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Tips on Vista's Admin Command Prompt and Windows Experience Index

written by: J. Peter•edited by: John Garger•updated: 6/28/2011

If you’re looking for some ways to shave some time off of your busy home-office schedule, here are a few Vista tips and tricks to get you started. The final part in the series looks at administrative command prompts and modifying your WEI score.

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    Modifying Your WEI Score

    Opening a command prompt, for most of us, is always an administrative choice. We aren’t opening the command prompt for fun. Some commands will work just fine, while others require our Administrative credentials. The problem with Vista is that once the command prompt is open, if it wasn’t opened by right-clicking and saying “Run as Administrator", you have to close it and start with a new one that is being run as Administrator. How do you know if you have an admin command prompt? Look in the top, left corner of the dialog and you will see the word Administrator. One quick way to open a command prompt as an Administrator is to hit the Windows Key (which will put your cursor in the quick search), type cmd, then hit Ctrl+Shift+Enter. You will have to agree to continue (hit Alt+C) and the Admin Command Prompt will open.

    (Free Fun Trick: If you want to really make your Admin command prompt stand out, type: color 4f and hit Enter. Now you will easily be able to tell that this is a special prompt.)

    Now this is my favorite trick of all time. I’ve talked about it and written about and still most people don’t know that this is possible. You can tweak your WEI. Now just in case that doesn’t make any sense to you, let me start from the beginning. When you go into the System applet, you are presented with a System Rating that is called the Windows Experience Index (WEI). It is based upon five different ratings that are given to your system as part of the Windows System Assessment Tool (WinSAT) which puts your system through a variety of tests. What you see is a score of 0 to 6 (5.9 really) that include Processor, Memory, Graphics, Gaming graphics and Primary Hard Disk. Out of the 5 overall scores, the lowest one is the one that sticks as your WEI Rating. If you open the XML file created by WinSAT (located at %systemroot%\Performance\WinSAT\DataStore – make sure to look for the file with the most recent date and I recommend you use WordPad to open it) you would be surprised at how extensive the testing process is. What might be even more interesting (or fun) is to know that you can tweak the results in the file and give yourself a higher score (up to 9.9), as you can see in Image 1. You are going to want to turn off UAC first and then delete all the previous WinSAT files. Generate a new one from the GUI and then tweak that file. Yes, we know, its like pealing the stickers off a rubix cube, it’s cheating… that’s what makes it fun!

     

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    Images

    Tweaking your WEI