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How come I cannot access my external hard drive after scanning and recovering orphaned files? 

by on February 19, 2011

Q: So I rebooted my computer with an external hard drive connected. Upon reboot (I’d walk off at this stage) in DOS mode, my computer said that one of my hard drives was working inconsistently, scanned it then went on to ‘recover orphaned files’. It did this and rebooted. I now cannot access the external hard drive – F:/ is not accessible – access denied!!!
Not cool, everything is backed up on this drive.
I run Windows Vista.
I’ve tried changing the security setting to allow everyone like Administrator permissions.
I need this hard drive to work.


How can I transfer files to my floppy driving using DOS commands? 

by on June 19, 2010

Q: My dad has an old 1992 computer with Word Perfect 5.1 (I think) (no mouse) and he’s upgrading to modern times. He has a lot of documents that are in a list format and I’m trying to save to an old IBM 1.44 MB disk which is his A drive. It has been a while since I was in DOS can you step me through the process?


How do I write a shell script in DOS to display a message? 

by on April 7, 2010

Q: How do I write a shell script in DOS to display a message?


Can I get my DOS programs to run on 64 bit Windows 7? 

by on February 17, 2010

Q: I have DBaseIV dos programs that I have been running in Windows XP and in Windows vista both 32 bit laptops. I just got a HP Pavillon with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit and it won’t run my dos programs. Is there a answer to getting my DBaseIV dos programs to run on Windows 7 home premium 64 bit laptop?


Chaning The Size Of The Dos Console Or Command Prompt Window 

by on August 25, 2008

Q: I have 2 laptops, one is Windows XP home, the other is Vista and I have the same problem on both. I have a DOS based database that I maintain. The problem is the size of the window that opens is too small to work on comfortably. It will not let me use the mouse to make it bigger and it won’t maximize like normal windows do. I’ve gone to properties and have been thru every tab including font, screen, and nothing I do helps to make the window open to a reasonable larger size for viewing. The full screen option works, but then I can’t toggle to another window without closing the dos program.

A: The only answers are in the properties window so I am going to walk you though the different options to see if you missed any. The first one is the Full Screen option, which you already explained does not work for you but for other people that might be an option so to get to it you click on the bar above the console window and go to Properties. Then in the first tab called Options you will see a section called Display Options and from here you can select Full Screen and then press Ok to have it apply to your window.

dos console

DOS Console/ Command Prompt

Options Tab

Dos Console Options

The second option is to modify the Front tab, to get a bigger font. Then from there move onto the Layout tab to change the Window Size. Changing the window size will allow you to make the window take up more space and show more characters per line. The Width controls how many characters wide each line will be and the Height number controls how many lines will show in the window. So change those until you have the window the size you want to show all the information you need.

Dos Console Font

Dos Console Font

Dos Console Layout

Dos Console Layout


Deleting Undeletable Pif Files From A Windows Share 

by on March 5, 2008

Q: I work for a company that lets us store files on a network drive. I copy a folder there that had a DOS shortcut pif to A drive. When I try to delete the pif, or folder it give me an error that the file is being used. Any Idea how to delete this file?

A: Hi There, people working on network drives at times do experience issue in deleting files. Below are given some of the possible solutions that you can use to help alleviate the issue at hand.

  1. The pif file may not get deleted if the file is read only. To remove this problem, Go to the safe mode, right click on the file, then click on the properties, uncheck the read only box and then click ok. Then try deleting the file.
  2. There are also incidences when viruses create undeletable pif files . So ensure that your antivirus is in place.
  3. If the file still remains undeleted you can use a file deleting utility to delete the particular file. One such program is called FileUtilities. This utility is capable of deleting files which do not get normally deleted and it also check folders for consistency errors.

If the solutions provided above don’t work toward solving your problem, it is advisable to contact your network administrator for help.


Transfering A DOS Program From Windows XP To Vista 

by on January 31, 2008

Q: Can I transfer a DOS program from my computer with Windows XP to my laptop with Windows Vista and if so how.?

A: You can definitely transfer a DOS program from Windows XP to Vista system. However, at times transferring various programs from Windows XP operating system to Windows Vista has turned to be a real hassle for some users. You can minimize this complexity by following few simple steps.

