Meet the Guide Editor
MS-DOS Contributors

A Complete Guide to MS DOS

MS DOSMS DOS stands for Microsoft Disk Operating system. While many are used to Windows, a graphical user interface, there was a time when people had to remember the name of commands to get work done. While Windows takes a CD (a DVD in case of Windows 7) for installation, MS DOS can be installed using a single floppy diskette of 3 and half inch (1.44MB).

At the time when Microsoft introduced this easy to use Command Line Interface (CLI) that propelled them in to a famous company, computers were not capable of multi-tasking and handling much memory. Due to these limitations, the MS DOS installation diskette contains only three files: msdos.sys; io.sys, and command.com. While the first two files helped a computer understand its configuration, the command.com file contained commands for the most basic tasks performed on a computer.

An optional file, autoexec.bat contained commands that you wanted to run at computer startup. You can still see this file in many versions of Windows. As the need for more complex tasks arose, MS DOS brought in the facility of using mini-programs called external commands, such as DISKCOPY and FDISK. These external commands were written in MS BASIC, a computer language compatible with MS DOS.

Latest Articles on MS-DOS
C Programming For Beginners - Part 6

In this article, we show you how to compile and run your C program using the Tiny C compiler and the Command Prompt window. For convenience, we show you how to set the 'Path'...

Open Source Projects Part 2

In the second part of this series we take a look at the more obscure open source projects that have affected the computing landscape....

Most Popular Articles on MS-DOS
  •  
    C Programming For Beginners - Part 6

    In this article, we show you how to compile and run your C program using the Tiny C compiler and the Command Prompt window. For convenience, we show you how to set the 'Path' variable....

  •  
    Open Source Projects Part 2

    In the second part of this series we take a look at the more obscure open source projects that have affected the computing landscape....

  •  
    How to Upgrade Your Motherboard's BIOS

    Upgrading your motherboard's BIOS can be a scary and daunting process for most. Cryptic version strings, DOS bootdisks, flashing and other words can scare away lots of people. Do you want to be one...

  •  
    This Day in Computer History: November 10

    Today ironically marks the anniversary of the announcement of the first Windows system and the first documented virus. Read about these events and more in "This Day in Computer History", a chronology...

More About MS-DOS
How to Upgrade Your Motherboard's BIOS

Upgrading your motherboard's BIOS can be a scary and daunting process for most. Cryptic version strings, DOS bootdisks, flashing and other words can scare away lots of people. Do...

This Day in Computer History: November 20

Today marks the anniversary of the first use of the term "Hacking" in print and the release of version 1.0 of Windows. Read about these events and more in "This Day in Computer...