Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 23

List of DOS commands

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Wikibooks has a book on the topic of
Guide to Windows Commands


• 1 Resident and transient commands

• 2 Command line arguments
• 3 Windows command prompt
o 3.1 Command line help
• 4 Commands
o 4.1 append
o 4.2 assign
o 4.3 attrib
o 4.4 backup and restore
o 4.5 BASIC and BASICA
o 4.6 Call
o 4.7 cd or chdir
o 4.8 chcp
o 4.9 chkdsk
o 4.10 choice
o 4.11 cls
o 4.12 copy
o 4.13 ctty
o 4.14 defrag
o 4.15 del or erase
o 4.16 deltree
o 4.17 dir
o 4.18 echo
o 4.19 edit
o 4.20 edlin
o 4.21 exe2bin
o 4.22 exit
o 4.23 fastopen
o 4.24 fc or comp
o 4.25 fdisk
o 4.26 find
o 4.27 format
o 4.28 help
o 4.29 intersvr & interlnk
o 4.30 join
o 4.31 label
o 4.32 loadfix
o 4.33 loadhigh, lh
o 4.34 md or mkdir
o 4.35 mem
o 4.36 memmaker
o 4.37 mode
o 4.38 more
o 4.39 move
o 4.40 msd
o 4.41 path
o 4.42 pause
o 4.43 pcpark
o 4.44 print
o 4.45 rd or rmdir
o 4.46 rem
o 4.47 ren
o 4.48 scandisk
o 4.49 set
o 4.50 setver
o 4.51 share
o 4.52 smartdrive
o 4.53 sort
o 4.54 subst
o 4.55 sys
o 4.56 time and date
o 4.57 tree
o 4.58 truename
o 4.59 type
o 4.60 undelete
o 4.61 Ver
o 4.62 verify
o 4.63 xcopy
• 5 See also
• 6 References

• 7 External links

In the personal computer operating systems MS-DOS and PC-DOS, a number of standard system
commands were provided for common tasks such as listing files on a disk or moving files. Some
commands were built-in to the command interpreter, others existed as transient commands
loaded into memory when required. Over the several generations of MS DOS, commands were
added for the additional functions of the operating system. In the current Microsoft Windows
operating system a text-mode command prompt window can still be used. Some DOS commands
carry out functions equivalent to those in a UNIX system but always with differences in details
of the function.

[edit] Resident and transient commands

The command interpreter for MS DOS runs when no application programs are running; after an
application exits, if the memory used for the command interpreter was overwritten, MS DOS will
re-load the command interpreter from disk storage. The command interpreter is usually stored in
a file called "COMMAND.COM". Some commands are built-into COMMAND.COM. When the
user types a line of text at the operating system command prompt, COMMAND.COM will parse
the line, and attempt to match a command name to a built-in command or to the name of an
excecutable program file or batch file on disk. If no match is found, an error message is printed
and the command prompt is refreshed.

Resident commands varied slightly between revisions of MS DOS. Typically, the functions DIR
(list directory), ERASE or DEL (erase a file or directory), COPY (copy files), DATE (display or
set date), TIME (display or set time), CD (change working directory), MD (make a directory on
the current disk), REN (rename a file or directory) and some others were resident in

Other programs were too large to keep in the command processor, or were less frequently used.
Such utility programs would be stored on disk and loaded just like regular application programs,
but were distributed with the operating system. Copies of these utility command programs had to
be on an accessible disk, either on the current logged-in floppy drive or on the command path set
in the command interpreter.

[edit] Command line arguments

Main article: Command-line interface

Parts of an MS DOS command line, showing a system prompt, command and command line
arguments, drive letters, file spec with wildcard character and command line switches.

In the list below, when a command can accept more than one filename, or a filename including
wildcards (* and ?), it is said to accept a filespec parameter. Commands that can accept only a
single filename are said to accept a filename parameter. Additionally, zero or more command
line switches, or other parameter strings, can be supplied on the command line. Spaces, and
symbols such as a "/" or a "-" may be used to allow the command processor to parse the
command line into file names, file specifications, and other options.
In DOS commands, unlike Unix, lower-case and capital letters are equivalent for file name
specifiers; DOS commands preserve case, but do not require file specifiers to match case. Often
parameters or arguments are also independent of case, especially in those programs developed
only for DOS. Utility programs that also have versions running under UNIX-like operating
systems often use upper and lower case arguments to mean different things. Sometimes a hyphen
("-") may be used instead of a slash ("/"); very early versions of DOS made the setting of the
delimiter character a user-controlled option.

