Prior to Windows, there was MSDOS, which is a simple operating system
where you can manage programs and data files. To access the MSDOS
command prompt on Windows 95/98/ME, go to Start -> Run and type 'command' without
the quotation marks.
On Windows NT/2000/XP, go to Start -> Run and type 'cmd' without the
You will see that the MSDOS environment is much simpler than
Windows. There are no icons or menus to click on. In fact,
you cannot use your mouse at all. You have to enter commands at
the command prompt. It will look something like this:
This indicates that you are on the C drive in the WINNT folder.
If you would like to list the files in this directory, type 'dir'
without the quotation marks and press enter. For example:
Volume in drive C is Local Disk
Volume Serial Number is 5070-B0B5
Directory of C:\WINNT
02/06/2003 03:44p <DIR> .
02/06/2003 03:44p <DIR> ..
12/05/2001 06:32p 20,647 Active Setup Log.BAK
01/25/2003 11:48p 22,157 Active Setup Log.txt
12/07/1999 05:00a 707 _default.pif
124 File(s) 10,003,347 bytes
36 Dir(s) 65,699,840 bytes free
Now, suppose you have downloaded a DOS program from
the Internet. For example:
Sureshot's Email Extractor.
You decide to unzip the program to "C:\Program Files\emailextractor\".
Before you can run the program you have to
change the current working directory to that folder:
C:\>cd "Program Files"
C:\Program Files>cd "emailextractor"
And to bring this article to a close, run the email extractor program: