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Short for Microsoft Disk operating system, MS-DOS is a non-graphical command line operating system derived from 86-DOS that was created for IBM compatible computers. MS-DOS was first introduced by Microsoft in August 1981 and was last updated in 1994 when MS-DOS 6.22 was released. Today, MS-DOS is no longer used; however, the command shell, more commonly known as the Windows command line is still used by many users. In the picture to the right, is an example of what a MS-DOS window more appropriately referred to as the Windows command line looks like under Microsoft Windows.

Today, most computer users are only familiar with how to navigate Microsoft Windows using the mouse. Unlike Windows, MS-DOS is a command-line and is navigated by using MS-DOS commands. For example, if you wanted to see all the files in a folder in Windows you would double-click the folder to open the folder in Windows Explorer. In MS-DOS to view that same folder you would navigate to the folder using the cd command and then list the files in that folder using the dir command.

ansi.sysDefines functions that change display graphics, control cursor movement, and reassign keys.File
appendCauses MS-DOS to look in other directories when editing a file or running a command.External
arpDisplays, adds, and removes arp information from network devices.External
assignAssign a drive letter to an alternate letter.External
assocView the file associations.Internal
atSchedule a time to execute commands or programs.External
atmadmLists connections and addresses seen by Windows ATM call manager.Internal
attribDisplay and change file attributes.External
batchRecovery console command that executes a series of commands in a file.Recovery
bootcfgRecovery console command that allows a user to view, modify, and rebuild the boot.iniRecovery
breakEnable / disable CTRL + C feature.Internal
caclsView and modify file ACL's.External
callCalls a batch file from another batch file.Internal
cdChanges directories.Internal
chcpSupplement the International keyboard and character set information.External
chdirChanges directories.Internal
chdskCheck the hard disk drive running FAT for errors.External
chkntfsCheck the hard disk drive running NTFS for errors.External
choiceSpecify a listing of multiple options within a batch file.External
clsClears the screen.Internal
cmdOpens the command interpreter.
colorEasily change the foreground and background color of the MS-DOS window.Internal
commandOpens the command interpreter.
compCompares files.External
compactCompresses and uncompress files.External
controlOpen Control Panel icons from the MS-DOS prompt.External
convertConvert FAT to NTFS.External
copyCopy one or more files to an alternate location.Internal
cttyChange the computers input/output devices.Internal
dateView or change the systems date.Internal
debug Debug utility to create assembly programs to modify hardware settings.External
defrag Re-arrange the hard disk drive to help with loading programs.External
delDeletes one or more files.Internal
deleteRecovery console command that deletes a file.Internal
deltreeDeletes one or more files or directories.External
dirList the contents of one or more directory.Internal
disableRecovery console command that disables Windows system services or drivers.Recovery
diskcompCompare a disk with another disk.External
diskcopyCopy the contents of one disk and place them on another disk.External
doskeyCommand to view and execute commands that have been run in the past.External
dosshellA GUI to help with early MS-DOS users.External
drivparmEnables overwrite of original device drivers.Internal
echoDisplays messages and enables and disables echo.Internal
editView and edit files.External
edlinView and edit files.External
emm386Load extended Memory Manager.External
enameRecovery console command to enable a disable service or driver.Recovery
endlocalStops the localization of the environment changes enabled by the setlocal command.Internal
eraseErase files from computer.Internal
exitExit from the command interpreter.Internal
expandExpand a Microsoft Windows file back to it's original format.External
extractExtract files from the Microsoft Windows cabinets.External
fasthelpDisplays a listing of MS-DOS commands and information about them.External
fcCompare files.External
fdiskUtility used to create partitions on the hard disk drive.External
findSearch for text within a file.External
findstrSearches for a string of text within a file.External
fixbootWrites a new boot sector.Recovery
fixmbrWrites a new boot record to a disk drive.Recovery
forBoolean used in batch files.Internal
formatCommand to erase and prepare a disk drive.External
