You all know I'm a big fan of XXCOPY, and that I consider it the best option for file-based incremental backups (as opposed to images, which can be seen as sector-based, time-fixed backups). You all also know that the last free version of XXCOPY which is guaranteed (by Kan Yabumoto -- the author -- himself) to work in 9x/ME is v.2.96.5. This snippet of XXCOPY's version history quoted below shows the telltale remark "Unicode support", which usually means "not anymore for 9x/ME", from the time it was originally published, and, more recently, Kan even added the "(lost Win9X/ME support)", to avoid leaving room for any doubt about it.
This means we, 9x/ME users, are stuck with v.2.96.5 of XXCOPY. Later versions are UNICODE, and while Unicows.DLL (or KernelEx + Unicows) may enable one to use them, there's no telling which quircks may then lurk in them. For mission-critical tasks, like incremental backups, I do use the latest version while on XP, but on 9x/ME I don't trust anything above v.2.96.5! However, XXCOPY implements an aggressive update policy, so that, while always free for personal use, it'll nag one to update, as explained by Kan himself here:
2.96.5 2008-01-08 Tested with Windows XP Service Pack 3
2.97.0 2008-03-02 Unicode support (lost Win9X/ME support)
With the Freeware version, you will see the following notice at the first invocation after the 60th day of the installation, and then if you do not download a newer Freeware version, you will see the same message once in every 30 days.
You have been using the XXCOPY Freeware Version for more than nn days.
Since XXCOPY is a constantly evolving product, you should check the
XXCOPY home page every now and then and download the latest version.
You may use the XXCOPY Freeware for your personal use, free of charge,
1. if you install the XXCOPY program on a computer that is your own
personal property and you are the primary user of the computer,
2. if you transfer files between networked computers using XXCOPY,
all of the computers are also your own personal property.
If your usage of XXCOPY does not qualify for the Freeware license,
please acquire a valid license for the use of the XXCOPY product.
The motivation for us is primarily to eradicate the use of very old versions of XXCOPY as much as possible. As you may be aware of, we try to respond to nearly all user questions and inquiries (including freeware users) in Email and phone calls. Answering questions regarding
an"ancient" versions of the freeware versions is really [a] pain in the neck. More often than not, the injuries[inquires] do not include the version number the user claims to have problems [with]. The above reminder is to encourage the user for an update on a periodic basis. Since we post new versions fairly often, we would like everyone to use newer versions ----- we spend time to improve and fix bugs to eliminate problems. So, we feel the freeware users should do their share by trying the latest version before asking for help, or reporting problems that had long been solved. [...] The user should see it once [every] 30 days. Not on every invocation.
Now, while I respect Kan's motives, in my understanding, once one cannot update anymore because of lost compatibility, this nag should be disabled...
Of course, anyone who disables it, does so on his own, and knowing fully well that no support whatsoever should be expected from Kan himself or anyone from the XXCOPY team. Moreover, as always, the standard disclaimer applies: It works great for me, but YMMV and I can guarantee nothing whatsoever about this patch, and about the use one makes of it. So, by deciding to apply it you fully accept that anything you do is of YOUR SOLE RESPONSIBILITY... Hence, if after performing this mod your pc morphs into a purple mushroom and explodes, causing a 10-day worldwide blackout in the process, you know you can't blame me for it! You have been warned.
That said, here's a patch pattern exclusively to disable the nag on XXCOPY freeware v.2.96.5 (it applies to no other version but this one).
0) Get the free version of XXCOPY (you must get XXCOPY FREEWARE v.2.96.5 - xxfw2965.zip. From that zip one must extract XXCOPY.EXE and confirm it has the following characteristics:
Size: 388,608 bytes
Created: Tue Jan 08, 2008 04:09:06 GMT
PE Timestamp: 0x4783F0A8 or Tue Jan 08, 2008 21:52:40 GMT
1) Download the freeware command-line utils.zip, from KanastaCorp, grab inside it just patch.exe and drop it into the \%windir%\command\ folder;
2) Download the xxcopypat.7z attached below, grab inside it xxcopy.pat and drop it into the same temporary folder one put XXCOPY.EXE in;
3) Rename XXCOPY.EXE to XXCOPY.ORI;
4) Start a DOS box, go to that temporary folder, and run the following command from the DOS prompt:
patch -p XXCOPY.ORI xxcopy.pat XXCOPY.EXE
All having gone well, the new, nagless version of XXCOPY.EXE shall have:
For those who decide to install XXCOPY for the first time, it's maybe easier to install the package as downloaded and then replace the XXCOPY.EXE file by the patched one. In any case, on installing XXCOPY FREEWARE v.2.96.5 it'll nag about it being a too old version, but this nag is another one, not related to the one addressed by the patch, and it happens just during installation, so it can be ignored and forgotten about.