Differences Between DOSSHELL.INI in MS-DOS Versions 5 and 6

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This article discusses the differences between the DOSSHELL.INI file in MS-DOS versions 5.0 and 6.0.


The DOSSHELL.INI file in MS-DOS 6.0 does not contain references to the MS-DOS 5.0 BACKUP and RESTORE commands.

Since Setup doesn't update a existing DOSSHELL.INI file, the existing references to Backup Fixed Disk and Restore Fixed Disk are not updated. BACKUP.EXE is copied to the OLD_DOS directory so that the Backup Fixed Disk option no longer works. You can either copy the MS-DOS 5.0 BACKUP command (BACKUP.COM) to the DOS directory or modify the Backup Fixed Disk properties to reference the new backup program, Microsoft Backup (MSBACKUP.EXE).

If you don't have an existing DOSSHELL.INI file, Setup creates a new one with the following default items:
   Main Menu
   Command Prompt
   MS-DOS QBasic
   Disk Utilities Menu
   MS Anti-Virus
   MS Backup
   Quick Format
Setup leaves the RESTORE command (RESTORE.EXE) from MS-DOS 5.0 in the DOS directory even though it does not appear as an item in MS-DOS 6 Shell. The BACKUP command (BACKUP.EXE) from MS-DOS 5.0 is available on the supplemental disk or in the OLD_DOS directory as described above.

To replace your existing DOSSHELL.INI file, you can expand the appropriate .IN_ file from the original MS-DOS 6 Upgrade disks. For example, if you have an EGA or VGA video display card, expand EGA.IN_ from the MS-DOS 6 Upgrade disks (Disk 2 of the 1.2-megabyte (MB) set or Disk 1 of the 1.44-MB set). For example, if you insert the Setup disk in drive A, you would type the following command:
expand a:ega.in_ c:\dos\dosshell.ini
If the new utilities made available by the MS-DOS 6.0 DOSSHELL.INI file are not installed, you must install them using the SETUP command with the /E parameter.


Article ID: 96518 - Last Review: October 21, 2013 - Revision: 1.0
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.0 Standard Edition
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