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Kevin Kline

The Awesomeness of ROBOCOPY Now at SQLMag

If you're like me, you've used Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V more than a time or two, but you've always felt a little dirty afterwards.  Yeah, you can use the command-line COPY or XCOPY utilities.  But they're decidedly 20th Century, much like some of the laundry still loitering under my office couch.

So I spent a little time over the holidays cleaning up my file system by scripting a backup routine using the very cool and very free ROBOCOPY utility.  Now, I've got a regularly scheduled job that, after the first run which captured all my files, only backs up new or changed files (and directories) while keeping all of their NTFS attributes.  Boo-Yah!

Read all about it on my Tool Time Blog at SQLMag. I'll also show you how to use some other free and powerful alternatives in future entries.



 Twitter @kekline

Published Tuesday, January 12, 2010 9:22 PM by KKline
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Ewan said:

January 13, 2010 4:30 AM

KKline said:

Foiled again, Ewan!  And I would've succeeded too if it weren't for you teenagers and your dog!

You saw through my clever ploy.  I plan on writing about SyncToy very soon.  Drat!  



January 13, 2010 10:04 AM

RobL said:

Instead of Robocopy, use RoboCopyPlus ( It is a wrapper around your instalaltion of Robocopy, that adds email notification depending on teh job result (success, warning, error) and optionally attaches logfiles that it can strip down to showing the warnings and errors only.

Cool little tool :)!

March 15, 2010 6:17 PM

vikas said:

use robocopy

March 21, 2018 4:53 AM

amanda said:

COPY and XCOPY = Bad, RoboCopy = Good

RoboCopy is a part of the latest  Windows Server Resource Kit. RoboCopy has a variety of stellar features that make it worth adding to your toolkit, even if you don't use it for frequent desktop backups like I'm now doing. Here's a sampling:

self-restarting copies after encountering a failure or network disconnect with a configurable number of retries

parameterized scripting


coppying files above or below a certain age

moving files (i.e. deleting them from the source after they are copied)

copying any or all of a files attributes and permission settings (including NTFS attributes not copied by utilities like XCOPY)

file monitoring, such that when a source file has changed, it will be recopied to the destination

file excluding, such that when a target file exists, done bother to overwrite it unless the source file is newer....well in my opinion there are some alternative tools which are better than robocopy i.e. gs richcopy 360/terracopy

In gs richcopy 360 you can set a switch to perform a multi-threaded copy, enabling multiple files to be copied simultaneously.

March 27, 2018 3:24 AM

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About KKline

Kevin Kline is a well-known database industry expert, author, and speaker. Kevin is a long-time Microsoft MVP and was one of the founders of PASS,

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