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Multiple Commands on a Single Line May Not Run When You Use the && Command Separator

This article was previously published under Q279253
The double ampersand (&&) command separator may not run the commands to the right of && command.

For example, when you run the following command, the pause command does not run when a floppy disk is not in drive A, and you receive a "The device is not ready" message:
dir a: && pause
This behavior occurs because the && command separator performs error checking. If the command to the left of the && command does not return the expected results, the commands to the right of the && command do not run.
To resolve this issue, use the single & command separator. When you use a single & command, error checking is not performed and all commands run.

The following sample command displays a list of files in the current folder, and then runs the pause command even if the dir a: command does not work:
dir a: & pause
The following samples provide more examples of the && command separator.Note that in these examples, a, b, and c represent commands.

Example 1
a && b && c
If command a does not run, then commands b and command c do not run. If command b does not run, then command c does not run.

Example 2
a & b & c
In this example, commands a, b, and c always run.
This behavior is by design.
To view the online documentation for the && command separator or for other MS-DOS commands, type the following command at a command prompt:
cmd /?

Article ID: 279253 - Last Review: 03/02/2007 00:31:14 - Revision: 3.2

  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition
  • kbenv kbprb KB279253