Article ID: 80751 - View products that this article applies to.
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Most of the Microsoft MS-DOS operating system files are compressed on disk. The MS-DOS Setup program decompresses these files when you install MS-DOS.
The MS-DOS EXPAND command is available to decompress and copy files individually. EXPAND is described in the "Microsoft MS-DOS User's Guide and Reference" for versions 5.x and in online help for MS-DOS versions 6.0 and later.
The following increased functionality was added to the EXPAND command beginning with MS-DOS version 5.0a:
When you decompress a file in MS-DOS 5.0a or later, EXPAND prints two status messages: one that details the full path of the source and target files, and one that details how many files were expanded.
In MS-DOS 5.0, if you enter the command EXPAND with no parameters, it displays the same help information as if you had entered the command EXPAND /?. However, in versions 5.0a and later, EXPAND is interactive. It prompts for the name of the compressed file and the name it should have in expanded form. For example:
Although the MS-DOS asterisk (*) and question mark (?) wildcards are not supported by the EXPAND command, a limited but useful form of wildcards has been introduced. If the specified source file does not exist, EXPAND attempts to find a file with the same name and extension, except that it changes the last character of the extension to an underscore (_). For example, if the file A:\EXAMPLE.BIN does not exist, the command
c:\>EXPAND Type the location and name of the compressed file you want to expand. (Example: A:\EGA.SY_) Compressed file: a:\himem.sy_ Type the location and/or name you want to give the expanded file. (Example: C:\DOS\EGA.SYS) Expanded file: c:\dos\himem.sys A:\HIMEM.SY_ -> C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS 1 file expanded
has the same effect as:
expand a:\example.bi_ c:\example.bin
expand a:\example.bin c:\example.bin
If the target file is not specified, the EXPAND command in versions 5.0a and later uses the same name as the source.
expand a:\example.bin c:\
Multiple source parameters are allowed. If multiple source parameters are used, the target must specify a single drive or directory. You can still use the following commands to re-expand the entire Shell for a VGA system in MS-DOS 5.0:
However, you can also use the following sequence with 5.0a and later as follows:
a:\>expand dosshell.co_ c:\dos\dosshell.com a:\>expand dosshell.ex_ c:\dos\dosshell.exe a:\>expand dosswap.ex_ c:\dos\dosswap.exe a:\>expand vga.vi_ c:\dos\dosshell.vid a:\>expand vga.gr_ c:\dos\dosshell.grb a:\>expand ega.in_ c:\dos\dosshell.ini
Article ID: 80751 - Last Review: November 16, 2006 - Revision: 2.1
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This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.