The Explorer: Save Your Butt With DOS: Part Three - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications
03:39 PM
Fred Langa
Fred Langa

The Explorer: Save Your Butt With DOS: Part Three

Here's a boatload of great files to finish stocking your DOS toolkit!

  • Diag detects, tests and benchmarks your system including 84 Chipsets, 1307 motherboards, 173 processors (through 4 methods), 13 BIOS brands, 62 PC-types, 25 network cards, 21 soundcards, 10 mouse types, 41 partition types, 1400 PCI cards, and more.
  • Cachchk5 identifies and tests the size and speed of your motherboard's cache.
  • Rosenthal System Monitor 5.0 is an automated diagnostic that evaluates hardware and configuration at startup.
  • Two Free Boot Managers: If you want to install more than one operating system on your PC, you need a "boot manager" to let you choose, at boot-up, which OS to run. Some OSes (such as Windows 2000, and many versions of Linux) come with a boot manager, but others (Windows 9x and DOS) do not. XOSL, the Extended Operating System Loader, is a free, slick and full-featured boot manager available from But if all you're looking for is a basic boot manager, look at the free tool available via
  • Partition Resizer 1.33 is similar in function to PowerQuest's PartitionMagic: It's designed to let you resize/move your FAT16/FAT32 partitions safely and without data loss. It's not as fast or as polished as PartitionMagic (which I rely on when I need to repartition a disk), but Partition Resizer is free, and it's hard to beat that!
  • Eight LFN Tools is a set of DOS tools that supports Windows' long filenames. On its own, DOS stores names in an 8.3 format -- a maximum of eight characters, a period, and a three-letter file extension. For backwards compatibility, Windows normally handles long filenames in two parts: an 8.3 fragment that DOS can understand, and a separately-stored remainder of the long name, up to a total of 255 characters. Windows stitches the two parts together, but on its own DOS sees only the first part. This is why a file with a Windows name like THISISAVERYLONGNAME.DOC will show up in vanilla DOS as "THISIS~1.DOC." If you move or rename "THISIS~1.DOC" in DOS, the long portion of the filename will be lost, and the file name both in DOS and Windows will thereafter be "THISIS~1.DOC." Not too good.

    LFN Tools steps around this DOS limitation with a free set of custom-written utilities that uses (and preserves) Windows' long file name format in DOS. The tool kit includes:

    LCOPY: copies files and/or directories (similar to XCOPY)
    LDIR: displays a directory
    LCD: changes to a directory
    LDEL: deletes a file
    LCHK: drive information
    LREN: renames a file
    LMD: creates a directory
    LRD: removes a directory

    You can grab the full set of tools for free here, or see all the programmer's ("Odi") offerings at

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