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The versions of Windows that are listed at the beginning of this article include a command-line utility (Wmic.exe) to access Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). Previously, an end user would generally write a script to gather information by means of WMI. Wmic.exe can only be used by the local system administrators regardless of WMI namespace permissions on the local machine.

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When you run the Wmic.exe utility for the first time, the utility compiles its .mof files into the repository. To save time during Windows installation, this operation takes place as necessary.

At a command prompt, type: wmic, and an interactive-mode prompt "wmic:root\cli" is displayed. For help, type: /?.

Some examples of commands are:

  • process where (processid>300) list brief:

    This command requests the computer to list all the processes on specified computers where the ProcessID is greater than 300, and at the same time list only the minimum information on these processes.

  • /node:(computer1),(computer2),(computer3)

    This command requests the computer to add to the list of nodes from which you want to retrieve information. This command, however, is subject to all WMI security measures, such as, namespace security.

  • path win32_processor get maxclockspeed

    This command, provided that you know the WMI class, can specify an instance and retrieve properties or call on a defined method.

For additional information about WMI, see the following Microsoft Web site:

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