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30/1/2014 Microsoft Windows XP - Attrib

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/attrib.mspx?mfr=true 1/3
Attrib
Displays, sets, or removes the read-only, archive, system, and hidden attributes assigned to files or
directories. Used without parameters, attrib displays attributes of all files in the current directory.
Syntax
attrib [{+r|-r}] [{+a|-a}] [{+s|-s}] [{+h|-h}] [[Drive:][Path] FileName] [/s[/d]]
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Parameters
+r : Sets the read-only file attribute.
-r : Clears the read-only file attribute.
+a : Sets the archive file attribute.
-a : Clears the archive file attribute.
+s : Sets the system file attribute.
-s : Clears the system file attribute.
+h : Sets the hidden file attribute.
-h : Clears the hidden file attribute.
[Drive:][Path] FileName : Specifies the location and name of the directory, file, or set of files for which you
want to display or change attributes. You can use wildcard characters (that is, ? and *) in the FileName
parameter to display or change the attributes for a group of files.
/s : Applies attrib and any command-line options to matching files in the current directory and all of its
subdirectories.
/d : Applies attrib and any command-line options to directories.
/? : Displays help at the command prompt.
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Remarks

Working with groups of files


You can use wildcard characters (that is, ? and *) with the FileName parameter to display or change the
attributes for a group of files. If a file has the system or hidden attribute set, you must clear these
attributes before you can change any other attributes for that file.

Using the archive attribute


The archive attribute (that is, +a) marks files that have changed since the last time they were backed up.
The xcopy command uses archive attributes. For more information about archive attributes and xcopy,
see Related Topics.

The attrib command, with different parameters, is available from the Recovery Console.
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Examples
To display the attributes of a file named News86 located on the current drive, type:
attrib news86
To assign the read-only attribute to the file named Report.txt, type:
attrib +r report.txt
30/1/2014 Microsoft Windows XP - Attrib
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/attrib.mspx?mfr=true 2/3
To remove the read-only attribute from files in the \Public\Jones directory on a disk in drive B and from files
in any subdirectories of \Public\Jones, type:
attrib -r b:\public\jones\*.* /s
Consider a scenario where you want to give an associate a disk containing all files in the default directory on
a disk in drive A, except files with the .bak extension. Because you can use xcopy to copy only those files
marked with the archive attribute, you need to set the archive attribute for those files you want to copy. First,
you need to set the archive attribute for all files on drive A. Second, you need to clear the archive attribute
for those files with the .bak extension. For example, type:
attrib +a a:*.* attrib -a a:*.bak
Next, use xcopy to copy the files from the disk in drive A to the disk in drive B. The /a command-line option
in the following command causes xcopy to copy only those files marked with the archive attribute. For
example, type:
xcopy a: b: /a
If you want xcopy to clear each file's archive attribute after it copies the files, use the /m command-line
option instead of /a. For example, type:
xcopy a: b: /m
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Formatting legend
Format Meaning
Italic Information that the user must supply
Bold Elements that the user must type exactly as
shown
Ellipsis (...) Parameter that can be repeated several times in
a command line
Between brackets ([]) Optional items
Between braces ({}); choices separated by pipe (|).
Example: {even|odd}
Set of choices from which the user must choose
only one
Courier font Code or program output
Command-line reference A-Z
Dir
Copy
Xcopy
Using wildcard characters
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30/1/2014 Microsoft Windows XP - Attrib
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/attrib.mspx?mfr=true 3/3
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