One might be thinking, why is it essential for you to learn DOS commands. Well, if you think GUI is all that you have to look forward to, you might be wrong. Remember that in Rescue Mode of Windows, you get a command prompt only. Using DOS commands is one of the most efficient and faster way of doing things than its graphical counterparts. Even some of the DOS commands don't have a visual alternative.
Here is a run-down of some of the most useful DOS commands available in Windows XP.
Tip: To open windows Command Prompt, you may go to Start Menu -> Run and then type cmd in the Run box. Alternatively, you may also Press ( Windows Key + R) to open Run and type cmd.
Ping - Useful for checking network connectivity.
Ping command followed by web-address or IP address tells you about the health of the network connection and informs whether the other computer is receving and responding to your ping request. Ping tool can also be used to convert the web address to a physical IP address. In Technical terms Ping command verifies IP-level connectivity to another TCP/IP computer by sending Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) Echo Request messages. The receipt of corresponding Echo Reply messages are displayed, along with round-trip times. Ping is the primary TCP/IP command used to troubleshoot connectivity, reachability, and name resolution. Used without parameters, ping displays help.
ipconfig - Windows IP Configuration
Displays all current TCP/IP network configuration values and refreshes Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS) settings. When used without parameters, ipconfig displays the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway for all adapters. A handy tool to know your IP address.
Fc Free BeyondCompare in XP
This command compares two files and displays the differences between them. One can even set fc to resynchronize the files after finding a mismatch.
type - open text files sans Notepad
This is some what similar to the cat command in Unix based systems. However it is not much powerfull as compared to its Unix Counterpart. It can only be used for displaying the contents of a text files without modifying them. This command does not work very well with binary files and end up showing you junk characters and beeps.
tree - Shows you the visual directory structure
If you have been in to a situation wherein you had to print your directory structure (for some reasons). In such situation this command might come to your help. This command graphically displays the directory structure of a path or of the disk in a drive.
To display the names of all the subdirectories on the disk in your current drive, type:
To display, one screen at a time, the files in all the directories on drive C, type:
tree c:\ /f | more
To print the same list that the previous example displayed, type:
tree c:\ /f prn
Folder PATH listing for volume Windows XP
Volume serial number is 0060DEC6 E535:FC7C
Note : You can also redirect the out put to a text file using the redirection operator >. for eg : TREE > myVisual.txt
attrib : view hidden files
This command changes file attributes for a single file or directory. This command sets or removes the read-only, system, hidden, and compressed attributes assigned to files or directories. Some of its options are available only in the Recovery Console.
assoc : Associate a program with a particular file extension.
This command is used to display or modify file name extension associations. When used without parameters, assoc displays a list of all the current file name extension associations.
To view the current file type association for the file name extension .txt, type:
To delete the file type association for the file name extension .txt, type:
To view current file type associations one screen at a time, type:
assoc | more
To send the output of assoc to the file Assoc.cfg, type:
move - Better tool than copy-paste
Say you got a lot of BMP and JPG files in your MyPictures folder and want to move only those BMP files that have their name ending with 2006. In Win XP Explorer, you may arrange files with extension types or have to manually select each file and then cut-paste to another folder. However, the DOS move command make things much simpler. You may try this at the Command Prompt : move *2006.BMP D:\BMP2006
find - An advanced file search tool
Find is, yet another powerfull utility made available to you. The find command searches for a specific string of text in a file or files. After searching the specified file or files, find displays any lines of text that contain the specified string.
To search your hard disk to find and display the file names on drive C: that contain the string "Google" use the pipe (|) to direct the results of a dir command to find as follows:dir c:\ /s /b | find "Google"
Quick tips -
Avoid typing : You may press "TAB" key on the command promt, so that it automatically shows you the available file names or folder names in alphabatical order. Alternatively, you may also type a few beginning words and the press the "TAB" key so that windows automatically completes it.
Use up and down arrow keys: This is yet another handy tip which most of the users know. Just press the up and down arrow to show the commands previously entered in to the command prompt.
Drag to avoid typing: When your command acts on a file or folder, you must type the path to that folder after the command. You can save typing time by dragging the file or folder from Windows Explorer into the command window.
To view help at the command prompt, type the following:CommandName /?