Shortcuts to open Control Panel applets

To launch a Control Panel applet from the Run command, you just need to know its name:

Type To launch
ncpa.cpl Network Connections
appwiz.cpl Add or Remove Programs
inetcpl.cpl Internet Properties
sysdm.cpl System Properties
control printers Printers and Faxes
mmsys.cpl Sound and Audio Devices Properties

The above list is not exhaustive. There are many more applets that can be launched in the same way; I listed the ones I use the most. The applets are .cpl files located in the %windir%\system32 folder.

If .cpl files are not associated to the control.exe application, you’ll need to type control name.cpl to launch the applet.

It is possible to pass arguments when launching an applet in order to select a particular page and/or tab. For example, typing control inetcpl.cpl,,4 will open the Internet Properties applet with the 5th tab already selected (the index is 0-based). Typing control is mandatory if you want to pass arguments.

For detailed info and a more complete list of available applets, check out these resources:

www.geekgirls.com

vlaurie.com

Keep Windows on time with the built-in Windows Time service

I had to keep a W2K machine on time as its main job is to control clocks in different locations. It turns out that Windows as a built-in SNTP client that can be set to retrieve the time from public SNTP servers.

The idea is to give Windows a list of time servers to check and then restart the Windows Time service for the change to take effect.

So, first you need a list of available SNTP time servers.

Then, you use the net time command to enter a list of time servers, e.g.:

C:\>net time /setsntp:"ns.scruz.net ntp.ucsd.edu ntp1.mainecoon.com"

Finally, you restart the Windows Time service:

C:\>net stop W32Time
C:\>net stop W32Time

How to deal with “CMD does not support UNC paths as current directories“

The solution is to use pushd instead of cd to change the current directory to a share accessed via a UNC path (e.g.: >pushd \\myserver\myshare).
Use popd when done.

More info on the Microsoft Web site.