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DOS Commands

In Part From the book excerpt posted on the Internet
DOS theEasy Way
by Everett Murdock Ph.D.

CLICK HERE for information about downloading the book DOS the Easy Way

 

Syntax Notes

To be functional, each DOS command must be entered in a particular way:  this  command entry structure is known as the command's "syntax." The syntax  "notation" is a way to reproduce the command syntax in print.

For example, you can determine the items that are optional, by looking  for  information that is printed inside square brackets. The notation [d:],  for  example, indicates an optional drive designation. The command syntax, on  the  other hand, is how YOU enter the command to make it work.

 

Command Syntax Elements

1. Command Name

The DOS command name is the name you enter to start the DOS program (a  few of  the DOS commands can be entered using shortcut names). The DOS command  name is  always entered first. In this book, the command is usually printed in  uppercase letters, but you can enter command names as either lowercase or uppercase  or a  mix of both.

2. Space

Always leave a space after the command name.

3. Drive Designation

The drive designation (abbreviated in this book as "d:") is an option for  many  DOS commands. However, some commands are not related to disk drives and  therefore do not require a drive designation. Whenever you enter a DOS  command  that deals with disk drives and you are already working in the drive in  question, you do not have to enter the drive designator. For example, if  you  are working in drive A (when the DOS prompt A> is showing at the left  side of  the screen) and you want to use the DIR command to display a directory  listing  of that same drive, you do not have to enter the drive designation. If  you do  not enter a drive designation, DOS always assumes you are referring to  the drive you are currently working in (sometimes called the "default" drive).

4. A Colon

When referring to a drive in a DOS command, you must always follow the  drive  designator with a colon (:) (this is how DOS recognizes it as a drive  designation.

5. Pathname

A pathname (path) refers to the path you want DOS to follow in order to  act on  the DOS command. As described in Chapter 3, it indicates the path from  the  current directory or subdirectory to the files that are to be acted upon.

6. Filename

A filename is the name of a file stored on disk. As described in Chapter  1, a  filename can be of eight or fewer letters or other legal characters.

7. Filename Extension

A filename extension can follow the filename to further identify it. The  extension follows a period and can be of three or fewer characters. A  filename  extension is not required.

8. Switches

Characters shown in a command syntax that are represented by a letter or  number  and preceded by a forward slash (for example, "/P") are command options  (sometimes known as "switches"). Use of these options activate special  operations as part of a DOS command's functions.

9. Brackets

Items enclosed in square brackets are optional; in other words, the  command will work in its basic form without entering the information contained inside  the  brackets.

10. Ellipses

Ellipses (...) indicate that an item in a command syntax can be repeated  as many times as needed.

11. Vertical Bar

When items are separated by a vertical bar (|), it means that you enter  one of  the separated items. For example: ON | OFF means that you can enter  either ON  or OFF, but not both.

 

II.

THE COMMANDS

The following commands are the most common DOS commands.  Most, but not all will work from the DOS command line that can be reached by starting RUN from Windows, then CMD:

 

APPEND

 (External)

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

Displays 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.

 

ASSIGN

(External)

ASSIGN x=y [...] /sta

Redirects disk drive requests to a different drive.

 

ATTRIB

 (External)

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

Sets or displays the read-only, archive, system, and hidden attributes of  a file or directory.

 

BACKUP

 (External)

BACKUP d:[path][filename] d:[/S][/M][/A][/F:(size)] [/P][/D:date]  [/T:time] [/L:[path]filename]

Makes a backup copy of one or more files. (In DOS Version 6, this  program is  stored on the DOS supplemental disk.)

 

BREAK

 (Internal)

BREAK =on|off

Used from the DOS prompt or in a batch file or in the CONFIG.SYS file to  set (or display) whether or not DOS should check for a Ctrl + Break key  combination.

 

BUFFERS

 (Internal)

BUFFERS=(number),(read-ahead number)

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to set the number of disk buffers (number)  that will be available for use during data input. Also used to set a value for the  number of sectors to be read in advance (read-ahead) during data input  operations.

 

CALL

 (Internal)

CALL [d:][path]batchfilename [options]

Calls another batch file and then returns to current batch file to  continue.

 

CHCP

 (Internal)

CHCP (codepage)

Displays the current code page or changes the code page that DOS will  use.

 

CHDIR

 (Internal)

CHDIR (CD) [d:]path
CHDIR (CD)[..]

Displays working (current) directory and/or changes to a different  directory.

