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Command Prompt & Back

Use either of the following methods to open a Windows Command Prompt session:

• Using RUN command: Type cmd

• Click on the START menu: By default a Command Prompt shortcut will be in


the Accessories sub-menu tree:

Start > Programs > Accessories

To return to Windows from a DOS session type EXIT at the prompt and press the
ENTER key.

DOS Prompt:
A Command Line Interface is usually a prompt consisting of a character and a blinking
cursor. The typical DOS prompt is C:\> and is frequently referred to as the "C-Prompt."
C: is the disk drive letter, that is, the root directory.

All commands in a Command Prompt session must be typed on the command line
followed by pressing the ENTER key.
Command line programs have options as well as arguments or parameters that can
follow the command.
There should be at least one blank space between the command name and its options
and/or arguments.
Most DOS commands have, at the very least, a brief command syntax help by typing the
command name followed by a space, and the /? characters. The / character is the
character to signify that the next character(s) is an option.
DOS Text Editor
The DOS text editor EDIT is a powerful editor than Windows NotePad.
From a Command Prompt enter the command EDIT, then activate the menus by pressing
the Alt key plus a highlighted "hot key", such as Alt+F to open the File menu. The
mouse may or may not work with the menus depending on how the Command Prompt
window shortcut has been configured.
Name of the file to open can be given as an argument to the command:
EDIT ABC.TXT
Command Line Help
While "DOS" as an underlying operating system is really finally gone in Windows 2000
and Windows XP, support for the Command Line and Command Line Utilities is
significantly enhanced. Navigate to Windows 2000 Help for MS-DOS Commands:

The HELP command is an excellent source of more detailed DOS command


information. 3 files are required:
• HELP.COM
• HELP.HLP
• QBASIC.EXE
The best way to learn more about DOS and commands available from the Command
Prompt is to spend some time with the HELP program and experiment with some
commands.
Copy and Paste to and from a DOS Window
One of the more useful features of opening a "DOS Window" from within Windows is
that you can copy and paste between Windows applications and DOS applications. You
can even copy a command from a Windows application such as MS Word, paste it onto
the command line following the prompt, press enter and execute the command.
Windows Screen Shots
It is often convenient or necessary to "capture" a screen image for future reference,
documentation, trouble-shooting, or to turn in as part of an assignment as verification of
successful completion. It is common, for example, in programming classes to capture
numerous screen images of program output as part of your lab report.
The Commands
Accdate Attrib Break Buffers Call CD / ChDir CHCP
ChkDsk Choice Cls Command Copy Country CTTY
Date Del DelTree Device Dir DiskCopy Dos
DrivParm Echo Erase Exit FC FCBS Files
Find For Format GoTo If Include Install
Label LastDrive LfnFor Lock MD / MkDirMem Menucolor
MenuDefault MenuItem Mode More Move Mscdex Nlsfunc
NumLock Path Pause Prompt RD / RmDir Rem :: ; Ren
Set SetVer Share Shell Shift Sort Stacks
Start Submenu Subst Switches Sys Time Truename
Type Unlock Ver Verify Vol Xcopy

The Utilities
Debug DosKey DrvSpace Edit Extract Fdisk Scandisk SmartDrv

The Device Drivers


Ansi.sys Display.sys DblBuff.sys DblSpace.sys DrvSpace.sys
Emm386.exe Himem.sys IFShlp.sys RamDrive.sys Setver.exe

And...
File spec. shortcuts
( . .. ... \ ) Wildcards
(*?) Redirection & pipes
( > >> < | ) Config menus Win keyboard shortcuts