What is DOS, The Disk Operating System?

What is DOS? Many of you have heard about it. Quite a number of computer users today have little or no idea what DOS actually is.
DOS is “Disk Operating System“, which is created by Microsoft in 1981 and the first PC from IBM in 1982 was based on DOS. There is no version that is actually called “DOS”. All versions of DOS have some kind of  prefix like MS-DOS, PC-DOS,DR-DOS and so on. Even early versions of Microsoft Windows had DOS as the base up-through “Windows ME”.

How to access DOS?

Two common ways to access DOS window or CMD.

  • One way is go to Start> CMD, if you want to open it as “Administrator”. (Recommended) 
  • Second one is through Run window, type “cmd” on run window and hit Enter.

The earlier one is the better way, I tell you the reason at the end. There are some useful commands which will work for you much faster than doing them manually.

Useful DOS commands: 


ipconfig (internet protocol configuration) in Microsoft Windows is a console application that displays configuration values  of all current TCP/IP network and can modify Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol DHCP and Domain Name System DNS settings.


Ping is used to check whether a particular host is reachable across an IP network. If you’re not sure you have a good network connection, try doing a “ping” to a known IP address or a website. You’ll see it echo back with an IP address if the link is good.


netstat (internet status) displays network connections (both incoming and outgoing), routing tables, and a number of network interface statistics.


assoc (Associated Extension) command will tell you what default program you have set up for your zip, mp3, or HTML files. This is the quickest way to check the default program in DOS. The response will show which application you have installed to handle the respective program.

Here I have installed MS Word to view .doc files, VLC player to play .mp3 files, WinRar to open .zip files.


If you want to find any command in your computer drive and you know the name of that file, then my friend, it is far faster way you ever encounter. Just do a “dir” command to the directory you want to search, and then “|” followed by the name of the file.

I want to search in my C: drive so in the command line after “dir” I’ve put C:\. /s and /b are registers. | is a combination of Shift+backward slash, and  the name of my required file in the inverted commas.

Opening Applications through DOS:

Another benefit of DOS, you can open and run system applications also.

Character Editor

Opening character editor through cmd is far easy. But you must be running the command prompt as Administrator. 

As you hit Enter, and after a while the character editor window will open.

Character Map:

Similarly you can open character map through it.

Other Common Commands:


CD(Change Directory), used to change or exit from current directory in use.


CLS command clears the cmd screen.


Exit command let you exit the command prompt.

3 Responses to “What is DOS, The Disk Operating System?”
  1. Mr AhsanAli says:

    @Tech Freak: Thanks for sharing ma article.

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  1. […] What is DOS, The Disk Operating System? (geeksfreaks.wordpress.com) […]

  2. […] find its IP. To do this open command prompt and type: “ping domain.com”. For this read our article on ping […]

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