Making Batch Files by koolzhazarn007


									                         Making Batch Files

A batch file is a normal text file, no programming involved. You type DOS commands
into a text file, each one on a seperate line. Then, you give the text file a .bat extension
instead of a .txt extension. Now, when you double click the batch file(In Windows
Explorer) or type its name at the DOS prompt, it will execute the commands.

First, we need to know some DOS commands. If you're a regular DOS user, you can skip
this section and go to CREATING A BATCH PROGRAM. The main DOS commands
we will use are copy, move, del, cls, and echo. The COPY command has this syntax:

copy [source] [destination]
In DOS help, the syntax is more complicated, but we don't need the advanced features for
our batch files. The COPY command, obviously copies a file. For example, say I wanted
to copy a:\readme.txt to a:\windows\help.txt. (By the way, this will also rename the file.)
I would type this:
copy a:\readme.txt a:\windows\help.txt
The MOVE command is exactly the same, except it MOVEs the file, and COPY copies
the file.

The del command is very simple. It erases a file. It follows this syntax:

del [filename]
For example, if you wanted to delete a file called a:\happy.txt you would type this:
del a:\happy.txt
The CLS command clears the screen. This is the syntax:
PAUSE is a command that stops the program and prompts you to "Press any key to
continue." The syntax is:
ECHO is a DOS command that shows the stuff you type. In a batch program, the @
symbol means not to echo a line. So, typing ECHO OFF prevents the user from watching
the batch program execute. And, to keep from echoing the ECHO OFF command, type
the @ symbol in front of it. Put it together and you get:
@echo off
All good batch programs start with the @ECHO OFF command followed by CLS.
Important!: If you use the @ECHO OFF command in your batch program, be sure to put
ECHO ON at the end of the batch program or the user will think their computer is messed
up. The ECHO ON command is like this:
echo on

Now for the batch file! First, if you're using Windows, open a DOS prompt. To make a
batch program to load a program called myname.bat, type this:

edit myname.bat
Then type:
@echo off
echo Hi, my name is %1
echo This is the contents of this batch file:
type myname.bat
Then save it in a file called myname.bat. The "%1" allows you to add data to your batch
file from the command line. Whatever you type after the batch filename at the dos prompt
will replace the %1.

At DOS prompt, type

myname Suzanne
( you can use your name here) and your program will start!

When you have completed this lab, make sure that I see it so that I can grade you. This is
lab 3B.

utorial 2- Batch Files

Batch files are created using a text editor such as EDIT. You may use a word processor
but you must remember to save the file as text or ASCII text, since normal word
processing files contain special character codes which won't be recognised by DOS.

All batch files have a .BAT extension. You may run a batch file by just typing in its name
at the DOS prompt and pressing return. It is not necessary to include the .BAT extension
when running a batch file.

Program Control

Normally, all commands in the batch file will be executed in the order in which they
appear in the file. This is called a sequence. Sometimes, there are circumstances in which
you would like to carry out commands in a different order or carry out a single command
repeatedly. Try typing the listing below into a batch file, save it with the name rpt.bat
then run it.

echo off
REM print steve all over the screen (put your own name in instead)
echo steve
goto start
REM end of program
Stop the program from running by pressingControl and C keys.

What happened? Your program should have repeatedly printed a name on the screen.

The key command is called GOTO. It transfers program control to a place in the batch
file that you specify. In this case, we tell the program to go to a line that begins with a
label called :start. Labels don't actually do anything in themeselves, they just act as a
point of reference in a program. You can call labels almost anything you like, except you
must ensure that they always begin with a colon ':'.

Every time the program reaches the goto command, it is told to go back to the start and
repeat the echo command again. Thus, this program never terminates and will continue
until you interrupt it.