Commands which are not built into the command interpreter may follow the same conventions.

For some commands, a UNIX command with similar functions is given. Comparisons are
approximate. While many commands are the same across many DOS systems (MS-DOS, PC-
DOS, DR-DOS, FreeDOS, etc.) some differ in command syntax or name.

[edit] Windows command prompt

Microsoft Windows supports a number of commands which may be invoked by typing them in a
command window; they are usually similar to their MS-DOS equivalents. Typing help followed
by a carriage return at a command prompt will list the commands. File and path names used as
arguments may be long, unlike MS-DOS 8.3 names, and may contain embedded spaces; names
with spaces must be enclosed between a pair of double-quote characters (").

Two command-line interfaces can be used in current versions of Microsoft Windows, providing
access to the functions of the MS-DOS commands. The old DOS command.com interpreter is
similar to that used by the original DOS systems. Since this 16-bit executable is based on the
DOS command.com, it does not support all the extended file name syntax of Windows.
Windows applications and other Windows executables can be started. The Windows Console
Command Interpreter, cmd.exe, is a native Windows Process that provides the functionality built
in the old DOS command.com and a much extended syntax to run, invoke commands and other

[edit] Command line help

In versions 5 of DOS and later, the user can get help by typing help at the shell prompt. To get
help on a DOS command, the command-line switch /? can be used. For example, to get help for
the xcopy command, type the following at the DOS prompt:

xcopy /?

The operating system will execute the command and the /? parameter instructs the command to
display a help page about itself, in this case xcopy. To view this help page, see the xcopy entry
on this page.

[edit] Commands
A partial list of the most common commands for DOS follows.

[edit] append

Display or sets the search path for data files. DOS will search the specified path(s) if the file is
not found in the current path. This had some creative uses, such as allowing non-CD based
games to be run from the CD, with configuration/save files stored on the HD.

append [d:]path[;][d:]path[...]
append [/X:on|off][/E]

[edit] assign

The command redirects requests for disk operations on one drive to a different drive.

assign [x[:]=y[:][...]]
assign /STATUS


• x The drive letter to reassign.

• y The drive letter that x: will be assigned to.
• /STATUS Displays the current drive assignments.

If typed without parameters then all drive letters are reset to original assignments.
The command is available in MS-DOS 5.00.shail

[edit] attrib

Change or view the attributes of one or more files. It defaults to displaying the attributes
of all files in the current directory.

ATTRIB [+R|-R] [+A|-A] [+S|-S] [+H|-H][drive:][path][filename] [/S [/D]]


• To add an attribute attach a '+' in front of it.

• To remove an attribute attach a '-' in front of it
• Attributes include
o R - Read-only
o A - Archive
o S - System
o H - Hidden
o /D - Process folders as well.
o /S - Process matching files in the current folder and all subfolders.

Note: Everything inside a brace [option] is an optional item. Roughly equivalent to the Unix
commands chattr and lsattr.

[edit] backup and restore

Programs to back up and restore files from an external disk. These appeared in version 2,
and continued to PC-DOS 5 and MS-DOS 6 (PC-DOS 7 had a deversioned check).
In DOS 6, these were replaced by commercial programs (CPBACKUP, MSBACKUP),
which allowed files to be restored to different locations.

[edit] BASIC and BASICA

An implementation of the BASIC programming language for PCs.

IBM computers had BASIC 1.1 in ROM, and IBM's versions of BASIC used code in this
ROM-BASIC, which allowed for extra memory in the code area. BASICA last appeared
in IBMDOS 5.02, and in OS/2 (2.0 and later), the version had ROMBASIC moved into
the program code.
Microsoft released GW-BASIC for machines with no ROM-BASIC. Some OEM releases
had basic.com and basica.com as loaders for GW-BASIC.EXE.