 

CHKDSK

 (External)

CHKDSK [d:][path][filename] [/F][/V]

Checks a disk and provides a file and memory status report.

 

CHOICE

 (Internal)

CHOICE [/C[:]keys] [/N][/S][/T[:]c,nn] [text]

Used to provide a prompt so that a user can make a choice while a batch  program  is running.

 

CLS (Clear  Screen)

 (Internal)

CLS

Clears (erases) the screen.

 

COMMAND

 (External)

COMMAND [d:][path] [device] [/P][/E:(size)] [/MSG][/Y [/C  (command)|/K  (command)]

Starts a new version of the DOS command processor (the program that loads  the  DOS Internal programs).

 

COMP

 (External)

COMP [d:][path][filename] [d:][path][filename]  [/A][/C][/D][/L][/N:(number)]

Compares two groups of files to find information that does not match.  (See FC  command).

 

COPY

 (Internal)

COPY [/Y|-Y] [/A][/B] [d:][path]filename [/A][/B]  [d:][path][filename]  [/V]
or
COPY [/Y|-Y][/A][/B]  [d:][path]filename+[d:][path]filename[...][d:][path][filename] [/V]

Copies and appends files.

 

COUNTRY

 (Internal)

COUNTRY=country code,[code page][,][d:][filename]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to tell DOS to use country-specific text  conventions during processing.

 

CTTY

 (Internal)

CTTY (device)

Changes the standard I/O (Input/Output) device to an auxiliary device.

 

DATE

 (Internal)

DATE mm-dd-yy

Displays and/or sets the system date.

 

DBLSPACE

 (External)

DBLSPACE / automount=drives
DBLSPACE /chkdsk [/F] [d:]
DBLSPACE /compress d: [/newdrive=host:] [/reserve=size] [/F]
DBLSPACE /create d: [/newdrive=host:] [/reserve=size] [/size=size]
DBLSPACE /defragment [d:] ]/F]
DBLSPACE /delete d:
DBLSPACE /doubleguard=0|1
DBLSPACE /format d:
DBLSPACE [/info] [d:]
DBLSPACE /list
DBLSPACE /mount[=nnn] host: [/newdrive=d:]
DBLSPACE /ratio[=ratio] [d:] [/all]
DBLSPACE /size[=size] [/reserve=size] d:
DBLSPACE /uncompress d:
DBLSPACE /unmount [d:]

A program available with DOS 6.0 that allows you to compress information  on a  disk.

 

DEBUG

 (External)

DEBUG [pathname] [parameters]

An MS-DOS utility used to test and edit programs.

 

DEFRAG

 (External)

DEFRAG [d:] [/F][/S[:]order] [/B][/skiphigh [/LCD|/BW|/GO] [/H]
DEFRAG [d:] [/V][/B][/skiphigh] [/LCD]|/BW|/GO] [/H]

Optimizes disk performance by reorganizing the files on the disk.

 

DEL  (ERASE)

 (Internal)

DEL (ERASE) [d:][path]filename [/P]

Deletes (erases) files from disk.

 

DELOLDOS

 (External)

DELOLDOS [/B]

Deletes all files from previous versions of DOS after a 5.0 or 6.0  installation.

 

DELTREE

 (External)

DELTREE [/Y] [d:]path [d:]path[...]

Deletes (erases) a directory including all files and subdirectories that  are in  it.

 

DEVICE

 (Internal)

DEVICE=(driver name)

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to tell DOS which device driver to load.

 

DEVICEHIGH

 (Internal)

DEVICEHIGH=(driver name)

Like DEVICE, DEVICEHIGH is used in the CONFIG.SYS file to tell DOS which  device  driver software to use for devices; however, this option is used to  install the  device driver into the upper memory area.

 

DIR

 (Internal)

DIR [d:][path][filename] [/A:(attributes)] [/O:(order)]  [/B][/C][/CH][/L][/S][/P][/W]

Displays directory of files and directories stored on disk.

 

DISKCOMP

 (External)

DISKCOMP [d:] [d:][/1][/8]

Compares the contents of two diskettes.

 

DISKCOPY

 (External)

DISKCOPY [d:] [d:][/1][/V][/M]

Makes an exact copy of a diskette.

 

DOS

 (Internal)

DOS=[high|low],[umb|noumb]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to specify the memory location for DOS. It  is used  to load DOS into the upper memory area and to specify whether or not the  upper  memory blocks will be used.

