Lamar from Los Angeles writes:
Sometimes in your tips I see a reference to DOS. Please tell me what DOS is, it’s uses and benefits. Thank you.
DOS is an acronym for Disk Operating System. Most of the time, it also refers to MS-DOS or Microsoft Disk Operating System. This was originally developed as a standard operating system for all IBM-compatible computers which were created by Microsoft.
This was the first operating system installed on almost all computers many years ago. It is pure text and command system which is not at all user-friendly to the average PC user. When you open the program, it would prompt you to enter a command:
The first-ever Microsoft Windows OS released was an application that runs on top of MS-DOS. Now, all Windows operating systems still continue to support DOS for different special purposes by emulating the system itself.
MS-DOS commands are simple to remember and use and it has proven to be a stable operating system. MS-DOS is the underlying OS for all modern versions of Window. DOS does not take much space on your hard drive and can help you resolve issues with a crashed drive or format and run old DOS apps that will never run with newer versions of DOS or Windows. More importantly, even if you have a relatively slow computer, you could still access it very fast.
You can easily access MS-DOS on a Windows 7 PC by clicking Start, click All Programs, then choose Accessories and choose Command Prompt.
For a Windows 8 or 8.1 system just type Command Prompt in the search charm.
You’ll see a window with a black background with “C:\>” or something similar to “C:\Documents and Settings\User Name>”. This is what’s called the command line and this shows what directory you’re currently in.
Here are some of the commands commonly used in MS-DOS or Command Prompt:
CD – this changes the current directory
COPY – used to copy files
DEL – used to delete files
DIR – provides list of all directory contents
HELP – displays information about the MS-DOS commands
MKDIR – used to create a new directory
RD – used to remove a directory
REN – used to rename a file
~ Heather Buford