ftpCommand to connect and operate on a FTP server.External
ftypeDisplays or modifies file types used in file extension associations.Recovery
gotoMoves a batch file to a specific label or location.Internal
graftablShow extended characters in graphics mode.External
helpDisplay a listing of commands and brief explanation.External
ifAllows for batch files to perform conditional processing.Internal
ifshlp.sys32-bit file manager.External
ipconfigNetwork command to view network adapter settings and assigned values.External
keybChange layout of keyboard.External
labelChange the label of a disk drive.External
lhLoad a device driver in to high memory.Internal
listsvcRecovery console command that displays the services and drivers.Recovery
loadfixLoad a program above the first 64k.External
loadhighLoad a device driver in to high memory.Internal
lockLock the hard disk drive.Internal
logoffLogoff the currently profile using the computer.External
logonRecovery console command to list installations and enable administrator login.Recovery
mapDisplays the device name of a drive.Recovery
mdCommand to create a new directory.Internal
memDisplay memory on system.External
mkdirCommand to create a new directory.Internal
modeModify the port or display settings.External
moreDisplay one page at a time.External
moveMove one or more files from one directory to another directory.Internal
msavEarly Microsoft Virus scanner.External
msdDiagnostics utility.External
msdexUtility used to load and provide access to the CD-ROM.External
nbtstatDisplays protocol statistics and current TCP/IP connections using NBTExternal
netUpdate, fix, or view the network or network settingsExternal
netshConfigure dynamic and static network information from MS-DOS.External
netstatDisplay the TCP/IP network protocol statistics and information.External
nlsfuncLoad country specific information.External
nslookupLook up an IP address of a domain or host on a network.External
pathView and modify the computers path location.Internal
pathpingView and locate locations of network latency.External
pauseCommand used in batch files to stop the processing of a command.Internal
pingTest / send information to another network computer or network device.External
popdChanges to the directory or network path stored by the pushd command.Internal
powerConserve power with computer portables. External
printPrints data to a printer port.External
promptView and change the MS-DOS prompt.Internal
pushdStores a directory or network path in memory so it can be returned to at any time.Internal
qbasicOpen the QBasic.External
rdRemoves an empty directory.Internal
renRenames a file or directory.Internal
renameRenames a file or directory.Internal
rmdirRemoves an empty directory.Internal
robocopyA robust file copy command for the Windows command line.
routeView and configure windows network route tables.External
runasEnables a user to run a program as a different user.External
scandiskRun the scandisk utility.External
scanregScan registry and recover registry from errors.External
setChange one variable or string to another. Internal
setlocalEnables local environments to be changed without affecting anything else. Internal
setverChange MS-DOS version to trick older MS-DOS programs.External
shareInstalls support for file sharing and locking capabilities. External
shiftChanges the position of replaceable parameters in a batch program. Internal
shutdownShutdown the computer from the MS-DOS prompt.External
smartdrvCreate a disk cache in conventional memory or extended memory.External
sortSorts the input and displays the output to the screen.External
startStart a separate window in Windows from the MS-DOS prompt.Internal
substSubstitute a folder on your computer for another drive letter. External
switchesRemove add functions from MS-DOS.Internal
sysTransfer system files to disk drive.External
telnetTelnet to another computer / device from the prompt.External
timeView or modify the system time.Internal
titleChange the title of their MS-DOS window.Internal
tracertVisually view a network packets route across a network.External
treeView a visual tree of the hard disk drive.External
typeDisplay the contents of a file.Internal
undeleteUndelete a file that has been deleted.External
unformatUnformat a hard disk drive.External
unlockUnlock a disk drive.Internal
verDisplay the version information.Internal
verifyEnables or disables the feature to determine if files have been written properly. Internal
volDisplays the volume information about the designated drive. Internal
xcopyCopy multiple files, directories, or drives from one location to another.External



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