Some Most Important And Useful Windows DOS Commands -Part 1
Here is a list of most useful DOS Commands used in Windows XP /Windows Vista operating System. To open command prompt, type cmd in Run in Start Menu and hit enter.
- assoc – Displays which programs will open the file with .xyz extension
This DOS command in Windows can be used either to displays or modifies file extension associations. If you just type assoc then it will display the list of all files extension and associated a program which is used to open that file. For example, assoc.doc will show you the name of program which the file is associated with.
- attrib – Displays and changes file attributes (i.e. make hidden file visible)
This DOS command in Windows displays, sets, or removes the read-only, archive, system, and hidden attributes assigned to files or directories. For example, if you want to edit boot.ini file which is a hidden file then you can use attrib command to unhide it and edit it with edit command.
1. “+” – Adds an Attribute
2. “–“ Removes an Attribute
Example: c:\>attrib resume.doc +hc:\>attrib rk-resume.doc +a -h
All Switches: a r h s where a = Archive, r = Read-Only, h = Hidden, s = System
- bootcfg – Configures, queries, or changes Boot.ini file settings
For example: if you have two Operating Systems installed in your computer and you want to change the time in seconds after which default OS will be loaded, use this command bootcfg /timeout 10 where 10 stands for 10 seconds.
- chdir or cd – Displays a list of files and subdirectories in a directory and also can change Directory or folder (i.e. Directory is called folder in windows world)
This DOS command in Windows displays the name of the current directory or can change the current folder. It will display the name of the current drive and folder if used like this c:\>cd.
Some more examples:
Folder by folder method: c:\>cd winnt; c:\winnt>cd system32
Absolute path method: c:\>cd c:\winnt\system32
Move to parent folder: c:\>cd..
Move to root folder: c:\>cd/
- chkdsk – Checks a disk and displays a status report
This DOS command in Windows will check the disk for errors and corrects them if instructed so to do with the use of switches. If is used without parameters, chkdsk displays the status of the disk in the current drive. This is one of the handy tools for me. Whenever I have doubt that my HDD might have some problem I run this command chkdsk /f / r in command prompt.
- chkntfs – Displays or modifies the checking of disk at boot time
This DOS command in Windows displays or specifies whether automatic system checking (chkdsk) is scheduled to be run on a NTFS volume when the computer is started. It is mostly used with switches. If no switch is specified, chkntfs will display if the specified drive is dirty or scheduled to be checked on next boot.
Example: chkntfs c:
- cipher – Displays or alters the encryption of folders and files on NTFS volumes
If it is used without parameters, cipher displays the encryption state of the current folder and any files it contains.
- cls – Clears the Command Prompt window screen
If you have been typing lot of DOS command in command prompt and your screen is full with command then try cls. It will clear the screen.
- comp – Compare the content of two files or set of files
This utility is similar to diff in Linux Operating System
- control – Launch Control Panel from command prompt
This is applicable in Windows XP only. This is unpublished command and only used in Windows XP. This allows you to launch control panel applets from the command line.
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Written by Tony on March 24th, 2009 with
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