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Long story short: We receive a command from a script and want to execute it using windows shell.

Currently we use a method similar to:

echo start & command & echo finish

That works fine unless the command contains ampersands on its own, so for example

echo begin & if exist c:\temp.txt echo 1 & echo end will fail to write "end" if the file does not exist.

That can be solved by changing the command to echo begin & (if exist c:\temp.txt echo 1) & echo end, but then we run into problems for commands that contain parentheses symbols, for example

echo begin & (echo %PATH%) & echo end prints "\Hewlett-Packard\HP was unexpected at this time." because I have Program Files (x86) in path.

Any way to escape special characters from the command's result?

Thanks in advance

share|improve this question
Your best bet is to split the three commands (echo start, command, and echo finish) onto three separate lines. How are you actually launching the command? – Harry Johnston Aug 21 '12 at 21:54

The problem is the spaces in the PATH, so use quotes.

  echo begin & (echo "%PATH%") & echo end
share|improve this answer
Thanks and right, but we have no control of the command that comes from the script, it may not be an echo command at all – Vic Aug 21 '12 at 10:55

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