Batch Help - Copying


Hopefully you can all help.

I have been using the xcopy command for a while now to transfer over files using the appropriate switches. I now feel with my data storage growing that its time to up the anti a little and make this a more complete batch file.

What i basically do currently,

Copy certain folders across multiple drives across to a external HD over night using scheduled tasks.

What i want to do now however is every time i insert my external hd (currently set using computer management to Z:) automatically call a batch file to begin the copy process. Due to my collection growing i would like to only copy updated on new file in their specified directories rather than everything with an overwrite switch.

Hopefully someone will have the answer/solution to this.

Thanking in advanced,


7 answers Last reply
More about batch copying
  1. You might like to have a look at the "robocopy" command (it's part of Vista and 7, but I think you need to get in from the Windows Resource Kit for XP). This is a far more intelligent and versatile copy tool than xcopy.
  2. You can create an autorun file to call your batch file and instead of using xcopy use robocopy. here are the list of switches for robocopy:

    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 :: 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).

    /A+:[RASHCNET] :: add the given Attributes to copied files.
    /A-:[RASHCNET] :: remove the given Attributes from copied files.

    /CREATE :: CREATE directory tree and zero-length files only.
    /FAT :: create destination files using 8.3 FAT file names only.
    /256 :: turn off very long path (> 256 characters) support.

    /MON:n :: MONitor source; run again when more than n changes seen.
    /MOT:m :: MOnitor source; run again in m minutes Time, if changed.

    /RH:hhmm-hhmm :: Run Hours – times when new copies may be started.
    /PF :: check run hours on a Per File (not per pass) basis.

    /IPG:n :: Inter-Packet Gap (ms), to free bandwidth on slow lines.

    File Selection Options :

    /A :: copy only files with the Archive attribute set.
    /M :: copy only files with the Archive attribute and reset it.
    /IA:[RASHCNETO] :: Include only files with any of the given Attributes set.
    /XA:[RASHCNETO] :: eXclude files with any of the given Attributes set.

    /XF file [file]… :: eXclude Files matching given names/paths/wildcards.
    /XD dirs [dirs]… :: eXclude Directories matching given names/paths.

    /XC :: eXclude Changed files.
    /XN :: eXclude Newer files.
    /XO :: eXclude Older files.
    /XX :: eXclude eXtra files and directories.
    /XL :: eXclude Lonely files and directories.
    /IS :: Include Same files.
    /IT :: Include Tweaked files.

    /MAX:n :: MAXimum file size – exclude files bigger than n bytes.
    /MIN:n :: MINimum file size – exclude files smaller than n bytes.

    /MAXAGE:n :: MAXimum file AGE – exclude files older than n days/date.
    /MINAGE:n :: MINimum file AGE – exclude files newer than n days/date.
    /MAXLAD:n :: MAXimum Last Access Date – exclude files unused since n.
    /MINLAD:n :: MINimum Last Access Date – exclude files used since n.
    (If n < 1900 then n = n days, else n = YYYYMMDD date).

    /XJ :: eXclude Junction points. (normally included by default).

    /FFT :: assume FAT File Times (2-second granularity).
    /DST :: compensate for one-hour DST time differences.

    /XJD :: eXclude Junction points for Directories.
    /XJF :: eXclude Junction points for Files.

    Retry Options :

    /R:n :: number of Retries on failed copies: default 1 million.
    /W:n :: Wait time between retries: default is 30 seconds.

    /REG :: Save /R:n and /W:n in the Registry as default settings.

    /TBD :: wait for sharenames To Be Defined (retry error 67).

    Logging Options :

    /L :: List only – don’t copy, timestamp or delete any files.
    /X :: report all eXtra files, not just those selected.
    /V :: produce Verbose output, showing skipped files.
    /TS :: include source file Time Stamps in the output.
    /FP :: include Full Pathname of files in the output.
    /BYTES :: Print sizes as bytes.

    /NS :: No Size – don’t log file sizes.
    /NC :: No Class – don’t log file classes.
    /NFL :: No File List – don’t log file names.
    /NDL :: No Directory List – don’t log directory names.

    /NP :: No Progress – don’t display % copied.
    /ETA :: show Estimated Time of Arrival of copied files.

    /LOG:file :: output status to LOG file (overwrite existing log).
    /LOG+:file :: output status to LOG file (append to existing log).

    /UNILOG:file :: output status to LOG file as UNICODE (overwrite existing log).
    /UNILOG+:file :: output status to LOG file as UNICODE (append to existing log).

    /TEE :: output to console window, as well as the log file.

    /NJH :: No Job Header.
    /NJS :: No Job Summary.

    /UNICODE :: output status as UNICODE.

    Job Options :

    /JOB:jobname :: take parameters from the named JOB file.
    /SAVE:jobname :: SAVE parameters to the named job file
    /QUIT :: QUIT after processing command line (to view parameters).

    /NOSD :: NO Source Directory is specified.
    /NODD :: NO Destination Directory is specified.
    /IF :: Include the following Files.

    I have higlighted the one you need to use.
  3. if you want to use Xcopy then use the Autorun file on the root of the external drive as suggested by Lembi2001 and then to only copy new/modified files do the following

    In the souce dir use the attrib command to set the Archive attribute to all files "Attrib +a *.* /s"

    add the /m switch to your current xcopy command "xcopy c:\SOURCE-DIR\*.* X:\DEST-DIR\*.* /s/m

    The first time you run the command the whole folder will be backed up. from that point on only new/modified files will be copied.
  4. Hi,

    Sorry its taken so long to get back to you its been one busy week!

    Thanks for the kind replys, the robocopy idea seems the most sensible as i am currently on windows 7.

    For some reason i cannot seem to get this command to work in any way, shape or form.

    I have tried the following line,

    robocopy I:\data K:\robo

    Both of the above directory's exist. The one labelled I:\data contains files and the 'robo' directory does not.

    All i want to do is copy from one to the other? Even with switches added before and after the directory's i still cannot seem to copy.

    What am i doing wrong?

    Thanks again,

  5. What output do you get from that command? (I've just tried it on my PC and it works as expected.)

    I used to use this as a way of replicating huge directories from one server to another and it was ideal for that purpose.
  6. C:\Users\Administrator>robocopy I:\data K:\robo

    ROBOCOPY :: Robust File Copy for Windows


    Started : Thu Feb 04 07:09:53 2010

    Source : I:\data\
    Dest : K:\robo\

    Files : *.*

    Options : *.* /COPY:DAT /R:1000000 /W:30


    0 I:\data\


    Total Copied Skipped Mismatch FAILED Extras
    Dirs : 1 0 1 0 0 0
    Files : 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Bytes : 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Times : 0:00:00 0:00:00 0:00:00 0:00:00

    Ended : Thu Feb 04 07:09:53 2010

    Is there a log file i can look at to see why it has been skipped?
  7. I suspect that you only have directories immediately under I:\data. Use the /S switch to copy the subdirectories also (or /E to include empty ones). You might also look at the /R switch to handle open files.

    If that fails, try the /V, /X and /L to get more information.
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