At your command with NirCmd | Download Product Review - CNET

At your command with NirCmd

Run a ton of useful commands quickly with this free command-line utility.

The command line doesn't get a lot of love among Windows users, maybe because those users knowledgeable (or old) enough to be familiar with it aren't especially impressed; it's like asking how they feel about their washing machine (or, if they used Cloud-based resources, their laundromat). But the command-line option lets you do some pretty neat things very quickly in Windows with just a few keystrokes.

NirSoft's NirCmd is a compact command-line utility that simplifies a wide range of tasks like opening your CD tray, connecting to a network, or anything you can think of that can be specified as a Windows command, with many commands provided. Though it's completely portable and runs from any folder or directory, you can copy it to the Windows Directory to make it even easier to use. We tried it in 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium SP1.

It's been a while since we've seen many tools as small and simple as NirCmd, but the program's entire download, including compiled Help file, is just over 100KB. The program's installer includes a button that lets you copy NirCmd to the Directory. We pressed this but received an error message asking if we wanted to run the program again as an Administrator. We did, and it did the trick; so try running NirCmd as an Administrator from the get-go.

NirCmd doesn't have a user interface, but its Help file not only describes how to use it but also provides an extensive list of commands, such as the aforementioned CD tray door command, nircmd.exe cdrom open g:, where "g" is our system's CD-ROM. We opened a command prompt, typed in this command, and our CD tray popped open. Success.

NirCmd has commands to turn your monitor on and off; turn the volume up or down; create desktop shortcuts; hide, minimize, or close IE windows; change your display mode or resolution; and many other functions. It also enables special string sequences and system variables. This simple program's general syntax is totally easy: nircmd.exe [command] [command parameter], with an optional (showerror) parameter, and the documentation lists All Commands to make it easier still.

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