[edit] Call

Calls one batch program from another. A new batch file context is created with the
specified arguments and control is passed to the statement after the label specified.


call [filespec][batch file parameters]

• filespec: name and if necessary path of the new batch file

• parameters: switches

[edit] cd or chdir

Change current working directory. Displays the current working directory when used
without a path parameter.

displays the current working directory on the current drive.

cd directory
changes the working directory on the current drive to directory.

chdir e:directory

changes the working directory on E: to directory.

cd ..

changes the working directory to the parent directory (up one directory level).

cd \

changes the working directory to the root (top level) directory of the current drive.

Equivalent to the Unix command cd (with a path parameter), or pwd (without a

parameter). cd .. changes to the parent directory.

[edit] chcp

Changes the code page used to display character glyphs in a console window.
chcp [codepage]

With a numeric parameter, this command changes the codepage setting to codepage. Without a
parameter, the command displays the currently active codepage.

[edit] chkdsk

Verifies a storage volume (hard disk, partition, floppy disk, flash drive, etc) for file
system integrity.


• /F : Fixes errors on the volume (without /F , chkdsk only detects errors)

• /P : Forces a full verification
• /R : Searches for defective sectors and recovers legible information (applies /F)
• /X : Unmounts the volume before processing if needed. (Note: Unmounting temporarily
invalidates all pointers/handlers to the volume until process is completed)

chkdsk volume letter: [[path]filename] [/F] [/P] [/R] [/X]

Equivalent to the Unix command fsck

[edit] choice

Allows for batch files to prompt the user to select one item from a set of single-character
Introduced in MS-DOS 6;[1] DR-DOS 7.03.[2] Earlier versions of DR-DOS supported this
function with the switch command (for numeric choices) or by beginning a command
with a question mark.[2]

[edit] cls

Clears the screen.

Equivalent to the Unix clear.

[edit] copy

Copies files from one location to another. The destination defaults to the current
directory. If multiple source files are indicated, the destination must be a directory, or an
error will result.
copy from [source\filename] to [destination\folder]
Files may be copied to devices. For example, copy file lpt1 sends the file to the
printer on LPT1. copy file con outputs file to the screen ("console"), which can also be
done using type file. Devices themselves may be copied: copy con file takes the
text typed into the console and puts it into file, stopping when EOF (Ctrl+Z) is typed.
Files may be concatenated using +. For example, copy file1+file2 file_cat will
concatenate the files and output them as file_cat. There are two switches to modify the
command's behaviour, /a (text mode, the default) and /b (binary mode). In text mode,
copy will stop when it reaches the EOF character; in binary mode, the files will be
concatenated in their entirety, ignoring EOF characters.
Examples of usage:
copy /a alpha.txt + beta.txt gamma.txt
copy /b alpha.mpg + beta.mpg gamma.mpg
Equivalent Unix commands are cp (for copying) and cat (for concatenation). Device
files may be copied in Unix as well, e.g. cp file /dev/tty will display a file on the
screen (but cat file is more commonly used here).
Equivalent RT-11/RSX-11/OpenVMS command is copy.
Examples of usage:
copy con filename.extension

Everything typed at the console is sent to the file, until a control Z character is typed.

[edit] ctty

Defines the device to use for input and output.

ctty device

• device: The terminal device to be used.

Example of usage:
ctty COM1

[edit] defrag

(in MS/PC-DOS; diskopt in DR-DOS)

Defragments a disk drive.


• -A – Analyses the fragmentation of a disk drive

• -F – Force defragmentation even if disk space is low
• -V – Verbose output mode
• -H – Defrag hidden files

Example of usage:
defrag driveletter: -a -v
No Unix equivalent.

[edit] del or erase

Deletes one or more files.

This command is used to delete a particular or more files.


del filename
erase filename


*.* All files in current folder

*.* /s all files in current folder and sub folders,
Equivalent to the Unix command rm.
Equivalent in RT-11/RSX-11/OpenVMS operating systems line is delete command
which can be contracted to del.

[edit] deltree

Deletes a directory along with all of the files and subdirectories that it contains.
Normally, it will ask for confirmation of such a drastic action.
deltree [/y] directory

The /y parameter, if present, tells the deltree command to carry out without first prompting for
The deltree command is not included in recent Microsoft Windows operating systems.
Deleting a non-empty directory in those versions of Windows where the command is not
included, can be achieved by using the rmdir command as in the following example:

rmdir /s [/q] directory

In Unix, the functionality of deltree is provided by the rm command with the parameter -r (or
-rf for the /y switch).

