How to use nircmd.exe and set filename %~nF in batch for loop


I'm trying to write a batch file that iterates through each filename, takes part of the strings, and sets the created and modified dates.
Mind you, dirpath is a placeholder for actual path.

@echo off
setlocal enabledelayedexpansion
FOR /R dirpath %F in (*.*) DO (SET FNAME=%~nF SET MM=%FNAME:~0,2% SET DD=%FNAME:~2,2% SET YY=%FNAME:~4,2% nircmd.exe setfiletime %F "%DD% %MM%-20%YY% 00:00:00" "%DD%-%MM%-20%YY% 00:00:00")

I'm not sure how to even troubleshoot what the script is doing – pause doesn't pause the program after the loop.
How can this be rewritten to function?

Best Answer

How can this be rewritten to function?

You have a number of problems with your batch file:

  • It's not %f. You need use %%f instead. %f is for a command line, that needs fixing in at least 3 places.
  • I would put the commands inside the do ( ... ) on separate lines.
  • You can put a pause before the closing )
  • You can comment out the first line with rem to see what the batch file is doing.
  • Add echo to the payload line with nircmd.
  • Remove the echo when you think it's working.
  • You need in some places to use ! instead of % inside the forloop (that's what enabledelayedexpansion is for - it enables variables to be expanded at execution time rather than at parse time

Start with the following batch file (I've fixed the main mistakes for you):

@echo off
setlocal enabledelayedexpansion
for /r dirpath %%F in (*.*) DO (
  set FNAME=%%~nF
  SET MM=!FNAME:~0,2!
  SET DD=!FNAME:~2,2!
  SET YY=!FNAME:~4,2!
  echo nircmd.exe setfiletime %%F "!DD!-!MM!-20!YY! 00:00:00" "!DD!-!MM!-20!YY! 00:00:00"

Further Reading

  • An A-Z Index of the Windows CMD command line - An excellent reference for all things Windows cmd line related.
  • enabledelayedexpansion - Delayed Expansion will cause variables to be expanded at execution time rather than at parse time.
  • for /r - Loop through files (Recurse subfolders).
  • set - Display, set, or remove CMD environment variables. Changes made with SET will remain only for the duration of the current CMD session.
  • setlocal - Set options to control the visibility of environment variables in a batch file.