 

DOSKEY

 (External)

DOSKEY [reinstall]  [/bufsize=size][/macros][/history][/insert|/overstrike]  [macroname=[text]]

Loads the Doskey program into memory which can be used to recall DOS  commands so that you can edit them.

 

DOSSHELL

 (External)

DOSSHELL [/B] [/G:[resolution][n]]|[/T:[resolution][n]]

Initiates the graphic shell program using the specified screen  resolution.

 

DRIVPARM

 (Internal)

DRIVPARM= /D:(number) [/C] [/F:(form factor)] [/H:(number)] [/I][  /N][/S:(number)] [/T:(tracks)]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to set parameters for a disk drive.

 

ECHO

 (Internal)

ECHO on|off
ECHO (message)

Displays messages or turns on or off the display of commands in a batch  file.

 

EDIT

 (External)

EDIT [d:][path]filename [/B][/G][/H][/NOHI]

Starts the MS-DOS editor, a text editor used to create and edit ASCII  text  files.

 

EMM386

 (External)

EMM386 [on|off|auto] [w=on|off]

Enables or disables EMM386 expanded-memory support on a computer with an  80386  or higher processor.

 

EXE2BIN

 (External)

EXE2BIN [d:][path]filename [d:][path]filename

Converts .EXE (executable) files to binary format.

 

EXIT

 (Internal)

EXIT

Exits a secondary command processor.

 

EXPAND

 (External)

EXPAND [d:][path]filename [[d:][path]filename[ . . .]]

Expands a compressed file.

 

FASTHELP

 (External)

FASTHELP [command][command] /?

Displays a list of DOS commands with a brief explanation of each.

 

FASTOPEN

 (External)

FASTOPEN d:[=n][/X]

Keeps track of the locations of files for fast access.

 

FC

 (External)

FC [/A][/C][/L][/Lb n][/N][/T][/W][number] [d:][path]filename  [d:][path]filename

or (for binary comparisons)
FC [/B][/number] [d:][path]filename [d:][path]filename

Displays the differences between two files or sets of files.

 

FCBS

 (Internal)

FCBS=(number)

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to specify the number of file-control blocks  for  file sharing.

 

FDISK

 (External)

FDISK [/status]

Prepares a fixed disk to accept DOS files for storage.

 

FILES

 (Internal)

FILES=(number)

Used in the CONFIG.Sys file to specify the maximum number of files that  can be  open at the same time.

 

FIND

 (External)

FIND [/V][/C][/I][/N] √’string√“ [d:][path]filename[...]

Finds and reports the location of a specific string of text characters in  one or more files.

 

FOR

 (Internal)

FOR %%(variable) IN (set) DO (command)

or (for interactive processing)
FOR %(variable) IN (set) DO (command)

Performs repeated execution of commands (for both batch processing and  interactive processing).

 

FORMAT

 (External)

FORMAT d:[/1][/4][/8][/F:(size)] [/N:(sectors)]  [/T:(tracks)][/B|/S][/C][/V:(label)] [/Q][/U][/V]

Formats a disk to accept DOS files.

 

GOTO

 (Internal)

GOTO (label)

Causes unconditional branch to the specified label.

 

GRAFTABL

 (External)

GRAFTABL [(code page)]
GRAFTABL [status]

Loads a table of character data into memory (for use with a  color/graphics  adapter).

 

GRAPHICS

 (External)

GRAPHICS [printer type][profile] [/B][/R][/LCD][/PB:(id)]  [/C][/F][/P(port)]

Provides a way to print contents of a graphics screen display.

 

HELP

 (External)

HELP [command] [/B][/G][/H][/NOHI]

Displays information about a DOS command.

 

IF

 (Internal)

IF [NOT] EXIST filename (command) [parameters]
IF [NOT] (string1)==(string2) (command) [parameters]
IF [NOT] ERRORLEVEL (number) (command) [parameters]

Allows for conditional operations in batch processing.

 

INCLUDE

 (Internal)

INCLUDE= blockname

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to allow you to use the commands from one  CONFIG.SYS block within another.

 

INSTALL

 (Internal)

INSTALL=[d: ][\path]filename [parameters]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to load memory-resident programs into  conventional  memory.

 

INTERLINK

 (External)

INTERLINK [client[:]=[server][:]]

Connects two computers via parallel or serial ports so that the computers  can  share disks and printer ports.

 

INTERSVR

 (External)

INTERSVR [d:][...][/X=d:][...] [/LPT:[n|address]]  [/COM:[n|address]][/baud:rate] [/B][/V]
INTERSVR /RCOPY

Starts the Interlink server.

