Sunday, March 28, 2010


For some reason, the uses I made of my previous computer did not require me to worry about using batch files or the command prompt, so I never did. I guess those were years I was deep into blogging and I did "backups" other ways. Now I've got this laptop and thought that it'd be useful to have some batch files again, mostly for backup purposes. I know I've used other command prompt commands in the past, but the only ones that I wanted to revive were variations of the "dir" and the "xcopy" commands.

Xcopy allows me to make highly specific backups to my flash drives, whether the backups are Full backups, incremental backups by date, or incremental backups by archive flags (copies only files that have been modified) Then I always have a safety copy of the important stuff in case of fire or flood!

Using those commands, especially in a batch file, makes certain things very easy, but I hadn't taken into consideration how long it'd been! I had trouble remembering the EXACT correct terms. And Microsoft changes made it a criminal investigation to discover how to get the command prompt in a window. The changes may have occurred earlier than Vista, but things are certainly relocated since I used to use it on a daily basis, two computers ago. I suspect that it's a small percentage of computer users who even know that command prompt and batch files exist these days. They aren't necessary, though they are delightful work horses if you have need of them.

I thought it'd take me 15 minutes to sort all this forgotten material out, but it was more like 15 hours of researching, 15 minutes at a time!

Now you know why nobody pays me for researching computer answers!

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