Category Archives: Windows

Find the Members of an Active Directory Group

The simplest way to get the list of users in an Active Directory group is to use the following command right from the command line:

NET GROUP "my_group" /DOMAIN

And yes, that is the work “DOMAIN”, not the domain you are in. The only value to change in the command is my_group

Ref: Is there a way to view the members of an Active Directory group if you aren’t a domain admin and can’t log into a domain controller?

Access a Console (including CYGWIN) from Notepad++

If you’re regularly in Notepad++ you may find the NPPConsole to be a huge help. With it you can access a windows console or even cygwin if you prefer (I do). To get started…

  1. Download the NPPConsole Plugin
  2. Extract the dll to your n++/plugins directory
  3. Restart Notepad++ if it was already running
  4. Use the Plugin Manager to make sure the plugin is available

If you want to just use the Windows console (DOS) you should be all set. To integrate with CYGWIN…

  1. Choose Plugins -> NppConsole -> About…
  2. In “Command to run” enter: C:\cygwin\bin\bash.exe ${–login -i}
  3. In Line number pattern after file name enter: :${LINE}

Windows Batch File (.bat) Not Running

If you’ve ever accidentally set batch files to open in a text editor, and now are unable to run them anymore you have to use the registry editor instead of the Control Panel file associations. As pointed out in this article

  1. Click on “Start”->”Run” and type in “REGEDT32” and press Enter to start the Registry Editor.
  2. Find the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.BAT\UserChoice
  3. Delete the key named “UserChoice”

Screen Capture Open Menus

I know I posted a link to this on SM the other day, but wanted to add the abbreviated version here for my reference.

If you’ve ever had the need to capture a screen shot, but also capture a menu that may be open (like File -> New…) you can still use the build-in Windows “Snipping Tool” to grab what you need.

  1. Run the “Snipping Tool”
  2. Press the Esc key
  3. Open the menu you want to screen shot
  4. Press Ctrl+PrtScr
  5. Click “New” on the “Snipping Tool” and pick what you want to grab

Here’s an example:


Determine Default Java JVM HeapSize

In the life of a Java developer every now and then you’ll have one of your apps run out of memory. While this is usually due to poor coding (not closing resources, or managing large files) it helps to know exactly what the defaults are for your system. I had just this need today so went out looking for an answer.

What I found that was the most helpful was this page, but for quick reference here’s how to do it on Windows…

c:\>java -XX:+PrintFlagsFinal -version | findstr /i "HeapSize PermSize ThreadStackSize"
    uintx InitialHeapSize                          := 266634176       {product}
    uintx MaxHeapSize                              := 4267704320      {product}
    uintx PermSize                                  = 21757952        {pd product}
    uintx MaxPermSize                               = 85983232        {pd product}
     intx ThreadStackSize                           = 0               {pd product}
java version "1.7.0_40"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_40-b43)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 24.0-b56, mixed mode)

Note that the values returned are in bytes so throw them into google to convert them into something useful 🙂

Setting up the ultimate console

If you’ve been coding for any time, chances are you’ve become acquainted with the command line. While some love it and some hate it I think it’s wonderful for getting things done quickly. Unfortunately, the windows command line is crap. With that said I finally got fed up and asked that most important programmer question of “How do I get a better command line”?

That search led me to an open source application called appropriately enough: Console. When I first opened it up and started playing around I have to admit my first reaction was “meh”. Then I asked that import question again, “How can this be made better”? A little Googling and experimentation later I got things working to my satisfaction.

So, here for your one-stop quick-reference is how to setup the ultimate console for Windows…


  • You access the console for all different platforms (not just Windows)
  • You already have putty and its utilities downloaded – and are familiar with their use
  • You already have installed cygwin – and are familiar with its use


  1. Download Console and extract the contents to the folder of your choice
  2. Download ANSICON and extract the following files to the same directory you extracted Console to.
    • ANSI32.dll
    • ANSI64.dll
    • ansicon.exe

Great, now you have Console installed, but this is the configuration I use to make it really rock.


These can all be found under “Edit -> Settings”

  • Appearance
    • Custom color: Change it to an awsome green
  • Appearance -> More…
    • Uncheck “Show toolbar”
    • Select “Alpha” under “Window transparency” and set “Active window” to 25 and “Inactive window” to 40
  • Behavior
    • Check “Copy on select”
    • Uncheck “Clear selection on copy”
  • Hotkeys
    • Set “New Tab 1” to “Ctrl+T”
    • Set “Copy selection” to “Ctrl+C”
    • Set “Paste” to “Ctrl+V”
  • Hotkeys -> Mouse
    • Set “Copy/clear selection” to “None”
    • Set “Select text” to “Left”
    • Set “Paste text” to “Right”
    • Set “Context menu” to “Middle”

Tab Configuration

Now that you have your console looking pretty and being functional, lets hook it into putty and cygwin. You can do this configuration under “Edit -> Settings -> Tabs”. Obviously, the directories you’ve chosen for things will be different (change to your values).

Cygwin: Add a tab and set the shell to:

C:\cygwin\bin\bash.exe --login -i

Putty: Add a tab and set the shell to:

C:\apps\Console2\ansicon.exe "C:\apps\Putty\plink.exe" -load "aSavedSessionName"




How to list all environment variables

Often times you can find useful information in your environment variables, but since it’s something you don’t have to do everyday it’s easy to forget. Here’s a refresher:

First bring up a command prompt, then run the following…


To see the value of a single environment variable:

echo %ENVVAR%

Run the following from a terminal to see all environment variables…


To see the value of a single environment variable:

echo $ENVVAR