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List of basic or simple DOS Commands

Updated on October 31, 2010

DOS - An Overview

"DOS" usually refers to MS-DOS which stands for Microsoft Disk Operating System. This is not always the case though, as there were quite a few DOS based operating systems developed in the 80's and 90's. Here's a quick list of the different DOS operating systems:

  • MS-DOS
  • PC-DOS
  • DR-DOS
  • Novell DOS(derived from DR-DOS)
  • OpenDos(derived from DR-DOS)

  • FreeDos

When referring to DOS we are talking about an operating system designed for the IBM-PC compatible machine back in the 80's and 90's. First released in 1981, DOS became the most succesful operating system sold for the personal PC during this time.

When referring to DOS in our list of simple DOS commands, we'll be referring to commands that are based in MS-DOS systems. Some commands only work in certain later versions of MS-DOS, but most will work in every version being that they are "Simple".

DOS 6.0 Candy! mmmmm

List of Simple DOS Commands

  • attrib - Stands for attributes and should be followed with a file name in usage - Will display the given files attributes (Hidden, Read-Only, etc..)
  • cd - Stands for change directory and can be followed with a directory name or two periods (..) to change to the directory located directly below the present one.

  • copy - Used to copy files from one directory to another. Wildcards are allowed such as "copy *.txt c:\documents"
  • chkdsk - Used to check the harddrive for errors
  • dir - Stands for directory and gives a listing of the files and directories in the current location.
  • del - Used to delete files and directories.

  • edit - a text editor that was thrown in with DOS allowing basic editing of txt files and the like. Usage would be "edit mytxtfile.txt"

  • move - Used to move file(s) from one directory to another.

  • rename - Used to rename a directory or file name.
  • type - Used to view the contents of a file directly to the screen. Useful for viewing text files. For ex. type mydoc.txt|more will produce a downward scrolling view of a text document with the more command being used to pause the screen every page and ask for the user to press any key to continue

Let me know if there's anything you think I should add to my list of simple DOS commands:

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