What is DOS - Prompt | And Internal and External DOS - commands

DOS - Prompt

DOS - Prompt

DOS stands for Disk Operating System. DOS controls the computer's hardware and provides an environment for programs to run. This system program must always be present when working with your computer.

This is a command line interpreter operating system. It has no GUI screens. From graphical user interface of existing operating systems like windows also one can run DOS commands, by going to DOS prompt or Command prompt.

DOS prompt (Command Prompt): Is the place from where the DOS commands are given for execution. Generally it looks like the figure as shown below. The prompt is the last line and it is c:lusers\kvnag7>. It consists of the drive name :/directoryname/directoryname>.... till
the current directory is displayed.
Also read : what is DOS

To go to command prompt/dos prompt two ways are possible. The steps for these two methods are :

Method 1: Through Accessories.

Step 1. Click on Start
Step 2. Select All Programs.
Step 3. Select Accessories.
Step 4. Select Command prompt.
In Short cut: Start --> all Programs --> Accessories --> Command Prompt.

Method 2 rough the command CMD.

Step 1. Click on Start
Step 2. In the text box to search type cmd and press enter as shown

DOS command is an instruction to the computer which is basically given at the command prompt.

For your reference the command date is given at the command prompt and the output of date command.

Note : The actual purpose of date command will be discussed in detail soon.

DOS contains a special file called command.com. All the basic commands of DOS are placed in this file. To run any of the command placed in command.com, no other file is required except command.com file. All these commands are not case sensitive i.e. they can be given in lower case or upper case.

There are two types of commands available in DOS namely.

Internal and External Dos commands

Internal Commands : The commands which are available in the file command.com called as internal commands.

Examples : ver, cls, date, time, mkdir, rmdir, chdir, copy, rename, del, move, path, pause, echo, prompt. vol etc.

Now let us consider the most commonly used internal commands and their purpose .
The list of most frequently used internal commands are as shown below


  • Cls : To clear the screen at command prompt
  • Ver : To display the DOS version (OS version)
  • Vol : To display the volume name and volume serial number assigned to the current drive.
  • Date : To display the date and to set the date
  • Time : To display the time and to set the time
  • Exit : To exit from command prompt
  • Prompt : To change the dos prompt
  • Path : To specify the list of directories to be searched
  • for a command when it is given at prompt
  • Echo : To suppress or display the result of command on the screen
  • Mkdir (or) md : To create a new directory
  • Chdir (or) Cd : To change the directory (to go to another directory from existing directory)
  • Rmdir (or) rd : To remove an empty directory
  • Dir : To display the list of files and subdirectories
  • under the Specified/Current Directory/Drive
  • Copy con : To create a new file
  • Rename (or) ren : To change the file name (renaming the file)
  • Copy : To copy one file to another filename (creation of duplicates of the file)
  • Delete or del : To delete a file.
  • Type : Used to display the contents of the file.

External Commands : The commands which are not present in the Command.com file are called as external commands.

Each external command will have its own .exe or .com file, To run any one of the external command respective.exe or .com the file is to be loaded, then only the corresponding command gets excuted.

External commands are commonly external either because they require large requirement or are not commonly used commands.

Examples : Format, edit, discopy, diskcomp, diskchk, attrib, fdisk, backup, format, scandisk, tree, deltree, ping, etc.

External commands

These commands are not the part of the command.com file. They have tobe externally loaded and executed. Some of the external commands are :

  • Edit : To create, modify the text files using dos editor.
  • Format : To format the hard disk, secondary storage devices like pen drive, data cad etc.
  • Chkdsk : Checks the computer's hard drive status for any cross-linked or any additional errors.
  • Diskcompy : Copy the complete contents of a diskette to another diskette.
  • Diskcomp : Compares the contents of a floppy disk in the source drive to the contents of a floppy disk in the target drive.
  • Undelete : Allows you to restore files that may have been deleted.
  • Unformat : Used to unformat a drive that has been formatted.
  • Fdisk : Fdisk is used to delete and create partitions on the hard drive in earlier versions of MS-DOS and Windows.
  • Tree : Allows the user to view a listing of files and folders in an easy to read listing.
  • Xcopy : Xcopy is a powerful version of the copy command with additional features; has the capability of moving files, directories, and even whole drives from one location to another.

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What is DOS - Prompt | And Internal and External DOS - commands What is DOS - Prompt | And Internal and External DOS - commands Reviewed by Techstudents on January 15, 2019 Rating: 5

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