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how can i find the current working directory using batch files

Posted on 2008-10-23
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
how can i find the current working directory using batch files
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Question by:manajitrath
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Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 22785452
Easy one :-)

echo cd%

Steve
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Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 22785454
Or even
echo %cd%

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Expert Comment

by:Brum07
ID: 22785456
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AmazingTech earned 500 total points
ID: 22794281
Depends on what you define as the current working directory.

I like to think of the current working directory as the directory where the batch file is running from. So no matter where I run my first batch file from I can reference additional batch files or helper exes more consistently.

I almost always use %~dp0.

To illustrate: Use the code to test what output you get.

Place your batch file in a directory let's say C:\TestFolder

In a command prompt goto C:\TestFolder and type the name of your batch file.
All is good both will output:
CD='C:\TestFolder'
DP0='C:\TestFolder\'

Move you batch file to C:\Windows\System32
Normal windows machines will have this directory in the search path. Staying in the C:\TestFolder type the name of your batch file.
Opps. They're different.
CD='C:\TestFolder'
DP0='C:\Windows\System32\'

Now move the batch file to a server share. Using a drive letter to your server share will produce the same results as if it were on C:
Let's open the UNC path to your server. eg \\servername\share
Double click on your batch file.
'\\servername\share'
CMD.EXE was started with the above path as the current directory.
UNC paths are not supported.  Defaulting to Windows directory.

C:\WINDOWS>echo CD='C:\WINDOWS'
CD='C:\WINDOWS'

C:\WINDOWS>echo DP0='\\servername\share\'
DP0='\\servername\share\'

C:\WINDOWS>PAUSE
Press any key to continue . . .

Once again there is a difference between %CD% and %~dp0.

I find that %~dp0 is the most consistent and predictable.
echo CD='%cd%'
echo DP0='%~dp0'
PAUSE

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Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 22794575
Good point... and do similar when I need to pickup files from batch file dir. but the current working directory is the default directory used if you do, say, an unqualified dir, for instance.  Same as unix pwd.
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Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 22959433
I like AmazingTech's suggestions for getting the batch file path to pickup associated files from the same dir BUT %CD% IS the current working directory which is what the question asked. Period.  If you do "copy something.txt d:\somewherelse.txt" it will pick it up from the %cd% directory.  That's what working directory is.
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