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The MS-DOS Encyclopedia (1988)

The following document is from the Microsoft Programmer’s Library 1.3 CD-ROM.




Ray Duncan, General Editor

Foreword by Bill Gates

Published by
Microsoft Press
A Division of Microsoft Corporation
16011 NE 36th Way, Box 97017, Redmond, Washington 98073-9717
Copyright (C) 1988 by Microsoft Press
All rights reserved. No part of the contents of this book may be reproduced
or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission
of the publisher.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

The MS-DOS encyclopedia : versions 1.0 through 3.2 /
    editor, Ray Duncan.
    p.     cm.
Includes indexes.
ISBN 1-55615-049-0
1. MS-DOS (Computer operating system)  I. Duncan, Ray, 1952-
II. Microsoft Press.
QA76.76.063M74      1988    87-21452
005.4'46--dc19                   CIP

Printed and bound in the United States of America.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 RMRM 8 9 0 9 8 7

Distributed to the book trade in the United States by Harper & Row.

Distributed to the book trade in Canada by General Publishing Company, Ltd.

Distributed to the book trade outside the
United States and Canada by Penguin Books Ltd.

Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England
Penguin Books Australia Ltd., Ringwood, Victoria, Australia

British Cataloging in Publication Data available

IBM(R), IBM AT(R), PS/2(R), and TopView(R) are registered trademarks of
International Business Machines Corporation. GW-BASIC(R), Microsoft(R),
MS(R), MS-DOS(R), SOFTCARD(R), and XENIX(R) are registered trademarks of
Microsoft Corporation.

Microsoft Press gratefully acknowledges permission to reproduce material
listed below.
Page 4: Courtesy The Computer Museum.
Pages 5, 11, 42: Intel 4004, 8008, 8080, 8086, and 80286 microprocessor
photographs. Courtesy Intel Corporation.
Page 6: Reprinted from Popular Electronics, January 1975
Copyright (C) 1975 Ziff Communications Company.
Page 13: Reprinted with permission of Rod Brock.
Page 16: Reprinted with permission of The Seattle Times Copyright (C) 1983.
Pages 19, 34, 42: IBM PC advertisements and photographs of the PC, PC/XT,
and PC/AT reproduced with permission of International Business Machines
Corporation Copyright (C) 1981, 1982, 1984. All rights reserved.
Page 21: "Big IBM's Little Computer" Copyright (C) 1981 by The New York
Times Company. Reprinted by permission.
"IBM Announces New Microcomputer System" Reprinted with permission of
InfoWorld Copyright (C) 1981.
"IBM really gets personal" Reprinted with permission of Personal Computing
Copyright (C) 1981.
"Personal Computer from IBM" Reprinted from DATAMATION Magazine, October
1981 Copyright (C) by Cahners Publishing Company.
"IBM's New Line Likely to Shake up the Market for Personal Computers"
Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal Copyright (C) Dow Jones
& Company, Inc. 1981. All Rights Reserved.
Page 36: "Irresistible DOS 3.0" and "The Ascent of DOS" Reprinted from
PC Tech Journal, December 1984 and October 1986. Copyright (C) 1984, 1986
Ziff Communications Company.
"MS-DOS 2.00: A Hands-On Tutorial" Reprinted by permission of PC World from
Volume 1, Issue 3, March 1983, published at 501 Second Street, Suite 600,
San Francisco, CA 94107.

Special thanks to Bob O'Rear, Aaron Reynolds, and Kenichi Ikeda.

Encyclopedia Staff

Editor-in-Chief:  Susan Lammers

Editorial Director:  Patricia Pratt

Senior Editor:  Dorothy L. Shattuck

Senior Technical Editor:  David L. Rygmyr

Special Projects Editor:  Sally A. Brunsman

Editorial Coordinator:  Sarah Hersack

Associate Editors and Technical Editors: Pamela Beason, Ann
Becherer, Bob Combs, Michael Halvorson, Jeff Hinsch, Dean Holmes, Chris
Kinata, Gary Masters, Claudette Moore, Steve Ross, Roger Shanafelt, Eric
Stroo, Lee Thomas, JoAnne Woodcock

Copy Chief:  Brianna Morgan. Proofreaders: Kathleen Atkins,
Julie Carter, Elizabeth Eisenhood, Matthew Eliot, Patrick Forgette, Alex
Hancock, Richard Isomaki, Shawn Peck, Alice Copp Smith

