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Reporting differences between files for an ASCII comparison

When you use fc for an ASCII comparison, Windows NT reports differences between two files by displaying the name of the first file, followed by the lines from filename1 that differ between the files, followed by the first line to match in both files. Windows NT then displays the name of the second file, followed by the lines from filename2 that differ, followed by the first line to match.

Using the /b switch for binary comparisons

Windows NT uses the following format to report mismatches found during a binary comparison:

xxxxxxxx: yy zz

The value of xxxxxxxx specifies the relative hexadecimal address for the pair of bytes, measured from the beginning of the file. Addresses start at 00000000; the hexadecimal values for yy and zz represent the mismatched bytes from filename1 and filename2, respectively.

Using wildcards

You can use wildcards (? and *) in either of the filenames you specify with the fc command. If you use a wildcard in filename1, fc compares all the specified files to the file specified by filename. If you use a wildcard in filename2, fc uses the corresponding value from filename1.

How fc uses memory

When comparing ASCII files, fc uses an internal buffer (large enough to hold 100 lines) as storage. If the files are larger than the buffer, fc compares what it can load into the buffer. If fc does not find a match in the loaded portions of the files, it stops and displays the following message:

Resynch failed. Files are too different.

When comparing binary files that are larger than available memory, fc compares both files completely, overlaying the portions in memory with the next portions from the disk. The output is the same as that for files that fit completely in memory.

More Information About Fc

ntcmds00000001.gif Fc--Examples

ntcmds00000001.gif Fc


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