Copyright 1996 - 2004, Stuart Udall

important bits
configuration and startup
controls and methods
issues and limitations
planned improvements
revision history

version 1.42: October 20, 2004

  overview next section top of page

STORE compresses a directory (and its subdirectories) in the current directory into an archive stored in the archive directory. Alternatively, it uncompresses an archive stored in the archive directory into a directory in the current directory.

STORE will figure out which is required - it assumes that the opposite to the current state of affairs is what is desired.

STORE does not delete the source by default, meaning it acts as a backup and restore function. However, STORE can delete the source (whichever it uses), if told to at the time. By deleting the source, STORE allows the user to keep a single copy of their data online. With a single command it is banished to an archive; with another single command, the archive is banished and the data is back. In the meantime, the data is kept compressed, in the archive directory.

STORE can break the archive it creates into chunks (such as the size of a floppy disk, or a CD-ROM)

STORE can also back up critical files from the root and Windows directories to the archive directory.

STORE can dump the contents of the archive directory to another directory.

STORE can summarise the contents of the archive directory, optionally reporting to disk.

STORE can log everything it does to disk.

STORE will attempt to use WinRAR as its compression tool, if it detects Windows in memory. If it cannot find WinRAR, it will attempt to use PKZIP and PKUNZIP from the DOS PATH. WinRAR supports Long File Names, while PKZIP does not.

STORE includes an automatic mode, which enables hands-free execution from a batch file, or by scheduler.

STORE can maintain and use a list of directories to back up regularly, and a list of archives to verify regularly. The "routine backup" and "routine verify" can then be called with a single command.

STORE works on a single drive, on multiple drives, on mapped network drives, and on UNC paths.

The bundled management program can launch a routine backup and verify, or a dump, or reconfigure STORE.

suggested backup strategy:

Keeping your backups on the same drive as your original work is fine if you just corrupt a file. But if your disk becomes corrupt, your backups may vanish as quickly as your work. For this reason, it is suggested that you place your archive directory on a separate hard drive altogether - that nice fast SCSI disk E: that you're using as a swapdisk, for example.

Placing your archive directory on the same partition as the data, or on a logical partition of the same drive as the data, will protect you against some disk problems, but in the event of a partition table failure, or total drive failure, data on logical disks or extended partitions is not safe either.

Use a different physical drive if at all possible. The idea is to place as much space as possible between the original data and the backup, without compromising accessibility.

To protect against fire and theft, use a CD-burner to copy the archive directory onto CD-ROM. Store these backup CD-ROMs in a secure offsite location.

  important bits next section top of page

  • requires MS-DOS 6.x or higher (CHOICE, DELTREE, FIND, ATTRIB, XCOPY)
  • requires PKZIP/PKUNZIP 2.x or higher
  • logging requires STAMP.EXE (included, licence-free)
  • system backup function requires Windows 95 or higher
  • Long File Name (LFN) support requires WinRAR 2.5 or higher

  • the following points are this program's terms and conditions of use:
  1. This program is hereinafter known as "the Software".
  2. The Software comes with no warranty and is used at your own risk.
  3. The Software is not (and will never be) complete and as such may behave strangely.
  4. The Software is the copyrighted property of the author.
  5. The Software may be distributed freely.
  6. The Software may NOT be incorporated into a commercial work without prior written permission from the author.
  7. The Software is "donateware" - you can choose your amount, and pay with Paypal! Donating will encourage me to create more tools. If you do decide to donate, thankyou in advance; the form is here.

There is a feedback form here.

  installation next section top of page
  1. run the self-extracting archive

  2. place STORE.BAT, STOREMGR.EXE and STAMP.EXE in a directory in the DOS PATH (STOREMGR.EXE must be in the same directory as STORE.BAT)

  3. ensure you have CHOICE, DELTREE, FIND, ATTRIB, XCOPY, PKZIP and PKUNZIP somewhere in the PATH

    The PATH is defined in C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT and consists of a series of directories, each separated by a semicolon.

    To place a program in the PATH, copy it into a directory which is mentioned in the PATH statement, or add the directory name to a PATH line in C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT

    To test whether a program is in the path, get to a command prompt, type the program's name, and press Enter.

    CHOICE, DELTREE, FIND, ATTRIB and XCOPY are probably in the PATH already; PKZIP and PKUNZIP may not be. The first four come with DOS/Windows, while PKZIP, PKUNZIP and WinRAR are third-party compression tools. If you don't have these last three programs, you can download them from the Utils directory in the library.

  4. ensure you have WinRAR installed, if you want Long File Name support

  configuration and startup next section top of page

STORE is both configured and reconfigured with STOREMGR.EXE. Use the procedure below when installing STORE for the first time, and also anytime STORE needs to be reconfigured.

