How to Run Xcopy to Null on Windows 2000

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If you suspect bad media when you install a program from a CD-ROM, and there is limited hard-disk space on your computer, you can use the Xcopy utility to copy all of the files to Null to test the media. In MS-DOS, Null is a virtual file to which data can be copied or printed. Windows 2000 does not recognize Null. This article explains how to perform this procedure.


Although you cannot copy all of the files to the Null device, you can copy each of the files on the CD-ROM to a single file. Each file copied replaces (overwrites) the previous file. The free disk space on the hard disk needed for this procedure is the size of the largest file on the CD-ROM.

Before you proceed, always make sure that the CD-ROM is clean.
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Type cmd, and then click OK.
  3. Type xcopy drive letter:\*.* /s > c:\test1 (where letter is the letter of your computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive), and then press ENTER.
  4. If you are prompted to confirm that c:\test1 specifies a file or directory name, type F.
  5. If you are prompted to overwrite the file, type A.
Depending on the speed of your computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, these steps may take several minutes to complete. If there are any files that cannot be read from the CD-ROM, you receive an error message indicating that the CD-ROM is dirty or damaged.

To delete the temporary file when you are finished running Xcopy, type the following at the command prompt (press ENTER after each line):
del /f c:\test1



Article ID: 319137 - Last Review: October 30, 2006 - Revision: 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
kbinfo KB319137

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