External command

An external command is an MS-DOS command that is not included in command.com. External commands are commonly external either because they require large requirements or are not commonly used commands. The illustration shows each of the external commands are separate files. However, the internal commands are all included in the command.com file.

external command, internal command

Listing of external commands

Below are examples of MS-DOS and Windows command line external commands currently listed on Computer Hope.

  • Append
  • Arp
  • Assign
  • At
  • Attrib
  • Backup
  • Bcdedit
  • Bootsect
  • Cacls
  • Chcp
  • Chkdsk
  • Chkntfs
  • Choice
  • Cipher
  • Clip
  • Comp
  • Compact
  • Convert
  • Debug
  • Defrag
  • Delpart
  • Deltree
  • Diskcomp
  • Diskcopy
  • Doskey
  • Dosshell
  • Driverquery
  • Dumpchk
  • Edit
  • Edlin
  • Expand
  • Extract
  • Fasthelp
  • Fc
  • Fciv
  • Fdisk
  • Find
  • Forfiles
  • Format
  • FTP
  • Gpupdate
  • Graftabl
  • Help
  • Hostname
  • ICacls
  • Ipconfig
  • Label
  • Loadfix
  • logoff
  • Mem
  • Mode
  • More
  • Move
  • Msav
  • Msbackup
  • Mscdex
  • Mscdexnt
  • Mwbackup
  • Msd
  • Msg
  • Nbtstat
  • Net
  • Netsh
  • Netstat
  • Nlsfunc
  • Nslookup
  • Pathping
  • Ping
  • Power
  • Print
  • Reg
  • Robocopy
  • Route
  • Runas
  • Sc
  • Scandisk
  • Scanreg
  • Schtasks
  • Setver
  • Sfc
  • Share
  • Shutdown
  • Smartdrv
  • Sort
  • Subst
  • Sys
  • Systeminfo
  • Taskkill
  • Tasklist
  • Telnet
  • Tracert
  • Tree
  • Tskill
  • Undelete
  • Unformat
  • Wmic
  • Xcopy

Where are the external command files stored?

Many of the external commands are located in the Windows\system32 or Winnt\system32 directories. If you need to locate the external file to delete it, rename it or replace it, you can also find the file through MS-DOS.

How do you run an external command?

As long as the file exists and you have the proper paths, an external command runs just like an internal command by typing the command name at the prompt. However, if the paths are not set properly or they are missing because the command line would not know where to look for the external command, you would get an error. Unless of course you were in the same directory as the command.

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