitions that could help prevent disk failures in the future. Disk Management allows you to create, resize, and delete partitions, as well as format new partitions, assign and change drive letters, and configure disk arrays.

Other Tools

Be familiar with tools like User State Migration used to manage migration, which is useful when doing large scale deployments and is available on Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. Windows Easy Transfer allows the transferring of personal files and settings from a system running an earlier version of Windows being updated to a computer running a newer version. Be sure you understand the function of Windows Upgrade Advisor.

System Utilities

Many of the System Utilities are available through the Command Line Prompt. You will need to have a working knowledge of:

  • Regedit—registry editor
  • Services.msc—view and modify background services
  • MMC—Microsoft Management Console; allows additional plug-ins to manage a system
  • MSTSC—remote desktop
  • Notepad—text editor
  • Explorer—view and copy files
  • MSINFO32—displays software and hardware configurations on any system
  • DXDIAG—graphics and audio diagnostics
  • Defrag—defragment a hard drive
  • System Restore—allows users to go back in time to restore a system
  • Windows Update—maintains system updates, security patches, etc.

Control Panel Utilities

The Control Panel is the location of many of the tools and utilities necessary to maintain a PC. On the test, you will encounter scenarios requiring you to select the utility needed to repair a PC. You need to familiar with the utilities contained in the Control Panel.

Internet Options

You need to understand the difference between a workgroup and a domain and when each would be appropriate. Know how to enable the system’s firewall and be familiar with steps necessary to ensure security as well as privacy. Understand the various connections established on a network such as dial up, wired, wireless, and VPN.


Know the various display settings for a monitor such as resolution, color depth, refresh rate, as well as how to configure a system with dual monitors.

User Accounts

As a system administrator, you need to know how to create and delete users and maintain their accounts, as well as how to establish secure passwords.


Know the various attributes associated with folders, such as sharing, security, ownership, and how folders can be hidden and deleted.


Virtual memory is controlled by the System Applet, which allows users to change the size of the page file. Be sure you understand the purpose of virtual memory, the size of the page file, and how to manage the amount of virtual memory. The System Applet also allows you to enable or disable System Restore, as well as manage setting for remote access and remote desktop through the System Protection Settings.


The firewall is included with the operating system on Windows Vista, Windows, and 7 and Windows 8 and 8.1. Be sure you are familiar with the features of the firewall.


Windows Power options allow you to control how a PC will use power. This feature is more vital on a laptop but it is also available on desktop units. Know the difference between the different power modes (sleep, hibernate) and which one used no power when activated and why (Hibernate mode).

Programs and Features

Under Program and Features, all applications that have been installed are listed.


HomeGroup (not available on Windows Vista) allows users of Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 on a home network to share pictures, movies, music, documents, and printers on the network. This feature is not available on a public or work network.

Devices and Printers

Devices and Printers gives a detailed view of everything on your network and allows you to configure these devices.


Sound applet allows you to configure input and output sound levels on your system.


The Troubleshooting applet helps users to solve some of the issues they’re faced with on a PC.

Network and Sharing Center

Network and Sharing Center allows users to modify Homegroup parameters, including the sharing of devices.

Device Manager

Device Manager allows you to view the status of devices, view the properties, and modify the configuration parameters.