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8/5/2003
04:27 PM
Fred Langa
Fred Langa
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The Explorer: Batch File Bonanza

Download 84 free reader-created batch files that'll solve problems on your PC.

It's been a long haul and we've covered an enormous amount of ground, but we've finally reached the end of our "Save Your Butt With DOS" series.

And it's a spectacular finish, offering 84 free reader-written batch files you can download and use for system maintenance, as general utilities, as teaching tools, and more.

The "Save Your Butt With DOS" series was and is designed to help you create a DOS-based maintenance/repair/recovery toolkit you could stick on a shelf against future need; a toolkit that can help you get yourself out of system trouble even if you can't run Windows itself, or if you end up in a DOS-free version of Windows (such as Windows 2000) or a reduced-DOS version (such as WinMe).

Part One of this series set the context and gave the essential ground-zero information; it also contained a gold mine of DOS-related links to get you started. With links to tons and tons of free DOS information, it's a must-read.

Part Two detailed how to create a custom DOS boot or "emergency" disk -- a better boot disk than the one that may have come with your copy of Windows, or that you can make via the Control Panel "Add/Remove Software" applet.

Part Three contained a plethora of links to help you finish stocking your DOS toolkit.

Part Four (which we called "Scrub Your Hard Disk Clean") began our discussion of "batch files," which are simple text files that contain a series, or "batch," of DOS commands. You can think of batch files as a form of scripting that can greatly simplify low-level system maintenance tasks. In this case, the batch files we presented could remove junk files from your PC far more efficiently than Windows can, freeing up anywhere from tens to thousands of megabytes!

Part Five extended and expanded on the batch-file cleanup concepts, and rolled out a complete family of powerful (and free) disk-cleaning tools that could often free up most space than even some commercial utilities costing $40 to $60 or more.

Part Six dealt with DOS-level backups and "drive imaging;" important maintenance techniques that can "Bullet-Proof Your Windows Setup," and let you recover from even the very worst hardware and software problems. Backups and imaging are also important as precautions prior to any significant system-level work, so that if anything goes wrong, you can restore your system to perfect working order in a flash.

Part Seven began the process of wrapping up the series by showing you how you can build your own batch files -- or alter those of others -- to harness the full power of raw DOS, and take total control over your system, at even the lowest levels.

And many, many of you did just that, which leads to this final installment in the series.

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