To meet the migration requirements Vista is already equipped with “Migration tools”. These tools give you three options for migrating your programs. These are:

  • Network connections
  • Transferable media
  • Migration through CD or DVD

Moreover migration tools are also available in two modes namely; Windows Easy Transfer performs transfer from one computer to another and User State Migration Tool (USMT), facilitates transference from single user to multiple users. Now let us explore the modus operandi of transferring any DOS program from XP to Vista version of Windows applying easy transfer method.

Migrations Applying Windows Easy Transfer – Migration of DOS programs from Windows XP to Vista through WET is done impeccably. First of all WET should be installed to both the computers although most of the Vista installed computers are already equipped with WET. Then connect these two systems through WET cable or by creating the required network connections. After the necessary connections, run the WET program on both the systems. This program will impart the essential guidelines needed for the transference of your DOS program from XP to Vista.
In order to achieve an efficient and non errant transfer, few precautions must be taken. Both the systems should be properly scanned before performing the operation. The functioning of the desired program should be checked thoroughly before transference. Both the computers should have matching configurations to run the program.

Migrations Using CD or DVD – The migration can also be done by using a CD or DVD. The desired program is copied to a CD or DVD from the source computer and then this copied program is reinstalled to the destination computer equipped with Vista. This method also provides you with the backup option, as the original program remains unaltered with the source computer. The disc which is being used shouldn’t be damaged or corrupt. A proper scanning of both the systems and discs should be done before starting the operation.

Dealing with issues running DOS programs on Vista

Users usually complain about the improper functioning of DOS programs on Vista version. You can pacify your computing needs with the programs of your wish by following some necessary guidelines. To begin with, you can access the maximized DOS window, which is often hard to attain in Windows Vista using the following steps

  1. Click on the Start Menu
  2. Move up and click on the Run option
  3. In the run window, key in “cmd” and press Enter

The DOS window will come up. Find the location of your transferred DOS program and execute the .exe file.

In case you have difficulty in running the DOS program in try using the utility called
DOSBox which effectively facilitates the functioning of the DOS program in Vista.


How To Run An Old DOS Program In Full Screen Using Windows Vista 

by on December 20, 2007

Q: I am using an old but useful DOS inventory program. I can get it to run on a Vista laptop, but only in a small window. How can I get it to full screen?

A: It is truly amazing how useful some older programs are! In my opinion, computers today have become way too complicated. Although Microsoft Windows has not been based upon MS-DOS since the days of Windows ME, many DOS programs still run in newer versions of Windows, such as XP and Vista. The catch is that most computers today run at higher resolutions than DOS programs were designed to handle. Nevertheless, there are several popular ways that compatibility with DOS programs in Vista can be achieved:

  1. The first method is to just attempt to run the program by double-clicking on its executable. As you no doubt know, DOS programs can use .com or .exe files to run. If you have a choice between the two types, I would recommend trying .exe first. It seems to me like this is likely the method that you have been using. If the program launches in a smaller window, look for the Maximize button. It is the middle of the three button that usually appear at the upper right corner of all windows.
  2. The next method is to open a command prompt before trying to run your program. To open a DOS command prompt in Vista, type cmd where it says Start Search in the Start Menu. You should almost certainly get access to the Maximize button using this method. Maximize the window before using DOS to navigate to your executable.
  3. You may wish to experiment with the “Compatibility mode” in Windows Vista. While it is meant to help older Windows programs to run, it might be helpful with DOS programs as well. Right-Click on the program you want to start, and select Properties. You should see a tab called Compatibility. This should work for .exe files. But I honestly do not know if it is an option for .com files. As I intimated earlier, Windows 95/98/ME are DOS-based operating systems. Something else for you to consider is that DOS programs sometimes work only a lower resolutions. You should experiment with the different options in the tab.
  4. There is a free program called DOSBox, which allows many DOS programs that would otherwise fail to work in newer versions of Windows to function. I have used this extensively on my Linux computer with great success. Of course, you will select the version for Windows. On my computer Alt+Enter activates DosBox’s full screen mode.

One of these tips should help you to run your inventory program in a larger window, or even in full screen.