Accepting Arguments

Use %1 from within the script as the first argument and %2 as the second etc. If the argument is a filename then the following can be used instead to process it:

%1 is the normal parameter. Returns filename exactly as passed. 

%~f1 expands %1 to the drive, path, and file name. If passed only filename from current directory, this will expand it. 

%~d1 extracts (or expands then extracts) the drive letter from %1 

%~p1 extracts (or expands then extracts) the path from %1 

%~dp1 extracts (or expands then extracts) the drive letter and path from %1 

%~sp1 extracts (or expands then extracts) the short path from %1 

%~n1 extracts (or expands then extracts) the file name, without extension, from %1 

%~sn1 extracts (or expands then extracts) the short file name, without extension, from %1 

%~x1 extracts (or expands then extracts) the file extension from %1 

%~nx1 extracts (or expands then extracts) the file name and extension from %1 

%~sx1 extracts (or expands then extracts) the short extension from %1 

\%0 is the complete path, filename, and extension of the script itself.


Wait for a program to finish

Your batch file runs a Windows program, but you need it to not do anything else until after that Windows program finishes. The general answer is to use the START command with the /WAIT option like this:

  start /wait notepad.exe

This works for the majority of programmes, however there could be problems with Self-extracting exes for instance.

Make a time dealy

The "Wscript.Sleep" command allows you to specify a sleep time in milliseconds. Here is batch code for a ten-second delay that creates the needed scripting file:

@echo off
echo Starting!
echo Wscript.Sleep 10000> sleep.vbs
start /w wscript.exe sleep.vbs
echo Done!
del sleep.vbs


Find expired hosts in an input file

This can be used to find expired hosts in etc\\hosts:

@echo off

:: Test to see if we are on Win 9x by how ampersands are handled
> HostsExpired.tmp echo 1234&rem
type HostsExpired.tmp | find "rem" > nul
if errorlevel 1 goto NOT9X
goto ISWIN9X

if exist HostsExpired.tmp del HostsExpired.tmp
echo This batch file will read the HOSTS file looking for
echo machine names that don't have a DNS "A" entry. A list 
echo of those machines will be appended to a file named
echo "HostsExpired.txt" in the default directory (usually
echo the same directory the batch file is in).

:: Wake the system up by pinging the primary DNS

:: now read the first two words in each line of the HOSTS file
if not exist %windir%\\System32\\drivers\\etc\\hosts goto DONE
for /f "tokens=1,2" %%x in (%windir%\\System32\\drivers\\etc\\hosts) do call :TESTLINE %%x %%y
goto DONE

:: Arguments (dirty) - IP, MachineName
:: Did we get two arguments (was it a blank line)?
if [%2]==[] goto DONE
:: Is it a commented line?
echo %1 | find "#" > nul
if not errorlevel 1 goto DONE
:: Do a NS lookup. If "Address" shows up twice, it is good.
nslookup -type=A %2 2>nul | find /c "Address" | find "2" > nul
if errorlevel 1 call :TESTAGAIN %1 %2
echo %2
goto DONE

:: Arguments (clean) - IP, MachineName
:: Use ping as a time delay in case NS needed more time to 
:: look up or in case my [email protected]#$%?! DHCP lease expired again.
:: Do a NS lookup. If "Address" shows up twice, it is good.
nslookup -type=A %2 2>nul | find /c "Address" | find "2" > nul
if errorlevel 1 call :LOG %1 %2
goto DONE

:: Arguments (clean) - IP, MachineName
:: Add the IP/name entry to the list.
echo %1    %2>> HostsExpired.txt
goto DONE

:: Used as a delay or to wake up the system by pinging the primary DNS.
:: Read the ipconfig command and separate things by the colon.
for /f "tokens=1,2 delims=:" %%x in ('ipconfig /all') do call :PINGDNS2 "%%x" %%y

:: Arguments (dirty) - IpconfigEntry, IpconfigValue
:: If %1 (the beginning of the ipconfig line) has "DNS Servers"
:: in it, then %2 (the end of the ipconfig line) has the DNS IP.
echo %1 | find "DNS Servers" > nul
if errorlevel 1 goto DONE
:: Ping the DNS server, but limit the hop count so we *probably* will
:: get out of our local network, but *probably* won't harrass the DNS.
ping -i 4 %2 > nul
ping -i 4 %2 > nul
goto DONE

if exist HostsExpired.tmp del HostsExpired.tmp
echo This batch file requires Windows NT or newer. 
goto DONE


Get IP address


  ipconfig.exe | find "IP Address" | find /v ""


  winipcfg.exe /batch %temp%\\winipcfg.out
  type %temp%\\winipcfg.out | find "IP Address" | find /v ""

Although this works on both but does it in a different way:

  ping.exe -n 1 -i 1 -w 1
  arp.exe -a | find "Interface"

If the IP is required by itself then it can be filted using for tokens/delims:

  ipconfig|find /i "ip address" >bg1
  for /f "tokens=1-2 delims=:" %i in (bg1) do echo %j >bg2
  for /f "tokens=1 delims= " %i in (bg2) do echo %i >ip.txt
  ''rem IP address is now in ip.txt
  rem To populate it in an evironment variable:''
  for /f "tokens=1 delims=*" %i in (ip.txt) do set ipaddress=%i
  echo IP address is: %ipaddress%

It would be a nightmare trying to do this on Win 9x are it does not have for natively.


