sometimes, going back to your roots can be the fastest way to get something done. i visit robvanderwoude.com so often when i'm looking for things related to batch that i feel like i should be donating to it. it's the cat's meow.
here's two links to things i use often when dealing with the cmd shell:
this is one of the best gems of redirection that i love. just using a redirect in a statement will only generate half of the expected output if the application truly writes to all of the available data streams. that's when you do something like this which will output both stdout and stderr to the same file.
command > file.txt 2>&1