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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to A+ (Operating Systems)
 9  Chapter 0011:  DOS
      9  V  File-Related DOS Commands

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Batch Files

What is a batch file? In short, a batch file is nothing more than a pre-recorded set of keystrokes. This saves time and errors on boot up. The conventional file extension for a batch file is .BAT.

When DOS boots, it looks for a specially named batch file, called AUTOEXEC.BAT, and it executes whatever commands are in this file, if it finds it.

Since a batch file is nothing more than pre-recorded keystrokes, unlike CONFIG.SYS, it can be run at anytime, and does not require a reboot.

Batch Files

AUTOEXEC.BAT
runs after COMMAND.COM is loaded.

Batch files can be run at anytime after booting.


A common entry found in the autoexec.bat file is MSCDEX.EXE. This is shorthand for Microsoft CD extensions. This executable file extends the ability of DOS to handle the CDFS (CD FILE SYSTEM) file format.

Several switches are available for MSCDEX.EXE.

The /D: switch is always required. This is because it grabs the device driver that was loaded in the config.sys file. Several optional switches exist as well. One of our favorites is the /L: switch. We like to set it like this: /L:Z. This assigns the CD-ROM the drive letter of z.

[spacer]Drive Letter Assignment

If you assign a drive letter of z before loading any programs, you will be able to install other devices or assign network drive letters that will come before z. This is cool because many programs remember what drive letter they were installed from. If you install from d drive, then add devices, the cd-rom will get a new drive letter further down the alphabet soup line, and the programs will suddenly get dumb.


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