Command Line Ren (Rename) command broken?

Discussion in 'Windows Vista General Discussion' started by SixSigmaGuy, May 18, 2008.

  1. SixSigmaGuy

    SixSigmaGuy Guest

    I'm having trouble with the REN command with wild cards as used from the command prompt.

    For example, in the REN command help, it says:

    "For example, if you had files that are named smitha.doc, smithb.doc, and smithc.doc, you could use the ren smith*.doc smythe*.doc command. All file names automatically show the new spelling, and are renamed smythea.doc, smytheb.doc, and smythec.doc."

    If I try the example, exactly as described, I don't end up with smythea.doc, smytheb.doc, and smythec.doc.

    Instead, when I create three files named smitha.doc, smithb.doc, and smithc.doc and then execute the command:

    ren smith*.doc smythe*.doc

    I get:

    C:\TestREN>ren smith*.doc smythe*.doc
    A duplicate file name exists, or the file
    cannot be found.
    A duplicate file name exists, or the file
    cannot be found.

    C:\TestREN>dir
    Volume in drive C is OS
    Volume Serial Number is 0A07-21F5

    Directory of C:\TestREN

    05/17/2008 04:04 PM <DIR> .
    05/17/2008 04:04 PM <DIR> ..
    05/17/2008 04:03 PM 0 Smithb.doc
    05/17/2008 04:03 PM 0 Smithc.doc
    05/17/2008 04:03 PM 0 smythe.doc
    0 File(s) 0 bytes
    2 Dir(s) 48,010,428,416 bytes free

    C:\TestREN>

    This isn't how I recall REN working in previous versions of Windows. Anyone know if the REN command has changed or been broken?
     
    SixSigmaGuy, May 18, 2008
    #1
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  2. SixSigmaGuy

    Rick Rogers Guest

    Hi,

    Works fine for me here. Looking at your DIR results, it appears the wildcard
    character, "a", wasn't carried on the first one. I just replicated your test
    and here are the results:

    Directory of C:\TestREN

    05/17/2008 09:11 PM <DIR> .
    05/17/2008 09:11 PM <DIR> ..
    05/17/2008 09:11 PM 9,863 Test1.docx
    05/17/2008 09:11 PM 9,887 Test2.docx
    05/17/2008 09:11 PM 9,895 Test3.docx
    3 File(s) 29,645 bytes
    2 Dir(s) 77,118,971,904 bytes free

    C:\TestREN>ren test*.docx work*.docx

    C:\TestREN>dir
    Volume in drive C has no label.
    Volume Serial Number is 2176-638D

    Directory of C:\TestREN

    05/17/2008 09:12 PM <DIR> .
    05/17/2008 09:12 PM <DIR> ..
    05/17/2008 09:11 PM 9,863 work1.docx
    05/17/2008 09:11 PM 9,887 work2.docx
    05/17/2008 09:11 PM 9,895 work3.docx
    3 File(s) 29,645 bytes
    2 Dir(s) 77,118,185,472 bytes free



    I'm having trouble with the REN command with wild cards as used from the
    command prompt.

    For example, in the REN command help, it says:

    "For example, if you had files that are named smitha.doc, smithb.doc, and
    smithc.doc, you could use the ren smith*.doc smythe*.doc command. All file
    names automatically show the new spelling, and are renamed smythea.doc,
    smytheb.doc, and smythec.doc."

    If I try the example, exactly as described, I don't end up with smythea.doc,
    smytheb.doc, and smythec.doc.

    Instead, when I create three files named smitha.doc, smithb.doc, and
    smithc.doc and then execute the command:

    ren smith*.doc smythe*.doc

    I get:

    C:\TestREN>ren smith*.doc smythe*.doc
    A duplicate file name exists, or the file
    cannot be found.
    A duplicate file name exists, or the file
    cannot be found.

    C:\TestREN>dir
    Volume in drive C is OS
    Volume Serial Number is 0A07-21F5

    Directory of C:\TestREN

    05/17/2008 04:04 PM <DIR> .
    05/17/2008 04:04 PM <DIR> ..
    05/17/2008 04:03 PM 0 Smithb.doc
    05/17/2008 04:03 PM 0 Smithc.doc
    05/17/2008 04:03 PM 0 smythe.doc
    0 File(s) 0 bytes
    2 Dir(s) 48,010,428,416 bytes free

    C:\TestREN>

    This isn't how I recall REN working in previous versions of Windows. Anyone
    know if the REN command has changed or been broken?
     
    Rick Rogers, May 18, 2008
    #2
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  3. SixSigmaGuy

    SixSigmaGuy Guest

    Your test didn't test the same thing. You had 5 character filenames before
    and after the rename, i.e., the lenght of the filename didn't change. In
    the case described in help, they renamed 6 character filenames to 7
    character filenames. It should have worked as they described, but it
    didn't. Try the test again, renaming SMITH?.DOC to SMYTHE?.doc. It used to
    work fine; now it doesn't.
     
    SixSigmaGuy, May 18, 2008
    #3
  4. SixSigmaGuy

    Rick Rogers Guest

    You're right, it appears to be an exact character replacement only. It goes
    the other way as well, if the target name is shorter, the remaining
    characters on the original are carried over as well, ie:

    ren test*.docx wor*.docx

    results in a file name of wort1.docx. I'll see what I can find out about
    this.
     
    Rick Rogers, May 18, 2008
    #4
  5. SixSigmaGuy

    Rick Rogers Guest

    Ok, had it tried in XPGold/XPSP1/XPSP2/Server2003/Server2008 and they all
    exhibit the same behavior. Didn't have a Win2K system available. I suspect
    this is the way the command works.
     
    Rick Rogers, May 18, 2008
    #5
  6. SixSigmaGuy

    Rick Rogers Guest

    Hi,

    An additional thought is to add a character space before renaming:

    C:\TestREN>dir
    Volume in drive C has no label.
    Volume Serial Number is 2176-638D

    Directory of C:\TestREN

    05/20/2008 06:49 AM <DIR> .
    05/20/2008 06:49 AM <DIR> ..
    05/18/2008 07:52 AM 9,863 test1.docx
    05/18/2008 07:52 AM 9,888 test2.docx
    05/18/2008 07:52 AM 9,894 test3.docx
    3 File(s) 29,645 bytes
    2 Dir(s) 77,142,429,696 bytes free

    C:\TestREN>for %l in (*.*) do ren %l _%l

    C:\TestREN>ren test1.docx _test1.docx

    C:\TestREN>ren test2.docx _test2.docx

    C:\TestREN>ren test3.docx _test3.docx

    C:\TestREN>ren _test*.docx works*.docx

    C:\TestREN>dir
    Volume in drive C has no label.
    Volume Serial Number is 2176-638D

    Directory of C:\TestREN

    05/20/2008 06:50 AM <DIR> .
    05/20/2008 06:50 AM <DIR> ..
    05/18/2008 07:52 AM 9,863 works1.docx
    05/18/2008 07:52 AM 9,888 works2.docx
    05/18/2008 07:52 AM 9,894 works3.docx
    3 File(s) 29,645 bytes
    2 Dir(s) 77,142,429,696 bytes free
     
    Rick Rogers, May 20, 2008
    #6
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