Control+Break DOS

Microsoft Dos 6.22 - 3 pack
March 23, 2010 at 09:16:35
Specs: DOS 6.22
Hi, I need to copy the files from a computer running DOS to a floppy. The computer automatically boots into a program on start. I tried Control+Break to stop the program and get ^C followed by OK. How do I get to a C:> prompt so I can copy the files to a floppy, or am I going about this the wrong way? This computer only has a floppy, no cd or usb. Thanks for any suggestions.

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March 23, 2010 at 09:27:16
Some versions of MS-DOS let you press F5/F8 just as the startup message is displayed. F5 should bypass config.sys and autoexec.bat, while F8 should let you step though those files line by line.

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March 24, 2010 at 01:18:55
If you don't want to aletr config & autoexec use R2's method.

Otherwise disable the line[s] that start the program on boot.

Or make a boot menu. But that's another story.

Helping others achieve escape felicity


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March 24, 2010 at 07:44:39
Hi Razor2.3, F5 did get me to the c: prompt. I did a dir : and it showed 116 files and went back to the C: prompt. I copied the files that were visible on the screen using 'copy[filename.exe] a:' successfully but was unable to scroll up to see the rest of the files. Can you explain how to get to the top of the list and scroll thru it? This computer is in use 7 days a week in a business and I am reluctant to pull the hard drive to copy it as there is no backup. Your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

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Related Solutions

March 24, 2010 at 07:56:37
Can you explain how to get to the top of the list and scroll thru it?
You can't. Welcome to the early 90's.

You should be able to pause the readout by using one of these commands, though.


If I'm remembering correctly, you can also double your line count on the screen with this command:
MODE CON 80 50

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March 24, 2010 at 08:12:38
Hi Razor2.3, I will try that in the morning. Is there a command that copies the entire contents of c: to a floppy(s), or is that wishful thinking? Thanks again!

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March 24, 2010 at 08:45:55
Back in the day, I used a utility called PKZIP to handle copying across multiple floppies. You might try the free DOS version of 7-zip.

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March 24, 2010 at 15:44:20
And even if you use a compression program, you could wind up needing lots of floppies to backup an entire drive if it's even just a few MB worth of data. Precisely what is it you're trying to do?

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March 24, 2010 at 16:19:09
Hi T-R-A, I have a computer running a DOS program for cash registers. The business is open 7 days a week and I only have access for a few hours early in the morning. I need to copy the files from this computer to create a backup. Whoever created this program has gone the way of the dinosaurs and left no clues. There is NO BACKUP.I have limited DOS knowledge but can manage with a few clues. The program starts on powerup. I need to get to directory and scroll down to copy the files to a floppy(no usb or cd). I can get to a C: prompt, and dir :brings up 116 files. Only the last few files are visible on screen. I was able to copy those to a:. Razor suggested using the /p command to pause for each page. What do I enter to page down? Pulling the drive to copy is my last resort. I don't mind copying each file to a floppy. As far as I know this computer only has DOS and a few files to run the cash registers. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks for everybodys suggestions. This forum is great.

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March 24, 2010 at 18:25:34
First thing is to determine how much really needs backing up. Even though you ran a "dir" command on the root of C, that won't tell you how much data is in sub-directories. You can run CHKDSK to determine how much data is actually on the drive. If it comes back with the suggestion to run scandisk, or to convert fragments to files then reply "no". This should tell you roughly how much data is on the drive and the total drive size. If it's more than around 30MB, then I'd suggest some other backup method (such as to a parallel ZIP drive, which can at least hold 100-200MB per disk, as opposed to the 1.44MB for a 3.5" floppy). At one time, I was able to extract the more-usable Central Point Backup program from PC DOS 2000 and use it in MS-DOS 6.22 on some industrial equipment with 1GB hard drives that still ran MS-DOS. It allowed backing up to an parallel-port zip drive, and it had built-in compression. May still have the extracted files here somewhere if you find out you want to go that route...

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March 24, 2010 at 18:33:16
FWIW, here's a basic primer on DOS commands (most are in MS-DOS, you can click on each name to find out the availability):

Also, FYI, parallel-port zip drives are still available here:

While the drive may be fairly cheap, the media is sometime tough to find and somewhat expensive. Also, remember, you'd be dealing with a media that was noted for it's "click-of-death", so moving it to something with more longevity (i.e.-CD or DVD) would also be advisable...

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March 24, 2010 at 19:45:15
Yeah, I'd recommend a zip drive. The parallel port ones T-R-A mentions should be cheap on ebay too. I've got a bunch also.

Check my posts here for driver and setup info:

You're not really green until you're soylent green.

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March 25, 2010 at 14:25:42
Hi, I was able to use the /p command to scroll thru the directory and I think I have copied the necessary files. I will try these files on a backup computer tomorrow and let you know if it works. Thanks to Razor 2.3 and T-R-A and everyone who responded. Gotta love this forum. Good info!

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April 3, 2010 at 05:01:08
once in the directory you wish to copy, use:-


This should allow you to see all 116 files.

You might check out XCOPY, especially if there are sub-directorys involved.

Razor recommended PKZIP, which is perfect for your requirement, but it takes getting used to.

You could set up a batch file to run your backups whenever required .

I would have a set of security floppies for each day of the week.

*Most Important* - check all required files are being backed up (data and program(s))

It is no good finding out they have not when they are required for real.

As a matter of interest, where are you located? I am in Hammersmith, West London.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.

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April 3, 2010 at 05:22:47
Hi, sorry I didn't get back sooner.I was able to copy the necessary files to a backup computer and it worked. Thanks for all the help. Lots of good info. I am located just outside St. Louis, MO.

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