Editorial Assistants:  Wallis Bolz, Charles Brod, Stephen
Brown, Pat Erickson, Debbie Kem, Susanne McRhoton, Vihn Nguyen, Cheryl

Index:  Shane-Armstrong Information Services

Production:  Larry Anderson, Jane Bennett, Rick Bourgoin,
Darcie S. Furlan, Nick Gregoric, Peggy Herman, Lisa Iversen, Rebecca
Johnson, Ruth Pettis, Russell Steele, Jean Trenary, Joy Ulskey

Marketing and Sales Director:  James Brown

Director of Production:  Christopher D. Banks

Publisher:  Min S. Yee


    Ray Duncan, General Editor   Duncan received a B.A. in Chemistry from
    the University of California, Riverside, and an M.D. from the
    University of California, Los Angeles, and subsequently received
    specialized training in Pediatrics and Neonatology at the Cedars-Sinai
    Medical Center in Los Angeles. He has written many articles for
    personal computing magazines, including BYTE, PC Magazine, Dr. Dobb's
    Journal, and Softalk/PC, and is the author of the Microsoft Press book
    Advanced MS-DOS. He is the founder of Laboratory Microsystems
    Incorporated, a software house specializing in FORTH interpreters and

    Steve Bostwick   Bostwick holds a B.S. in Physics from the University
    of California, Los Angeles, and has over 20 years' experience in
    scientific and commercial data processing. He is president of Query
    Computing Systems, Inc., a software firm specializing in the creation
    of systems for applications that interface microcomputers with
    specialized hardware. He is also an instructor for the UCLA Extension
    Department of Engineering and Science and helped design their popular
    Microprocessor Hardware and Software Engineering Certificate Program.

    Keith Burgoyne   Born and raised in Orange County, California,
    Burgoyne began programming in 1974 on IBM 370 mainframes. In 1979, he
    began developing microcomputer products for Apples, TRS-80s, Ataris,
    Commodores, and IBM PCs. He is presently Senior Systems Engineer at
    Local Data of Torrance, California, which is a major producer of IBM
    3174/3274 and System 3X protocol conversion products. His previous
    writing credits include numerous user manuals and tutorials.

    Robert A. Byers   Byers is the author of the bestselling Everyman's
    Database Primer. He is presently involved with the Emerald Bay
    database project with RSPI and Migent, Inc.

    Thom Hogan   During 11 years working with personal computers, Hogan
    has been a software developer, a programmer, a technical writer, a
    marketing manager, and a lecturer. He has written six books, numerous
    magazine articles, and four manuals. Hogan is the author of the
    forthcoming Microsoft Press book PC Programmer's Sourcebook.

    Jim Kyle   Kyle has 23 years' experience in computing. Since 1967, he
    has been a systems programmer with strong telecommunications
    orientation. His interest in microcomputers dates from 1975. He is
    currently MIS Administrator for BTI Systems, Inc., the OEM Division of
    BanTec Inc., manufacturers of MICR equipment for the banking
    industry. He has written 14 books and numerous magazine articles
    (mostly on ham radio and hobby electronics) and has been primary Forum
    Administrator for Computer Language Magazine's CLMFORUM on CompuServe
    since early 1985.

    Gordon Letwin   Letwin is Chief Architect, Systems Software, Microsoft
    Corporation. He is the author of Inside OS/2, published by Microsoft

    Charles Petzold   Petzold holds an M.S. in Mathematics from Stevens
    Institute of Technology. Before launching his writing career, he
    worked 10 years in the insurance industry, programming and teaching
    programming on IBM mainframes and PCs. He is the author of the
    Microsoft Press book Programming Windows 2.0, a contributing editor to
    PC Magazine, and a frequent contributor to the Microsoft Systems

    Chip Rabinowitz   Rabinowitz has been a programmer for 11 years. He is
    presently chief programmer for Productivity Solutions, a microcomputer
    consulting firm based in Pennsylvania, and has been Forum
    Administrator for the CompuServe MICROSOFT SIG since 1986.

    Jim Tomlin   Tomlin holds a B.S. and an M.S. in Mathematics. He has
    programmed at Boeing, Microsoft, and Opcon and has taught at Seattle
    Pacific University. He now heads his own company in Seattle, which
    specializes in PC systems programming and industrial machine vision

    Richard Wilton   Wilton has programmed extensively in PL/1, FORTRAN,
    FORTH, C, and several assembly languages. He is the author of
    Programmer's Guide to PC & PS/2 Video Systems, published by Microsoft

    Van Wolverton   A professional writer since 1963, Wolverton has had
    bylines as a newspaper reporter, editorial writer, political
    columnist, and technical writer. He is the author of Running MS-DOS
    and Supercharging MS-DOS, both published by Microsoft Press.

