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How to Find Useful Free Script Programs for Windows XP
There are many free and useful small PowerShell, batch, and script files. No special knowledge is required for their use and an assortment of handy programs is discussed.

Within all current Windows operating systems are some powerful native features allowing the user to write and/or run very useful short programs for carrying out various system and file tasks and tweaks. These programs make use of Windows PowerShell, the command line or VBscripting.

Although the average PC user may not be interested in actually writing a script, many useful scripts already exist and are readily available. However, for the most part, the average PC user tends to overlook these resources. This is unfortunate since there are many ways that batch files or scripts can simplify routine tasks or help configure or repair the system. Using a script or batch file is no more complicated than clicking on it so there is no reason not to take advantage of these handy little programs

One possible reason for their neglect is that knowledge of their availability is not as widespread as it could be. Another factor is the misconception by many that their use requires advanced expertise. Their usage is actually simpler than that of most standard programs; a single file designed for one particular task with no installation is generally all that is involved. Because harmful scripts are easy to write, many anti-virus programs automatically warn against scripts, thereby putting people off from using scripts at all. As long as scripts are obtained from reliable sources, these standard warnings should not prevent you from using a script.

What programs are available

Various people have written a host of different utilitiy programs and have made them freely available. In recent years, Microsoft has put emphasis on PowerShell but VBscript and the command line are still alive and well. A very useful resource is the Microsoft Script Center. Although the site concentrates on PowerShell, a little digging will also turn up some useful VBScripts. There are also many scripts (with explanations) at the ongoing series by the Microsoft Scripting Guy. Another sizable collection is the script repository at the Microsoft Script Center. Scripts of many different types are available, including more than 4000 VBScripts. Although many of the scripts are aimed at system administrators, there are also simple scripts for making the everyday chores of using a computer easier.

A substantial site with a lot of infornation about scripting is from Rob van der Woude.

Examples of using the command line are discussed on this site. Batch files are discussed here.

A possible problem for a less experienced PC user is making appropriate choices from the variety of scripts that are available. Many are quite specialized and address specific problems that do not apply to everybody. However, there are some that I think just about anybody can use.. Also, I have created some that are specifically written for the average PC user and these are on the next page.

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