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I did what it said at http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/46707-ms-dos-bootable-flash-drive-create.html but when i boot it up it goes on forever any ideas?

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If your hard drive is formatted with the NTFS filesystem (as is the case with all Windows Vista/7 installations and many XP installations), you cannot read your files from MS-DOS, which only supports FAT filesystems.

Instead, put all the files you need to access on your flash drive. The commands you mention probably do not work because they probably do not exist on your flash drive and are not built into the COMMAND.COM interpreter. If they do exist on your flash drive, you may need to set the PATH environment variable so that MS-DOS can find them. (The AUTOEXEC.BAT file of a DOS installation generally sets the PATH so that the user need not do so each time the computer is turned on or restarted.)

I do not believe shutdown was ever an MS-DOS command; it was introduced in Windows XP. The usual way to shut down MS-DOS is to wait at the command prompt for all disk activity to complete and then kill power (except on really old computers whose hard drives had to be "parked" first). To restart, just hit Ctrl-Alt-Del.

Generally, you would only boot into MS-DOS to use some BIOS flashing utility or hard drive utility, and even that is increasingly rarely necessary on newer computers. Otherwise, consider setting up a) DOSBox or b) VirtualBox and FreeDOS to run your DOS software without having to shut down your 32- or 64-bit edition of Windows. The former is useful for running old games, which may not otherwise work on modern PCs with fast CPUs.

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The reason you are not seeing any files on your C: drive is most likely because if you are using an anything more modern than Windows NT (such as XP, Vista or 7) then your main drive is going to be formatted as NTFS.

The files you grabbed to be able to set up DOS support only FAT formatted drives which were used in Windows 3.1, Windows 95 and Windows 98. Windows NT and above use NTFS which is completely different and supports important features like security bits and is completely different from the FAT filesystem. There are programs like NTFS4DOS that may be able to help you read NTFS within DOS (but I have no idea why you would want to bother doing that).

I'm pretty sure that all the commands you listed such as help, shutdown and tree are in fact programs external from the command.com DOS processor and if you want to use them then you'll need to make sure they are a part of your DOS install, for example you should have either a help.exe or a help.com file in order to see the help information. As an example of a built in command dir should work.

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Do you have an AUTOEXEC.BAT file? Did you set a path to allow those command file to be found?

Without a PATH, programs can't be found. DOS isn't clairvoyant. (Yet)

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I don't where can I get autoexec.bat –  Jake Inc. Jun 18 '12 at 20:43
    
That's kind of a scary statement. Have you ever used MS-DOS? Any *DOS? AUTOEXEC.BAT? You write your own. Scary! Can install operating system on flash drive... unsure what AUTOEXEC.BAT is. Be sure to save it as 'Plain Text' when you use MSOffice to create AUTOEXEC.BAT. GIYF. –  lornix Jun 18 '12 at 20:52
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