FTP Folder Copy/Move with Date Time Batch Script

I decomissioned my DNS-323 NAS which was setup to automatically copy scanned pdf’s off my Brother MFC-440CN Scanner. This meant I needed to re-write my scanning copy shell script to run as a batch script on my main computer.

Re-writing the script was harder than I anticipated. The command line ftp client on windows expects you to know the names of each file. It does however have the ability to run a script file full of ftp commands. So the solution to getting the script working was:

  1. Run a temporary script for ftp to get a file listing
  2. Run another temp script for ftp that fetchs and deletes each file in the file listing.
  3. Cleanup/delete temporary scripts/files

What it does:

Moves files from the specified ftp directory to the specified local directory prepended with the date and time.


Create a .bat file with the script below. Then set the parameters at the beginnng of the script as follows:

  • set server= the ip address of your ftp server (in my case my scanner)
  • set fetch_directory= the directory on the ftp server to copy/move files from
  • set target_dir = the directory on the local computer to copy/move the files to

The Script

@echo off

:: downloads then deletes ftp files from the given location

set server=
:: no trailing / on fetch dir path
set fetch_directory=/BROTHER
:: no trailing \ on target dir path
set target_dir=c:\Users\myusername\Docs\Scan
set temp_script_file=ftp_script.txt
set temp_dir_list=ftp_file_list.txt

:: create temp file with ftp script to output file list
echo open %server% > %temp_script_file%
echo. >> %temp_script_file%
echo mdir %fetch_directory% %temp_dir_list% >> %temp_script_file%
echo y >> %temp_script_file%
echo bye >> %temp_script_file%

:: now run the script with ftp
ftp -s:%temp_script_file%

:: now we have a list of the files in the ftp directory

:: now make a script from the file listing to copy each file.
echo open %server% > %temp_script_file%
echo. >> %temp_script_file%
echo lcd %target_dir%  >> %temp_script_file%
:: copy each file to a dated file locally
for /F "tokens=9 skip=3" %%i in (%temp_dir_list%) do (
SET get_file=%%i
echo binary >> %temp_script_file%
echo get %fetch_directory%/!get_file:~0,-1!  "%target_dir%\%date:~10,4%-%date:~7,2%-%date:~4,2% %time:~0,2%.%time:~3,2%.%time:~6,2%.%time:~9,2% !get_file:~0,-1!" >> %temp_script_file%
echo delete %fetch_directory%/!get_file:~0,-1!  >> %temp_script_file%
echo bye >> %temp_script_file%

:: now run the new script
ftp -s:%temp_script_file%

::remove temporary script files
del %temp_dir_list%
del %temp_script_file%