Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to use Robocopy command to copy folders and contents

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Robocopy (Robust File Copy) is a command-line file copying tool in Windows Vista. Although Robocopy is available for free with the download Windows Resource Kit since Windows NT 4.0, it has never been an official feature of the operating system until the arrival of Vista. Unlike other built-in file copying commands such as Copy and XCopy, Robocopy is designed for reliable copy or mirroring of entire folders of any size, and in the copying process, ensure that all NTFS ACLS, attributes, owner information, alternate data streams, auditing information, timestamps and properties are copied except security information unless explicitly requested with /COPYALL switch.

And best of all, Robocopy works over network connections that are subject to disruption or outages with resume copying feature, and has progress indicator on the command line that is useful when copying large files.

Robocopy Syntax
ROBOCOPY source destination [file [file]…] [options]
where source is Source Directory (drive:\path or \\server\share\path), destination is Destination Directory (drive:\path or \\server\share\path) and file is File(s) to copy where names or wildcards can be specified and default is “*.*” (all files).

Robocopy Options and Switches
Copy options :
/S :: copy Subdirectories, but not empty ones.
/E :: copy subdirectories, including Empty ones.
/LEV:n :: only copy the top n LEVels of the source directory tree.
/Z :: copy files in restartable mode.
/B :: copy files in Backup mode.
/ZB :: use restartable mode; if access denied use Backup mode.
/EFSRAW :: copy all encrypted files in EFS RAW mode.
/COPY:copyflag[s] :: what to COPY for files (default is /COPY:DAT).
(copyflags : D=Data, A=Attributes, T=Timestamps).
(S=Security=NTFS ACLs, O=Owner info, U=aUditing info).
/DCOPY:T :: COPY Directory Timestamps.
/SEC :: copy files with SECurity (equivalent to /COPY:DATS).
/COPYALL :: COPY ALL file info (equivalent to /COPY:DATSOU).
/NOCOPY :: COPY NO file info (useful with /PURGE).
/SECFIX :: FIX file SECurity on all files, even skipped files.
/TIMFIX :: FIX file TIMes on all files, even skipped files.
/PURGE :: delete dest files/dirs that no longer exist in source.
/MIR :: MIRror a directory tree (equivalent to /E plus /PURGE).
/MOV :: MOVe files (delete from source after copying).
/MOVE :: MOVE files AND dirs (delete from source after copying).

Examples:
To use Robocopy is simple, just like how you would use Copy and Xcopy commands. For example, to copy entire folder of C:\Users to C:\UserBackup, simply type:
Robocopy C:\Users C:\UserBackup

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