 

JOIN

 (External)

JOIN d: [d:path]
JOIN d: [/D]

Allows access to the directory structure and files of a drive through a  directory on a different drive.

 

KEYB

 (External)

KEYB [xx][,][yyy][,][d:][path]filename [/E][/ID:(number)]

Loads a program that replaces the support program for U. S. keyboards.
 

LABEL

 (External)

LABEL [d:][volume label]

Creates or changes or deletes a volume label for a disk.
 

LASTDRIVE

 (Internal)

LASTDRIVE=(drive letter)

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to set the maximum number of drives that can  be  accessed.
 

LOADFIX

 (Internal)

LOADFIX [d:][path]filename [parameters]

Ensures that a program is loaded above the first 64K of conventional  memory, and runs the program.
 

LOADHIGH

 (Internal)

LOADHIGH (LH) [d:][path]filename [parameters]

Loads memory resident application into reserved area of memory (between  640K-1M).

 

MEM

 (External)

MEM [/program|/debug|/classify|/free|/module(name)] [/page]

Displays amount of installed and available memory, including extended,  expanded, and upper memory.

 

MEMMAKER

 (External)

MEMMAKER [/B][/batch][/session][/swap:d] [/T][/undo][/W:size1,size2]

Starts the MemMaker program, a program that lets you optimize your  computer's  memory.

 

MENUCOLOR

 (Internal)

MENUCOLOR=textcolor,[background]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to set the colors that will be used by DOS to  display text on the screen.

 

MENUDEFAULT

 (Internal)

MENUDEFAULT=blockname, [timeout]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to set the startup configuration that will be  used  by DOS if no key is pressed within the specified timeout period.

 

MENUITEM

 (Internal)

MENUITEM=blockname, [menutext]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to create a start-up menu from which you can  select  a group of CONFIG.SYS commands to be processed upon reboot.

 

MIRROR

 (External)

MIRROR [d:]path [d:] path [...]
MIRROR [d1:][d2:][...] [/T(drive)(files)] [/partn][/U][/1]

Saves disk storage information that can be used to recover accidentally  erased  files.

 

MKDIR

 (MD) (Internal)

MKDIR (MD) [d:]path

Creates a new subdirectory.


 

MODE

 (External)

MODE n
MODE LPT#[:][n][,][m][,][P][retry]
MODE [n],m[,T]
MODE (displaytype,linetotal)
MODE COMn[:]baud[,][parity][,][databits][,][stopbits][,][retry]
MODE LPT#[:]=COMn [retry]
MODE CON[RATE=(number)][DELAY=(number)]
MODE (device) CODEPAGE PREPARE=(codepage) [d:][path]filename
MODE (device) CODEPAGE PREPARE=(codepage list) [d:][path]filename
MODE (device) CODEPAGE SELECT=(codepage)
MODE (device) CODEPAGE [/STATUS]
MODE (device) CODEPAGE REFRESH

Sets mode of operation for devices or communications.

 

MORE

 (External)

MORE < (filename or command)
(name)|MORE

Sends output to console, one screen at a time.


 

MOVE

 (Internal)

MOVE [/Y|/-Y] [d:][path]filename[,[d:][path]filename[...]] destination

Moves one or more files to the location you specify. Can also be used to  rename directories.


 

MSAV

 (External)

MSAV [d:] [/S|/C][/R][/A][/L][/N][/P][/F][/video][/mouse]
MSAV /video

Scans your computer for known viruses.


 

MSBACKUP

 (External)

MSBACKUP [setupfile] [/BW|/LCD|/MDA]

Used to backup or restore one or more files from one disk to another.


 

MSCDEX

 (External)

MSCDEX /D:driver [/D:driver2. . .] [/E][/K][/S][/V][/L:letter]  [/M:number]

Used to gain access to CD-ROM drives (new with DOS Version 6).


 

MSD

 (External)

MSD [/B][/I]
MSD [/I] [/F[d:][path]filename [/P[d:][path]filename  [/S[d:][path]filename

Provides detailed technical information about your computer.


 

NLSFUNC

 (External)

NLSFUNC [d:][path]filename

Used to load a file with country-specific information.


 

NUMLOCK

 (Internal)

NUMLOCK=on|off

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to specify the state of the NumLock key.


 

PATH

 (Internal)

PATH;
PATH [d:]path[;][d:]path[...]

Sets or displays directories that will be searched for programs not in  the  current directory.