Instead of printing steve every time you run the program, you could ask the user which
word they wanted printed. To do this you need to make use of parameters (%1,%2..etc),
in much the same way you did in the last tutorial.

echo off
REM ask user for what word to print
echo %1
goto start
REM end of program

save the file with the name rpt2.bat and then run it like this

RPT2 anyword


The format of the FOR command is

FOR variable IN (argumentlist) DO command

This is a repetition construct which will execute 'command' a number of times, depending
on what's in the argument list. Suppose we have a list of names to process.
echo off
Rem command that prints out a list of names
FOR %%a IN (Andrew Bob Carol Daisy Ellen) DO echo %%a

In this case the loop will execute the echo command 5 times becuase there are 5 items in
the argument list. See how we are able to use the variable %%a as a substitute for each of
the names? %%a is a variable that can take the value of a number of characters. When the
echo command is executed, the value of %%a is printed out.

We aren't confined to just simple character strings either. We could use wildcard
characters or user definable parameters (see below). This command will print out a list of
the names of text files stored in the current directory.

echo off
FOR %%a IN (*.txt) DO echo %%a


Can you amend the above program to make it print out a list of text files AND a list of
executable files (.EXE)?

Decision Making using IF

This program demonstrates how the IF command works

REM call the batch file exists.bat
REM check whether a file called 'test.txt' exists
IF EXIST test.txt GOTO :success
IF NOT EXIST test.txt GOTO :error

ECHO file test.txt exists
GOTO :end

ECHO Error - can't find the test.txt file
GOTO :end
REM do nothing. This is just the end of the file

If you don't have a file called test.txt in your current directory, the message 'Error - can't
find the text.txt file' should be printed.

Create a file called test.txt, and run the batch file again. What happens?

IF EXIST and IF NOT EXIST are the key commands. They test whether the file named
test.txt exists and transfer control (using GOTO) to the appropriate error message.

IF has several different uses. Type in the command

if /?

to get more information.


Amend the above program so that the user can choose any file they specify, rather than
using text.txt all of the time.

User Input

We have seen that parameters are one way of getting input from the user. But here we
look at some more flexible ways. We might for example, want the user to choose an
option from a menu of options, or answer a question (e.g. Are you sure you want to delete
this file [y,n] ?).

Here's an example of a safer version of the DEL command which asks for confirmation
before deleting a file.


REM choice gives you 2 options in this case - either y or n

CHOICE/C:yn Are you sure you want to delete %1

DEL %a
GOTO :end

echo file %1 not deleted
GOTO :end

Of course, using DEL /P is a much better way of using DEL safely but the point is to
demonstrate how you might use the CHOICE commands as a means of getting response
from the user.

In this case we have only used 2 choices y or n, but you can have more. Your code would
look something like this:

CHOICE/C:abcd choose a letter

Note the syntax and order of the statements. This is extremely important! The first line
lets you specify which keys you want the user to choose from.


Using the command you've just learned, write a batch file called winopt.bat that gives the
user 4 choices:

1. Start Windows
2. Start DOSKEY
3. REturn to DOS

Thus by simply entering a number from 1 to 3 the relevant command(s) should be

File Redirection

Normally, DOS assumes all input commands come from the keyboard, and prints out the
results on the screen (usually called standard input/output). But this does not always have
to be the case.

You can use the input direction operator '>' to send output to a file rather than the screen.
For example,
DIR A: > catalogue

will put the results of the DIR command into a file called catalogue, thus giving you a file
which describes the contents of your floppy disk. Why not try it now?

You can also take input from a file using the '<' rather than the keyboard but this is more
unusual. For one thing, batch files perform this operation automatically without having to
use the operator.

Input/Output direction don't look especially useful at this point. However, you may find
they become more useful when we get on to using UNIX.


Filters are used to process data in some way. One such filter is called MORE. You can
use it (e.g.) to display long files one screen at a time:


Note how MORE makes use of the redirection operator.

Another filter is FIND which looks for occurrences of strings in files.

Note that you must put quotes around your search string.


Can you write a batch file that uses find to search for strings in all text files in a complete
directory (use a small directory to test this), and then puts its results in a separate file,
rather than displaying them on the screen?


In this tutorial, we have only introduced the subject of batch files - complex commands
can be created. For those that are interested, check out one of the many DOS manuals
such as Microsoft's or Peter Norton's, for more detailed descriptions.

