The DOS Command

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For more on DOS commands and what they mean, check out
this Microsoft Knowledgebase Article: Command-line reference A-Z

We have multiple versions of Windows. So, we need multiple versions of what is and what isn't available in those versions. Does it get confusing? Oh yeah it does!

So, here are a few charts which might help some of the confusion. If you try using a command that isn't supported no harm will be done you will just get a message, depending on which OS you are using that the command or file name is bad or <Command>is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.. Which means, bad command of file name.

This is meant for Windows XP users:

Are we having fun yet?

Changes to MS-DOS Commands

The following table lists changes to the functionality of MS-DOS commands.

Command Changed features
chcp Changes code pages for all Command Prompt windows.
diskcomp Command-line options /1 and /8 are not supported.
diskperf No longer needed to act upon a server computer. You can still use diskperf for remote administration.
diskcopy Command-line option /1 is not supported.
doskey Available for all character-based programs that accept buffered input. Doskey has been improved by a series of enhancements.
format Supports 1.44 MB floppy drive only. 20.8 MB floptical (magneto-optical) drive is no longer supported. Command-line options /b, /s, /u, /1, /4, and /8 are no longer supported.
label The caret (^) and ampersand (&) symbols can be used in a volume label.
mode The mode lptn[:][cols=c][lines=n] and mode lptn[:][c][,[n]] syntaxes are not supported.
print Command-line options /b, /c, /m, /p, /q, /s, /t, and /u are not supported.
prompt New character combinations enable you to add ampersands ($a), parentheses ($c and $f), and spaces ($s) to your prompt.
recover Recovers files only.
rmdir New /s command-line option deletes directories that contain files and subdirectories.
sort Does not require TEMP environment variable. File size is unlimited.
xcopy New /g command-line option creates decrypted destination files.

Unavailable MS-DOS Commands

The following MS-DOS commands are not available at the command prompt.

Command New procedure or reason for obsolescence
assign Not currently supported.
backup Not currently supported.
choice Not currently supported.
ctty Not currently supported.
dblspace Not currently supported.
deltree The rmdir /s command deletes directories containing files and subdirectories. For more information about the rmdir command, see Rmdir.
dosshell Function is now inherent.
drvspace Not currently supported.
emm386 Function is now inherent.
fasthelp Not currently supported. Use the help command at the command prompt. For more information about the help command, see Help. For a complete list of command-line tools, see Command-line reference A-Z.
fdisk Not currently supported. Use the diskpart command, which enables you to manage disks, partitions, or volumes. For more information about the diskpart command, see Diskpart.
include Multiple configurations of the MS-DOS subsystem are not supported.
interlnk Not currently supported.
intersrv Not currently supported.
join Increased partition size and an improved file system eliminate the need to join drives.
memmaker MS-DOS subsystem memory usage is automatically optimized.
menucolor Multiple configurations of the MS-DOS subsystem are not supported.
menudefault Multiple configurations of the MS-DOS subsystem are not supported.
menuitem Multiple configurations of the MS-DOS subsystem are not supported.
mirror Not currently supported.
msav Not currently supported.
msbackup Use the ntbackup command for computers with tape drives, or the xcopy command for computers without tape drives. For more information about the ntbackup command, see Ntbackup. For more information about the xcopy command, see Xcopy.
mscdex It is unnecessary to configure the MS-DOS subsystem to use CD-ROM drives. Windows XP provides access to CD-ROM drives for the MS-DOS subsystem.
msd Use the System Information snap-in. To start System Information, click Start, click Run, and then type msinfo32.
numlock Not currently supported.
power Not currently supported.
restore Not currently supported.
scandisk Not currently supported. Use the chkdsk command, which enables you to create and display a status report for a disk based on the file system. Chkdsk also lists and corrects errors on the disk. For more information about the chkdsk command, see Chkdsk.
smartdrv Caching for the MS-DOS subsystem is automatic.
submenu Multiple configurations of the MS-DOS subsystem are not supported.
sys Windows XP does not fit on a standard 1.2 MB or 1.44 MB floppy disk.
undelete Not currently supported.
unformat Not currently supported.
vsafe Not currently supported.

MS-DOS commands no longer available on Windows XP 64-Bit Edition

The following 16-bit MS-DOS subsystem commands are not available on Windows XP 64-Bit Edition.

Command Function
append Enables programs to open data files in specified folders as if these files were in the current folder.
debug Starts Debug.exe, a program that you can use to test and debug MS-DOS executable files.
edit Starts MS-DOS Editor, which creates and changes ASCII text files.
edlin Starts Edlin.exe, a line-oriented text editor with which you can create and change ASCII files.
exe2bin Converts .exe (executable files) to binary format.
expand Expands one or more compressed files.
fastopen Windows XP does not use this command. It is accepted only for compatibility with MS-DOS files.
forcedos Starts the specified program in the MS-DOS subsystem. This command is necessary only for those MS-DOS programs that are not recognized as MS-DOS programs by Windows XP.
graphics Loads a program into memory that allows you to print on a printer the displayed contents of the screen when you are using a color or graphics adapter.
loadfix Ensures that a program is loaded above the first 64KB of conventional memory, and then runs the program.
loadhigh (lh) Loads a program into the upper memory area (UMA). Loading a program into the UMA leaves more room in conventional memory for other programs.
mem Displays information about allocated memory areas, free memory areas, and programs that are currently loaded into memory in the MS-DOS subsystem.
nlsfunc Loads information specific to country/region. Windows XP does not use this command. It is accepted only for compatibility with MS-DOS files.
setver Sets the MS-DOS version number that the MS-DOS subsystem reports to a program.
share Windows XP does not use this command. It is accepted only for compatibility with MS-DOS files.

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