------------------------- MS-DOS v6.22 Help: COPY --------------------------
<Notes> <Examples>                                                   <Index>
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                                    COPY
 
Copies one or more files to the location you specify.
 
This command can also be used to combine files. When more than one file is
copied, MS-DOS displays each filename as the file is copied.
 
Syntax
 
    COPY [/Y|/-Y] [/A|/B] source [/A|/B] [+ source [/A|/B] [+
    ...]][destination [/A|/B]] [/V]
 
Parameters
 
source
    Specifies the location and name of a file or set of files from which you
    want to copy. Source can consist of a drive letter and colon, a
    directory name, a filename, or a combination.
 
destination
    Specifies the location and name of a file or set of files to which you
    want to copy. Destination can consist of a drive letter and colon, a
    directory name, a filename, or a combination.
 
Switches
 
/Y
    Indicates that you want COPY to replace existing file(s) without
    prompting you for confirmation. By default, if you specify an existing
    file as the destination file, COPY will ask you if you want to overwrite
    the existing file. (Previous versions of MS-DOS would simply replace the
    existing file.) If the COPY command is part of a batch file, COPY will
    behave as in previous versions. Specifying this switch overrides all
    defaults and the current setting of the COPYCMD environment variable.
 
/-Y
    Indicates that you want COPY to prompt you for confirmation when
    replacing an existing file. Specifying this switch overrides all
    defaults and the current setting of the COPYCMD environment variable.
 
/A
    Indicates an ASCII text file. When the /A switch precedes the list of
    filenames on the command line, it applies to all files whose names
    follow the /A switch, until COPY encounters a /B switch, in which case
    the /B switch applies to the file whose name precedes the /B switch.
 
    When the /A switch follows a filename, it applies to the file whose name
    precedes the /A switch and to all files whose names follow the /A
    switch, until COPY encounters a /B switch, in which case the /B switch
    applies to the file whose name precedes the /B switch.
 
    An ASCII text file can use an end-of-file character (CTRL+Z) to indicate
    the end of the file. When combining files, COPY treats files as ASCII
    text files by default.
 
/B
    Indicates a binary file. When the /B switch precedes the list of
    filenames on the command line, it applies to all files whose names
    follow the /B switch, until COPY encounters an /A switch, in which case
    the /A switch applies to the file whose name precedes the /A switch.
 
    When the /B switch follows a filename, it applies to the file whose name
    precedes the /B switch and to all files whose names follow the /B
    switch, until COPY encounters an /A switch, in which case the /A switch
    applies to the file whose name precedes the /A switch.
 
    The /B switch specifies that the command interpreter is to read the
    number of bytes specified by the file size in the directory. The /B
    switch is the default value for COPY unless COPY is combining files.
 
/V
    Verifies that new files are written correctly.
 
Related Command
 
For information about copying directories and subdirectories, see the
<XCOPY> command.
 
                                      ***

<Syntax> <Examples>
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                                COPY--Notes
 
Setting the COPYCMD environment variable
 
You can set the COPYCMD environment variable to specify whether you want the
COPY, MOVE, and XCOPY commands to prompt you for confirmation before
overwriting a file, whether issued from the command prompt or a batch file.
 
To force the COPY, MOVE, and XCOPY commands to prompt you before overwriting
in all cases, set the COPYCMD environment variable /-Y. To force these
commands to overwrite in all cases without prompting you, set the COPYCMD
environment variable to /Y.
 
Typing any of these commands with the /Y or /-Y switch overrides all
defaults and the current setting of the COPYCMD environment variable.
 
Copying to and from devices
 
You can substitute a device name for one or more occurrences of source or
for destination.
 
Using or omitting the /B switch when copying to a device
 
When destination is a device (for example, COM1 or LPT1), the /B switch
causes MS-DOS to copy data to the device in binary mode. In binary mode, all
characters (including such special characters as CTRL+C, CTRL+S, CTRL+Z, and
carriage return) are copied to the device as data. Whereas, omission of the
/B switch causes MS-DOS to copy data to the device in ASCII mode. In ASCII
mode, such special characters as those previously listed may cause MS-DOS to
take special action during the copying process.
 
Using the default destination file
 
If you do not specify a destination file, MS-DOS creates a copy with the
same name, creation date, and creation 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 MS-DOS displays the following error message:
 
    File cannot be copied onto itself
    0 File(s) copied
 
Using the /V switch
 
If MS-DOS cannot verify a write operation, it displays an error message.
Although recording errors rarely occur with the COPY command, the /V switch
lets you verify that critical data has been correctly recorded. The /V
switch also slows down the COPY command, because MS-DOS must check each
sector recorded on the disk.
 
