DOS Commands

DOS Commands can be of two types:

  1. Internal commands.
  2. External commands.

Internal commands are the commands are the commands that are loaded as soon as DOS is booted.

External commands are the commands which are used when the files/data are on an External drive or External memory for execution.


Here are some of the most frequently used DOS commands:

ansisys- Defines functions that change display graphics, control cursor movement, and reassign keys File append Causes MS-DOS to look in other directories when editing a file or running a command (External command).

arp- Displays, adds, and removes arp information from network devices (External command).

assign- Assign a drive letter to an alternate letter (External command).

assoc- View the file associations (Internal command).

at- Schedule a time to execute commands or programs (External command).

atmadm- Lists connections and addresses seen by Windows ATM call manager (Internal command).

attrib- Display and change file attributes (External command).

batch- Recovery console command that executes a series of commands in a file (Recovery).

bootcfg- Recovery console command that allows a user to view, modify, and rebuild the bootini (Recovery).

break- Enable / disable CTRL + C feature (Internal command).

cacls- View and modify file ACL's (External command).

call- Calls a batch file from another batch file (Internal command).

cd- Changes directories (Internal command).

chcp- Supplement the International keyboard and character set information (External command).

chdir- Changes directories (Internal command).

chkdsk- Check the hard disk drive running FAT for errors (External command).

chkntfs- Check the hard disk drive running NTFS for errors (External command).

choice- Specify a listing of multiple options within a batch file (External command).

cls- Clears the screen (Internal command).

cmd- Opens the command interpreter

color- Easily change the foreground and background color of the MS-DOS window (Internal command).

command- Opens the command interpreter

comp- Compares files (External command).

compact- Compresses and uncompress files (External command).

control- Open Control Panel icons from the MS-DOS prompt (External command).

convert- Convert FAT to NTFS (External command).

copy- Copy one or more files to an alternate location (Internal command).

ctty- Change the computers input/output devices (Internal command).

date- View or change the systems date (Internal command).

debug- Debug utility to create assembly programs to modify hardware settings (External command).

defrag- Re-arrange the hard disk drive to help with loading programs (External command).

del- Deletes one or more files (Internal command).

delete- Recovery console command that deletes a file (Internal command).

deltree- Deletes one or more files or directories (External command).

dir- List the contents of one or more directory (Internal command).

disable- Recovery console command that disables Windows system services or drivers (Recovery).

diskcomp- Compare a disk with another disk (External command).

diskcopy- Copy the contents of one disk and place them on another disk (External command).

doskey- Command to view and execute commands that have been run in the past (External command).

dosshell- A GUI to help with early MS-DOS users (External command).

drivparm- Enables overwrite of original device drivers (Internal command).

echo- Displays messages and enables and disables echo (Internal command).

edit- View and edit files (External command).

edlin- View and edit files (External command).

emm386- Load extended Memory Manager (External command).

ename- Recovery console command to enable a disable service or driver (Recovery).

endlocal- Stops the localization of the environment changes enabled by the setlocal command (Internal command).

erase- Erase files from computer (Internal command).

exit- Exit from the command interpreter (Internal command).

expand- Expand a Microsoft Windows file back to it's original format (External command).

extract- Extract files from the Microsoft Windows cabinets (External command).

fasthelp- Displays a listing of MS-DOS commands and information about them (External command).

fc- Compare files (External command).

fdisk- Utility used to create partitions on the hard disk drive (External command).

find- Search for text within a file (External command).

findstr- Searches for a string of text within a file (External command).

fixboot- Writes a new boot sector Recovery

fixmbr- Writes a new boot record to a disk drive Recovery

for- Boolean used in batch files (Internal command).

format- Command to erase and prepare a disk drive (External command).

ftp- Command to connect and operate on a FTP server(External command).

ftype- Displays or modifies file types used in file extension associations Recovery

goto- Moves a batch file to a specific label or location (Internal command).

graftabl- Show extended characters in graphics mode (External command).

help- Display a listing of commands and brief explanation (External command).

