DOS for OmniTurn Users

Mrw 4-11-2000



OmniTurn machines are rather unique in that they are PC based machines, running an "operating system" based on PC type Dos (Disk Operating System). This FAQ will teach you simple ways to move around in DOS, copy files, delete files etc.


You must first determine if the machine is an older style, running from (2) floppy disks, or a Harddrive.Check the back of the machine, and see if there are two actual floppy disks in the drive(s). If there is a User Disk in the top drive (B:) and a OmniTurn System disk, you probably do not have a hard drive. If there is a single disk in the bottom drive, marked USER DISK, it probably has a hard drive. More on this in a minute.




Harddisks and Ram Disks


RAM (random access memory) is memory space located on memory chips on the motherboard of your computer. When you turn on a computer, the operating system, and other files are loaded from the harddrive or floppy drive, into this memory, where the computer can manipulate it easily. It takes a fairly long time for a computer to read information directly from a floppy drive, so the computer must have a faster way to manipulate these files and information.

The "non hard disk" controls cheats, and first loads the operating system and then makes what is called a RamDisk in the memory chips, which fools the computer into thinking it has a hard drive on board, and the information and files are easily and quickly manipulated.


Just like a real hard disk, it makes "directories" ("folders" for you Windows users), and gives it the drive letter "C:", just like a real hard disk. Unlike a harddisk, when you turn off the computer, or change a file, it only changes it in memory, leaving the file on the floppy drive, untouched. This can be confusing if you have to make a change in a permanent file, that has to be loaded the next time the machine gets turned on.


Think of any drive as a big filing cabinet, where you can define the drawers, and what goes in them. The very top drawer ofthe filing cabinet, contains the index of all the names of the other drawers. Each drawer is called a directory, and may have other drawers inside of it, with drawers in them as well.The very top drawer is called the "ROOT" directory, with all the other drawers below it, just like a tree root, they drop down, and spread out into other directories, and even more directories.


An example of this is:


C:\(the root directory)

C:\sample (the level below thetop directory)

C:\sample\temp ( a sub directory of the "sample" directory)

OmniTurn software uses only two levels but this applies to any DOS directory


To make changes in a permanent file, or copy a disk or files, you must go to the real hard drive, or floppy drive. On a floppy based machine,you must go to the actual drive.

Boot up the control, and home the machine as normal, in the jog mode. Then press "escape" to go to the main menu.Press and hold the "shift" key, and press the "escape" key. This drops you out of the OmniTurn program to DOS. You may see:




Type in†††† A:


This makes the computer change over and read the A drive. You will see:



This indicates the drive your now able to look at, and the Rootor top directory of that drive.

Most common DOS commands


From the DOS screen simply type in any of the below commands, and hit "Return".

Most DOS commands use a "shorthand" or abbreviations, to keep the typing down. These abbreviations must be entered exactly, and in the proper order, or the computer will not know what you are telling it to do.It will usually tell you that it didnít understand by giving you an error message. Simply do it again in the right fashion.







This asks the computer to show you what files are on that drive and in the directory you are currently at. You will see a number of files scroll down your screen. If it goes too fast to read, you may add a few things to make it easier.




This asks the computer to show you the directory, but only one screen full at a time. Pressing any key will show you the next screen full, and so on, until you reach the bottom of the listing,where the last line shows you how much space on the drive has been used, and the free space remaining.



CD..takes you up to the next higher level of the directory tree.


CD\takes you to the Root directory.


CD\ sample takes you down to the "sample" directory


CD\sample\temp takes you all the way down to the subdirectory "temp"


If you are already in"sample", simply type in CD\temp

Andit will take you down one level to the "temp" directory


To make your very own directory, simply either go to the "Root" or the subdirectory where you want to make your own directory and type in:


MD (which is computer short hand for Make Directory) and give it a name, then press "return"



CD\†† (which takes you to the root directory)

MD susan †††††††(Which makes a subdirectory with the name of "susan")


DEL filename (deletes a file)


BECAREFUL with this command, as once its deleted, it is GONE!!

Ifyou accidentally delete a file, immediately take it to a computer knowledgable user and have them try to Unerase the file. If you have not written anything to the disk after you deleted the file, it may be restored. If you use the disk after deleting something, that file is permanently gone in most cases.


Format/udrive letter

Formatting a disk, completely erases EVERYTHING on that disk, permanently, so be sure you want to do that. An example would be if you had a brand new disk you wanted to make into a user or program disk. Formatting it erases all the data that may be there, checks the disk for bad spots, and readies it so your computer will read it and be able to write to it.


Example: To ready a new disk for use, simply put the new disk in the a: (or b:) drive and type in:


Format/u A: (or B:)


This may take a few minutes to complete, but will tell you when it is done.



The copy command allows you to copy files from one place to another, and is very powerful. The synatx of the copy command MUST be followed. Also, remember if there is already a file with the same name, it will get over written by the new file. This is handy if you are updating your software, or updating a part program file, but it is irreversable, so be sure there is not already a file by the same name you want to keep.


To copy a file called "Pipe123" from the A: drive to the C: drive


Go to the A: drive


copy pipe123 c:


to copy that same file from the A: drive to the Programs directory of the c: drive


copy pipe123 c:\programs


This is very simple once you understand the syntax.

You can even copy a group of files, if you use what is called a "wildcard"

DOS uses the "*" as a wild card. For example if you wanted to copy all the programs on a floppy disk to the Programs directory of the C: drive


Copy *.*c:\programs


TO make a backup of the programs on your User Disk, to another floppy, simply put the one you want to copy, in the A: drive, and the formated blank one in the b: drive:


Copy A:*.* B:



Diskcopy†† Is used to copy an entire disk, with all the files and subdirectories. If you use it, it will erase everything on the new disk, so if you simply wanted to copy a few files, use the copy command instead. To make a backup copy of your OmniTurn System disk: Place your system disk in A: and the new disk in B:


Diskcopy A: B:


This will take f ew minutes, but will tell you when its done.


File names and extensions

Many file names have an extension after the name. Example

Pipe123.txt would indicate that it is a text file

Omni2.exe indicates that itís a program.

Sec.dat indicates itís a data file.

A quirk in the OmniTurn software is that when you do a directory from the Automatic or Disk Operations Menu, it will ignore any file with an extension, and not display it. For example, if you wrote a program using MasterCam, and saved it to disk, it may save it with an extension. A file called pipe123 would get saved as pipe123.cnc. Doing a directory will not show that file. You can load it from the Automatic mode, as long as you remember to add the .cnc. However,you may rename it, and get rid of the .cnc. Syntax must be correct!



Rename pipe123.cncpipe123


Do not use wildcards with the Rename command!



EW is the built in text editor in the OmniTurn software. It is handy for making changes to the Prm.ser (peramiter server) file, or the autoexec.bat or config.sys files. These should NOT be changed unless directed to by a qualified technician or the factory. To changethe Prm.ser file, simple type:


EW prm.ser


And the file will be loaded, opened and you can make then save your changes. This is the same program used to write and edit programs from the Automatic Menu, so the commands are the same.



These are the basic DOS commands when working with the OmniTurn software and control.