Bit of confusion with glossery terms

  [email protected] 09:15 14 Oct 2005

Just need a bit of confirmation or otherwise here.
These terms get bandied quite freely on forums and I suppose most of us accept them as part and parcel of home computing - until you actually have to so something with them!
It's easy to find out what it means and what it does, but where is it?
a] If I go to start > run > type in "cmd" OK, a window with a black background opens. Am I now in "DOS" and is this a read only area?
b] If I start my PC in safe mode I have white lettering on a black background with several options. At that moment in time I am, uhhh, in safe made. If I accept an option and start looking at settings where am I?
C] BIOS settings are changeable but is the BIOS within CMOS?
Be gentle with me someone, it is Friday ;-)

  PC Bilbo 09:36 14 Oct 2005

BIOS = Basic Input Output System . Refers to the basic software on a CMOS Chip on the Motherboard and is used to "configure theother chips and hardware attached to Motherboard.

CMOS = COMPLIMENTARY METAL OXIDE on SILICON.Refers to a certain type of low voltage Integated Circuit chip.

DOS = DISK OPERATING SYSTEM.Pre Until Windows 2000 & NT all Windows Operating Systems were written in a DOS shell which required precise SYNTAX commands.

It is really only used in XP if type in "CMD" for Command in the RUN box from START.

  bremner 10:04 14 Oct 2005

XP really does not have DOS click here for an explanation

  De Marcus™ 10:12 14 Oct 2005

a) yes your in dos and no it's not a read only area, you can run some pretty powerful commands from here, some of the simpler ones include 'the ping command' and finding out your network settings 'ipconfig /all', etc.

b) at the point in time when you press f8 and get the list of options your not quite in safe mode. You get the option to boot into safe mode (doesn't load all the drivers for windows and allows you to troubleshoot with a basis graphical display). There are a few other options which are handy, if for example your pc won't boot properly you can try the 'last known good config' entry to see if it'll bring windows back to normal. The other entries also have their uses, but the point in time when you get that list... your in dos (well the command shell as per bremner's link)

c)The BIOS on the motherboard contains the instructions on how the computer boots and is only modified or updated with BIOS updates, the CMOS is powered by a CMOS battery and contains your system settings and is modified and changed by entering the CMOS Setup.

  bremner 10:23 14 Oct 2005

Here is a good explanation of the BIOS/CMOS relationship click here

  [email protected] 10:27 14 Oct 2005

Thanks everyone - that just about tidies it all up nicely. Have a good weekend.

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