Get user name

An easy way

set|find "USERNAME"|set username=%A

echo %username%

or some harder ways:

This exports the key from the reg and gets the value from it into a env variable:

@echo off
start /w regedit /e reg.txt HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\System\\CurrentControlSet\\control
type reg.txt | find "Current User" > "Current#User.bat"
echo set CurrentUser=%%1>"Current User.bat"
call "Current#User.bat"
del "Current?User.bat" > nul
del reg.txt > nul
echo %CurrentUser%

This gives the username in quotes though, although it can be removed by making it to a file like this:

md temp1
cd temp1
:: creates a temp1 directory for the batch file to work in.  Essentially
:: just a directory that doesn't contain any files.
echo hello>%username%
:: echos hello into a file called "Bert"
:: DOS can't call the file "bert", so it drops the quotes on each side....
:: you a directory with one file in it  (called bert)
dir /B >c:\\workingdirectory\\user.txt
:: outputs the data to a file called user.txt in the working directory
deltree temp1
:: just a quick tidy up.

Or use the NET config command to create a batch file with the output of the 'User name' line and grab the third 'parameter':

@echo off
:: The "net config" generates several lines of data, among
:: them one that has my user name like this
:: User name       EPHELPS
:: I put just that line into a temporary batch file
net config workstation | find "User" > temp.bat
:: Since the first word in my temporary batch file is "User",
:: I'll need to create a batch file named user. The user.bat
:: file will have the word "name" as it's first argument
:: and the word "EPHELPS" as it's second argument. I'm 
:: obviously after the second argument here!
echo set value=%%2> user.bat
:: Now I call my temp.bat which will in turn run user.bat
call temp.bat
:: Delete the temporary files we made
del temp.bat
del user.bat
:: Display the value we got!
echo Your user name is %value%

Instead of 'net config workstation' only 'net config' is required under Win 9x.

The following uses DEBUG instead:

@echo off
:: Parses the output of the "net config" command to get
:: the user name. Uses debug to trim
:: away all unwanted info from the response line.
set value=
:: Use net config to get lots of data, then filter it
net config | find "User name" > setvalue.bat
:: Use DEBUG to overwrite the beginning data
>  script echo e 0100 "                     set value="
>> script echo w
>> script echo q
debug setvalue.bat < script > nul
del script
call setvalue.bat
del setvalue.bat
echo User name is %value%

Backup IIS

The below script backups the config of remote IIS servers, rotates files by deleting anything older than 28 days and uploads them to a remote off-site location using pscp.


  • plink and pscp downloaded and in your %PATH%
  • An ammended version of the Delete all files older than 1 day (Windows) script.
  • The acc which the script in run under will need read permissions in the c:\\windows\\system32\\inetsrv folder of the IIS servers you wish to backup.
  • For the remote off-site backup the relevant dirs need to be created as well as public key authentication.
@echo off
cd \\
echo ----------------------------- >>IISBackup.log
echo %date% %time% Starting backup >>IISBackup.log

c:\\windows\\system32\\cscript //b DelFilesOlderThan28Days.vbs f:\\IISBak\\iis1
c:\\windows\\system32\\cscript //b DelFilesOlderThan28Days.vbs f:\\IISBak\\iis2
c:\\windows\\system32\\cscript //b DelFilesOlderThan28Days.vbs f:\\IISBak\\iis3

if not exist q:\\MetaBase.xml net use q: \\\\iis1\\c$\\windows\\system32\\inetsrv
if %errorlevel%==1 echo %date% %time% Error in mapping Q to iis1 >>IISBackup.log
if not exist r:\\MetaBase.xml net use r: \\\\iis2\\c$\\windows\\system32\\inetsrv
if %errorlevel%==1 echo %date% %time% Error in mapping R to iis2 >>IISBackup.log
if not exist s:\\MetaBase.xml net use s: \\\\iis3\\c$\\windows\\system32\\inetsrv

copy /y q:\\MetaBase.xml f:\\IISBak\\iis1
copy /y q:\\MBSchema.xml f:\\IISBak\\iis1
copy /y r:\\MetaBase.xml f:\\IISBak\\iis2
copy /y r:\\MBSchema.xml f:\\IISBak\\iis2
copy /y s:\\MetaBase.xml f:\\IISBak\\iis3
copy /y s:\\MBSchema.xml f:\\IISBak\\iis3

for /f "Tokens=1-5 Delims=/ " %%i in ('date /t') do set dt=%%i_%%j_%%k
ren f:\\IISBak\\iis1\\MetaBase.xml Metabase_%dt%.xml
ren f:\\IISBak\\iis1\\MBSchema.xml MBSchema_%dt%.xml
ren f:\\IISBak\\iis2\\MetaBase.xml Metabase_%dt%.xml
ren f:\\IISBak\\iis2\\MBSchema.xml MBSchema_%dt%.xml
ren f:\\IISBak\\iis3\\MetaBase.xml Metabase_%dt%.xml
ren f:\\IISBak\\iis3\\MBSchema.xml MBSchema_%dt%.xml

pscp -r -i c:\\linux\\serverkey.ppk f:\\IISBak\\* [email protected]:/home/schedadmin/iisbak/ >>IISBackup.log
if %errorlevel%==1 echo %date% %time% Error in scp command iisiis1 >>IISBackup.log

plink -i c:\\linux\\serverkey.ppk [email protected] find /home/schedadmin/iisbak -type f -mtime +28 -exec rm {} \\; >>IISBackup.log
if %errorlevel%==1 echo %date% %time% Error in plink command to rm older than 28 days >>IISBackup.log
echo %date% %time% Finished >>IISBackup.log

See Also

Process Lines of Data Using FOR

Processing Lists

More Proessing Lists

Get User Input

Stupid DOS Tricks

Joseph Hayes Tips

Win32 Scripting Tutorial

Advanced Dos Based Logon Script

Assorted NT/2000/XP/.. CMD.EXE Script Tricks