Windows 8

Windows 8.1 Guide

Using the Command Line


Windows has a cmd.exe a command prompt. Also, you runthe more powerful powershell.exe to load the new Powershell command prompt.

To create a simple bootable floppy, insert a floppy disk in A: drive, open My Computer, right click A: icon and select Format, there is a option to create a MS-DOS startup disk.

To create a bootable USB or DVD disk and you use a BIOS (Basic Input Output System) ROM, then you use the Windows 7 Boot Disc utility.
If your PC has a UEFI ROM then you can use the Rufus boot utility.

Unlike MS-DOS or Windows 9x, Windows does not run a Config.sys or Autoexec.bat on startup. Instead you can run a script when loading the command prompt from a shortcut e.g.
C:\Windows\System32\Cmd.exe /K: c:\Scripts\Auto.bat which will load the command prompt and run the auto.bat script and leave the window open.

Environment variables are defined in the System Control Panel (see the Advanced tab, Environment Variables button) which defines the PATH, TEMP, and TMP variables among others.
You can configure temporary variables using the SET command, these are lost when the command window closes.

The command prompt supports most common commanda such as Cd, Copy, Del, Erase, Doskey, Dir, Move, Tree, Xcopy, Edit, Exit, Sort, Subst, Attrib, If, Help, Share, Choice, Net and others.
To view the syntax of a command enter command /? or help command.

The powershell has a wide range of command including Set-Location, Copy-Item, Remove-Item, Move-Item, Get-Item, Get-Process, Get-Help, Get-Event, Get-Date, Set-Date using its verb-noun formatted commands.

If a old program cannot be run in Windows command prompt, then you can use the powerful DosBox tool which will completely virtualise the DOS environment for you.