Using the /A and /B switches
 
The effect of an /A or /B switch depends upon its position on the command
line. When the /A or /B switch follows the source filename, COPY performs as
shown in the following list:
 
/A
    Treats the file as an ASCII (text) file and copies data that precedes
    the first end-of-file character. COPY does not copy the first
    end-of-file character or the remainder of the file.
 
/B
    Copies the entire file, including any end-of-file character.
 
When the /A or /B switch follows the destination filename, COPY performs as
shown in the following list:
 
/A
    Adds an end-of-file character as the last character of the file.
 
/B
    Does not add an end-of-file character.
 
Combining files with the COPY command
 
If you specify more than one source, separating entries with a plus sign
(+), COPY combines the files, creating a single file. If you use wildcards
in source but specify a single filename in destination, COPY combines all
files matching the filename in source and creates a single file with the
filename specified in destination.
 
In either case, COPY assumes the combined files are ASCII files unless you
specify the /B switch. (Do not combine non-ASCII files without specifying
the /B switch; doing so can result in truncated files, since most binary
files contain CTRL+Z characters which cause COPY to behave as if it has
reached the end of the file.)
 
If the name of the destination file is the same as the name of one of the
files being copied (except the first file), the original contents of the
destination file are lost. When this happens, COPY displays the following
message:
 
    Content of destination lost before copy
 
Copying files in subdirectories
 
To copy all of a directory's files and subdirectories, you should use the
XCOPY command.
 
Copying zero-length files
 
COPY does not copy files that are 0 bytes long; instead, it deletes such
files. 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 a command in the following format. The commas indicate the
omission of the destination parameter.
 
    copy /b source+,,
                                      ***

<Syntax> <Notes>
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                               COPY--Examples
 
The following command copies a file and ensures that an end-of-file
character is at the end of the copied file:
 
    copy memo.doc letter.doc /a
 
To copy the NOTE.TXT file from the current drive and directory to the
directory MYNOTES, and to prevent MS-DOS from prompting you before
overwriting the destination file (if it already exists), type the following
command:
 
    copy note.txt mynotes /y
 
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 the
following command:
 
    copy robin.typ c:\birds
 
If the BIRDS directory doesn't exist, MS-DOS copies the file ROBIN.TYP 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 any number of files as source
parameters on the COPY command line. Separate filenames with a plus sign (+)
and specify a filename for the resulting combined file, as the following
example shows:
 
    copy mar89.rpt + apr89.rpt + may89.rpt report
 
This command combines the files named MAR89.RPT, APR89.RPT, and MAY89.RPT
from the current drive and directory and places them in a file named REPORT
in the current directory on the current drive. When files are combined, the
destination file is created with the current date and time. If you omit
destination, MS-DOS combines the files and stores them under the name of the
first specified file. For example, if a file named REPORT already exists,
you can use the following command to combine all four files in REPORT:
 
    copy report + mar89.rpt + apr89.rpt + may89.rpt
 
You can also combine several files into one by using wildcards, as the
following example shows:
 
    copy *.txt combin.doc
 
This command combines all files in the current directory on the current
drive that have the extension .TXT into one file named COMBIN.DOC, also in
the current directory on the current drive.
 
If you want to combine several binary files into one by using wildcards,
include the /B switch, as the following example shows:
 
    copy /b *.exe combin.exe
 
This prevents MS-DOS from treating CTRL+Z as an end-of-file character.
 
CAUTION:  If you combine binary files, the resulting file might not be
          usable 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
filename but with a .DOC extension. Thus, COPY combines FILE1.TXT with
FILE1.REF to form FILE1.DOC. Then COPY combines FILE2.TXT with FILE2.REF to
form FILE2.DOC, and so on.
 
    copy *.txt + *.ref *.doc
 
The following COPY command combines first all files with the .TXT extension,
then all files with the .REF extension into one file named COMBIN.DOC:
 
    copy *.txt + *.ref combin.doc
 
Copying information from the keyboard
 
The following COPY command copies what you type at the keyboard to the
OUTPUT.TXT file:
 
    copy con output.txt
 
After you type this command and press ENTER, MS-DOS copies everything you
type to the file OUTPUT.TXT. When you are finished typing, press CTRL+Z to
indicate that you want to end the file. The CTRL+Z character will appear on
the screen as "Z". You can also end a COPY CON command by pressing the F6
key. When you press F6, it generates the CTRL+Z character, which appears on
the screen as Z.
 
The following example copies information from the keyboard to the printer
connected to LPT1:
 
    copy con lpt1
 
                                      ***

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Last update: June 14, 2000 06:20 EST by -vjf-
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