DOS has a reasonably simple set of commands. Even so, it is possible to create full,
working programs which are a lot more compact than the equivalent versions in some
programming languages I could mention.
        Main                                                        Operating
                 contact Concepts Programming Networking Hardware                ||KnujOn
olaf    Index                                                       Systems

The World of DOS - Creating Batch Files

DOS/Win3.11/95/98 vs. NT/ME/XP/2000(1)
Command Index(1)
Navigating DOS(2)
Tips and Tricks(2)
Network/Harware Utilities(3)
How to make and use bootable floppy disks(3)
Batch Files(4)
Creating Batch Files(4)
Batch file utilities and commands(4)

The AUTOEXEC.BAT file(4) autoexec.nt config.sys
Types of Batch and System Files(4)
Parameters in batch files(4)
Batch File Library(5)
Subject Index(5)
Helpful DOS Links(5)

Batch Files

What are batch files? Batch files are not programs, pre se, they are lists of command line
instructions that are batched together in one file. For the most part, you could manually
type in the lines of a batch file and get the same results, but batch files make this work
easy. Batch files do not contain "compiled" code like C++ so they can be opened, copied
and edited. They are usually used for simple routines and low-level machine instruction,
but they can be very powerful. If you look in your C:\, C:\WINDOWS, or C:\WINNT
folder you will see a multitude of .BAT, .SYS, .CFG, .INF and other types. These are all
kinds of batch files. This may shock you, but while most applications are writen in Basic
or C++ they sit on a mountain of batch files. Batch files are the backbone of the Windows
operating system, delete them and you've effectively disabled the OS. There is a reason
for this. The system batch files on each computer are unique the that computer and
change each time a program is loaded. The operating system must have access to these
files and be able to add and delete instructions from them.

Creating Batch files
Simple instructions

   1. Open a text editor like notepad(NOT word or wordpad)
   2. Type or copy this text:

       @ECHO OFF
       ECHO This is a batch file

   3. Save this as batchfile.bat, make sure there is no .txt extension after the .bat
   4. Double-click the file icon

This is a little batch file I wrote that I use every day. It deletes the cookies that get
dumped to my hard drive every time I go online. I could set my browser preferences not
to accept cookies, but sometimes cookies are useful. Some CGI pages are unusable with
cookies, sometimes when you enter a password for a Website, the site uses a cookie to
remember your password. I just do not need hundreds of cookie files taking up space
after I close my browser. With this batch file, all I have to do is double-click it and it
deletes my cookies. Feel free to cut and paste this code to your Notepad or Wordpad.
Save it as cookiekill.bat on your Desktop.

REM *******************************************
REM **Cookie Kill Program Will not work in NT**
REM *******************************************

deltree /y c:\windows\cookies\*.*
deltree /y c:\windows\tempor~1\*.*
REM Cookies deleted!

What does the batch file do? The first line has the command cls. cls clears the screen
window of any previous data. The next three lines start with REM for "remark." Lines
begining with REM do not contain commands, but instructions or messages that will be
displayed for the user. The next two lines begin with the command deltree, deltree not
only deletes files but directories and sub-directories. In this case the file is deleting the
directory cookies and all the files inside. This directory is automatically rebuilt. The
deltree has been passed the parameter /y, this informs the process to answer "YES" to
any confirmation questions. Sometimes you type the DEL or one of its cousins, the system
will ask "Are sure you want to do this?" setting /y answers these prompts without
interupting the process. The pause command halts the process temporarily and shows the
users a list of all the files being deleted. cls clears the screen again, another REM line tells
the user that the files are deleted. The last line contains only :end and returns the
process to the command prompt. This version was created to show the
user everything that is taking place in the process. The version bellow
does the same thing without showing the user any details.

@echo off

deltree /y c:\windows\cookies\*.*
deltree /y c:\windows\tempor~1\*.*


Without REM lines there are no comments. The @echo off command keeps
the process from being "echoed" in the DOS window, and without the
pause and :end lines, the process runs and exits without prompting the
user. In a process this small it is okay to have it be invisible to the
user. With more a complex process, more visual feedback is needed. In
computing there is fine line between too much and too little
information. When in doubt give the user the oportunity to see what is
going on.

