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MS/DOS An Introduction Add in library

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Questions:

1. Here is a list of ten MS-DOS commands. For each one, plus any five more DOS (not Windows) commands your own choosing, give a one or two sentence description of what it dose. Also, for each of the fifteen commands, show an example of what a user might type to use the command, and briefly describe what the computer would do as a result. (E.g. what would the command PROMPT $P$G do?) Lastly, include the version of MD-DOS in which the command first appeared. Here is the list:

APPEND – ATTRIB – CD – COPY – DELTREE - ECHO - ERASE- FDISK – FOR – IPCONFIG – MD – NETSTA – PROMPT – REN – TYPE

2. Describe two different ways to open a command prompt window, in a version of windows of your choosing.

3. Using DOS’s DIR command (or DIR /x, in same version of windows) on a computer that support long file name (LFNs) will also show MS-DOS-style 8.3 short filee names for those files with LFNs. Describe what Windows does to the LFN to make it into an 8.3 file name.

4. The windows register is organized as a tree, with subtrees including:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
HKEY_CURRENT_USER
HKEY_LOCAL MACHINE
HKEY_USERS
HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG

5. When troubleshooting a computer running an early version of windows, it may be helpful to select “safe mode” when booting the computer. For Windows XP, describe?
 
 

Answers:

1. Here is a list of ten MS-DOS commands. For each one, plus any five more DOS (not Windows) commands your own choosing, give a one or two sentence description of what it dose. Also, for each of the fifteen commands, show an example of what a user might type to use the command, and briefly describe what the computer would do as a result. (E.g. what would the command PROMPT $P$G do?) Lastly, include the version of MD-DOS in which the command first appeared. Here is the list:

APPEND – ATTRIB – CD – COPY – DELTREE - ECHO - ERASE- FDISK – FOR – IPCONFIG – MD – NETSTA – PROMPT – REN – TYPE

APPEND – used to set the path for searching data files or displaying the current search path.

>APPEND

Using the append command without options displays the current search path. 

> APPEND D:study;E:assignments

Using the above command tells the computer to look for files in the study and assignments directory, if the file is not found in the current directory the computer would also look for the file in study and assignments directory.

Versions 3.3 and later

ATTRIB -This command is used to let the users modify the attributes of the file/files.

+  -> Sets an attribute.

-   -> Clears an attribute.

R  -> Read-only 

A  -> Archived 

H  -> Hidden 

S  -> System

>ATTRIB

Lists all the files in current directory with their corresponding attributes.

>ATTRIB -h ino.dll

Makes the ino file hidden.

Version 3.0 and later

 CD – used to change the current directory

>CD C:ABC

Changes the current drive to C: and directory to ABC

Version all version

COPY - Allows you to copy file/files to a diiferent location.

> copy assg.txt c:study

Copies the assg.txt file to study folder in c: drive.

Version all versions

DELTREE- it is used for deleting the files or directories permanently from a system.

> deltree c:study

Deletes the study folder and everything in it

Version 5.0 and above

ECHO- Echo is used to display the text typed in and can also be used to display the text to a peripheral device attached to the computer, such as a COM port.

>echo test

This would print test on the screen

Version all versions

ERASE - Erase is a command used to remove files from computer's hard drive or other writable media.

> Erase c:studyassg.txt

Deletes the assg file from hard disk.

Version all versions

FDISK- Fdisk is used to delete and create partitions on the hard drive.

>fdisk

Opens the fdisk options screen.

Version all versions

FOR- FOR variable is used in batch files, it is used to execute a specified command if a parameter is met or specified.

Version All versions

IPCONFIG - used to display the network configuration currently assigned and given by a network.

>ipconfig /all

Displays all the configuration information.

Version windows 95

MD – Make directory allows to create directories

>md C:study

Creates a directory study in C: drive.

Version all versions

NETSTAT- This command is used to display the statistics and information of TCP/IP network protocol.

>netstat

Displays all network information with protocol address and state

Version Windows 95

PROMPT- The prompt command let the users to change the information displayed by the MS-DOS prompt.

>prompt $t_$p$g

Displays the time, “_” and cureent directory

Version all versions

REN- used for renaming the files 

>ren C:study Assignments

Renames the study directory to Assignments

Version all versions

TYPE- used to see the contents of the file

>type C:studyabc.txt

This will show the contents of abc file.

Version all versions

CLS- let the users to clear the contents of the screen. Only the prompt shows after this command.

>cls

Clears the screen content

Version all versions

LOGOFF – used to logoff the computer from the prompt.

>logoff

Logoffs the computer

Version Windows 2000

RMDIR – deletes a empty directory

>rmdir C:Test

Deletes test if it is empty

Version all versions

VER – displays the version of windows or DOS whichever is running

>ver

Displays the version

Version all versions

TIME- allows to view or edit the system time

>time 11:00

Set time to 11 am

Version all versions

 
2. Describe two different ways to open a command prompt window, in a version of windows of your choosing.

Using windows/file explorer:

  • Go the drive where the windows is installed (mostly C: drive).
  • Go the “Windows” folder.
  • Inside “Windows” folder locate the “System32” folder.
  • Inside the “System32” folder there is a file named “cmd.exe”
  • Run the “cmd.exe” file and the command prompt opens.

Using the Run window:

  • Press Win+Ron your keyboard to open it.
  • Then, typecmd or exe and press Enter or click OK.
3.  Using DOS’s DIR command (or DIR /x, in same version of windows) on a computer that support long file name (LFNs) will also show MS-DOS-style 8.3 short filee names for those files with LFNs. Describe what Windows does to the LFN to make it into an 8.3 file name.

The following steps are carried out to convert the LFN’s to 8.3 file name:

  • First characters like + , ; = [ and ] in LFN are converted to underscores “_ ” in 8.3.
  • Any Spaces are ignored in 8.3.
  • Next the first 3 characters after aperiod (.) in LFN become the extension in 8.3.
  • The first six characters of LFN are taken and converted to uppercase and the remaining characters are eliminated.
  • After the first six characters “~1" is appended. If more file swith similar first six characters exit, then "~2", “~3” and so on are appended. If there are more than 9 files with the same first 6 characters, the tenth file becomes “~10”, utilizing the last three characters.
4. When troubleshooting a computer running an early version of windows, it may be helpful to select “safe mode” when booting the computer. For Windows XP, describe

One can use the Safe Mode Windows to load when you encounter a system-critical problem that is disturbing the normal operation of Windows. Safe Mode allows you to troubleshoot Windows and what is causing the windows to not function correctly. If the problem is corrected one can reboot the system in normal mode.

If an existing problem doesn't appear when starting in safe mode, it is clear that the default settings and basic device drivers are not causing the problem. If you can’t figure out the cause of the problem, then try starting all of the commonly used programs one by one, including the programs in your Startup folder, one of the programs might be the cause of the problem.

Safe Mode differs from a normal mode in the following ways:

  • In Safe Mode autoexec.bat / config.sys files are not run.
  • Only minimal device drivers are loaded.
  • Instead of using the normal graphics device driver, Safe Mode makes use of the standard VGA graphics mode.
  • The Windows desktop in safe mode loads in 16 colors, with a resolution of 640 x 480 with the words "Safe Mode" in each corner.
 

References

Anon, 1986. MS/DOS an Introduction. Data Processing, 28(1), p.47.

Anon, 2002. Handbook of computer troubleshooting. Choice Reviews Online, 39(06), pp.39-3417-39-3417.

Karp, D., O'Reilly, T., Mott, T. and Cobbett, R., 2005. Windows XP in a nutshell. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly.

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