Friday, December 19, 2008

Xcopy- Powerful and versatile way to copy or back up files

Copy- Powerful and versatile way to copy or back up files

For copying large numbers of files or backing up a large folder, the command line is often the fastest and easiest way to go. The command “xcopy” is a very useful and powerful command for this purpose. (The old DOS also had an “xcopy” command but it sometimes had trouble with long file names. The XP version has no such problems.) “xcopy” comes with an alphabet soup of assorted switches that give it great versatility for use as a file backup utility. Enter “xcopy /?” in a command prompt to see them all. For example with the switch “/d:[mm-dd-yyy]” only files changed after a given date are copied. A command that will copy all files from the folder myfolder that have changed since June 1, 2003 to the folder mybackup is given byxcopy myfolder mybackup /d:06-01-2003 If no date is specified the switch “/d” will copy all files that have changed at any time.As is true in general, if there are spaces in a name, the path and file name have to be enclosed in quotes. Adding the switch "/s" provides that subfolders and their contents will also be copied. Other switches provide for read-only and hidden files. Altogether, there are something like 27 command line options for xcopy. More information is on this page.

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