Simple file backup with a batch file

I’ve written a simple batch file for backing up files and folder onto a different drive letter.

In my case, the destination drive will be a USB drive. Even though I’ve configured Windows to always assign the same drive letter to that device, the possibility remains that I’ll connect a different drive that will be assigned the same drive letter. In order to be sure that I’m backing up to the correct drive, the batch file performs a few checks before copying files.

The first check confirms that a disk exists at that drive letter. The second check confirms that the path is valid. The third check looks for the presence of a file in the destination directory.

To use, simply paste the following code into a text file, change the variables to match your environment, add additional xcopy lines for other folders, then save it as a .bat file. Fire the batch file manually, or place it in your startup folder to automatically back up your files each time you log in to Windows.

:: Back up select files and folders to a location that may be an external drive
@echo off

:: Set some variables
set destinationDrive=D:
set destinationPath=backup
Set destination=%destinationDrive%\%destinationPath%
set validationFile=asdf.txt

:: Check to see if the drive is available
if not exist %destinationDrive%\. goto :nodestinationDrive
:: Move to destination drive

:: Check to see if the path is available
if not exist "\%destinationPath%\." goto :nodestinationPath
:: Move to destination path
cd %destinationPath%

:: Check to see if the validation file exists
if not exist %validationFile% goto :novalidationFile

:: Backup location is valid
@echo The backup location "%destination%" is valid.

:: Copy files and folders if source is newer than destination

:: Desktop
@xcopy "%USERPROFILE%\Desktop" "%destination%\Desktop" /d /e /c /i /q /h /r /k /y

@echo Files copied.  Please review output for errors.
goto eof

@echo The destination drive "%destinationDrive%" does not exist.
goto :nocopy

@echo The destination path "%destinationPath%" does not exist on drive %destinationDrive%.
goto :nocopy

@echo The validation file does not exist.
goto :nocopy

:: No files have been copied
::@echo A valid backup location cannot be confirmed.
@echo No files have been copied.


This file works with Windows XP through Windows 7.

One thought on “Simple file backup with a batch file

  1. David D Ochoa

    You forgot to mention to create the validation file on the USB drive. I know it’s obvious, but you should provide full instructions.

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