Windows XP Under the Hood
Hardcore Scripting and Command-Line Power

by Brian Knittel

A Manual for the Windows XP Grease Monkey






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Please check out the site & sign the guestbook. I'd like to know that you came by. Be sure to check the errata page, which lists corrections that you'll want to make in your copy of the book.


An updated, second edition of Under the Hood was released on December 11, 2010. It's titled Windows 7 and Vista Guide to Scripting, Automation and Commmand Line Tools. (That's the marketing people for you. I wanted to call it Hood II, but, no).

You can order it on!

What is Windows XP Under the Hood?

I wrote Windows XP Under the Hood to show how scripting, batch files, and command line programs can help you

  • simplify repetitive tasks,

  • save time,

  • perform tasks that would be impossible or hopelessly cumbersome with the Windows GUI,

  • serve as documentation for complex procedures, and

  • simplify the management of Windows networks and workstations.

The aim isn't to spoon-feed you canned solutions to imagined problems, but to spark your imagination and give you the tools you need to develop your own solutions to your own day-to-day problems. For each topic, the book provides a tutorial, a detailed reference, and practical examples.

If you don't have a copy already, check out the spiffy back-cover text below, then click on the image of the book cover at the top of this page to order one from!

"Get ready to roll up those shirtsleeves, pop the hood, and get a little Windows grime under those fingernails! This is a book about tools, nuts and bolts. Through lucid tutorials and examples, Windows XP Under the Hood shows how to use scripting and batch tools to automate repetitive tasks. You'll master the gory details of the automation, management, command-line and diagnostic tools that are often given short shrift in both online documentation and standard end-user books. Then, the detailed reference sections will keep you coming back time and again. This book will help you make the leap from accomplished user to bona fide Windows hero.

  • Finally, a hardcore Windows book that digs into the XP interface while not putting the reader to sleep! Lively and written for Windows mechanics who live for more power.

  • Learn how to create and deploy tools to manage your computers and networks. Here you'll find a straightforward introduction to scripting with VBScript, coverage of dozens of powerful programming and management objects, and from-the-trenches advice on distributing and managing your new toolkit.

  • Learn how to master the Command Line. Many books cover Windows Script Host, but none of the others address the powerful and still-useful batch file language and command-line utilities.

  • Clear, practical examples show how each scripting object, batch file or command line utility can change lives, make the dog behave, and eliminate bad hair days.

Although Microsoft provides the tools, users are hard pressed to find much--if any--documentation on these tools. Rather than learning by osmosis, we suggest that you pick up a copy of this indispensable book."

Click here to order your copy from