 

PAUSE

 (Internal)

PAUSE [comment]

Suspends execution of a batch file until a key is pressed.


 

POWER

 (External)

POWER [adv:max|reg|min]|std|off]

Used to turn power management on and off, report the status of power  management, and set levels of power conservation.


 

PRINT

 (External)

PRINT [/B:(buffersize)] [/D:(device)] [/M:(maxtick)] [/Q:(value]  [/S:(timeslice)][/U:(busytick)] [/C][/P][/T] [d:][path][filename]  [...]

Queues and prints data files.


 

PROMPT

 (Internal)

PROMPT [prompt text] [options]

Changes the DOS command prompt.


 

RECOVER

 (External)

RECOVER [d:][path]filename
RECOVER d:

Resolves sector problems on a file or a disk. (Beginning with DOS  Version 6,  RECOVER is no longer available ).


 

REM

 (Internal)

REM [comment]

Used in batch files and in the CONFIG.SYS file to insert remarks (that  will not  be acted on).


 

RENAME (REN)

 (Internal)

RENAME (REN) [d:][path]filename [d:][path]filename

Changes the filename under which a file is stored.


 

REPLACE

 (External)

REPLACE [d:][path]filename [d:][path] [/A][/P][/R][/S][/U][/W]

Replaces stored files with files of the same name from a different  storage  location.


 

RESTORE

 (External)

RESTORE d: [d:][path]filename [/P][/S][/B:mm-dd-yy]  [/A:mm-dd-yy][/E:hh:mm:ss] [/L:hh:mm:ss] [/M][/N][/D]

Restores to standard disk storage format files previously stored using  the  BACKUP command.


 

RMDIR (RD)

 (Internal)

RMDIR (RD) [d:]path

Removes a subdirectory.


 

SCANDISK

 (External)

SCANDISK [d: [d: . .  .]|/all][/checkonly|/autofix[/nosave]|/custom][/surface][/mono][/nosummay]
SCANDISK  volume-name[/checkonly|/autofix[/nosave]|/custom][/mono][/nosummary]
SCANDISK /fragment [d:][path]filename
SCANDISK /undo [undo-d:][/mono]

Starts the Microsoft ScanDisk program which is a disk analysis and repair  tool  used to check a drive for errors and correct any problems that it finds.


 

SELECT

 (External)

SELECT [d:] [d:][path] [country code][keyboard code]

Formats a disk and installs country-specific information and keyboard  codes  (starting with DOS Version 6, this command is no longer available).


 

SET

 (Internal)

SET (string1)=(string2)

Inserts strings into the command environment. The set values can be used  later  by programs.

 

SETVER

 (External)

SETVER [d:]:path][filename (number)][/delete][/quiet]

Displays the version table and sets the version of DOS that is reported  to  programs.


 

SHARE

 (External)

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

Installs support for file sharing and file locking.


 

SHELL

 (Internal)

SHELL=[d:][path]filename [parameters]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to specify the command interpreter that DOS  should  use.


 

SHIFT

 (Internal)

SHIFT

Increases number of replaceable parameters to more than the standard ten  for use in batch files.


 

SORT

 (External)

SORT [/R][/+n] < (filename)
SORT [/R][/+n] > (filename2)

Sorts input and sends it to the screen or to a file.


 

STACKS

 (Internal)

STACKS=(number),(size)

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to set the number of stack frames and the  size of  each stack frame.


 

SUBMENU

 (Internal)

SUBMENU=blockname, [menutext]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to create a multilevel menu from which you  can  select start-up options.


 

SUBST

 (External)

SUBST d: d:path
SUBST d: /D

Substitutes a virtual drive letter for a path designation.


 

SWITCHES

 (Internal)

SWITCHES= [/K][/F][/N][/W]

Used in the CONFIG.SYS file to configure DOS in a special way; for  example, to  tell DOS to emulate different hardware configurations.


 

SYS

 (External)

SYS [source] d:

Transfers the operating system files to another disk.


 

TIME

 (Internal)

TIME hh:mm[:ss][.cc][A|P]

Displays current time setting of system clock and provides a way for you  to  reset the time.


 

TREE

 (External)

TREE [d:][path] [/A][/F]

Displays directory paths and (optionally) files in each subdirectory.


 

TYPE

 (Internal)

TYPE [d:][path]filename

Displays the contents of a file.


 

UNDELETE

 (External)

UNDELETE [d:][path][filename] [/DT|/DS|/DOS]
UNDELETE  [/list|/all|/purge[d:]|/status|/load|/U|/S[d:]|/Td:[-entries]]

Restores files deleted with the DELETE command.


