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Xcopy vs. Xcopy32

by Bill Cohane
1998/09/02

Here is something that I posted to PCSOFT almost a year ago.

The program xcopy32 has two parts. A 16 bit part (sort of a limited edition) that works when xcopy32 thinks that it was called from a DOS environment and the full (32 bit) version that works when xcopy32 perceives that it is being run within the Win95 GUI.

If you run xcopy32 after booting from a floppy, or running Win95 in DOS mode, or after booting to Command Prompt Only, or even from a DOS prompt (within Win95) where the box "Prevent MS-DOS based programs from detecting Windows" is checked, xcopy32 will not run with the full set of switches.

As per comments from Microsoft, authors of XCOPY:
Don't run xcopy32 directly. Ever. Always run xcopy. Xcopy.exe...sets up a few things and then runs Xcopy32 with the appropriate settings...

If you are running in Windows mode, xcopy runs the 32-bit version of xcopy32.exe. If you are running in DOS mode, xcopy runs the 16-bit version of xcopy32.exe. (Yes, xcopy32.exe is two, two, two programs in one.) If you look carefully, xcopy.exe is a tiny little program. Xcopy is just a little front-end for xcopy32, which is where all the real work happens... It was a mistake to give that other file the name "xcopy32.exe". I should've called it "xcopy.mod"... Xcopy.exe is the only program you should run.

I was given five days to add LFN support to Xcopy...I did what I could in the time I had...it was easier to add the /h option to the Win95 version than the DOS version. (The DOS version is written in assembly language. The Win95 version is written in C.)....I had some time left over, so I added /H and /K and /L and a few other switches to the 32-bit version.

If you are running in DOS mode, then only the DOS xcopy features are available. Xcopy handles everything, *provided* you run it from within the Windows 95 GUI. The /H and /K options are supported only in Windows 95 mode.

 

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