[edit] dir

Lists the contents of a directory.

The dir command typed by itself, displays the disk's volume label and serial number; one
directory or filename per line, including the filename extension, the file size in bytes, and the
date and time the file was last modified; and the total number of files listed, their cumulative
size, and the free space (in bytes) remaining on the disk. The command is one of the few
commands that exist from the first versions of DOS.

dir [drive:][path][filename] [parameters]

Most commonly used parameters of dir include:

• /W : Displays the listing in wide format, with as many as five filenames or directory
names on each line.
• /P : Pause at every page
• /S : Also look in subdirectories
• /Axx: Display files with the specified attributes only
• /Oxx: Modifies sort order
• /B : Uses bare format (no heading information or summary)
• > [drive:][path][filename] : To Store Result in a text file;(c:\dir > c:\fileList.txt)
(this is not a parameter, it is output redirection)

Possible attributes for the A parameter are D (directories), R (read-only files), H (hidden files), A
(files/directories with the archive bit on), and S (system files). The prefix - negates an attribute;
attributes can be combined (e.g. /A:DA means directories with the archive bit on).

Possible sort orders are N (name), S (size), E (extension), D (date and time), A (last access date),
and G (group directories first). The prefix - reverses the order.

Other less commonly used parameters of dir include:

• /D : Display wide format but sorted by column

• /L : Display forced into lowercase
• /N : Display forced into long file name format instead of 8.3
• /Q : Displays the owner of each file
• /X : Display shows 8.3 names next to long file names

The default parameters of dir can be set using the DIRCMD environment variable.

Equivalent to the Unix command ls (the option -l is "long" list format, it works the opposite
way from /w.)

Equivalent in RT-11/RSX-11/OpenVMS operating systems line is directory command which

can be contracted to dir.

[edit] echo

Prints its own arguments back out to the DOS equivalent of the standard output stream.
Usually, this means directly to the screen, but the output of echo can be redirected like
any other command. Often used in batch files to print text out to the user.
echo this is text Outputs 'this is text'
echo. Outputs a blank line
Another important use of the echo command is to toggle echoing of commands on and
off in batch files.
echo on turns on echoing of commands
echo off turns off echoing of commands
Traditionally batch files begin with the @echo off statement. This says to the interpreter
that echoing of commands should be off during the whole execution of the batch file thus
resulting in a "tidier" output. The @ symbol declares that this particular command (echo
off) should also be executed without echo. For example the following 2 batch files are
@echo off
echo The files in your root directory:
dir /b /a-d c:\
@echo The files in your root directory:
@dir /b /a-d c:\
Echo can be used to write to files directly from the console, by redirecting the output
echo text > filename
Echo can also be used to append to files directly from the console, again by redirecting
the output stream:
echo text >> filename
To type more than one line from the console into a file, use copy con (above).
Equivalent to the Unix command echo.

[edit] edit

Full-screen text editor, included with MS-DOS 5 and 6, OS/2 and Windows NT to 4.0

• Windows 95 and later, and W2k and later use Edit v 2.0
• PC-DOS 6 and later use the DOS E Editor.
• DR-DOS used editor up to version 7.

[edit] edlin

DOS line-editor. It can be used with a script file, like debug, this makes it of some use
even today. The absence of a console editor in MS/PC-DOS 1-4 created an after-market
for third-party editors.
In DOS 5, an extra command "?" was added to give the user much needed help.
DOS 6 was the last version to contain EDLIN, for MS-DOS 6, it's on the supplemental
disks, PC-DOS 6 had it in the base install. Windows NT 32-bit, and OS/2 have Edlin.

[edit] exe2bin

Converts an executable (.exe) file into a binary file with the extension .com, which is a
memory image of the program.
The size of the resident code and data sections combined in the input .exe file must be
less than 64KB. The file must also have no stack segment.

[edit] exit

Exits the current command processor. If the exit is used at the primary command, it has
no effect unless in a DOS window under Microsoft Windows, in which case the window
is closed and the user returns to the desktop.
exit [/B]
/B When used within a batch script, exits the script without closing the
calling DOS window
Exit also exists in Unix-shells. If an exit command is used in the primary command shell
under Unix, however, it will logoff the user, similar to the control-D keystroke.