  1. with Windows running, change to the directory in which STORE.BAT and STOREMGR.EXE are located, and run STOREMGR.EXE

  2. select configure from the menu, and change the settings as below:

    • archive directory is the directory to store archives and backups

      An example would be E:\ARCHIVE

      Alternatively, to use a network path, an example would be


    • WinRAR directory is the directory in which WinRAR resides

      An example would be C:\PROGRA~1\WINRAR

    • dump directory is the directory to which store dumps the archive directory, during a /DUMP command.

      An example would be \\SERVER\BACKUPS\FOLDER

    • WinRAR compression parameters: are settings used to control WinRAR's compression, such as compression method and volume size.

      An example would be -m5 -v640m

    • syspause can be either TRUE or FALSE

      This setting determines whether STORE pauses if it finds an error during a system backup.

    • logfile is the filename in which STORE places log entries

      An example would be C:\LOGS\STORE.LOG

      To disable logging, set the value to nothing.

  3. pressing Enter leads to the routine backup and routine verify lists; add, edit or remove entries as appropriate. If no list exists, one can be created at this point.

    Once the routine verify list screen has been completed, STORE.BAT will be updated.

  controls and methods next section top of page

  • type STORE directoryname from the command line
    where directoryname is either an archive to extract from, or a directory to compress.

    Warning: do NOT supply an extension or a path on the STORE command line. Eg, "store C:\test" and "store test.ZIP" are not supported and may produce unpredictable results!

    Once operating, STORE will decide what is required and do it. Afterwards, STORE will provide an opportunity to delete the source. Deleting the source means that whatever STORE made is the only copy of your data.

  • type STORE archivename /TEST from the command line
    where archivename is a RAR-format archive in the archive directory; to test the contents of the RAR archive.

  • type STORE /SYSTEM [directoryname] from the command line
    to back up critical files

    Note: supplying a second commandline parameter here will cause STORE to backup the system files to that directory instead of the archive directory. Ensure the second commandline parameter is a valid directoryname. You cannot use the /AUTO function with this feature.

  • type STORE /DUMP [directoryname] from the command line
    where directoryname is a directory to contain a dump of the archive directory. Leaving a directoryname off the commandline will cause STORE to use the directory specified in the STORENET setting mentioned in 'configuration'.

    Note: /DUMP copies ZIPfiles, RARfiles, and makes a new copy of the system files. It does not copy .BAK files! /DUMP also verifies the copy after it has been made.

  • type STORE /SHOW from the command line
    to summarise the contents of the archive directory

  • type STORE /SHOW logfilename from the command line
    to summarise the contents of the archive directory and log it to text file logfilename. If this file exists, the log will be appended to the end of the file. Note: this logfile is not STORE's regular logfile, but a separate textfile.

  • typing STORE with no parameters will produce a brief help screen.

  • if the archive or dump directory do not exist, STORE can create them.

  • STORE will not execute if the ARCHIVE environment variable is not set.

  • about backup files:

    • STORE will create an undo archive or undo directory if it is about to overwrite something.
    • If an undo archive or directory already exists, STORE will ask permission to remove it before making the new one.
    • Undo archives and directories created by STORE always end in .BAK
    • to disable backup support, use the command line parameter /NOBAK

      STORE directoryname /NOBAK

  • using STORE for backups:

    1. ensure that the working or current directory contains the directory to back up
    2. type STORE directoryname, eg. STORE TXTFILES
    3. when executed, STORE will find the last backup (unless this is the first time it's run) and prompt for instruction. Since this is a backup, select D, backup from Directory. If it was a restore, you'd use S, reStore from archive instead.
    4. if an old backup archive already exists, STORE will ask to remove it. Picking Yes here will delete it; this is OK because STORE is about to make another one. In fact it will delete the old backup archive, rename the existing archive to the backup archive, and then create a new archive.

      Once you're comfortable with STORE doing your backups, you can automate the above backup process. Use /AUTO as a second command-line parameter to tell STORE to assume that you want to 1) backup from directory; and 2) remove old backup. To backup with no questions, use the following commandline:

      STORE directoryname /AUTO

      Note: /AUTO and /NOBAK cannot be used simultaneously.

    This process will give you a copy of your data in the directory, a copy in an archive in the archive directory, and a copy in an archive with a .BAK extension in the archive directory also - three copies in total!

    Note: Using STORE in this way is likely to double the amount of diskspace your data consumes. This is because although STORE compresses your data with maximum compression, saving 50% on average, there is another 50% used by the .BAK archive.

  • about the system backup function:

    • typing STORE /SYSTEM will start a system backup. STORE will copy various critical files, if it finds them, to a directory in the archive directory. This may prove useful if you unexpectedly lose your AUTOEXEC.BAT, etc.
    • STORE will create a directory named SYSBACK in your archive directory to hold the files. If you already have a directory named SYSBACK in your archive directory, do not use this function until you have renamed it.
    • STORE collects up the following files and copies them into SYSBACK. If they do not exist, they are not copied; STORE will note this fact onscreen.

