How to Start Your Windows Computer in DOS

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In order to start a Windows computer in DOS mode, push the F8 key as the Windows logo appears on the screen to go to the pre-boot menu. Start a computer in safe mode with a command prompt with help from a software developer in this free video on computers and DOS mode.

Part of the Video Series: Computer Technology
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name's Dave Andrews. Today, I'm going to show you how to start your Windows computer in DOS mode. Now, what we're going to do is we're going to start with our computer turned all the way off just like mine is right here, and we're going to press the power button. And then when we start to see the Windows logo come up, just press the F8 key over and over and over until you get a boot menu. So I'm going to start my computer up now. And we'll get the manufacturer's screen. Now, my computer actually has a pre-boot menu where I have to choose the operating system I want to use. Yours is not going to do that. So just when you start seeing that Windows logo -- and actually, I started pressing it right as it started booting up here -- and you're going to get this screen right here if you press F8 in the right amount of timing. Now, if Windows boots up, you actually missed your opportunity. You're going to have to shut it back down and try again. So we have the option here to start in what's called safe mode with command prompt. Let's just move down to that with our arrow keys to select it, and press enter. This is going to boot Windows into basically'll look like a Windows normally will, but it'll only allow us access to the Windows command prompt or a sort of a DOS screen. So now, as you can see, our computer has booted up into basically a Windows DOS prompt, which is as close as you can get in Microsoft Vista to using DOS. And it hasn't loaded any of the other Windows Vista stuff that would come up. It basically just came up to a blank screen, and this was all that I got. So I can run DOS commands here as I would normally, and I can go do whatever administrative tasks that I needed to do possibly to repair the computer using DOS. My name's Dave Andrews, and I've just showed you how to boot your Windows computer to DOS mode.


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