This version is a little more thurough, deletes alot of junk
ECHO. ***********************************
ECHO. ** Clean Cookies and Temp Files **
ECHO. ** Will not work in NT **
ECHO. *******************************
deltree /y c:\windows\cookies\*.*
deltree /y c:\windows\tempor~1\*.*
deltree /y c:\progra~1\Netscape\Users\default\Cache\*.jpg
deltree /y c:\progra~1\Netscape\Users\default\Cache\*.gif
deltree /y c:\progra~1\Netscape\Users\default\Cache\*.htm
deltree /y c:\progra~1\Netscape\Users\default\archive\*.htm
deltree /y c:\progra~1\Netscape\Users\default\archive\*.gif
deltree /y c:\progra~1\Netscape\Users\default\archive\*.jpg
deltree /y c:\windows\temp\*.*
deltree /y c:\temp\*.*
deltree /y c:\windows\Recent\*.*
deltree /y c:\recycled\*.*

"C:\windows\history\today" will rebuld itself if you delete it. It's not a file, it's a specially
configured directory structure that DOS doesn't see the same way that windows does.
C:\windows\history\today doesn't actually exist as DOS sees it. Go into the
C:\windows\history directory and type DIR/A this will show you the hidden directories
and how they are named.

WINNT Version
ECHO **************************************************
ECHO ** DEL replaces DELTREE, /Q replaces /Y **
ECHO **************************************************

del /Q c:\docume~1\alluse~1\Cookies\*.*
REM Change alluse~1 in the above line to your userID
del /q c:\winnt\temp\*.*
del /q c:\temp\*.*
del /q c:\winnt\Recent\*.*
del /q c:\*.chk
Add these lines for XP - Provided by Patrick R.
del   /q   C:\Windows\Temp\Adware\*.*
del   /q   C:\Windows\Temp\History\*.*
del   /q   C:\Windows\Temp\Tempor~1\*.*
del   /q   C:\Windows\Temp\Cookies\*.*

One thing I do quite often is erase old floppy disks. I might have a stack of them and I
don't care what's on them, but I want all the files gone including potential virii(everyone
says "viruses" but "virii" is the proper term. Snob!). But I get tired of opening a DOS
prompt and typing in the command to format the disk. So I wrote a one line batch file that
does it for me. Save it as: "disk_wipe.bat"

format a: /u
Put a disk in the drive and double-click the .bat file icon.

Batch File Utilities and Commands

Any valid DOS command may be placed in a batch file, these commands are for setting-
up the structure and flow of a batch file.

Clears the screen

Exits the command-line process when the batch file terminates

When turned on, batch file will stop if the user presses < Ctrl >-< Break > when turned
off, the script will continue until done.


Calls another batch file and then returns control to the first when done.

Call another program
CALL C:\calc.exe

Allows user input. Default is Y or N.
You may make your own choice with the /C: switch. This batch file displays a menu of
three options. Entering 1, 2 or 3 will display a different row of symbols. Take note that
the IF ERRORLEVEL statements must be listed in the reverse order of the selection.
CHOICE is not recognized in some versions of NT.
ECHO 1 - Stars
ECHO 2 - Dollar Signs
ECHO 3 - Crosses


IF errorlevel 3 goto CRS
IF errorlevel 2 goto DLR
IF errorlevel 1 goto STR

ECHO *******************

ECHO $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
ECHO +++++++++++++++++++++

Runs a specified command for each file in a set of files. FOR %%dosvar IN (set of
items) DO command or command strcuture.
%%dosvar is the variable that will hold items in the list, usually a
single leter: %%a or %%b. Case sensitive, %%a is different from %A. The
items in the (set) are assigned to this variable each time the loop

(set of items) is one item or multiple items seperated by commas that
determine how many times the loop runs.

command or command strcuture is the operation you want to perform for
each item in the list.

