Robocopy (Robust File Copy) is a command-line file copy utility that comes with Windows Vista / Windows 2008 or newer. Until Vista, Robocopy was a part of Windows Resource Kit Tools as a free download (http://aka.ms/robocopydownload).
Unlike normal copy commands, Robocopy is designed for reliable copy or mirroring while maintaining the permissions, attributes, owner information, timestamps and properties of the objects copied.
A few of my customers were complaining that there is not enough documentation on robocopy usage and examples. I am trying to document some of the common scenarios where robocopy can be useful.
ROBOCOPY <source> <destination> [file…] [options]
<source> Source Directory (local or network path)
<destination> Destination Directory (local or network path) and
[file…] Specifies the file or files to be copied. You can use wildcard characters (* or ?), if you want. If the File parameter is not specified, *.* is used as the default value.
**Skip to the end of this document for more information on Robocopy Options and Switches .
To copy contents of C:\UserFolder to C:\FolderBackup:
Robocopy C:\UserFolder C:\FolderBackup
This is the simplest usage for Robocopy
To copy all contents including empty directories of SourceFolder to DestinationFolder:
Robocopy C:\SourceDir C:\DestDir /E
List only files larger than 32 MBytes(33553332 bytes) in size.
Robocopy.exe c:\sourceFolder d:\targetfolder /min:33553332 /l
Note: /l - will list files matching the criteria. if /l is omitted, files matching the criteria will be copied to the taget location
Move files over 14 days old (note the MOVE option will fail if any files are open and locked).
ROBOCOPY C:\SourceFoldern D:\DestinationFolder /move /minage:14
Similarly you could use the below switches
/MIR is an option to ROBOCOPY where you mirror a directory tree with all the subfolders
including the empty directories and you purge files and folders on the destination server that no longer exists in source.
ROBOCOPY \\sourceserver\share \\destinationserver\share /MIR
ROBOCOPY source-drive:\DIR destination-drive:\DIR /MIR
The following command will mirror the directories using Robocopy:
Robocopy \\SourceServer\Share \\DestinationServer\Share /MIR /FFT /Z /XA:H /W:5
Explanation of the switches used:
Use Robocopy to copy all changes to files in a directory called c:\data to a directory that contains the date, like data_20091124. Create a batch file as follows.
Robocopy "c:\data" "c:\backup\data\%day%-%month%-%year%\" /MAXAGE:1
To mirror the directory "C:\directory" to "\\server2\directory" excluding \\server2\directory\dir2" from being deleted (since it isn't present in C:\directory) use the following command:
Robocopy "C:\Folder" "\\Machine2\Folder" /MIR /XD \\server2\ directory\dir2"
Robocopy can be setup as a simply Scheduled Task that runs daily, hourly, weekly etc. Note that Robocopy also contains a switch that will make Robocopy monitor the source for changes and invoke synchronization each time a configurable number of changes has
been made. This may work in your scenario, but be
aware that Robocopy will not just copy the changes, it will scan the complete directory structure just like a normal mirroring procedure. If there are a lot of files & directories, this may hamper performance.
You have copied the contents from source to destination but now you made changes to the Security permissions at source. You wanted to copy only the permission changes and not data.
ROBOCOPY <Source> <Target> /E /Copy:S /IS /IT
Copy option have the following flags to use:
The default value for CopyFlags is DAT (data, attributes, and time stamps).
Sidenote: ROBOCOPY c:\sourcefolder d:\targetfolder /zb /sec /e /nocopy may give you similar results but useful ONLY when more permissions are added. it will not consider or update the target for permissions removed at the source.
How to Copy Files Multi-Threaded with Robocopy in Windows 7.
Robocopy, short for Robust File Copy, is a command-line directory replication and file copy command utility that was first made available as feature in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, although it has been available as part of Windows Resources Kit.
In Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, Robocopy utility is further enhanced with ability to multi-threaded copy operation feature.
Multi-threaded support allows Robocopy to open multiple threads simultaneously, allowing many files to be copied in parallel. With multi-threaded copying, total time required to complete the operation will be drastically reduced and cut, when comparing with
with typical copying one file at time in serial sequential order.
As Robocopy is generally a command-line only utility (although a GUI add-on is available for Robocopy), the new multi-threaded operation capability has to be called via a new switch supported by Robocopy. The new multi-threaded copy feature can be enabled
and turned on with the following parameter:
Where n will instruct Robocopy to do multi-threaded copies with n threads (default 8). The value of n must be at least 1 and not greater than 128 (between 1 to 128), with 1 as single thread. In fact, Robocopy will copy files and folders in multi-threaded
operation by default, with 8 threads in one go. Note that /MT[:n] switch is not compatible with the /IPG and /EFSRAW operations.
Robocopy C:\Folder1 C:\Folder2 /MT:32
To copy a directory tree along with the source timestamps for folders
Robocopy C:\Folder1 C:\Folder2 /MIR /dcopy:T
To copy a directory using /IPG to limit bandwidth usage. General rule of thumb /IPG:750 will use roughly 1Mbps.
Robocopy /ipg:750 /z /r:3 /w:3 /tee /LOG+:c:\robolog.txt //server1/share //server2/share
Robocopy Options and Switches: http://aka.ms/robocopy (Short url for
Copies all encrypted files in EFS RAW mode.
Specifies the file properties to be copied. The following are the valid values for this option:
When using the /SECFIX copy option, specify the type of security information you want to copy by also using one of these additional copy options:
Excludes files that match the specified names or paths. Note that FileName can include wildcard characters (* and ?).
Specifies the wait time between retries, in seconds. The default value of
N is 30 (wait time 30 seconds).
Includes source file time stamps in the output.