if- Allows for batch files to perform conditional processing(Internal command).

ifshlpsys- 32-bit file manager (External command).

ipconfig- Network command to view network adapter settings and assigned values (External command).

keyb- Change layout of keyboard (External command).

label- Change the label of a disk drive (External command).

lh- Load a device driver in to high memory (Internal command).

listsvc- Recovery console command that displays the services and drivers Recovery

loadfix- Load a program above the first 64k (External command).

loadhigh- Load a device driver in to high memory (Internal command).

lock- Lock the hard disk drive (Internal command).

logoff- Logoff the currently profile using the computer (External command).

logon- Recovery console command to list installations and enable administrator login Recovery

map- Displays the device name of a drive Recovery

md- Command to create a new directory (Internal command).

mem- Display memory on system (External command).

mkdir- Command to create a new directory (Internal command).

mode- Modify the port or display settings (External command).

more- Display one page at a time (External command).

move- Move one or more files from one directory to another directory (Internal command).

msav- Early Microsoft Virus scanner (External command).

msd- Diagnostics utility (External command).

msdex- Utility used to load and provide access to the CD-ROM (External command).

nbtstat- Displays protocol statistics and current TCP/IP connections using NBT(External command).

net- Update, fix, or view the network or network settings (External command).

netsh- Configure dynamic and static network information from MS-DOS (External command).

netstat- Display the TCP/IP network protocol statistics and information(External command).

nlsfunc- Load country specific information (External command).

nslookup- Look up an IP address of a domain or host on a network (External command).

path- View and modify the computers path location (Internal command).

pathping- View and locate locations of network latency (External command).

pause- Command used in batch files to stop the processing of a command (Internal command).

ping- Test / send information to another network computer or network device (External command).

popd- Changes to the directory or network path stored by the pushd command(Internal command).

power- Conserve power with computer portables (External command).

print- Prints data to a printer port (External command).

prompt- View and change the MS-DOS prompt(Internal command).

pushd- Stores a directory or network path in memory so it can be returned to at any time (Internal command).

qbasic- Open the QBasic (External command).

rd- Removes an empty directory (Internal command).

ren- Renames a file or directory (Internal command).

rename- Renames a file or directory (Internal command).

rmdir- Removes an empty directory (Internal command).

robocopy- A robust file copy command for the Windows command line

route- View and configure windows network route tables (External command).

runas- Enables a user to run a program as a different user (External command).

scandisk- Run the scandisk utility (External command).

scanreg- Scan registry and recover registry from errors (External command).

set- Change one variable or string to another (Internal command).

setlocal- Enables local environments to be changed without affecting anything else (Internal command).

setver- Change MS-DOS version to trick older MS-DOS programs (External command).

share- Installs support for file sharing and locking capabilities (External command).

shift- Changes the position of replaceable parameters in a batch program (Internal command).

shutdown- Shutdown the computer from the MS-DOS prompt (External command).

smartdrv- Create a disk cache in conventional memory or extended memory (External command).

sort- Sorts the input and displays the output to the screen (External command).

start- Start a separate window in Windows from the MS-DOS prompt (Internal command).

subst- Substitute a folder on your computer for another drive letter (External command).

switches- Remove add functions from MS-DOS (Internal command).

sys- Transfer system files to disk drive (External command).

telnet- Telnet to another computer / device from the prompt (External command).

time- View or modify the system time (Internal command).

title- Change the title of their MS-DOS window (Internal command).

tracert- Visually view a network packets route across a network (External command).

tree- View a visual tree of the hard disk drive (External command).

type- Display the contents of a file (Internal command).

undelete- Undelete a file that has been deleted (External command).

unformat- Unformat a hard disk drive (External command).

unlock- Unlock a disk drive (Internal command).

ver- Display the version information (Internal command).

verify- Enables or disables the feature to determine if files have been written properly (Internal command).

vol- Displays the volume information about the designated drive (Internal command).

xcopy- Copy multiple files, directories, or drives from one location to another (External command).

These are the basic DOS commands available. You may used them to accomplish the basic tasks.


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