Windows

Get a GUI for RoboCopy in Windows XP

Step up your copying operations with RoboCopy! This Windows 2003 Server tool is also at home on your Windows XP system. Learn why you'll want to tap into this free, powerful resource.

If you're like most IT professionals, you probably use the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tool called RoboCopy with Windows XP. RoboCopy is an extremely powerful copy tool that allows you to perform more advanced copy operations than with Windows XP's standard copy tools. For example, with RoboCopy, you can create mirror images of large folder tree structures on the same computer or on a network drive.

The only drawback to using RoboCopy is that you have to run it from the command line. This means that in order to use RoboCopy you have to remember and type a lot of switches and parameters if you wish to really take advantage of all its features.

Fortunately, Derk Benisch, a systems engineer with Microsoft's MSN Search group, created an add-in called RoboCopy GUI. This six-tabbed user interface makes configuring and using RoboCopy a real snap. Not only does the interface provide you with a large set of configuration options via check boxes, radio buttons, text boxes, and Browse dialog boxes, but it also can save your settings, which makes reusing the tool that much easier. Furthermore, RoboCopy GUI comes with a Help file and an extensive reference guide to help you get a handle on all that RoboCopy can do.

You can download RoboCopy GUI. Keep in mind that you must have Microsoft .NET Framework version 2.0 installed prior to installing RoboCopy GUI.

Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

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About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

35 comments
llewellyn
llewellyn

very good, would be better if you didnt have to have .net framework installed and if all the switches had what they do in brackets next to them for noobs that dont know what or are just learning what all the switches do.

Brian G
Brian G

Just a bunch of check boxes across a bunch of tabs?!?! What help is that!

Dave Pusey
Dave Pusey

Why do we need a GUI version when the CLI version is easy to use anyway. It's not difficult to type /E /Z /W:2 and maybe /MOVE

mengland
mengland

I don't know why some of you guys bother reading these tips etc. Seems you know it all..! Even hide behind stange names too..!

Advs89
Advs89

I believe that is the definition of a Graphical User Interface... it provides a "browse" dialog to locate the files/folders, and offers checkboxes with real names rather than cryptic CLI switches... This is a GUI, it was not advertised as anything more, just a GUI.

tony
tony

This the next chapter in .Net for dummies. The first was Hello World.

D.H. Cesare
D.H. Cesare

I agree. What's it all about? Didn't work for me and it seems easy enough to RUN.

wesley.chin
wesley.chin

Remember the days when computers were not known to the average joe? now the trend is to make things visually accessible. Example Windows and Apple. Usability is the reason. Remembering what to type is too much for some, esp. the people higher up. But I agree, that line is not hard to remember, if it is done often, memory from osmosis.

TravisFx
TravisFx

Is that so much to ask for? I've used Freebyte backup tool which was about the only one I found at the time,that you could use multiple source folders. Would've been nice to see the same here - i.e. without having to run multiple instances and all.

D.H. Cesare
D.H. Cesare

Under the PATH tab I selected a source folder and a destination folder, clicked the RUN button and got a quick "DOS" window. Went to the destination folder and there was nothing in the folder. What's next? As far as typing the commands, I for one do not know the the switches and commands.

mdhealy
mdhealy

It has no GUI, and its syntax goes beyond baroque into rococo, but the most powerful file-management tool for Windows with which I am familiar can be found here: http://www.xxcopy.com/index.htm To avoid memorizing the awful syntax, I recommend using a Perl or batch wrapper and your favorite automated scheduling solution. I myself use Perl for practically everything because I learned it on Unix before doing much with Windows, and today Linux accounts for about half my tube time -- my first programming was in FORTRAN on punchcards, an environment I would not recommend to anybody :-)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Why do we have automatic transmissions? It's not difficult to clutch and shift. Why have a remote control for the TV? Is it that hard to get up and change the channel manually? What's the harm? If you don't like it, don't use it.

Advs89
Advs89

"Seems you know it all..!" "Even hide behind stange names too..! " Yeah, if you like this, you should try reading Slashdot!

#1 Kenster
#1 Kenster

Get the same results that you did. Even put in a logfile name but it did not appear to log anything either.

wturgeon
wturgeon

The installation routine drops a copy of ROBOCOPY.EXE (The actual program itself) into the 'C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Robocopy GUI\Config folder. The RobocopyGUI program cannot find it there, so it does not work. The easiest fix is to drop a copy of Robocopy.exe in the c:\Windows directory where it will be in the path. THEN the Robocopy GUI program will work properly.

hansa
hansa

Robocopy.exe needs to be in a folder that is in the Windows path. After installation it will be in: \Documents and Settings\(your profile)\Application Data\Robocopy GUI\Config. Put a duplicate copy of it in the WINDOWS (or WINNT) folder. It will now work fine.

holmescd
holmescd

...so I figured maybe it wanted to run from the Windows/System32 folder, but that didn't help. I did find the "tool tips" helpful- as you hover your cursor over the commands or check boxes yo get a description of each switch. But not having the GUI do anything aside from saving my preferences from one "use" to the next, it seems worthless. I thought this was supposed to be EASIER than the command line interface? Oh well, at least it's handy having the switches accessible without interrupting your command line.

lcashion
lcashion

/??? - Help! Shows every possible switch and what it does.

denkidr
denkidr

You first use was Fortran? Did you ever use Forgo or For2Go. They were developed for punch cards users for the same reason we automate file copying today.

