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Church Of The
Swimming Elephant




Comparing files with the same names

The files you want to compare can have the same filename, provided they are in different directories or on different drives. If you do not specify a filename for data2, the default filename for data2 is the same as the filename in data1. You can use wildcards (* and ?) to specify filenames.

Special cases for data1 and data2

If you omit necessary components of either data1 or data2 or if you omit data2, comp prompts you for the missing information. If data1 contains only a drive letter or a directory name with no filename, comp compares all the files in the specified directory to the file specified in data2. If data2 contains only a drive letter or a directory name, the default filename for data2 is the same as that in data1.

How the comp command identifies mismatching information

During the comparison, comp displays messages to identify the locations of unequal information in the two files. Each message indicates the offset memory address of the unequal bytes and the contents of the bytes themselves (in hexadecimal notation unless you specify the /a or /d switch). The message has the following format:

Compare error at OFFSET xxxxxxxx
file1 = xx
file2 = xx

After 10 unequal comparisons, comp stops comparing the files and displays the following message:

10 Mismatches - ending compare

Comparing files of different sizes

You cannot compare files of different sizes unless you specify the /n switch. If the file sizes are different, comp displays the following message:

Files are different sizes
Compare more files (Y/N)?

Press Y to compare another pair of files. Press N to stop the comp command.

If you press Y in response to the prompt, comp includes any switches you specified on the command line in every comparison it makes, until you press N or retype the command.

When comparing files of different sizes, use the /n switch to compare only the first portion of each file.

Comparing files sequentially

If you use wildcards to specify multiple files, comp finds the first file matching data1 and compares it with the corresponding file in data2, if it exists. The comp command reports the results of the comparison, then does the same for each file matching data1. When finished, comp displays the following message:

Compare more files (Y/N)?

To compare more files, press Y. The comp command prompts you for the locations and names of the new files. To stop the comparisons, press N. When you press Y, comp prompts you for switches to use. If you don't specify any switches, comp uses the ones you specified before.

If comp cannot find the files

If comp cannot find the file(s) you specify, it prompts you with a message to determine whether you want to compare more files.

More Information About Comp

ntcmds00000001.gif Comp--Examples

ntcmds00000001.gif Comp


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