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Fastest way to copy files to 400+ PCs on a network.

Last response: in Business Computing
April 23, 2014 6:53:55 AM

Hey All,

I work for a large company that manages around 1200 PCs on a domain. Our network is all gigabit. About once a month, we have to copy firmware files (there are around 70 files, total size is around 40GB) to roughly 400 PCs (the PCs are separated into groups on production lines). Currently, we load the files to a NAS and copy the files down to 2 PCs per production line from there. Then we copy from those 2 PCs to another 2 PCs on the line, then to the next 4, then 8 and so on. This process works well enough, but it is very labor intensive and time consuming. My question is, is there a way that would be as fast as the way we do it now that could be a little more unattended? I'd like to come up with a way that could get the process done in a few hours without having the IT staff run around to every single PC. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

April 23, 2014 7:09:11 AM

Drop box might be a solution... It allows you to synchronise folders between machines and supports transferring the files over the network to increase speeds (rather than relying solely on an internet connection). 120gb of drop box storage is surprisingly cheap- I use this to keep my office computers all in sync (note I only have 4 computers and a laptop to synchronise however).

Failing that, there are other software tools (for example Microsoft sync toy) that can be configured to automatically update folders. You could potentially set the system up to cascade the files over a prolonged period to manage the network traffic better (e.g. copy to the 'node' computers first, then once that has finished start copying from them to the machines down the chain). It would probably be something you'd need to run over night however I could see this saving a lot of man hours.

Best solution

April 23, 2014 10:11:56 AM

Although you didn't say if you have Windows client PCs or something else, I can suggest a way to accomplish what you want.

1) Create a network share (or more) where you will store the source files.
2) Create a scheduled task using the Windows command scheduler (AT) to run Robocopy (supports logfiles, which might be critical for you), Xcopy, or Hobocopy (if you get locked files errors - see
3) Schedule the copy at whatever time you want, and you can even add other tasks (like running the firmware update, rebooting the PC, etc.).

You'll need to touch each PC at least once, but that should be it.

An alternative method is add the copy process to your domain login script (or maybe a GPO), specify the PCs/Groups to which you want to copy using IFMEMBER (or something similar to determine Group membership), and then have the PCs logon/logoff automatically at a specific time.
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April 23, 2014 1:24:03 PM

there are loads of software design to do that on a click of a button.
but then they might cut stuff :D 

when you say firmware is for pc hw or software?
April 23, 2014 11:21:16 PM

This might be helpful.

Konica Minolta Applications / Device Administration
You can count on Konica Minolta device administration software to network utilities that support all aspects of bizhub functionality. These aspects include device status, monitoring and setup, configuring multiple devices from a single point, bringing bizhub devices into enterprise systems and managing addresses and security dates more efficiently.
April 25, 2014 8:47:26 AM

I would recommend a Powershell script to spawn a job on each of the machines and initiate the copy from distributed PCs. You can control how many are simultaneously active in the master script. You have access to the AD from Powershell so it should be easy to identify which machines to send out to.