There are DOS commands that will erase your HD so be careful
You may want to start with simple commands that can do no harm.
"DIR" (without the quotes, of course) typed at a command prompt, for instance, will display a directory listing for whatever drive and folder you happen to be in at the time. Or you can follow the DIR command with a path statement to give you the listing for another directory anywhere in the computer. Example:
DIR C:\Windows\Drivers\etc /a /w /p
This would give you a directory of the folder in the path statement, showing all
files and displaying them in a wide
format, one page at a time.
If the listing scrolls off the screen, you can use the "DIR /P" to display just one page at a time, or "DIR /w" to display just the file names in a WIDE format. The /x is called a switch. Switches can be added in multiples to attain the desired effect. For instance:
"DIR /a /w /p" will present a directory, listing ALL files, in WIDE format, ONE PAGE at a time. This might be required when looking at, for instance, the C:\windows directory.
* It's mandatory that the command be followed by a space and that a space be placed between switches.
Bring up the "Command Prompt" in XP and give these examples a try.
Most DOS commands will have a set of switches that will alter the way the command works. At a dos prompt type the name of the command followed by a space (always) and /?
That will display a list of all the switches that the command recognizes.
Try that with the directory command, like this:
The display should read like this:
Displays a list of files and subdirectories in a directory.
DIR [drive:][path][filename] [/A[[:]attributes]] [/B] [/C] [/D] [/L] [/N]
[/O[[:]sortorder]] [/P] [/Q] [/S] [/T[[:]timefield]] [/W] [/X] [/4]
Specifies drive, directory, and/or files to list.
/A Displays files with specified attributes.
attributes D Directories R Read-only files
H Hidden files A Files ready for archiving
S System files - Prefix meaning not
/B Uses bare format (no heading information or summary).
/C Display the thousand separator in file sizes. This is the
default. Use /-C to disable display of separator.
/D Same as wide but files are list sorted by column.
/L Uses lowercase.
/N New long list format where filenames are on the far right.
/O List by files in sorted order.
sortorder N By name (alphabetic) S By size (smallest first)
E By extension (alphabetic) D By date/time (oldest first)
G Group directories first - Prefix to reverse order
/P Pauses after each screenful of information.
/Q Display the owner of the file.
/S Displays files in specified directory and all subdirectories.
/T Controls which time field displayed or used for sorting
timefield C Creation
A Last Access
W Last Written
/W Uses wide list format.
/X This displays the short names generated for non-8dot3 file
names. The format is that of /N with the short name inserted
before the long name. If no short name is present, blanks are
displayed in its place.
/4 Displays four-digit years
Switches may be preset in the DIRCMD environment variable. Override
preset switches by prefixing any switch with - (hyphen)--for example, /-W.
As you can see, the Directory command has many options. Having this kind of info printed out and placed in a reference folder is very helpful as hardly anyone can remember so many switches.
Many new switches have been added to some of the dos commands since I first learned it in the DOS 2.0 days.
There are also internal commands like DIR, COPY, TYPE and DEL, that are a part of Command.com, , , while other commands like FDISK, Format, XCOPY, Deltree, are all external commands and live as stand-alone programs in your command folder.
In Windows XP, that is the C:\windows\system32
((The command Deltree.exe
was dropped from the command list in Windows XP, but, since it's an external command, it still runs if added to XP's command directory ))
I find it a most helpful and useful command, but it can also be the most devastating command ever put in DOS.
Deltree /y C:
can and will erase your entire C: drive, without ever saying a word about it or giving you any warning.
That's probably why M$, in their infinite wisdom, stopped including it with Windows. It was still available in Windows ME.
Well, enough for one day!
(By back's killing me and sitting here isn't helping any.)
Maybe some more yard work will help. BYE NOW !
Y'all have a great weekend now, Y'hear?