      C:\MSDOS.SYS #
      C:\CONFIG.SYS #
      C:\WINDOWS\Start Menu\*.*
      C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\*.*

    • files marked with a # will have their system, read-only, or hidden file attributes removed by STORE when it executes.
    • * is substituted to mean "all files" when STORE executes.
    • if C:\WINDOWS is not your Windows directory, STORE will automatically detect the correct directory.

    • if a SYSBACK directory already exists, STORE will rename it to SYSBACK.BAK. If this directory already exists, STORE will prompt to remove SYSBACK.BAK first.

    • Once you are comfortable with the system backup function, you can automate the above system backup process. Use /AUTO as a second command-line parameter to tell STORE to assume that you want to remove the old system backup. To backup system files with no questions, use the following commandline:


      Note: to prevent STORE from pausing if it finds an error during the system backup, while /AUTO is enabled, change the SYSPAUSE variable at the top of the STORE program file to TRUE.

    • if Windows is not running, STORE will not attempt to copy the Quick Launch bar, the Start Menu, or any PIF files in the Windows directory. This is because they depend on Long File Name support, which must be provided by Windows.

  • using STORE to create multiple backup archives:

    Each archive can be created manually using the STORE directoryname /AUTO command. To create multiple archives with a single command, use the STORE /BACKUP command instead. This will create a backup set from a pre-defined list of directories. Before you can use /BACKUP, you must add the pre-defined list to STORE.BAT. This process is as follows:

    1. open STORE.BAT with a text editor

    2. locate the section which starts
      rem begin --- [1] user-specific commands for drive C: ----------------

      Each entry consists of TWO lines - a "change directory" line and a "call store" line. STORE backs up from the current directory, so you must CD to the directory which contains your backup directory before you ask STORE to back it up.

    3. change or edit each CD command and CALL STORE command to reflect your system. Any number of directories on drive C: can be backed up in this manner.

      There is a section [2] for drive D:, which you should configure using the same process. Additional sections for other drives may also be added.

    4. close STORE.BAT, saving changes

    A sample section [1] is as follows:

    rem --- begin [1] user-specific commands for drive C: ----------------
    rem --- end [1] user-specific commands for drive C: ------------------

    Note: use STORE /BACKUP /SYS to backup as above, and also back up system files.

    Note: close all your open files before the backup starts.

  • using STORE to verify multiple backup archives:

    Each archive can be verified manually using the STORE /TEST archivename command. To verify multiple archives with a single command, use the STORE /VERIFY command instead. This will verify a pre-defined list of archives in the archive directory. Before you can use /VERIFY, you must add the pre-defined list to STORE.BAT. This process is as follows:

    1. open STORE.BAT with a text editor

    2. locate the section which starts
      rem --- begin [A] user-specific archive names -----------------------

      Each entry consists of a single "call store archivename /TEST" line.

    3. change or edit each line to reflect your system. Any number of archives can be verified in this manner.

    4. close STORE.BAT, saving changes

    A sample section [A] is as follows:

    rem --- begin [A] user-specific archive names -----------------------
    rem --- end [A] user-specific archive names -------------------------

  issues and limitations next section top of page
  • STORE will not use Long File Names if WinRAR is not functional, or Windows itself is not operating.
  • archive verification /TEST works with RAR only
  • files must be restored/extracted from an archive manually

  planned improvements next section top of page
  • support for strong assymmetric encryption

  revision history next section top of page

19960.01initial development; basic implementation
19970.10solid implementation with errorhandling from PACK
19980.20addition of directory backup support, .BAK files
May 19990.27stable system backup and summary routines, HTML documentation
June 19990.28added logging capability via /SHOW logfilename
July 19990.29improved screenhandling, errorhandling, BAKfile logic, and documentation
August 19990.30added support for WinRAR and LFNs; added /NOBAK
August 19990.31bugfixes
September 19990.32added support for selected applications, Favorites, and Windows 95 registry in system backup; added /AUTO; improved onscreen messages and documentation
December 19990.33added /TEST
January 20000.34added /DUMP; added custom dir to /SYSTEM
February 20000.35bugfixes; trimmed output
March 20000.36bugfixes; added SYSPAUSE
August 20000.37added logging; added /BACKUP, /VERIFY; added MKDIR to /DUMP
September 20001.37added STOREMGR.EXE
October 20001.38bugfixes
January 20011.39distributed as self-extracting archive
January 20021.40added /NOSYS parameter; improved STOREMGR
September 20021.41added support for multi-volume RARs; improved screenhandling
October 20041.42archive verify now uses WinRAR, not DOS RAR; also, switched /NOSYS to /SYS; now, superbak does not backup the system by default. This is OK since the system is probably ghosted anyway, right? :)

  download top of page

store.exe  library