Viewing Contents of BACKUP Disks from MS-DOS 3.3, 4.x, and 5.0 (61849)

The information in this article applies to:
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 3.3
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 3.3a
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 4.0
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 4.01
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 5.0

This article was previously published under Q61849


Information regarding which files are stored on a BACKUP disk created by MS-DOS version 3.3, 4.x, or 5.0 is contained in the file CONTROL.<xxx> (where <xxx> is the number of the BACKUP disk).


The BACKUP command included with MS-DOS versions earlier than 3.3 saves each file as a separate file on the BACKUP disk. You can use the DIR command to see which file is on which BACKUP disk.

A DIR of a backup disk created with the MS-DOS version 3.3x, 4.x, or 5.0 BACKUP command only lists two files: and (where xxx is the number of the disk in the BACKUP sequence). The BACKUP file contains the files that have been backed up; each file's name, size, place in the directory structure, and so in is stored in a file called

The backup disks created with the Microsoft MS-DOS 5 Upgrade utility HDBKUP.EXE are the same format as those created by the MS-DOS versions 3.3 and later BACKUP command, and can be viewed with BACKINFO.EXE.

MS-DOS 5.0 includes the RESTORE option "/D" (without the quotation marks), which displays similar information as BACKINFO. However, if there is more than one disk in the backup sequence, RESTORE will end with an error when a second disk is inserted. This problem can be avoided by using BACKINFO, or by issuing a separate RESTORE command for each disk in the backup sequence.

Modification Type: Major Last Reviewed: 11/26/2003
Keywords: KB61849