[edit] fastopen

Main article: FASTOPEN

[edit] fc or comp

Compares two files or sets of files and displays the differences between them.
FC [/A] [/C] [/L] [/LBn] [/N] [/T] [/W] [/nnnn] [drive1:][path1]filename1
FC /B [drive1:][path1]filename1 [drive2:][path2]filename2
/A Displays only first and last lines for each set of differences.
/B Performs a binary comparison.
/C Disregards the case of letters.
/L Compares files as ASCII text.
/LBn Sets the maximum consecutive mismatches to the specified number of
/N Displays the line numbers on an ASCII comparison.
/T Does not expand tabs to spaces.
/W Compresses white space (tabs and spaces) for comparison.
/nnnn Specifies the number of consecutive lines that must match after a
[drive1:][path1]filename1 Specifies the first file or set of files to
[drive2:][path2]filename2 Specifies the second file or set of files to
compare.[citation needed]
Equivalent to the Unix commands comm, cmp and diff.

[edit] fdisk

Manipulates hard disk partition tables. The name derives from IBM's habit of calling hard
drives fixed disks. When run from the command line, it displays a menu of various
partitioning operations:
1. Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive
2. Set active partition
3. Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive
4. Display partition information
5. Change current fixed disk drive (only available if the computer has more
than one hard drive)
FDISK /MBR installs a standard master boot record on the hard drive.
FDISK /MBR #: where # is other partition on system. Completes above command on
indicated partition.
e.g.: "C:\FDISK /MBR D:" would install boot record on D:\
Fdisk exists under Unix with the same name, but it is an entirely different program.
However they share purposes.

[edit] find

A filter to find lines in the input data stream that contain or don't contain a specified
string and send these to the output data stream.
Find may also be used as a pipe.
find "keyword" < ''inputfilename'' > ''outputfilename''

Searches for a text string in a file or files.

FIND [/V] [/C] [/N] [/I] "string" [[drive:][path]filename[ ...]]

/V Displays all lines NOT containing the specified string.

/C Displays only the count of lines containing the string.
/N Displays line numbers with the displayed lines.
/I Ignores the case of characters when searching for the string.
"string" Specifies the text string to find.
[drive:][path]filename Specifies a file or files to search.

If a pathname is not specified, FIND searches the text typed at the prompt
or piped from another command.
Equivalent to the Unix command grep. The Unix command find performs an entirely
different function analogous to dir /s.

[edit] format
Delete all the files on the disk and reformat it for MS-DOS
In most cases, this should only be used on floppy drives or other removable media. This
command can potentially erase everything on a computer's hard disk.
/autotest and /backup are undocumented features. Both will format the drive without a
confirmation prompt.
format [options] drive
FORMAT drive: [/V[:label]] [/Q] [/F:size] [/B | /S] [/C]
FORMAT drive: [/V[:label]] [/Q] [/T:tracks /N:sectors] [/B | /S] [/C]
FORMAT drive: [/V[:label]] [/Q] [/1] [/4] [/B | /S] [/C]
FORMAT drive: [/Q] [/1] [/4] [/8] [/B | /S] [/C]
/V[:label] Specifies the volume label.
/Q Performs a quick format.
/F:size Specifies the size of the floppy disk to format (such
as 160, 180, 320, 360, 720, 1.2, 1.44, 2.88).
/B Allocates space on the formatted disk for system files.
/S Copies system files to the formatted disk.
/T:tracks Specifies the number of tracks per disk side.
/N:sectors Specifies the number of sectors per track.
/1 Formats a single side of a floppy disk.
/4 Formats a 5.25-inch 360K floppy disk in a high-density drive.
/8 Formats eight sectors per track.
/C Tests clusters that are currently marked "bad."
There is also an undocumented /u parameter for "unconditional" that will write strings of
zeros on every sector. This is now an official switch in Windows Vista and 7 but with the
parameter /p instead.
Equivalent to the Unix command mkfs.
Equivalent in RT-11/RSX-11/OpenVMS operating systems line is format command
which can not create filesystem. After formatting one should use initialize (contracted
to init) command to create filesystem (Equivalent to MS-DOS command format /q or
"quick format").