This code will run through the set (A, B, C), when it gets to B it will
print the message: "B is in the set!"
FOR %%b in (A, B, C) DO IF %%b == B echo B is in the set!

This line will print the contents of C:\windows\desktop
FOR %%c in (C:\windows\desktop\*.*) DO echo %%c

So, you may create your own list or use various objects like files to
determine the loop run.

To go to a different section in a batch file. You may create different
sections by preceding the name with a colon.
Programmers may find this similar to funtions or sub-routines.

ECHO This is the first section

ECHO This is the subsection
Skip sections of a batch file
ECHO This is ONE, we'll skip TWO

ECHO This is not printed

ECHO We skipped TWO!

Looping with GOTO
REM Endless loop, Help!!
Use with CHOICE

IF EXIST C:\tempfile.txt
DEL C:\tempfile.txt
IF NOT EXIST C:\tempfile.txt
COPY C:\WINDOWS\tempfile.txt C:\tempfile.txt

Use with "errorlevel"
The generic paramater errorlevel refers to the output another program
or command and is also used with the CHOICE structure. If you try and
run a command in a batch file and produces an error, you can use
errorlevel to accept the returned code and take some action. For
example, let's say you have a batch file that deletes some file.
COPY C:\file.txt C:\file2.txt
If "file.txt" doesn't exist, you will get the error: COULD NOT FIND
C:\FILE.TXT. Instead, use a structure like this to create the file,
then copy it by accepting the error.
COPY file.txt file2.txt
IF errorlevel 1 GOTO MKFILE

ECHO file text>file.txt
ECHO Quitting
an errorlevel of 1 means there was an error, errorlevel of 0 means
there was no error. You can see these levels by adding this line after
any line of commands:
ECHO errorlevel: %errorlevel%

Pauses until the user hits a key.

This displays the familiar "Press any key to continue..." message.

Allows a remark to be inserted in the batch script.

REM DIR C:\WINDOWS Not run as a command
DIR C:\WINDOWS     Run as a command

Setting ECHO "on" will display the batch process to the screen, setting
it to "off" will hide the batch process.
@ECHO OFF Commands are NOT displayed
@ECHO ON Commands are displayed

ECHO can also be used in batch file to send output to the screen:
ECHO Hi, this is a batch file
ECHO. sends a blank line.

To echo special characters, precede them with a caret:

Otherwise you will get an error.

The @ before ECHO OFF suppresses the display of the initial ECHO OFF
command. Without the @ at the beginning of a batch file the results of
the ECHO OFF command will be displayed. The @ can be placed before any
DOS command to suppress the display.

Breaking long lines of code
You may break up long lines of code with the caret ^. Put it at the end
of a line, the next line must have space at the begining. Example:
copy file.txt file2.txt
would be:
copy file.txt^

Use to view or modify environment variables. More.

Sets the last drive in the system.

Loads the CD-ROM software extensions(drivers), usually so an operating
system can be then loaded from CD. See the AUTOEXEC.BAT section for
special instructions concerning CD ROM installation. Installing windows
from a CD when the CDROM is not yet configured


AUTOEXEC.BAT stands for automatic execution batch file, as in start-up
automatically when the computer is turned on. Once a very important
part of the operating system, it is being less used and is slowly
disapearing from Windows. It is still powerful and useful. In NT
versions it is called AUTOEXEC.NT, click here for more information.

Before the graphical user interface(GUI, "gooey") of Windows, turning
on a PC would display an enegmatic C:\> and not much else. Most
computer users used the same programs over-and-over, or only one
program at all. DOS had a batch file which set certain system
environments on boot-up. Because this was a batch file, it was possible
to edit it and add a line to start-up the user's programs

When the first version of Windows was released users would turn their
PCs on, and then type: WIN or WINDOWS at the prompt invoking the
Windows interface. The next version of Windows added a line to the
AUTOEXEC to start Windows right away. Exiting from Windows, brought one
to the DOS prompt. This automatic invocation of Windows made a lot of
people mad. Anyone who knew how to edit batch files would remove that
line from the AUTOEXEC to keep Windows from controling the Computer.
Most users do not even know that DOS is there now and have never seen
it as Windows hides the any scrolling DOS script with their fluffy-
cloud screen. At work I will often have to troubleshoot a PC by
openning a DOS shell, the user's often panic, believing that I have
broken their machine because the screen "turns black".

