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Windows 7 Full Screen Command Prompt

Posted On 2011-03-31 by FortyPoundHead
Keywords: Command Prompt Full Screen
Tags: Tip Software Hack/Tweak Tutorial Windows 7
Views: 1362


Windows 7 has a great interface. Unfortunately, we've had to give up a few things, one of which is the full screen command prompt. Want it back? Read on...

Sucks, doesn't it. For those of us who spend a lot of time at our beloved command prompt, we are stuck with a stinkin' little windowed version. Sure, you can match fonts and change the line counts, but you still only get about half the screen when maximized (think 80-columns).

With Windows XP, you could simply press Alt+Enter and voila! Full screen mode. However, performing this key combo in Vista will yield an error, while on Win7 it is simply ignored.

The reason we are being denied full screen is because the the device driver, based on Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM), does not support DOS video modes.

So, what is a keyboard commando to do? We can attack this one of two ways.

First, and this method is not recommended is remove the current drivers, and load up some Windows XP drivers on your shiny Windows 7 system. There are at least two problems with that:

  • Using display drivers not designed for the OS they are running on introduces a level of instability.
  • You'll most likely lose the ability to utilize the Aero interface. No more shiny stuff for you!

If a full screen command prompt is that important for you, go for it. But don't blame me when your computer takes a dump right before your big paper is due.

Another approach is to live with it, and bend the command prompt window to your thinking. It will still be a window, but by following these steps below, you can get that window to fill the screen.
  1. Click the start orb, and type cmd.exe.
  2. Rather than hitting enter or clicking on the cmd shortcut, right-click and select Run As Administrator.
  3. After the command prompt opens up, type WMIC and press enter. This will fire up the Windows Management Instrumentation Control. the window will change slightly, and the prompt will be a bit different.
  4. Click the Maximize button on the top right corner of the window. This will fill up the screen with our command prompt goodness.
  5. Type Exit to exit WMIC.
  6. Right-click the command prompt title bar, select Properties, then click Ok
  7. Type exit to exit the command prompt.

Now, every time you open the command prompt, your window will fill the screen.


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