#1 Kenster
#1 Kenster

I still have a cartoon from the book "Fortran for Humans". There's a couple of people holding down a little guy (Fortran Charlie) on the floor. He's in front of the window where you handed in your deck for testing. A cop is talking to someone on the phone. The cop says "Right Chief... 'One lousy comma' over and over. What should we do with him?" Ah, the good old days really sucked sometimes.

D.H. Cesare
D.H. Cesare

All that's fine if one has programming experience, but with no background in programming it would be nice to have an easy to understand/operate GUI.

mengland
mengland

Very well put indeed. We're all individuals some like some things whilst others don't. I don't think I've ever read such negativity as in these forums. Get a life for God's sake.

mkurhan
mkurhan

Hilarious?what a great reply.

holmescd
holmescd

Yes, it does, Bill- thanks. I renamed my destination folder to remove spaces (as you suggested), copied the script which the RoboCopy GUI created and pasted it into the command prompt. I also removed the /MIR switch and the quotations which surrounded the source location, which the GUI seemed to feel were required. Here's what I ended up with: robocopy H:\ "C:\Backup_of_TechUtils" /S /E / COPYALL /V /ZB /R:10 /W:30 /ETA I can't imagine why the GUI decided to put quotations around H:\ in my case. but the script above worked very well. RoboCopy.exe made a REALLY fast backup of my 1GB flash drive, but was it worth going through all these hoops? Yes, since all I have to do now is rename source/destinations in the script. It will definitely be worth it when I get my 8GB flash drive! :) Thanks again, Bill.

wturgeon
wturgeon

Hi Dave, What I was referring to is the command line as shown in your post: >>robocopy "H:\" "O:\Backup of TechUtils" /MIR /S /E /COPYALL /V /ZB /R:10 /W:30 /ETA

holmescd
holmescd

...Bill, but there is only one word in the root folder name, and that's "TechUtils". If I have to change every file/folder name in every sub-directory I'll . Thanks- Dave

wturgeon
wturgeon

The error message says: ERROR : Invalid Parameter #3 : "TechUtils /MIR /S /E /COPYALL /V /ZB /R:10 /W:30 /ETA " You will note that the error point begins with the word "TechUtils". I wonder if it is interpreting this as the "third parameter", rather than part of the file name? This would make sense as the source is the first parameter; the destination is the second parameter and the command is interpreting the word TechUtils as a third parameter. To verify this, try renaming your directory with underscores instead of spaces; then repeat the command. (Remember to replace the spaces with underscores in the command line too.) I think you will find this will solve the problem. Regards, BillT

holmescd
holmescd

I copied robocopy.exe into both the Windows folder & Windows/System32, but the GUI still didn't seem to work. I'm running WinXP Pro SP2 + the 80-odd updates since SP2. Anyway, here's the script: robocopy "H:\" "O:\Backup of TechUtils" /MIR /S /E /COPYALL /V /ZB /R:10 /W:30 /ETA And here's the error I got when I ran the robocopy script right from the command line: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ROBOCOPY :: Robust File Copy for Windows :: Version XP026 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Started : Thu Feb 08 15:52:31 2007 Source - H:\" O:\Backup\ Dest - C:\Documents and Settings\holmescd\of\ Files : Options : /COPY:DAT /R:1000000 /W:30 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ERROR : Invalid Parameter #3 : "TechUtils /MIR /S /E /COPYALL /V /ZB /R:10 /W:30 /ETA " Simple Usage :: ROBOCOPY source destination /MIR source :: Source Directory (drive:\path or \\server\share\path). destination :: Destination Dir (drive:\path or \\server\share\path). /MIR :: Mirror a complete directory tree. For more usage information run ROBOCOPY /? or read Robocopy.Doc. NOTE: Read "True Replication" in Robocopy.Doc prior to first use of /MIR ! **** /MIR can DELETE files as well as copy them ! I tried deleting the /MIR switch, but it still didn't run. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.

deepsand
deepsand

an [i]interpretive[/i] version of FORTRAN for machines with limited core memory.

mdhealy
mdhealy

Well, there are MANY things I would not do for ANY amount of money...

mdhealy
mdhealy

At least I never used COBOL. When I was a Postdoc at Yale Medical School in the 1990s I knew one guy with an undergraduate degree in Computer Science who took a COBOL class so he could make money fast doing Y2K remediation of crufty old code. Yuck!

dke64
dke64

I should also mention that every option is explained so you have a clue what your doing. Dave

dke64
dke64

I agree, the Microsoft GUI is not much better than the command line version as far as ease of understanding. I recommend CopyRite XP http://copyrite.dyndns.biz I use it on my servers and it is just one EXE to place on the server rather than the whole DOT NET framework and an installation routine. It Rocks, Dave

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

to operate? Maybe. Easier to understand? Probably not.

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