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FC or file compare is used to compare two files against each other. Once completed FC will return lines which differ between the two files. If no lines differ you will receive a message indicating no differences encountered.

Syntax & Example

Compares two files or sets of files and displays the differences between them.

FC [/A] [/C] [/L] [/LBn] [/N] [/T] [/W] [/nnnn] [drive1:][path1]filename1 [drive2:][path2]filename2

FC /B [drive1:][path1]filename1 [drive2:][path2]filename2

/A Displays only first and last lines for each set of differences.
/B Performs a binary comparison.
/C Disregards the case of letters.
/L Compares files as ASCII text.
/LBn Sets the maximum consecutive mismatches to the specified number of lines.
/N Displays the line numbers on an ASCII comparison.
/T Does not expand tabs to spaces.
/W Compresses white space (tabs and spaces) for comparison.
/nnnn Specifies the number of consecutive lines that must match after a mismatch.


fc c:\autoexec.bat c:\config.sys = This would give you a listing on the config.sys and the autoexec.bat.
fc c:\autoexec.bat c:\config.sys /b = Giving you the files in binary and then listing which file is longer.

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