DOS (Disk Operating System)

DOS stands for Disk Operating System. It is a command line operating system or non-graphical operating system. Microsoft developed it for IBM compatible personal computers. DOS is a 16-bit operating system, which does not support multitasking. Newer versions of Windows do not depend on DOS but executes programs based on it. Windows command line is still in use. Novices prefer using a system with GUI (graphical user interface) rather than using commands, hence the DOS lost its market. In DOS, every action requires the usage of command, remembering all the commands is almost not possible for a novice. Therefore, Microsoft came up with Windows version by bundling GUI interface and command line.

DOS evolved as and when required depending on requirements since its existence. Below are some of the fact figures about its evolution.

  • July 1981 – Microsoft purchased rights from Seattle Computer Products and named it as MS-DOS
  • May 1982 – Microsoft released MS-DOS 1.1 to IBM (320 KB double-sided floppy disk drives, no hard disk)
  • Aug 1984 – Microsoft released 3.0 (1.2 MB floppy disk drives and >10MB hard disk)
  • Nov 1984 – Microsoft released MS-DOS 3.1 having more LAN features
  • Jan 1986 – Microsoft released MS-DOS 3.2 with 3.5” 720 KB floppy drives
  • Aug 1987 – Microsoft released MS-DOS 3.3 with 3.5” 1.44 MB floppy drives and multiple hard disk partitions
  • Jun 1988 – Microsoft released MS-DOS 4.0 with XMS support, large hard disk partition and mouse driven graphical interface – DOS SHELL
  • Jun 1991 – Microsoft released MS-DOS 5.0 with good memory management, shell enhancements like full screen editor and utilities like UNDELETE and UNFORMAT
  • Mar 1993 – Microsoft released MS-DOS 6.0 with disk compression, disk fragmentation, backup utility,  anti-virus utility
  • Nov 1993 – Microsoft released MS-DOS 6.2 with few improvements
  • Feb 1994 – Microsoft released MS-DOS 6.21
  • Jun 1994 – Microsoft released MS-DOS 6.22 with Drive Space (disk compression)

DOS commands

Some of the most frequently used DOS commands are as follows:

cls to clear the screen
md, mkdir to create directory
del, erase to delete files
copy to copy files
rename to rename files or directories
ver to know the DOS version number
cd to change directory
chdir to change the directory
chkdsk to check disk and give a report of the status of the disk
date to set or display the system date
dir to display files and directories stored on disk
fc to display difference between two files
format to format a disk to accept DOS files
goto to jump to the specified location (unconditional jump)
print to print data files
unformat to undo the effect of formatting

DOS Application:

  • File management
  • Single user system
  • Booting system for storage devices
  • Batch processing

Related Info:

Recover Deleted Files
Files deleted with DOS commands like Del, Erase, etc. bypasses the Windows Recycle Bin. To retrieve files deleted from DOS prompt use the most competent recovery software i.e. Remo Recover (Windows). The article will help you understand more about the process of recovering deleted files.

How to Recover Files from Formatted Partition
While trying to format a particular partition, did you accidentally format an incorrect partition from the DOS command prompt and now you are worried about the loss of data from that partition. Don’t panic! Remo Recover (Windows) will help you resolve the data loss issues.

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