I discovered this quite by accident, but have since been able to replicate it at will, and I wonder if anyone has any explanation. I also wonder if it might point to a security hole in one of the involved programs.

What happens is that if I run psexec.exe on another computer in my network, and I am running the command prompt, the following happens:

If I type (for example) H: to go to my H Drive, and then I simultaneously press the 'Enter' key and the '\' key, the next two lines look like this:


That in itself is not so weird; however, on the second line, which is now where the cursor is residing, if I hit the back space, I am able to delete the first character of the prompt, and only the first character, so it looks like this:


Then if I hit enter again, it goes back to normal. All that is weird, but I can make up an explanation maybe involving the escaping of a character and a delay with psexec. However, if I try the first experiment without putting the drive letter and colon, and from a blank command prompt hit 'Enter' and '\' simultaneously twice instead of just once, I see:

\'P' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

And then if I just hit 'Enter', I see:

'P' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

(Notice the abscence of the '\' the second time through). After that it is back to normal.

In addition, If I type >\>, I see the following:



Pretty weird, but it seems too perfect to just be a fluke. Does anyone know why this is?


I speculate what you are seeing is likely due in part to the network latency between yourself and the remote system combined with how the display buffer works in psexec.

  • I suspect that too. But that doesn't add to my understanding. – dgo Jul 27 '13 at 23:02

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