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Need Assistance With Ms-dos


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#1 Rvan801

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 12:00 AM

As the title suggests, I am simply in need of several MS-DOS commands. They are:

1. Changing Directories (especially switching to the Desktop, and from there, to folders).

2. Seeing a list of all files in a given directory (I think its "dir," but I need to know if there's more to specify when entering this command).

3. Copying (not moving or cutting) files from one directory on the hard drive to a floppy disk. Providing the extensions required for certain types of files would be helpful (such as txt. for word documents).

I appreciate anyone's help. I am using these commands to save some important files on a Windows ME computer that has a damaged operating system. If using DOS to do this is unadvisable, of course, I may as well know now. Thanks to whoever helps.

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#2 acklan

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 12:08 AM

This site will have what you need.
A better way is to download Puppy Linux and use it to copy/move your files to a floppy, or if you have a CDRW burn them to disk. It is a 50mb download. This is a full operating system with many utilities and softwares that you may find useful.
Could we help you get your ME back up and running?
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#3 Rvan801

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 01:08 AM

Thanks for your quick reply, acklan. The first site is just what I need. Actually, I have been roaming these boards (and many others) for months trying to get this problem fixed. Without telling you the entire story (I can't find the original post I made back in November; I would have given you a link to it otherwise), I'll say that my computer woes are due to a missing VMM32.vxd file. Reinstalling seems to be the only way to rebuild the file, but the only disk I have is the system manufacturer's disk, which reformats the hard drive, erasing everything with it. At this point, I would rather just save my data; restoring the computer's functionality is now only a secondary concern for me. In any case, the second site you provided, Puppy Linux, seems interesting but I still don't understand the concept of these alternative operating systems. In fact, I've received some of these programs from friends who were trying to solve my problem. Most recently, for example, I was given Gnoppix. As with all the others, though, nothing ever came of it. So, I guess what I'm asking is how do I use this Linux? Do I download it to a CD, and then just boot from that CD on the Windows Me computer? Again, I value your help, and appreciate your answering my questions.

#4 acklan

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 01:32 AM

Download Puppy to a folder on your hard drive and unzip it there. Use your burning software to burn an image to a cd. It will boot from that cd and can RAM solely in RAM if you have 256mb of RAM. In multisession mode it will burn your data and personal preferences back to the same cd. This means you can run it on any computer with 256mb of RAM.
It is unque in that is does not need it's own partition. It reside in a folder with in windows if you decide to install it to your had drive. If you have 128mb you can still run it from RAM but the data and preferences you create will be keep on the hard drive.
Sorry about that. I get carried away. I have got over 200 people to try it and none of them wen back to windows.

Try this link first. http://www.easydesksoftware.com/news/news10.htm
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#5 Rvan801

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 11:56 AM

Acklan, I plan to use Puppy Linux after all else has failed (which will be pretty soon). At the moment, though, I am in MS-DOS, and I've actually had some success in moving files from my damaged computer to a floppy. However, now I'm getting stuck. On what used to be my desktop there was a folder named "My Stuff" that contains most of the data I'm trying to save. When in the desktop directory, I am typing cd "My Stuff", but keep getting messages saying it's an invalid directory or that there are too many parameters. So, is there a special rule for moving to a folder (especially one that's two words and has an apostrophe to boot) while in MS-DOS? If so, what is the command? I would appreciate anyone's help.

#6 Rimmer

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 09:40 PM

Put the name of the directory in quotes or if it's a complex full filename put the whole thing in quotes. E.g.

to change directory to My Documents you could type
CD "My Documents"

but if you wanted to change directory to c:\documents and settings\username\my documents you would type
CD "c:\documents and settings\username\my documents"

From here: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechn...21675.mspx#ECAA

Long File Names at the Command Prompt

At the command prompt, if you type the long name of a file or folder that contains spaces, you must enclose the name in quotation marks. For example, if you have a program called Dump Disk Files and you enter the name without quotation marks at the command line, you will see the error message “Cannot find the program Dump or one of its components.”

