Make an exe copy itself to another location

This is a discussion on Make an exe copy itself to another location within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; You know when a person downloads a program, and it usually defaults its location to the programs directory( in windows). ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Machewy's Avatar
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    Unhappy Make an exe copy itself to another location

    You know when a person downloads a program, and it usually defaults its location to the programs directory( in windows). Right? I was wondering if it was possible to make a C++ script that copies itself to another location. This can be very usefull in many ways. For instance, one may want to make it copy itself to the startup folder in windows, so it runs automatically when windows starts. I know that this can be used for something very pointless too. But this is what I am trying to do with my 'automatic virus scanner' that will check for new possible batch viruses on the computer. Also, if you have ever used batch, you will notice that there is a way to make batch files copy itself.

    using this:
    Code:
    0% copy c:\windows
    Is it possible to do this in C++ like one can do in batch? I have search for a very long time, and I still can't find a simple explanation. Really, I haven't found a explanation at all.

    Thank-you so much,

    best regards,
    Machewy

    "All things come to an end"

  2. #2
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    There are no C++ scripts, but that's probably not what you want to hear...

    I don't know a generic way to find out the current place of the exe (your batch file won't work under certain circumstances), but in Windows you can use GetModuleFileName and CopyFile to do what you want.
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  3. #3
    fuh
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    This probably wouldn't work but you could copy the exe file's text and write it to C:\Windows\Start Menu\VirusScan.exe.
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    Xei
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    There are 2 solutions:

    1: Open a handle to it's self, read the data, re-write it.

    2: Use 2 executions, one will communicate with the other. Then the one being copied will shut down, become copied, reinitialized, and the other execution can then shut its self down and then be deleted if necessary by the other execution.

    You could also have the execution delete its original copy once it was copied by simply passing a parameter to an instance of the copy.
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  5. #5
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    The copying isn't the problem, finding out the full path and name of the exe is.
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    CornedBee

    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
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  6. #6
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    >>> You know when a person downloads a program

    What is usually downloaded is an installer, not the actual application.
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    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    Code:
    #include <iostream>
    
    int main(int argc, char* argv[])
    {
       std::cout << "full path name : " << argv[0] << std::endl;
       return 0;
    }
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    End Of Line Hammer's Avatar
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    >>std::cout << "full path name : " << argv[0] << std::endl;
    This isn't guaranteed to give you the full path name.
    When all else fails, read the instructions.
    If you're posting code, use code tags: [code] /* insert code here */ [/code]

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    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    Hmm... right... relative paths. Didn't think of that.
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    Won't that still work (on windows), as long as your pwd is '.' (relative to the exe)?

    i.e.
    string destination = "wherever\\you\\want"
    string foo = "copy "+ argv[0] + destination;
    system( foo.c_str() )

    (haven't tried it yet)

  12. #12
    Cat
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    Also, recall that under NT4, Win2000 and WinXP (and all future Win OS's), all filenames are actually Unicode, and thus are allowed to contain characters above 0x00FF, so an "char *" pathname isn't guaranteed to work. It will try to convert from Unicode to ASCII, but if those characters have no equivalent, you're out of luck.

    So, there's no catch-all for Win OS's. A char * pathname isn't guaranteed to work under NT, 2K, or XP (or Longhorn), a wchar_t * pathname won't work under 95/98/Me (unless they install MS Layer for Unicode)
    Last edited by Cat; 06-15-2003 at 07:17 PM.

  13. #13
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by vVv
    > Hm... right... relative paths

    Even worse - what happens if the file is located in one of the directories referenced by the Path environment variable? Then you don't get any hints about the file path at all, while you can still have a chance of resolving a relative path by reading the current working directory and appending the file name, if you can extract it from argv[0]. Moving an application to one of the Path directories might not be as common as it is in Unix-like environments, but then again, the same applies to using console applications in Windows at all.
    That wouldn't be as bad I don't think seeing as you can get the value of the environment variables.

    Your best bet is probably making an install file. Inno Setup (www.jrsoftware.org) is a good one for Windows (though for some reason, I can't access the site right now).
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    To get an application file to move itself is not so easy ( but it can be done ). It is easy however to get an application file to copy itself to another location. Example...
    Code:
    #include <windows.h>
    
    int main(int argc, char** argv) {
    
      if ( argc != 2 )
        ExitProcess(1);
    
      char charArray[MAX_PATH];
      HMODULE hmodule = GetModuleHandle(0);
      GetModuleFileName(hmodule, charArray, MAX_PATH);
      CopyFile(charArray, argv[1], TRUE);
    
      return 0;
    
    }
    CL... myapp path\filename.exe
    Last edited by DarkStar; 06-15-2003 at 08:59 PM.

  15. #15
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    Or to make up for the UNICODE problem:
    Code:
    #include <windows.h>
    #include <tchar.h>
    
    int _tmain(int argc, TCHAR **argv)
    {
      if(argc < 2)
        return 1;  // No need to use ExitProcess in main()
    
      TCHAR buf[MAX_PATH];
      // The function gets the current module for you.
      GetModuleFileName(0, buf, MAX_PATH);
      CopyFile(buf, argv[1], TRUE);
    
      return 0;
    }
    All the buzzt!
    CornedBee

    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
    - Flon's Law

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