DOS Tips

DOS Diskcopy Command l

Sure, the Windows diskcopy has a better interface but we realized that it is still a limited version of the DOS Diskcopy command. Windows 95/98/NT's Copy Disk utility is fine for making quick, single copies of disks. However, if you need to make more than one copy of a disk, the utility forces you to copy the original each time it makes a duplicate while DOS's Diskcopy command lets you make multiple copies of the same disk without having to recopy it over and over again.

To run Diskcopy, type in

C:\>diskcopy a: a:

You will be prompted to insert a disk. Now, insert the disk and press any key. Windows 95 will then copy the contents of your source disk track by track into memory. When it finishes, you'll see a message prompting you to insert the target disk (the disk you want to copy to). Remove the source disk, insert the target disk, then press any key to copy the contents of the source disk to the target disk.

After Diskcopy creates a copy of the source disk, it will prompt you whether you want to create another duplicate of this disk. To do so, type Y. Then, remove your current target disk, insert the next one, and press any key to continue. You can copy to as many target disks as you like, without having to recopy the source disk. Once you've finished copying disks, type N when asked if you want to write another duplicate of the disk. Finally, Diskcopy will ask you if you want to copy another disk. Type N and then close the DOS window.

The DOS Diskcopy command includes a /v switch, which ensures that the tracks on your target disk are written to reliably. If your target disk is bad, the /v option will detect it and abort the process. The drawback of using this option is that it increases the time it takes Diskcopy to copy a disk. Use it only If you're concerned about the reliability of your floppy disks.

If you don't like working on DOS, create a shortcut to the desktop with the following command

C:\Windows\Command\Diskcopy A: A:

for easier access.

Although the Undelete utility may sound very useful, we are disappointed to say that it might not work under some Windows systems. Try it to see whether it works on yours.

There are also some limitations to the Diskcopy command. First, you can copy only floppy disks, not hard disks. Second, you can copy only similar-sized disks. In other words, even if your system has both 3.5 inch and 5.25 inch drives, you can't use Diskcopy to copy from one to the other. Third, while you can't copy a high-density disk (such as a 1.44MB disk) to a low-density disk (such as a 720K disk), you can copy low density to high density. Keep in mind, however, that the high-density disk will be reformatted in the low-density format.

Dos Tips 9
Dos Tips 9

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