Most current versions of Windows have a folder called "Start-up." Any
program or shortcut to a program placed in this folder will start
automatically when the computer is turned on. This is much easier for
most users to handle than editing batch files.

Old versions of DOS had a AUTOEXEC that looked like this:

@echo off
prompt $p$g

All this really did way set the DOS prompt to ">"

Later versions looked like this:
@echo off
path c:\dos;c:\windows
set temp=c:\temp
Lh mouse
Lh doskey
Lh mode LPT1 retry
This AUTOEXEC.BAT loads DOS & then Windows. Sets up a "temp" directory.
Loads the mouse driver, sets DOSKEY as the default and sets the printer
retry mode. "Lh" stands for Load High, as in high memory.

An AUTOEXEC.BAT from a Windows 3.11 Machine
MODE LPT1:,,P >nul
C:\DOS\SHARE.EXE /F:150 /L:1500
cd windows

This version simply sets DOS to boot to Windows.


Whenever a program is installed on a computer, the setup program or
wizard will often edit the AUTOEXEC. Many developer studios will have
to "set a path" so programs can be compiled or run from any folder.
This AUTOEXEC is an example of that:

This AUTOEXEC sets the path for COBOL and JAVA development BINs. This
way, the computer knows where to look for associated files for COBOL
and JAVA files if they are not located directly in a BIN folder.

Sets all the devices and boots to Windows.
When the "REM" tags are removed the device commands become visible.
REM [Header]
REM [CD-ROM Drive]
REM [Display]
REM [Sound, MIDI, or Video Capture Card]
REM [Mouse]
REM [Miscellaneous]

For loading Windows from a CD
@echo off
cd \win95
oemsetup /k "a:\drvcopy.inf"
For loading CDROM drivers
Removing the "REM" tags uncomments the commands and runs them.


NT does not use AUTOEXEC.BAT, the file is called AUTOEXEC.NT and should
be found in the C:\WINNT\system32 folder. Here is a sample AUTOEXEC.NT
@echo off

REM AUTOEXEC.BAT is not used to initialize the MS-DOS environment.
REM AUTOEXEC.NT is used to initialize the MS-DOS environment unless a
REM different startup file is specified in an application's PIF.

REM Install CD ROM extensions
lh %SystemRoot%\system32\mscdexnt.exe

REM Install network redirector (load before dosx.exe)
lh %SystemRoot%\system32\redir

REM Install DPMI support
lh %SystemRoot%\system32\dosx

*.NT and *.CMD

.NT and .CMD may be used as .BAT files were used in earlier versions of
Windows. You may notice on NT systems that there are fewer and fewer
.BAT files. Try seaching for .NT or .CMD and you will find many of the
same types of batch files that were available as .BATs. For example:
CONFIG.NT has a similar function to the old CONFIG.SYS of Windows.


In Windows systems config.sys is used to set the initial values of the
environment variables. To see your current settings, type SET on a
command line. In early versions config.sys is a text file you can edit.
In later versions it is a complied file that cannot be changed in a
text editor. In newer NT versions it is not used at all. Try
msconfig.exe instead.
REM [Header]
REM [SCSI Controllers]
REM [CD-ROM Drive]
REM [Display]
REM [Sound, MIDI, or Video Capture Card]
REM [Mouse]
REM ------------------
REM [Miscellaneous]

Types of "batch" files in windows

INI, *.ini - Initalization file. These set the default variables for
the system and programs. More
CFG, *.cfg - Configuration files.

SYS, *.sys - System files, can sometimes be edited, mostly compiled
machine code in new versions. More.

COM, *.com - Command files. These are the executable files for all the
DOS commands. In early versions there was a seperate file for each
command. Now, most are inside COMMAND.COM.