You must also use quotation marks around each referenced set of long file names when a path typed at the command line includes spaces, as in the following example:

move “c:\This month’s reports\*.*” “c:\Last month’s reports”

Caution Use wildcard characters such as the asterisk (*) and question mark (?) carefully in conjunction with the del and copy commands. Windows XP Professional searches both long and short file names for matches to the wildcard character combination you specify, which can cause additional files to be deleted or copied. It is always a good idea to run the dir command first on the specified files to make sure you are affecting only the files you intend to use.


hth :thumbsup:

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#7 acklan

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 12:24 AM

To see how the folder is listed in DOS .

dir C:\My Desktop /p

The /p will display one page of the director at a time. Hit the Enter key to move to the next page.
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#8 Rvan801

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 09:55 PM

Thanks, acklan and Rimmer. I have been able to save most of my files using DOS. The process has been tedious (this "main" folder of mine contains some 700 files and 300 folders), but is the first success I've had with this computer. However, there is still another problem, one that seems to be related to the fact that some of my files are buried 10 folders into the main one (let's again call it "My Stuff"). You see, whenever I'm 7 or 8 folders into "My Stuff," and wish to go to what would be the next folder using the change directory command, I'm told that the directory is invalid. I'm typing it exactly as it appears when I use the dir command, so I'm left to believe that there simply wouldn't be enough room to fit the next directory on one line (since DOS is always keeping track of where you are- for example: C:\Windows\Desktop\MyStuf~1...). In other words, DOS has a limit as to how many directories "deep" it can explore in another directory or in this case, a folder. Can someone tell me if this is the case, and if having put some of my most important files behind 8 folders is now my undoing in DOS?

#9 Rimmer

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 06:04 AM

I'm no expert but I wouldn't think 7 or 8 directory levels would bother DOS, it's more likely the number of characters you are entering in the command argument.

To save a lot of typing assume directories a,b,c,d etc have long names.

Assume you want to copy files to your A: drive.

You're at the A:\> prompt and type in COPY C:\a\b\c\d\e\f\g\file1.txt for instance.
This has too many characters for a command argument and you get an error.

Instead navigate to the folder where the files are stored - type C: then:
CD a, CD b, CD c, CD d, etc.

Then type in COPY file1.txt A:\

The same file gets copied to the A: drive but no huge url needs to be entered for the file location.

hth :thumbsup:

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#10 Rvan801

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 05:30 PM

Thanks for your response, Rimmer. However, the process of changing directories as you outlined is exactly what I have been doing (I apologize if my last post was misleading). But in my version of DOS at least, each time I change directories the command line expands to include that new directory. So, after typing in "cd Mystuf~1," the command line reads C:\Windows\Desktop\Mystuf~1. By the time I'm reaching the 7th or 8th folder, the command line is stretching towards the end of the screen, which is what I feel is responsible for the "invalid directory" error messages I'm receiving. Remember, the underlying problem here is these error messages, which are claiming that the directory I'm trying to switch to doesn't exist (and once again, let's assume that it's not a simple typing error, because I know I'm typing them just as DOS has listed them). So, with this being said, can anyone explain why I still can't get past a certain point in a given directory?

#11 Herk

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 01:35 PM

This is where a bootable CD comes in handy. I use the Ultimate Boot CD for times like this, when I can. These CD's won't boot on every computer - it has to meet minimum requirements. Once in there, it gets tough because you have to be able to navigate in a new OS, but you have a graphical interface. I use a thumb drive, which I was happy to find was supported by UBCD. Again, UBCD boots from the CD drive and must be burned as an image. (ISO)

There are two graphical file managers on my version of UBCD. I have had trouble with Knoppix when using an LCD, FWIW.


(edited to add link)

Edited by Herk, 10 April 2006 - 01:36 PM.


#12 need TOS

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 04:28 PM

Well it seems that your answer is already answered but i got a few commands for you if you need them. Since i use DOS every day i wont forget.
Forgiveness is forgetting about a past that could have been




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