DOS – What is a disk operating system? Advantages & Disadvantages

The full form of DOS is Disk Operating System. It is an operating system first used by the IBM-Compatible computers. The operating system controls the hardware and peripheral devices, and the specific operating system that operates the disk is the Disk Operating System.

The use of the DOS was first started in the 1980s. As per the history of DOS, in 1966, many systems like Atari 800 and commodore 64 had the feature of DOS. But during the 1980s, more elements of DOS evolved, replacing old ones.

Initially, the DOS was running on the Intel 8086 computer system, which uses different hardware like floppy disks and application software to store the data. Though DOS is a powerful, combat, and easy-to-use operating system, the graphic user interface has replaced it having advanced characteristics.

Some commonly used DOS are – PC-DOS, Free-DOS, PTS-DOS, ROM-DOS, and MS-DOS. Among these operating systems, MS-DOS is widely used these days by Microsoft. DOS consists of computer programs with the primary functions of allocating system resources and controlling the hardware devices.

Types of DOS Commands

Internal Command

Internal command lies in a command. file, a command interpreter file. It helps in running the program when the system is at prompt. These commands are stored in the memory. These commands help in the quick execution of the program, as they are stored in the MS-DOS and are readily available.

External Command

The external commands are not listed in the command.file instead, they are stored in a separate file to operate. These commands help in improving the performance and quickly fixing the problem. One of the best features of the external command is that one can add to the window anytime by just copying the external files to the computer.

Features of DOS

  • DOS does not allow the user to use the mouse to input the command. Instead, one must give the command manually through the keyboard at the command-line prompt.
  • DOS can manage the hardware devices like disk and memory.
  • It does not offer the feature of a graphic user interface.
  • It supports program loading and execution. It also takes care of the different files and folders.
  • Though it is a single-user operating system, it can effectively perform various activities and manage tasks.
  • It can help manage the file system by organizing and writing files to the storage.
  • The DOS can’t support the multi-user operating system.

Top 10 DOS Commands

  • cd – cd, change directory, helps switch the files with the MOS.
  • dir – It discloses all the vital information like the directories and space availability. It also shows the details of the modifications.
  • copy- the user can copy files from one location to another.
  • del- The user can delete files from the computer using this command.
  • edit – the user can view, modify, or create the file on the computer.
  • move – it allows the user to transfer files from one location to another.
  • ren – user can rename the files.
  • deltree – the user can delete the files from the system permanently.
  • cls – this command helps to clear the content from the screen.
  • format – with this command, the user can erase the information from the fixed drive.

MS-DOS Filenames

  • Each file containing the data or the instructions includes the filename to separate each file on the hard disk.
  • The file name consists of a name and an extension.
  • The name contains eight special characters, whereas the extension has three characters.
  • Both the name and the extension are separated by the period. The period is called delimiter.
  • Generally, using the unique character in the file name is not recommended.

Working on a DOS

Here are the following steps as to how the DOS works:

  • After switching on the system, it goes through the boot process’s various steps.
  • The first step involves the read-only memory bootstrap loader reading the master boot record.
  • The boot record assists the DOS in loading on the memory and taking control of the system.
  • The main memory gets control of all the data from the magnetic disk.
  • The user can run the program by using the keyboards and operating it with different applications like memory management, termination, etc.
  • The DOS also helps in organizing the file. One can save the file in the hierarchy structure as well.

Advantages of DOS

  • The user has direct access to the hardware and the BIOS.
  • It can run in a smaller system, and the user can boot much faster.
  • It is lightweight.
  • It enables the easy combining of programs.

Disadvantages of DOS

  • It does not support multitasking.
  • It does not support IRO ordering.
  • One needs to manage the interrupted levels of hardware themselves.

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