NT, *.nt - Batch files used by NT operating systems. More.

CDM, *.cmd - Batch files used in NT operating systems. More.

Answer Files and Unattended Installations
Customizing Unattended Installations
Answer Files
Customizing and Automating Installations
Automate Windows Installations

Batch File Parameters

You may put and use command-line parameters into your batch-files.

Suppose you had a batchfile called "test.bat" and these were the
@echo off
if (%1) == (Hi) echo %1
and at the command line you entered: test.bat Hi, the output would be
"Hi". If you entered test.bat bye you would get no response because the
parameter did not match. the "%1" refers to the first parameter on the
command line after the batch file name. If you want to two parameters,
the script would look like this:
@echo off
if (%1) == (Hi) echo %1 %2
You could also just spit out what someone types in without a condition:

@echo off
echo %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6
Then typing test.bat dont tell me what to do would produce
dont tell me what to do because it is set up to handle 6 parameters and
there are six words. You can tease someone by changing the order:
@echo off
echo %6 %3 %1 %2 %5 %4
do me dont tell to what

Making your own variables
You may use the SET command to create your own internal paramaters.
This batch file:
@echo off
set myvar=Hi Joe
echo %myvar% is myvar
Will print Hi Joe is myvar. Notice a few important points. when we
initialize myvar there are no % around it. When we use it, it must be
between two %. Also, there must be no spaces between the = and the
terms. When myvar is not in a set command or between % it is treated as
a literal string.

You can make up your own parameter names and have many of them:
@echo off
set name=John Smith
set address=1 main street
set city=helltown

echo %name%
echo %address%
echo %city%
You could also assign command line parameters to the variables:
@echo off

set name=%1
set address=%2
set city=%3

echo %name%
echo %address%
echo %city%
The command line usually sees the space as a parameter delimiter, use
double quotes " to make it ingore the spaces: test.bat "Joe Smith" "1
Main Street" "Helltown".
Something important to remember about SET, it actaully creates a
variable name in the file So if you enter SET NAME=Joe on the command
line or in a batch file and then go to the command line and enter ECHO
%NAME% the response will be Joe. Entering SET with no parameters will
also show the whole list of SET variables. These will be erased when
you reboot.

The power of command line switches

Most GUI programs have some kind of command line support which means
you may automate their operation through batch files. For example, DOS
does not have a built-in email sending function like UNIX. However,
using an installed email program like Outlook, you may "force feed" the
program on the command line. Outlook examples:outlook /c ipm.note will
open a blank email, outlook /c ipm.note /m will open a
blank email with the indicated address, outlook /c ipm.note /a
myfile.doc attaches a file. More outlook switches, outlook programming.

An example using command line with winzip.
The Windows Installation Catch-22
You have a new computer with a unformated hard drive, or a drive with
only DOS loaded. You want to load Windows from a CD, but you can't see
the CD ROM from the DOS prompt. This is messy and can be screwed-up
easily, luckily mistakes on this don't cause permanent damage. If
you're lucky the CD ROM you have came with an installation disk(on
floppy, of course). Putting this disk in and running the INSTALL.EXE or
SETUP.EXE will install the drivers for you and alter the system files
so you can load Windows from the CD ROM(Linux, by the way, has no
problem with this!). If there is no INSTALL.EXE on the disk, you will
have to edit lines in two files on your Windows 95 Boot/Install floppy
disk. These files are: CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT. Open these files
for editing are look for lines that look like these:



They may or may not be REMed out. You will need to change the
"/D:OEMCD001" part of these lines to reflect the CD ROM that you have.
For example if you have a Memorex it might be "/D:MSCD001". But be
sure, check any manuals you might have lying around. If not, go to the
manufacturer's website and down load the installation files. You will
also need to figure out which drive letter it will be. If you only have
on hard disk, it will be "D:" as in "/D:MSCD001," if you have two hard
drives, or your drive is in several partitions, it might be "E:" or
"F:". So then the line would be "/E:MSCD001" or "/F:MSCD001"

The Final line in CONFIG.SYS might be like this:

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