Copy

Copies one or more files from one location to another.

Syntax

copy [/d] [/v] [/n] [{/y|/-y}] [/z] [{/a|/b}] Source [{/a|/b}] [+ Source [{/a|/b}] [+ ...]] [Destination [{/a|/b}]]

Parameters

/d : Allows the encrypted files being copied to be saved as decrypted files at the destination.

/v : Verifies that new files are written correctly.

/n : Uses a short file name, if available, when copying a file with a name longer than eight characters, or with a file extension longer than three characters.

/y : Suppresses prompting to confirm that you want to overwrite an existing destination file.

/-y : Prompts you to confirm that you want to overwrite an existing destination file.

/z : Copies networked files in restartable mode.

/a : Indicates an ASCII text file.

/b : Indicates a binary file.

Source : Required. Specifies the location from which you want to copy a file or set of files. Source can consist of a drive letter and colon, a folder name, a file name, or a combination of these.

Destination : Required. Specifies the location to which you want to copy a file or set of files. Destination can consist of a drive letter and colon, a folder name, a file name, or a combination of these.

/? : Displays help at the command prompt.

Remarks

You can copy an ASCII text file that uses an end-of-file character (that is, CTRL+Z) to indicate the end of the file.

Using /a 

When /a precedes a list of files on the command line, it applies to all files listed until copy encounters /b. In this case, /b applies to the file preceding /b.

When /a follows a list of files on the command line, it applies to all listed files until copy encounters /b. In this case, /b applies to the file preceding /b.

The effect of /a depends on its position in the command-line string. When /a follows Source, copy treats the file as an ASCII file and copies data that precedes the first end-of-file character.

When /a follows Destination, copy adds an end-of-file character as the last character of the file.

Using /b 

/b directs the command interpreter to read the number of bytes specified by the file size in the directory. /b is the default value for copy, unless copy combines files.

When /b precedes a list of files on the command line, it applies to all listed files until copy encounters /a. In this case, /a applies to the file preceding /a.

When /b follows a list of files on the command line, it applies to all listed files until copy encounters /a. In this case, /a applies to the file preceding /a.

The effect of /b depends on its position in the commandline string. When /b follows Source, copy copies the entire file, including any end-of-file character.

When /b follows Destination, copy does not add an end-of-file character.

Using /v 

If a write operation cannot be verified an error message appears. Although recording errors rarely occur with copy, you can use /v to verify that critical data has been correctly recorded. The /v command-line option also slows down the copy command, because each sector recorded on the disk must be checked.

Using /y and /-y 

If /y is preset in the COPYCMD environment variable, you can override this setting by using /-y at the command line. By default, you are prompted when you replace this setting, unless the copy command is executed in a batch script.

Appending files

To append files, specify a single file for Destination, but multiple files for Source (using wildcard characters or file1+file2+file3 format).

Using /z 

If the connection is lost during the copy phase (for example, if the server going offline severs the connection), copy /z resumes after the connection is reestablished. /z also displays the percentage of the copy operation that is completed for each file.

Copying to and from devices

You can substitute a device name for one or more occurrences of Source or Destination.

Using or omitting /b when copying to a device

When Destination is a device (for example, Com1 or Lpt1), /b copies data to the device in binary mode. In binary mode, copy /b copies all characters (that is, including special characters, such as CTRL+C, CTRL+S, CTRL+Z, and carriage return) to the device as data. However, if you omit /b, data is copied to the device in ASCII mode. In ASCII mode, special characters might cause Windows XP to combine files during the copying process. For more information, see "Combining files."

Using the default destination file

If you do not specify a destination file, a copy is created with the same name, modified date, and modified time as the original file, placing the new copy in the current directory on the current drive. If the source file is on the current drive and in the current directory and you do not specify a different drive or directory for the destination file, the copy command stops and displays the following error message:

File cannot be copied onto itself

0 File(s) copied

Combining files

If you specify more than one Source, separating entries with a plus sign (+), copy combines the files into a single file. If you use wildcard characters (that is, * or ?) in Source, but you specify a single file name in Destination, copy combines all files matching the file name in Source and creates a single file with the file name specified in Destination. In either case, copy assumes the combined files are ASCII files unless you use /b.

Copying zero-length files

Copy does not copy files that are 0 bytes long. Use xcopy to copy these files.

Changing the time and date of a file

If you want to assign the current time and date to a file without modifying the file, use the following syntax:

copy /b Source+,,

The commas indicate the omission of the Destination parameter.

Copying files in subdirectories

To copy all of a directory's files and subdirectories, use the xcopy command. For information about xcopy, see Related Topics.

The copy command, with different parameters, is available from the Recovery Console.

Examples

To copy a file called Memo.doc to Letter.doc in the current drive and ensure that an end-of-file character is at the end of the copied file, type:

copy memo.doc letter.doc /a

To copy a file named Robin.typ from the current drive and directory to an existing directory named Birds that is located on drive C, type:

copy robin.typ c:\birds

If the Birds directory does not exist, the file Robin.typ is copied into a file named Birds that is located in the root directory on the disk in drive C.

To copy several files into one file, list several Source files, separate the file names with a plus sign (+), and specify a Destination file that you want to contain the resulting combined file. For example, to combine Mar89.rpt, Apr89.rpt, and May89.rpt, which are located on the current drive and directory, and place them in a file named Report on the current drive and directory, type:

copy mar89.rpt + apr89.rpt + may89.rpt report

When you combine files, copy marks the destination file with the current date and time. If you omit Destination, the files are combined and stored under the name of the file specified first. For example, to combine all four files in Report when a file named Report already exists, type:

copy report + mar89.rpt + apr89.rpt + may89.rpt

You can also combine several files into one file by using wildcard characters (that is, * or ?). For example, to combine all files in the current directory on the current drive that have the extension .txt into one file named Combin.doc, type:

copy *.txt combin.doc

If you want to combine several binary files into one file by using wildcard characters, include /b. This prevents Windows XP from treating CTRL+Z as an end-of-file character. For example, type:

copy /b *.exe combin.exe

 Caution

If you combine binary files, the resulting file might be unusable due to internal formatting.

In the following example, copy combines each file that has a .txt extension with its corresponding .ref file. The result is a file with the same file name but with a .doc extension. Copy combines File1.txt with File1.ref to form File1.doc, and then copy combines File2.txt with File2.ref to form File2.doc, and so on. For example, type:

copy *.txt + *.ref *.doc

To combine all files with the .txt extension, and then combine all files with the .ref extension into one file named Combin.doc, type:

copy *.txt + *.ref combin.doc

Formatting legend

FormatMeaning

Italic

Information that the user must supply

Bold

Elements that the user must type exactly as shown

Ellipsis (...)

Parameter that can be repeated several times in a command line

Between brackets ([])

Optional items

Between braces ({}); choices separated by pipe (|). Example: {even|odd}

Set of choices from which the user must choose only one

Courier font

Code or program output

Xcopy

Command-line reference A-Z



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