Microsoft KB Archive/50564

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Article ID: 50564

Article Last Modified on 5/12/2003


  • Microsoft MS-DOS 3.1
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 3.2 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 3.21 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 3.3 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 3.3a
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 4.01 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 5.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 5.0a
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.2 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.21 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.22 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q50564


When a file of zero length is copied to a currently existing file, the COPY command returns the following message and incorrectly deletes the target file in the process:

0 File(s) copied


When a file is to be copied to an existing file, the COPY command deletes the target file and then proceeds to copy the source file onto the target file. However, just before proceeding, COPY checks the length of the source file and, since it is of length zero, the COPY command is aborted. The net result is that the previously existing target file isn't undeleted and hence is lost.


You can recover the target file by using a third-party utility (such as The Norton Utilities or PC-Tools).

With MS-DOS 5.0 and later, the UNDELETE command can also be used to recover the target file.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft MS-DOS packaged product versions listed at the beginning of this article. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.


For more information on UNDELETE, query on the following words:

ms-dos and 5.00 and undelete and file

The third-party utilities mentioned above are manufactured by vendors independent of Microsoft; we make no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding these products' performance or reliability.

Additional query words: 3.30 3.30a 4.00 4.01 5.00 5.00a 6.00 6.20 6.22

Keywords: KB50564