    William Wong   Wong holds engineering and computer science degrees
    from Georgia Tech and Rutgers University. He is director of PC Labs
    and president of Logic Fusion, Inc. His interests include operating
    systems, computer languages, and artificial intelligence. He has
    written numerous magazine articles and a book on MS-DOS.

    JoAnne Woodcock   Woodcock, a former senior editor at Microsoft Press,
    has been a writer for Encyclopaedia Britannica and a freelance and
    project editor on marine biological studies at the University of
    Southern California. She is co-editor (with Michael Halvorson) of
    XENIX at Work and co-author (with Peter Rinearson) of Microsoft Word
    Style Sheets, both published by Microsoft Press.

Special Technical Advisor
    Mark Zbikowski

Technical Advisors

Paul Allen        Michael Geary     David Melin         John Pollock
Steve Ballmer     Bob Griffin       Charles Mergentime  Aaron Reynolds
Reuben Borman     Doug Hogarth      Randy Nevin         Darryl Rubin
Rob Bowman        James W. Johnson  Dan Newell          Ralph Ryan
John Butler       Kaamel Kermaani   Tani Newell         Karl Schulmeisters
Chuck Carroll     Adrian King       David Norris        Rajen Shah
Mark Chamberlain  Reed Koch         Mike O'Leary        Barry Shaw
David Chell       James Landowski   Bob O'Rear          Anthony Short
Mike Colee        Chris Larson      Mike Olsson         Ben Slivka
Mike Courtney     Thomas Lennon     Larry Osterman      Jon Smirl
Mike Dryfoos      Dan Lipkie        Ridge Ostling       Betty Stillmaker
Rachel Duncan     Marc McDonald     Sunil Pai           John Stoddard
Kurt Eckhardt     Bruce McKinney    Tim Paterson        Dennis Tillman
Eric Evans        Pascal Martin     Gary Perez          Greg Whitten
Rick Farmer       Estelle Mathers   Chris Peters        Natalie Yount
Bill Gates        Bob Matthews      Charles Petzold     Steve Zeck


Foreword by Bill Gates

Preface by Ray Duncan


Section I: The Development of MS-DOS

Section II: Programming in the MS-DOS Environment

    Part A: Structure of MS-DOS

    Article 1:  An Introduction to MS-DOS
    Article 2:  The Components of MS-DOS
    Article 3:  MS-DOS Storage Devices

    Part B: Programming for MS-DOS

    Article 4:  Structure of an Application Program
    Article 5:  Character Device Input and Output
    Article 6:  Interrupt-Driven Communications
    Article 7:  File and Record Management
    Article 8:  Disk Directories and Volume Labels
    Article 9:  Memory Management
    Article 10: The MS-DOS EXEC Function

    Part C: Customizing MS-DOS

    Article 11: Terminate-and-Stay-Resident Utilities
    Article 12: Exception Handlers
    Article 13: Hardware Interrupt Handlers
    Article 14: Writing MS-DOS Filters
    Article 15: Installable Device Drivers

    Part D: Directions of MS-DOS

    Article 16: Writing Applications for Upward Compatibility
    Article 17: Windows

    Part E: Programming Tools

    Article 18: Debugging in the MS-DOS Environment
    Article 19: Object Modules
    Article 20: The Microsoft Object Linker

Section III: User Commands


    User commands are listed in alphabetic order. This section includes

Section IV: Programming Utilities



    Microsoft Debuggers:


Section V: System Calls


    System calls are listed in numeric order.


    Appendix A: MS-DOS Version 3.3
    Appendix B: Critical Error Codes
    Appendix C: Extended Error Codes
    Appendix D: ASCII and IBM Extended ASCII Character Sets
    Appendix E: EBCDIC Character Set
    Appendix F: ANSI.SYS Key and Extended Key Codes
    Appendix G: File Control Block (FCB) Structure
    Appendix H: Program Segment Prefix (PSP) Structure
    Appendix I: 8086/8088/80286/80386 Instruction Sets
    Appendix J: Common MS-DOS Filename Extensions
    Appendix K: Segmented (New) .EXE File Header Format
    Appendix L: Intel Hexadecimal Object File Format
    Appendix M: 8086/8088 Software Compatibility Issues
    Appendix N: An Object Module Dump Utility
    Appendix O: IBM PC BIOS Calls


    Commands and System Calls