Microsoft KB Archive/52192

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Article ID: 52192

Article Last Modified on 11/16/2006


  • 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 Q52192


You use the asterisk (*) wildcard to copy multiple files into a new directory, and you receive the following message:

1 File(s) copied

When you check the new file, it appears that all of your original files have been merged into it.


This behavior is by design. The COPY command does not detect that multiple files are being copied to a nonexistent directory.


To avoid this problem, use the XCOPY command when copying multiple files to a different directory. If XCOPY detects that multiple files are being copied to a nonexistent directory, XCOPY prompts you to create the directory.


If you use a command similar to

   COPY *.* \MYDIR

when the subdirectory C:\MYDIR does not exist, COPY merges all the files involved in the COPY command into one large file. No error message is displayed indicating that this has happened. The only immediate sign that the files were merged, rather than copied, is that COPY reports the following message, rather than indicating the total number of files copied.

   1 File(s) copied

NOTE: If you do not notice that the files have been merged, or if you do not check the destination directory for the results of the copy, and you then delete the original set of files, only the merged file remains. At this point, it may not be possible to separate the merged file into its original component files.

Additional query words: 6.22 3.20 3.21 3.30 3.30a 4.00 4.01 5.00 5.00a 6.00 6.20

Keywords: KB52192