Tag Archives: cmd

How to create a datetime stamp within a batch script in the format YYYY-MM-DD

Below is a batch script that populates the variable Timestamp with a datetime value in the format YYYY-MM-DD_HH:MM:SS.

This technique can then be used when creating files etc.

To try out the example below copy the text and paste it into a text editor like notepad. Save the file as timestamp with the extension .bat and then double click on the filestamp.bat file.

This code example will display the current datetime in windows command shell. It will also create a blank file called Test along with the current datetime in the format yyyymmddhhmmss in the same directory the batch script is run from.

@ECHO off
ECHO Date format = %date%

REM Breaking down the format 
FOR /f "tokens=2 delims==" %%G in ('wmic os get localdatetime /value') do set datetime=%%G
ECHO dd = %datetime:~6,2%
ECHO mth = %datetime:~4,2% 
ECHO yyyy = %datetime:~0,4%
ECHO Time format = %time%
ECHO hh = %time:~0,2%
ECHO mm = %time:~3,2%
ECHO ss = %time:~6,2%

REM Variable format 1
SET Timestamp=%date:~6,8%-%date:~3,2%-%date:~0,2%_%time:~0,2%:%time:~3,2%:%time:~6,2%
ECHO New Format 1: %Timestamp%
REM Variable Format 2
SET Timestamp=%date:~6,8%%date:~3,2%%date:~0,2%%time:~0,2%%time:~3,2%%time:~6,2%
ECHO New Format 2: %Timestamp%
REM Building a timestamp from variables
SET "dd=%datetime:~6,2%"
SET "mth=%datetime:~4,2%"
SET "yyyy=%datetime:~0,4%"
SET "Date=%yyyy%%mth%%dd%"
ECHO Built Date from variables: %Date%

REM Write Timestamp into file name
REM BREAK>Test%Timestamp%.txt 


How to enable and disable xp_cmdshell

xp_cmdshell is an extended stored procedure provided by Microsoft and stored in the master database. This procedure allows you to issue operating system commands directly to the Windows command shell via T-SQL code.

By default, the xp_cmdshell option is disabled on new installations. Along with other unwanted behavior malicious users can elevate their privileges with the use of xp_cmdshell. For this reason it is generally recommend to leave xp_cmdshell disabled. It can be enabled by using the Policy-Based Management or by running the sp_configure system stored procedure as shown in the following code example:

Use Master

EXEC master.dbo.sp_configure 'show advanced options', 1

EXEC master.dbo.sp_configure 'xp_cmdshell', 1


To disable xp_cmdshell use the following code example. Note: The following example also sets show advanced options server configuration option to 0. It is best practice to leave this option in the default state of 0 to stop the enabling of features.

Use Master

EXEC master.dbo.sp_configure 'xp_cmdshell', 0

EXEC master.dbo.sp_configure 'show advanced options', 0

How to copy only files from a folder and respective subfolders using a batch script

Ok so here’s a nifty little batch script that will loop through all the directories in a directory to gather all the subsequent files into a new directory. (Code at bottom of the page)

(For those of you that don’t know what a batch script is here’s a quick definition. A batch file is a text file that contains a sequence of commands for a computer operating system. It’s called a batch file because it batches (bundles or packages) into a single file a set of commands that would otherwise have to be presented to the system interactively from a keyboard one at a time.)

Here’s a diagram explaining how the batch script provided at the bottom of the page works. (Note that the folders aren’t copied just the files.)

diagram of process

So why would you use this?

Lets say you’re dealing with a system that has outputted thousands of folders into a single folder and each folder contains files.

You could be looking at millions of files to be gathered, a process that cannot be done manually.

Or a simpler use case might be you’ve downloaded thousands of movies and each was put into a separate folder. Now you just want the media files in one location.

How to use:

Open the program notepad.

Copy the code below and past it into notepad saving the file with the extension .bat

Place the batch file in the parent folder, i.e. the folder all the other folders are in.

Double click the batch file.

The batch file will create a folder one directory level above where the parent folder is located and copy all the files to this location.

An example of how to use the file is as follows:

If you had the parent folder “My Movies” on your desktop.

Pasting the batch file into this folder, and double clicking on it, would copy every movie into a folder called “Copied from My Movies” on your desktop.

And here’s the code,