Command Prompt and What You Can Expect
In 1985, Microsoft brought a graphical interface for MS-DOS: it will be the first version of Windows. Windows will remain the graphical interface of MS-DOS, up to Windows 3.1. As of Windows 95, MS-DOS has been phased out. For the general public, Windows XP will be the first Windows to no longer use MS-DOS. With the windows 10 cmd the process happens to be perfect now.
However even if MS-DOS is no longer used these days, it is possible to find elements directly inherited from MS-DOS, such as the notation of hard disks using letters (“C:”, “D:” etc.), and the fact that the “C:” drive is the primary hard drive.
Anecdote: why the disc “C:” and not “A:”?
This notation originates from the first IBM-PC and MS-DOS 1. At the time, there was no hard drive; the computer used one or two floppy drives. These readers had driven letters: “A:” and “B:” Since computers generally could not accommodate more than two floppy drives, these drive letters are reserved for their potential uses.
Then comes the hard drives. The first letter following being the letter “C:” This is how the first hard drive gets its famous letter “C:” The command prompt is also an inheritance from MS-DOS, but a legacy that has evolved. If MS-DOS has disappeared, this tool, which looks close to MS-DOS, persists, this allows the configuration and maintenance of the computer via commands. The command prompt executable is no longer “command.com” but “cmd.exe”.
The command prompt still exists in Windows 8 and even in Windows 8.1. But in the latter, we note the beginning of a desire, on the part of Microsoft, to replace it with “Windows PowerShell”.
The command prompt interface
As the command prompt represents an inheritance from MS-DOS, its interface is similar to what was done in the 80s. But that does not detract from its power. After all, what would an interface be for automating system administration tasks? Starting from this principle, know that there is even an edition of Windows Server the professional Windows ensuring the management of servers called “Windows Core Server” which does not have a graphical interface and starts at the command prompt.
System administration is most often accomplished using the command prompt. Generally speaking, we speak of the administration console. It is also this approach that is used in the world of Linux distributions. Under Linux whatever the distribution, the graphical interface is an optional element and it is the “console” which allows the configuration of all the elements of the computer. This is what gives this “complex” aspect to Linux distributions.
We will now discover the command prompt for Windows. Before that, you have to start it.
The easiest way to start the command prompt is to write “cmd” in the search area of the start menu Windows Vista and Windows 7 or on the home screen Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
From Windows Explorer Via the address bar
It is also possible to launch the command prompt directly in a folder from the explorer. Just write “cmd” in the address bar and validate it with the Enter key. The command prompt is launched and takes as the current folder, the one where you were in the explorer.