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Tips & Tricks

Do you have a tip for a program? Let us know, and we'll put it here!

  • Dos Search Command - Ever wish you could search for a file from the command prompt? Well, try this. When you type in "dir" from Dos and hit enter all your directories go whizzing by. If you want a specific file and your in the right directory already just type for example: "dir myfile.doc" or what ever the file name is and it will appear showing size and creation date. If you are not in the right directory or if you are not sure where it is, then type "dir /s myfile.doc" and Dos will search all the subdirectories in and below the directory you are currently in. Pretty cool, huh? Remember, though, that if you exited out of Windows to Dos mode, any files longer than 8.3 characters will not show as you'd expect. You have to type the Dos name for it. Example: computers.doc under Dos would read comput~1.doc. Dos can't display the long file names.

  • Dos Page Command - When you are in Dos, and you want to see one of your directories, you can type "dir" and hit enter, but all your folders go whizzing by so fast, and you end up at the bottom of the list. How do you slow it down, so to speak? Try this: use the "dir /p" command. Now you can go down your list of folders one page at a time. Want to see them again? Don't bother typing the command again. Just hit your F3 key, and whatever you typed before will reappear at the command line.

  • Dos Hard Disk Info - Have you ever wanted to know your available hard disk space while you are at a Dos prompt? Type "chkdsk" and hit enter.

Dos Memory Command - How much memory do I have? How much conventional memory? Expanded? Type "mem" at the C prompt for lots of useful info.

  • * Warning: Do not use any of these commands on your "C" drive or you could lose data.
  • Formatting Floppies - Ever need to format a floppy from Dos? Here are several tricks you can use. For example, a standard format that erases a disk and prepares it for use is "format a:" at the command prompt. Be careful not to format C: or all of your hard drive files will be lost! That would be bad.. Formatting a floppy disk takes about a minute, but you can speed this up by doing a quick format, provided the disk has been full formatted at least once. A quick format does not format a disk but merely erase the files. Much faster than a regular format. To do this type "format a: /q" If you want to create a system disk or a bootable floppy disk as it's sometimes called type: "format a: /s" Try a combination of switches like "format a: /q /s" which will do a quick format & make the disk bootable. If you have a floppy that you don't want formatted but you do want it to be a bootable disk you can also type "sys a:". Pretty cool, huh?