cmd.exe tricks: Entering a directory that doesn’t exist, then immediately leaving
I discovered that
cmd.exe lets you enter a nonexistent directory, as long as you leave it before anybody notices.
rem acts like cd C:\Windows cd C:\doesnt-exist\..\Windows rem acts like cd C:\Windows cd C:\really\doesnt-exist\..\..\Windows rem acts like type C:\Windows\win.ini type C:\doesnt-exist\..\Windows\win.ini
This is handy if you have a full path to a file on the clipboard and you want to access the parent directory. For example, to
chdir into the parent directory, you can type
cd, a space, and then paste the full path, and then append
\.. and hit Enter.
rem suppose clipboard contains C:\directory\with\file.txt rem The next line acts like cd C:\directory\with cd C:\directory\with\file.txt\..
This trick works because
cmd.exe does some path simplification before calling into the file system. It sees the
.. and says, “Oh, I can do that myself!” and uses it to counteract the previous directory. The previous directory is never accessed, so the command processor doesn’t notice that it never existed.