DOS or Disc Operating System is the OS developed for disc drives and it is needed to operate all input/output since all operations are performed through the disc drives. MS-DOS, the acronym for Microsoft Disk Operating System, is an operating system with a command-line interface used on personal computers. As with other operating systems such as OS/2, it translates keyboard input by the user into operations that computer can perform, it also oversees operations such as disk input and output, video support, keyboard control, and many other internal functions related to program execution and file maintenance. The MS-DOS mode is a shell in which the MS-DOS environment is emulated in 32-bit systems, such as Windows. MS-DOS-based programs can run with Windows and might create a program information file (PIF) which appears as a shortcut on your desktop.
Instructions (MS-DOS commands) are given in the command terminal or command prompt window of the PC to do the required tasks. To end your MS-DOS session, type exit in the command prompt window at the blinking cursor. To open a command prompt: Click Start, go to Programs, to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt. The Command Prompt window will show the cursor as: C:\Documents and Settings\User name
Type the command at the Prompt with a flashing underline (_) symbol which is the cursor, confirming that the DOS is loaded into the RAM. Please take caution when executing some of these dos commands like for deleting, formatting etc. because the action will be permanent.
1) To change the drive: Type the drive name eg. "c:", "e:" etc. and press enter.
2) To see the contents in the directory: Type "dir" and press enter.
3) To change the directory: Type "cd" or "chdir" (path) (directory name) and press enter.
4) To display the current directory: Type "cd" and press enter.
5) To clear the screen: Type "cls" and press enter.
6) To create a file: Type "copy con" (file name eg: file1.txt) and press enter.
7) To save the file: Ctrl + z or F6.
8) To open a file and display contents of a text file: Type "type" (filename) and press enter.
9) To copy file or files: Type "copy" or "xcopy" (old file name) (new file name) and press enter.
9) To copy from file1 to file2: Type "copy" (source drive) (file name) (target drive) (file name) and press enter.
10) To rename a file: Type "ren" (old file name) (new file name) and press enter.
11) To delete a file or files: Type "del" or "erase" (file name) and press enter.
12) To edit files: Type "edit" (file name) and press enter.
13) To find text in file or files: Type "find" (search text) (file name) and press enter.
14) To sort files: Type "sort" (file name) and press enter.
15) To display or change file access permissions: Type "attrib" (file name) and press enter.
16) To replace file and files: Type "replace" (file name) and press enter.
17) To print file content: Type "print" (file name) and press enter.
18) To recover accidentally deleted files: Type "undelete" (file name) and press enter.
19) To create a new directory: Type "md" or "mkdir" (directory name) and press enter.
20) To rename a directory: Type "move" (old directory name) (new directory name) and press enter.
21) To remove or delete a directory from parent directory: Type "rm" (directory name) and press enter.
22) To check disc, directories, or files for bad sectors or tracks: Type "chkdsk" (directory name) and press enter.
23) To copy entire disc contents from one disc to another: Type "diskcopy" (source drive)(target drive) and press enter.
24) To delete directory and sub directories: Type "deltree" (directory name) and press enter.
25) To get summary help: Type "doshelp" or "command /?" and press enter.
26) To exit command terminal: Type "exit" and press enter.
27) To display time: Type "time" and press enter.
28) To display date: Type "date" and press enter.
29) To backup hard drive: Type "msbackup" (from drive name)(to drive name).
30) To create a boot disc with DOS system files and command interpreter: Type "sys" (drive name).
31) To display volume and serial number: Type "vol" (drive name) and press enter.
32) To format a drive: Type "format" (drive name) and press enter.
33) To optimize space by compressing: Type "dblspace" (drive name) and press enter.
34) To optimize space by defragmenting: Type "defrag" (drive name) and press enter.
35) To restore disc erased by format: "unformat" (drive name) and press enter.
36) To display the amount of used and free memory: "mem" and press enter.
37) To display one screen at a time: Type "more" and press enter.
38) To display the version number: Type "ver" and press enter.
39) To start shell: Type "dosshell" and press enter.
40) To exit shell: Press Alt+F4.
41) To monitor system to prevent virus attack: Type "vsafe" and press enter.
42) To scan for and clean existing viruses: Type "msav" and press enter.