[edit] help

Gives help about DOS.

help 'command' would give help on a specific command. By itself, it lists the contents of
DOSHELP.HLP. Help for a specific command invokes the command with the /? option.
In MS-DOS 6.x this command exists as FASTHELP.
MS-DOS 6.xx help command uses QBASIC to view a quickhelp HELP.HLP file, which
contains more extensive information on the commands, with some hyperlinking etc. The
MS-DOS 6.22 help system is included on Windows 9x cdrom versions as well.
PC-DOS 7.xx help uses view.exe to open OS/2 style .INF files (cmdref.inf, dosrexx.inf
and doserror.inf), opening these to the appropriate pages.
In DR-DOS, help is a batch file that launches DR-DOS' online reference, dosbook.
Microsoft Windows
Windows NT, all versions, uses DOS 5 style help, but versions before VISTA have also a
Windows help file (NTCMDS.HLP or NTCMDS.INF) in a similar style to MS-DOS 6.
FreeDOS uses an HTML help system, which views HTML help files on a specified path.
The path is stored in HELPPATH environment variable, if not specified, default path is
\HELP on the drive which HELP is placed.
Partially equivalent to the Unix command man.

[edit] intersvr & interlnk

(in MS-DOS; filelink in DR-DOS)

Network PCs using a null modem cable or LapLink cable. The server-side version of
InterLnk, it also immobilizes the machine it's running on as it is an active app (As
opposed to a TSR) which must be running for any transfer to take place. DR-DOS'
filelink is executed on both the client and server.
New in PC-DOS 5.02, MS-DOS 6.0[3]
No direct Unix equivalent, though some Unices offer the ability to network computers
with TCP/IP through null modem or Laplink cables using PLIP or SLIP.

[edit] join

Attaches a drive letter to a specified directory on another drive.[3]

JOIN d: [d:\path]
JOIN [/D] (removes drive assignment)
If JOIN a: c:\floppy were executed, c:\floppy would display the contents of the a:
drive. The opposite can be achieved via the subst command.

[edit] label

Changes the label on a logical drive, such as a hard disk partition or a floppy disk.
In Unix and Unix-like systems, this differs from filesystem to filesystem. e2label can be
used for ext2 partitions.

[edit] loadfix

Loads a program above the first 64K of memory, and runs the program.
loadfix [drive:][path]filename
Included only in MS/PC-DOS. DR-DOS used memmax, which opened or closed lower,
upper, and video memory access, to block the lower 64K of memory.[4]

[edit] loadhigh, lh

Main article: loadhigh

hiload in DR-DOS.

[edit] md or mkdir
Makes a new directory. The parent of the directory specified will be created if it does not
already exist.
md directory
Equivalent to the Unix command mkdir.

[edit] mem

Displays memory usage.



• /CLASSIFY or /C - Lists the size of programs, provides a summary of memory in use

and lists largest memory block available.
• /DEBUG or /D - Displays status of programs, internal drivers, and other information.
• /PROGRAM or /P Displays status of programs currently loaded in memory.

Equivalent to the Unix command free.

[edit] memmaker

Starting from version 6, MS-DOS included the external program MemMaker which was
used to free system memory (especially Conventional memory) by automatically
reconfiguring the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files. This was usually done by
moving TSR Programs to the Upper memory. The whole process required three system
restarts. Before the first restart the user was asked whether he/she wanted to enable EMS
Memory or not.
The use of MemMaker was popular among gamers who wanted to enable or disable
Expanded memory in order to run a game which required EMS or not. Better results
could be achieved by an experienced user manually configuring the startup files to
achieve greater free memory yield.


• /BATCH Runs MemMaker in batch (unattended) mode. In batch mode, MemMaker takes
the default action at all prompts.
• /UNDO Instructs MemMaker to undo its most recent changes.

PC-DOS uses another program RamBoost to optimize memory, either the

HIMEM/EMM386 or a third-party memory manager.

[edit] mode

Configures system devices. Changes graphics modes, adjusts keyboard settings, prepares
code pages, and sets up port redirection.[5]
[edit] more

Pages through the output so that you can view more than one screen of text.
command | more
Equivalent to the Unix commands more and less.
More may also be used as a filter.
more < inputfilename

[edit] move

Moves files or renames directories.

move filename newname
move driveletter:\olddir driveletter:\newdir
Example of usage:
move c:\old c:\new
Equivalent to the Unix command mv. DR-DOS used a separate command for renaming
directories, rendir.

