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File Management and How To Use The CMD Prompt

CMD Prompt, command line, DOS box, or Command Console some of the names for use of the "command line".

A while back I wrote an article about File Management Attributes and using the CMD Prompt or DOS Box to change the properties or attributes of a file.

Seems there is a nasty virus out on the web that likes to hide directories (Folders) and files from the user/owner.

One of the ways to gain control over a file or directory (this is an old DOS term where as Folders is a Windows 95 and up term) is to use the Command Prompt and go to the directory with the effected files.

Ah but, you say "How do I get there?"

Here is a tip: If you need to know a certain command for navigating around in the DOS environment then press F1 and in search box type in "Command-line reference A-Z".

So you tried to remove the hidden attribute on some files and folders with Explorer but it isn't working. You need two things:

  • Administrator Rights
  • Ownership of the files/folders

Now you have a list of all the commands you can use in the Command Prompt window or with a DOS boot disk, however with a DOS boot disk unless you have a utility that will mount an NTFS volume you will not be able to do anything to a Windows volume, DOS can not see the NTFS formatted volume.

Either use the Start button menu and navigate to the accessories and open a Command Prompt window or use the Run: box and type in cmd, a new window will open at the Command Prompt.

Next you need to navigate to the actual directory, lets say the path to the affected files is D:\Backup Files\June 2010 now you have a small problem because some DOS commands do not see spaces in a directory name, and when you get to the files you are going to have another problem: DOS can only see eight characters and a three character file type extension.

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There are ways around these small problems. When you are using the command line you can not use spaces and long file names with some commands such as attrib unless you enter your text with in parentheses such as you want to go to the backup files directory you would use this: "backup files" with the command.

Before you go to the backup files directory if it is hidden you need to remove that attribute by using the attrib -h command (don't worry I will make a complete list of how to get to the drive letter, the directory, and the files shortly).

When the CMD Prompt window opens it will be on your Operating System drive and in your home or My Documents directory, unless you have changed it by changing the properties of  it (I have mine set for C:\ ), you need to get to the D: drive then to the backup files root directory for the June 2010. That is where you need to start removing the -h (hidden) attribute from the files and directories.

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