I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the fantastic piece of software that Microsoft offers for free called Robocopy. I just found that on technet there is a gui version of Robocopy that just makes things a little bit easier for copying files and especially permissions to another machine on a network. Follow this robocopy gui link and look under the November downloads section to download the software for free.
It’s fundamental. Try to think of a time when, either as an IT professional or even as just the user of a home computer, you didn’t need to copy files. Whether you’re building a master image for desktop deployment, publishing new pages to a Web server, or just backing up or reorganizing your own documents and photos, copying files is one of those core operations you are bound to perform in your daily interaction with a PC.
But there’s a problem. The traditional “copy and paste” functionality that is built into Microsoft® Windows® has limitations. It works well enough for simple tasks (moving a document from one directory to another, and so on), but it lacks the advanced functionality an IT professional needs in the workplace. For example, the copy and paste operation doesn’t include any kind of advanced resiliency that would allow it to recover from a brief network disruption. It’s also an all-or-nothing proposition, particularly when copying complete directories. Through the UI, you can’t choose to copy only those files which are new or have been updated. You either copy individual files, entire directories, or nothing at all.
Enter Robocopy. This powerful tool, included with the Microsoft Windows Server® 2003 Resource Kit Tools, allows for all of those advanced functions and more. Robocopy enables the more serious file replication tasks that can really simplify your job. The biggest benefit I think you’ll find is the ability to create full mirror duplicates of two file structures (including all subdirectories and files, if you choose) without copying any unnecessary files. Only the files that are new or have been updated in the source location will be copied. Robocopy also allows you to preserve all of the associated file information, including date and time stamps, security access control lists (ACLs) and more.
Of course, we all like to work in different ways. Some people prefer the command line and for those people, the Robocopy tool as it ships is great. However, others are more point-and-click oriented, and for that crowd, there’s Robocopy GUI. This welcome add-on to Robocopy comes to us from Derk Benisch, a systems engineer with the MSN Search group at Microsoft. Derk’s utility allows users to customize their Robocopy scripts using a simple and very familiar-looking graphical interface