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Open an Operating System Command Prompt on Windows 2000

by Curtis Krauskopf
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An operating system command prompt (also called a Dos Box or command shell) allows you to enter commands to the operating system. A command prompt allows access to features in the operating system that are not accessible in any other way.

Using an MS-Dos operating system command prompt can be somewhat dangerous. The main reason is because there are fewer safeguards that allow a user to undo undesired actions. One example is in deleting files: in most situations, files deleted at the operating system command prompt are permanently deleted.

How to Open an MS-Dos Command Prompt

One of the easiest ways to open a command prompt is directly from the Start menu. Click on the Start icon and then click on the Run menu entry:

A Run panel will appear:

The example above shows the Run panel with the 'command' word already in the prompt. A different word might appear in your Run panel or a word might not appear at all. In either case, type the word 'command' into the prompt. The capitalization of the word does not make any difference: command, Command and COMMAND (and other variations) all work the same.

Next, click on the OK button on the Run panel. A new window will appear:

The MS-Dos box has a command prompt. The name 'MS-Dos box' makes a little more sense now, doesn't it? It's called an MS-Dos box because of the box-like appearance of the window.

The text in the very top line (the blue title bar line) in the example says D:\WIN\system32\ Your title bar will probably say something different because when I installed Windows 2000, I specified the location where Windows would be installed.

The command prompt is the blinking cursor next to the > character. Commands are typed on the line with the blinking cursor.

When you are finished using the Dos Box, you can close it by clicking the X icon in the upper right corner (just like in a normal Windows application). You can also type 'exit' (the capitalization does not matter) in the command prompt and then press the Enter key on the keyboard.

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