There may be times when you forget to perform a preinstallation task prior to starting the Windows Server 2008 R2 installation. Rather than restarting the operating system, you can access a command prompt from Setup or use advanced drive options to perform the necessary administrative tasks.
Using the Command Line During Installation
When you access a command prompt from Setup, you access the MINWINPC (mini Windows PC) environment used by Setup to install the OS. During installation, on the Where Do You Want To Install Windows page, you can access a command prompt by pressing Shift+F10. The mini Windows PC environment provides access to many of the same command-line tools that are available in a standard installation of Windows Server 2008 R2. Here’s a look at what’s available.
ARP Displays and modifies the IP-to-physical address translation tables used by the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP).
ASSOC Displays and modifies file extension associations.
ATTRIB Displays and changes file attributes.
CALL Calls a script or script label as a procedure.
CD/CHDIR Displays the name of or changes the current directory.
CHKDSK Checks a disk for errors and displays a report.
CHKNTFS Displays the status of volumes. Sets or excludes volumes from automatic system checking when the computer is started.
CHOICE Creates a list from which users can select one of several choices in a batch script.
CLS Clears the console window.
CMD Starts a new instance of the Windows command shell.
COLOR Sets the colors of the command-shell window.
CONVERT Converts FAT volumes to NTFS.
COPY Copies or combines files.
DATE Displays or sets the system date.
DEL Deletes one or more files.
DIR Displays a list of files and subdirectories within a directory.
DISKPART Invokes a text-mode command interpreter so thatyou can manage disks, partitions, and volumes using a separate command prompt and commands that are internal to DISKPART.
DISM Services and manages Windows images.
DOSKEY Edits command lines, recalls Windows commands, and creates macros.
ECHO Displays messages or turns command echoing on or off.
ENDLOCAL Ends localization of environment changes in a batch file.
ERASE Deletes one or more files.
EXIT Exits the command interpreter.
EXPAND Uncompresses files.
FIND Searches for a text string in files.
FOR Runs a specified command for each file in a set of files.
FORMAT Formats a floppy disk or hard drive.
FTP Transfers files.
FTYPE Displays or modifies file types used in file extension associations.
GOTO Directs the Windows command interpreter to a labeled line in a script.
HOSTNAME Prints the computer’s name.
IF Performs conditional processing in batch programs.
IPCONFIG Displays TCP/IP configuration.
LABEL Creates, changes, or deletes the volume label of a disk.
MD/MKDIR Creates a directory or subdirectory.
MORE Displays output one screen at a time.
MOUNTVOL Manages a volume mount point.
MOVE Moves files from one directory to another directory on the same drive.
NBTSTAT Displays the status of NetBIOS.
NET ACCOUNTS Manages user account and password policies.
NET COMPUTER Adds or removes computers from a domain.
NET CONFIG SERVER Displays or modifies configuration of a server service.
NET CONFIG WORKSTATION Displays or modifies configuration of a workstation service.
NET CONTINUE Resumes a paused service.
NET FILE Displays or manages open files on a server.
NET GROUP Displays or manages global groups.
NET LOCALGROUP Displays or manages local group accounts.
NET NAME Displays or modifies recipients for messenger service messages.
NET PAUSE Suspends a service.
NET PRINT Displays or manages print jobs and shared queues.
NET SEND Sends a messenger service message.
NET SESSION Lists or disconnects sessions.
NET SHARE Displays or manages shared printers and directories.
NET START Lists or starts network services.
NET STATISTICS Displays workstation and server statistics.
NET STOP Stops services.
NET TIME Displays or synchronizes network time.
NET USE Displays or manages remote connections.
NET USER Displays or manages local user accounts.
NET VIEW Displays network resources or computers.
NETSH Invokes a separate command prompt that allows you to manage the configuration of various network services on local and remote computers.
NETSTAT Displays the status of network connections.
PATH Displays or sets a search path for executable files in the current command window.
PATHPING Traces routes and provides packet loss information.
PAUSE Suspends processing of a script and waits for keyboard input.
PING Determines whether a network connection can be established.
POPD Changes to the directory stored by PUSHD.
PRINT Prints a text file.
PROMPT Modifies the Windows command prompt.
PUSHD Saves the current directory and then changes to a new directory.
RD/RMDIR Removes a directory.
RECOVER Recovers readable information from a bad or defective disk.
REG ADD Adds a new subkey or entry to the registry.
REG COMPARE Compares registry subkeys or entries.
REG COPY Copies a registry entry to a specified key path on a local or remote system.
REG DELETE Deletes a subkey or entries from the registry.
REG QUERY Lists the entries under a key and the names of subkeys (if any).
REG RESTORE Writes saved subkeys and entries back to the registry.
REG SAVE Saves a copy of specified subkeys, entries, and values to a file.
REGSVR32 Registers and unregisters DLLs.
REM Adds comments to scripts.
REN Renames a file.
ROUTE Manages network routing tables.
SET Displays or modifies Windows environment variables. Also used to evaluate numeric expressions at the command line.
SETLOCAL Begins localization of environment changes in a batch file.
SFC Scans and verifies protected system files.
SHIFT Shifts the position of replaceable parameters in scripts.
START Starts a new command-shell window to run a specified program or command.
SUBST Maps a path to a drive letter.
TIME Displays or sets the system time.
TITLE Sets the title for the command-shell window.
TRACERT Displays the path between computers.
TYPE Displays the contents of a text file.
VER Displays the Windows version.
VERIFY Tells Windows whether to verify that your files are written correctly to a disk.
VOL Displays a disk volume label and serial number.
Tip adapted from the Microsoft Press book Windows Server 2008 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant, Second Edition by William R. Stanek.