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Beginners Guides: Understanding and Creating Batch Files
Beginners Guides: Understanding and Creating Batch Files - PCSTATS
Batch files can save time by automating actions down to one simple click. A good understanding of what they are, how they work, and how to create your own, is crucial to today's IT force.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Apr 04 2011   M. Dowler  
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Batch file error levels and the goto command

When a command is executed in a batch file, in addition to any information it may display on the screen, it also returns an error level to the batch file itself. This error level is either errorlevel 0 (meaning no error occurred and the program worked correctly) or errorlevel 1 (an error occurred and that section of the batch file did not work correctly). For example, if you created a simple batch file to format a disk in your floppy (a:) drive like so:

@echo off
format a:

The format command in the batch file would return errorlevel 0 if there was a disk in the drive and it was formatted correctly, while if there was not, or the disk could not be formatted, it would return errorlevel1. By using these errorlevels and the GOTO command, you can set up your batch files to do different things depending on whether the commands in them succeed or fail. For example, you can use the IF command along with the errorlevel returned by the format command to let the user know whether the operation was successful or not:

@echo off
format a:
if errorlevel 1 goto error *go to the :error heading if there's an error in format
echo your disk formatted successfully *if format returned no error, show this message
goto end *go to the :end heading to finish the program
echo an error occurred during formatting
echo formatting finished

There's no way we could cover all the angles of batch files in a single guide, so we've got to stop here. If you've been following along, you should have picked up enough of the fundamentals and possibilities of batch file creation to start designing your own. Start with modifying the ones we made here to suit your own backup needs, then progress from there. Have fun!

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Understanding and Creating Batch Files
 Pg 2.  Creating a BATCH File
 Pg 3.  Preparing for your second batch file
 Pg 4.  Anatomy of a batch file
 Pg 5.  Third trial batch file: getting fancy
 Pg 6.  — Batch file error levels and the goto command

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