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

This article was previously published under Q279253
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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: 12/05/2015 22:45:09 - 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

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