[edit] msd

Main article: Microsoft Diagnostics

Provides detailed technical information about the computer's hardware and software.
New in MS-DOS 6;[6] the PC-DOS version of this command is QCONFIG.[citation needed]
No Unix equivalent, however in GNU/Linux similar type of information may be obtained
from various text files in /proc directory.

[edit] path

Displays or sets a search path for executable files.

[edit] pause

Suspends processing of a batch program and displays the message 'Press any key to
continue. . .'.

[edit] pcpark

Parks the hard disk heads in order to enable safe shutdown; only used on early versions.
No Unix equivalent.
MS-DOS 3.2 (and possibly others) used the command HHSET

[edit] print

Adds a file in the print queue.


• /D device : Specifies the name of the print devices. Default value is LPT1
• /P filename : Add files in the print queue
• /T : Removes all files from the print queue
• /C filename : Removes a file from the print queue

This command was introduced in MS-DOS version 2. Before that there was no built-in support
for background printing files. The user would usually use the copy command to copy files to

Equivalent to the Unix commands lp and lpr.

[edit] rd or rmdir

Remove a directory, which by default must be empty of files for the command to succeed
(the /s flag removes this restriction).
rd directory
Equivalent to the Unix command rmdir.

[edit] rem

Remark statement, normally used within a batch file. An alternative way not to run a
specific statement in a batch file is creating a label that will never be used, ::.
rem > newfilename
In Unix, the # sign can be used to start a comment.

[edit] ren

Renames a file. Unlike the move command, this command cannot be used to rename
subdirectories, or rename files across drives.
ren filename newname
You can rename files in another directory by using the PATH parameter:
ren [path]|[filename] [newfilename]
An example could be:
ren c:\Windows filex.txt filey.txt
On DOS with long filename support, care must be taken when directories have spaces in
their names like "Documents and Settings". In these cases double-quotes are used to
enclose them:
ren c:\"Documents and Settings"\"All Users"\Desktop filex.txt filey.txt
Mass renames can be accomplished by the use of wildcards. For example, the following
command will change the extension of all files in the current directory which currently
have the extension htm to html:
ren *.htm *.html
In Unix, this functionality of a simple move is provided by the mv command, while batch
renames can be done using the rename command.
[edit] scandisk

Disk diagnostic utility. Scandisk was a replacement for the chkdsk utility, starting with
later versions of MS-DOS. Its primary advantages over chkdsk is that it is more reliable
and has the ability to run a surface scan which finds and marks bad clusters on the disk. It
also provided mouse point-and-click TUI, allowing for interactive session to complement
command-line batch run.

chkdskhad surface scan and bad cluster detection functionality included, and was used again on
Windows NT based operating systems.

Equivalent to the Unix command fsck.

[edit] set

Sets environmental variables. See Environment variable.

Since Windows 2000, it can even be used for command line inputs by using Parameter /P
set /p choice=Type your text.
echo You typed: "%choice%"

[edit] setver

TSR designed to return a different value to the version of DOS that is running. This
allows programs that look for a specific version of DOS to run under a different DOS.
Setver appeared in version 4, and has been in every version of DOS, OS/2 and Windows
NT since.

[edit] share

Installs support for file sharing and locking capabilities.

share [/F:space] [/L:locks]

/F:space Allocates file space (in bytes) for file-sharing information.

/L:locks Sets the number of files that can be locked at one time.

[edit] smartdrive

Main article: SmartDrive

[edit] sort

A filter to sort lines in the input data stream and send them to the output data stream.
sort < inputfilename > outputfilename
Similar to the Unix command sort. Handles files up to 64k. This sort is always case
[edit] subst

A utility to map a subdirectory to a drive letter.[3]

subst <d:> <path>
subst <d:> /D (Deletes the substitute drive)
If SUBST e: c:\edrive were executed, a new drive letter e: would be created, showing
the contents of c:\edrive. The opposite can be achieved via the join command.

[edit] sys

A utility to make a volume bootable. Sys rewrites the Volume Boot Code (the first sector
of the partition that Sys is acting on) so that the code, when executed, will look for Io.sys.
Sys also copies the core DOS system files, Io.sys, Msdos.sys, and Command.com, to the
volume. Sys does NOT rewrite the Master Boot Record, contrary to widely-held belief.

