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On every Windows machine that I've ever owned (or used at work), I've assigned a Shortcut key to open a Command Prompt window on entering the shortcut key.

If you enter this shortcut key several times then you get several command prompt windows opening concurrently - which is what I expect.

My latest Windows home laptop came with Windows 7 & I was still able to set it up to perform this function. My laptop @ work was until recently an XP machine, which again I setup to behave in this way.

However, when my laptop @ work was recently upgraded to a Windows 7 machine, & I defined the shortcut key as usual, it now opens only one command prompt window. As long as this window is open, any further use of the shortcut key merely switches to that open window.

How can I get the intended behavior of opening multiple window? I suspect that it may have something to do with the registry but I haven't been able to narrow it down thus far. Any ideas?

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Works the same way for me too, and also pressing the shortcut key when a command prompt window is already open brings it to the top and focuses it. – Karan Oct 16 '12 at 1:35
Once after a computer reboot I was able to use the shortcut key in the intended fashion, i.e. open as many windows as I wanted. Unfortunately, this transient fix did not survive the subsequent reboot thus I'm more confused than ever about the cause of this problem. I should also point out that the shortcut key works properly during the startup phase. If I press the sc key say 5 times after logging on but before the startup finish then I will get 5 CP windows. However, once the startup finishes, pressing the sc key will only which to one of those open CP windows. – user167378 Oct 24 '12 at 13:37
Based on your "before startup finishes" comment, maybe it is something that is loading during boot causing the issue. If you boot in Safe Mode does it ALWAYS work as desired, even after startup has finished? – Kerry Dec 9 '12 at 4:04
I tried the shortcut key after booting in Safe Mode but the effect was the same. If this problem is caused by another component then it must be loaded even in Safe Mode. – user183708 Dec 31 '12 at 20:21
Hi! Please register your account here on Super User so you can comment on or edit your questions. – slhck Dec 31 '12 at 20:59

You can get the desired behavior by creating the shortcut as:

C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /c "start C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe"

It's not a perfect5 solution, but it works.

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