How do I Start My Fujitsu Lifebook P Series at the DOS Command Prompt?

Written by eric hammer
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Booting directly to the DOS prompt was once a very simple affair. Before the release of the Windows XP operating system, users could choose whether their computer would boot to DOS or Windows. Since the advent of Windows XP, however, Windows no longer runs atop DOS, but is based on Windows NT, which runs directly as the operating system. If you need to boot your Fujitsu Lifebook P series computer (which runs Windows 7) to DOS, however, there is a way.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Click the "Start" button.

  2. 2

    Type "msconfig" into the "Search" field. Click "Msconfig.exe" when it appears, and the "MS Config" window opens.

  3. 3

    Click the "Boot" tab.

  4. 4

    Locate "Boot Options." Check the box for "Safe boot."

  5. 5

    Click "Alternate Shell."

  6. 6

    Select "CMD.exe."

  7. 7

    Click "OK."

  8. 8

    Click "Restart" and your computer will now restart at a DOS prompt. Type "exit" and press "Enter" to return to Windows 7.

Tips and warnings

  • For those who happened to stumble onto this article and are wondering what DOS is, DOS--which stands for Disk Operating System--was the standard way to access PCs before Window. DOS was created in 1981 by Microsoft, then largely replaced when version 3.1 of Windows was released in 1992. In 2001, when Windows XP was released, DOS ceased to exist as a separate operating system and became a series of commands that could be accessed from the "command prompt," which looks like the old DOS prompt, i.e. "C:\>," but is actually just another part of Windows. Today, the DOS prompt is used mostly by experienced computer users who want to enter commands directly into the operating system instead of using the interface Windows provides. It can also be used to run older programs that require DOS instead of Windows.
  • If you just need to get into the DOS prompt once, rather than every time you start your computer, simply reboot and press "F8" continuously until the "Advanced Boot Options" menu appears. Use the arrow keys to select "Safe Mode with Command Prompt." This will boot your computer just this one time into DOS, as opposed to every time.
  • If you regularly plan to not only use DOS programs, but also want access to Windows 7 on a regular basis, you may wish to consider a dual boot option (for advanced users only) using a copy of MS DOS as your second boot option. See resources for more information on dual boot options.
  • If you just need to access DOS once and don't need the computer to start in DOS, you can reach the DOS prompt directly by clicking the "Start" button, typing "Command Prompt" into the "Search programs and files" field, then clicking on "Command Prompt" when it appears. This will open a DOS window without requiring a reboot.
  • This method will leave your computer permanently booting into the DOS prompt until you change it back. To change it, type "exit" at the DOS prompt, then press "Enter." Follow steps 1 to 3 and uncheck the box next to "Safe boot."

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