[edit] time and date

Display and set the time and date

When these commands are called from the command line or a batch file, they will display
the time or date and wait for the user to type a new time or date and press RETURN. The
command 'time /t' will bypass asking the user to reset the time.
The Unix command date displays both the time and date, but does not allow the normal
users to change either. Users with superuser privileges may use date -s <new-date-
time> to change the time and date.
The Unix command time performs a different function.

[edit] tree

Shows the directory tree of the current directory

tree [options] [directory]

• /F (Displays the names of the files in each folder.)

• /A (Use ASCII instead of the extended characters.)
• /? (Shows the help)

[edit] truename
truename drivename
truename filename
truename directory
If typed without a parameter then the current active drive pathname is displayed.
MS-DOS can find files and directories given their names, without full path information,
if the search object is on a path specified by the environment variable PATH. For example,
if PATH includes C:\PROGRAMS, and file MYPROG.EXE is on this directory, then if MYPROG is
typed at the command prompt, the command processor will execute
the TRUENAME command will expand a name in an abbreviated form which the command
processor can recognise into its full form, and display the result. It can see through SUBST
and JOIN to find the actual directory. In the above example,
would display
and for a substituted drive set up by
subst d: c:\util\test
the command
truename d:\test.exe
will display
This command also displays the UNC pathnames of mapped network or local CD drives.
This command is an undocumented DOS command. The help switch "/?" defines it as a
"Reserved command name". It is available in MS-DOS 5.00.
This command is similar to the Unix which command, which, given an executable found
in $PATH, would give a full path and name. The C library function realpath performs
this function.

The Microsoft Windows command processors do not support this command.

[edit] type

Display a file. The more command is frequently used in conjunction with this command,
e.g. type long-text-file | more.
type filename
Equivalent to the Unix command cat.

[edit] undelete

Restores file previously deleted with del. By default all recoverable files in the working
directory are restored. The options are used to change this behavior. if the MS-DOS
mirror TSR program is used, then deletion tracking files are created and can be used by
undelete [filespec] [/list|/all][/dos|/dt]


• /list : lists the files that can be undeleted.

• /all : Recovers all deleted files without prompting. Uses a number sign for missing first
• /dos : Recover only MS-DOS aware files, ignore deletion tracking file.
• /dt : Recover only deletion tracking file aware files.

In Unix and Unix-like systems this differs from filesystem to filesystem. People who use
the ext2 filesystem can try the command e2undel.

[edit] Ver

An internal DOS command, that reports the DOS version presently running, and since
MS-DOS 5, whether DOS is loaded high. The corresponding command to report the
Windows version is winver.

Options: DOS 5 and later

• /r : revision level, also shows whether DOS is loaded high

• /? : shows command line help.

Value returned:

• MS-DOS up to 6.22, typically derive the DOS version from the DOS kernel. This may be
different from the string it prints when it starts.
• PC-DOS typically derive the version from an internal string in command.com (so PC-
DOS 6.1 command.com reports the version as 6.10, although the kernel version is 6.00.)
• DR-DOS reports whatever value the environment variable OSVER reports.
• OS/2 command.com reports an internal string, with the OS/2 version. The underlying
kernel here is 5.00, but modified to report x0.xx (where x.xx is the OS/2 version).
• Windows 9x command.com report a string from inside command.com. The build version
(e.g. 2222), is also derived from there.
• Windows NT command.com reports either the 32-bit processor string (4nt, cmd), or
under some loads, MS-DOS 5.00.500, (for all builds). The underlying kernel reports 5.00
or 5.50 depending on the interrupt. MS-DOS 5.00 commands run unmodified on NT.
• The Winver command usually displays a Windows dialog showing the version, with
some information derived from the shell. In windows before Windows for workgroups
3.11, running winver from DOS reported an embedded string in winver.exe.

[edit] verify

Enables or disables the feature to determine if files have been correctly written to disk.
If no parameter is provided, the command will display the current setting.[8]
verify [on|off]

[edit] xcopy

Copy entire directory trees.

Xcopy is a version of the copy command that can move files and directories from one location to

xcopy directory [destination-directory]

Equivalent to the Unix command cp when used with -r parameter.