Open an Operating
System Command Prompt on Windows 2000
by Curtis Krauskopf
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\command.com. 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
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