Tag Archives: copy

How to copy a large result set from SQL Server Management Studio to Excel

So you’ve tried copying and pasting the results of a query into an excel file only to get the out of memory exception. Now the fun starts!

There are multiple options to achieve copying data from SQL Server Management Studio to excel however most of them are a pain.

You’ve tried the save as option but the csv and text files have jumbled up content. You could use the Management Studio export function, but this is intended for physical tables not results sets and you might not have the permissions to create tables in the environment. You could use the bcp Utility but you’ve probably read leaving this option turned on represents a security risk. You could create an SSIS package . . . yeah that’s an efficient and effective option when you just want the damn results of an ad hoc query!!!

I’d suggest splitting the result set into chunks. You can then copy and paste the chunks into the excel file without running out of memory. Sure it’s kinda manual but trust me it’ll take less time than the options above.

I’d wager you probably only need the result set split into two, so you’ve to copy and paste twice rather than once. Not that big a deal right? I’ve even provided some code below that will really move things along.

Start by writing your query results into a temporary tablet called #QueryResult, for example SELECT * INTO #QueryResult FROM TableName.

Then all you need to do is determine how many segments you need. NTILE(n) is a function that allocates your output into n segments, each of the same size (give or take rounding when the number of rows isn’t divisible by n).

So this produces an output like:

Id Name Ntile
1 Mickey 1
2 Leo 1
3 Raph 2
4 Donnie 2

Start by leaving n set to the default of 2. Once the data is written to the table #QueryResult run the code below in the same SSMS window the temp table was created in. Running the code should produce the same number of returned result sets as the n value you provided. Use a higher n number to create more segments if you still run out of memory when you try to copy and paste the first segment.

Write your query results to a temp table here
i.e. SELECT * INTO #QueryResult FROM TableName

Set n to how many segments/results set returned you need
SET @n = 2
SET @i = 1

	,NTILE(@n) OVER (
		) AS NtileGroup
INTO #Export
			) AS RowNum
	FROM #QueryResult
	) AS a

WHILE @i <= @n
	FROM #Export
	WHERE NtileGroup = @i

	SET @i = @i + 1

DROP TABLE #QueryResult



So that’s it, you should now be able to copy and paste your results. Maybe someday in the future Microsoft will add the option of saving results directly to excel . . .

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,