 

UNFORMAT

 (External)

UNFORMAT d: [/J][/L][/test][/partn][/P][/U]

Used to undo the effects of formatting a disk.


 

VER

 (Internal)

VER

Displays the DOS version number.


 

VERIFY

 (Internal)

VERIFY on|off

Turns on the verify mode; the program checks all copying operations to  assure  that files are copied correctly.


 

VOL

 (Internal)

VOL [d:]

Displays a disk's volume label.


 

VSAFE

 (External)

VSAFE [/option[+|-]...] [/NE][/NX][Ax|/Cx] [/N][/D][/U]

VSAFE is a memory-resident program that continuously monitors your  computer for  viruses and displays a warning when it finds one.


 

XCOPY

 (External)

XCOPY [d:][path]filename [d:][path][filename] [/A][/D:(date)]  [/E][/M][/P][/S][/V][/W][Y\-Y]
Copies directories, subdirectories, and files.
 


III

WRITING BATCH FILES

Batch files are plaintext files with a file extension ending in .bat.  Batch files are a series of commands that can be executed from a command prompt, either directly or through a Windows shortcut, with the purpose of automating a repetitive series of commands.  Batch files are autoexecuting once the command is issued (Think: autoexec.bat).

The easiest way to write a batch file is actually to figure out how you would type the commands at a DOS prompt, then type them in, one per line, and name the file with a .bat extension, and there you have it.  For example:

1.  Open up Notepad in Windows. You can do this by navigating to Start > Programs > Accessories > Notepad, or simply by entering notepad under Start > Run.

  1. Save your file before anything, so be sure to follow the instructions closely.
    Go to File > Save As... and chose a file name.
    1. Choose your desktop as the location to save, for now. Don't click Save just yet.
    2. Click on the dropdown menu next to "File name". Select "All files" instead of Text Document".
    3. Add .bat to the end of your file name before you save. For example, you would type example.bat.
    4. Click on Save. If you did this correctly, you should see your file name in the title of Windows Notepad. Make sure that it reads as example.bat‚Ä”not example.bat.txt. Now you are ready to create your batch file.
  2. Type "@echo off" on the first line of your batch file. This will prevent any spaces in the batch file to be read by the program when executed.
  3. Enter your commands. The following example below will show you how to create a batch file that will automatically load wikiHow.com using Internet Explorer.
    • @echo off.
    • REM The following will open wikiHow.com in a new Internet Explorer window.
    • start Iexplore.exe -new www.wikihow.com"
    • REM The following will open wikiHow.com in your default browser, but if it is IE and you have another IE window open, then it will hijack that window.
    • start www.wikihow.com"
  4. Save the file by going to "File>Save" and type in "wikihow.bat".  [Batch files can also have a .cmd extension beginning with Windows 2000, and there is no difference in the operation, but the .cmd extension uses a 32-bit execution while the .bat uses the 16-bit extension.]
  5. Run the file by double clicking the file on your desktop.

However, this is not always this simple, because there can be more sophisticated variables built in to the various command lines, such as the following:

COMMAND ARGUMENTS {%}- Variables can be entered into the batch structure in the form of command line arguments, in the form of %1, %2, %3, etc.  To populate the variable, you must type the desired value after the batch file name when executing it.

DOS ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE NAMES {%nn%} - You can find at least a partial list of these variables bytyping SET at a command prompt.  These variables do not survive a reboot. e.g. COPY %windir%\filename a:

START -  Used to launch a Windows program either by specific name or data file that uses that program to open.  e.g. textfile.txt; start textfile.txt.

IF and IF NOT COMMANDS - There are three variations of these:

    - IF EXIST [Execute the command line only if a particular file exists]. e.g. IF EXIST textfile.txt COPY c:/some.dll%windir%/SYSTEM/dome.dll

    - Compare two text strings and execute the command line only if they are identical. e.g. IF HostWinBootDrv%= = C SET WinDir=C\WINDOWS

    - Error testing. Check the exit code of the most recently run program and, if it is equal to or greater than the number specified, run the program. e.g. IF ERRORLEVEL 4 ERASE trashfile.tmp /P

GO TO:  You can set a label in a batch file by beginning the line with a colon.  You can then go directly to that label with the GOTO command.  e.g. the label :save it can be the line that will be sought if the command GOTO saveit is typed.

FOR  Syntax is: FOR variable IN set list DO command.

     

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