OK, so I’m about two years too late with this, but yesterday I wanted to copy all 100+ GB of my music from my desktop computer to my netbook, and this came in really handy!
Robocopy is a command-line file copying tool from Microsoft that has been included with Windows since Windows Vista. Its name comes from “Robust File Copy”, and Robocopy offers a lot of features that are unavailable with most command-line file copy apps. For instance, you can have Robobopy include NTFS permissions on copied files, so if you need to move a file share from one server to another, you can use the
/SEC switch to include all the appropriate permissions. And my favorite switch –
/MIR – can create a mirror of a folder at another location, which is excellent for backups.
One of the longtime complaints about Robocopy was that it was single-threaded, meaning it would only copy one file at a time. However, the version of Robocopy shipped with Windows 7 is able to copy up to 128 files at a time using the
/MT generates 8 threads, but you can change this by adding the number of threads you want, such as
/MT:6 for six threads or
/MT:24 for 24 threads. As mentioned, the maximum you can do at one time is 128, so
/MT:128 is the most you can do.
You might need to play with this to how many threads works best in your situation. I started copying my music with twenty threads, and my poor netbook just couldn’t keep up. In fact, file copying seemed slower with twenty threads than it did with one! So I reduced the threads to six, and it copied all my music in record time!
Sadly, unlike previous versions of Robocopy, the Windows 7 version doesn’t work on earlier versions of Windows, like Windows XP. So if you STILL haven’t upgraded, here’s one more reason to do so.