The Explorer: Batch File Bonanza - InformationWeek
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Fred Langa
Fred Langa
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The Explorer: Batch File Bonanza

Download 84 free reader-created batch files that'll solve problems on your PC.

In an earlier column, I asked readers to share their best batch files, and hundreds of you responded with batch files of all types. Some were small utilities that performed one function that could be used as-is or within other, larger files (such as a tiny batch file that stores the date as separate year, month, and day system variables that can easily be accessed by any other program). Others were extremely sophisticated, such as one batch files used as part of a corporation's nightly ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) processing; or a batch file that collects, sorts, and automatically faxes a day's messages to a geographically scattered workforce. Some even rivaled commercial apps, such as a batch file technique that uses the DOS version of PKZip to perform a complete, compressed system backup.

I've spent the last several days going through all the submitted files, and it was an amazing experience. First and foremost, thanks to everyone who participated!

All the submitted files offered something of interest such as a clever technique, an interesting application, or an unusual approach. It wasn't easy, but I finally boiled down the entries to 84 files. I chose these particular files because they all can be extremely useful either as-is, or as teaching tools that will spark ideas that you can modify for your own particular needs.

The 84 top submissions fall into seven general categories:

  • Extensions/Modifications Of The Original Win9x Cleanup Batch Files presented in Parts Four and Five of this series (see above)
  • Adaptations Of The Win9x Cleanup Concepts To Win2K
  • Alternative Cleaning Tools that take different approaches to cleanup, or that target very different files -- such as those from ICQ -- than the original CleanUp did
  • Batch-Driven System File Save/Restore, and Backups that offer manual and automatic backups of various files by a variety of techniques
  • Registry Tools to (compact, manage, and maintain your Registry, from DOS
  • Miscellaneous files that span a wide range of interesting DOS tools and utilities
  • Extra-Cool, Extra-Powerful Files that are longer, more complicated, and that go far beyond the basics

Related resources:

Save Your Butt With DOS:
Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Some of the submissions are ready-to-run; others contain information (and links to information) that you can adapt as you wish; and still others (especially the more complex ones) show the batch file in plain-text form that you can cut, paste, and edit to suit your own specific needs.

The 84 batch files reside on the WinMag BrowserTune server -- it's a high-capacity box that should be able to keep up with what will no doubt be a very high demand for these files.

On the batch file subsite, you'll find two pages: The first contains essential background information. Don't skip or skim it! Please take the short time -- three or four minutes -- needed to read the entire page.

Once you've read that page, you can click to the actual file-download page, where you'll see links to the batch files organized in the same seven categories that appear above.

Follow all the instructions, and be sure to examine any batch files you download before you run them to ensure they're OK for your particular system and setup. (Batch files employ the raw power of DOS and require you to provide the necessary intelligence for safe operation.)

Once you're tried the files, please return here and post your reactions in the discussion area. Or, if you missed the original call for batch file submissions, post your file in the discussion area so others can benefit from your efforts.

And again, thanks to everyone who participated!

Click for the batch files

To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Fred Langa's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about Fred Langa, please visit his page on the Listening Post.

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