Robocopy: Now Multi-Threaded!

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 switch!

By default /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.

4 Replies to “Robocopy: Now Multi-Threaded!”

  1. Yes, robocopy is actually fast but it is faster than windows, not faster than other software or the one which I am using. I have actually compared them. I am using GS Richcopy 360. When I compared both of them I saw considerable difference in the transfer rate. GS Richcopy uses 100% multi threaded file transfer. This software is just amazing when it comes to speedy transfer. Other features of it is long path name support, pre scheduled file transfer, email notification when the transfer is done and many more.

  2. The main problem I have is that it doesn’t have a GUI and other is that it freezes at times when copying huge TB’s of file. For me as who is not feel easy with command line this software is not that good. That’s why I use GS Richcopy 360. It has a very simple GUI, provides all the necessary features like long path name support, multi threaded file transfer(100%), pre scheduled file transfer and many more. It does not even hang when I copy 100 TB of data. Try it hope it helps you all!

  3. Robocopy looks like a very complex task and feels like it requires very much technical knowledge so I was looking for a simple yet effective software. My friend suggested me a software called GS Richcopy, its a paid software but it it affordable and provides overwhelming features like pre scheduled file transfer, email notification when task is done. This software is much better than any other software that I have used till date. Try it hope it helps!

  4. I have used Robocopy but haven’t seen the extent of multi threaded file transfer because the file transfer speed does not increase that much as expected. A software which provides 100% multi threaded file transfer and I have witnessed the transfer speed myself. GS Richcopy 360 is the software that I would suggest you all to use. See yourself the difference of what a multi threaded file transfer looks like. Try it its just awesome!

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