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Simplify backup in Windows Vista with Robocopy

Fortunately, you can simplify your additional backup operation in Microsoft Windows Vista by using a tool called Robocopy. As you may know, Robocopy has been part of the Windows Resource Kit since Windows NT 4.0 days. However, Microsoft updated Robocopy with some extra features designed for Vista and decided to make it a regular part of the Windows Vista operating system. While this is a good thing in that it is readily accessible to all, there is a catch — Robocopy is a command line tool and its power is tucked away in more than 80 switches.

Robocopy features: While the name implies a copy tool, Robocopy, or “Robust File Copy,” is actually a much more powerful tool with a number of great features that make it a great backup tool. For instance, once you create your initial backup, on subsequent Robocopy operations, only files that have changed are copied again.

If you are backing up across a network connection that can be flakey or occasionally goes down, you can configure Robocopy to wait for the connection to come back up or if that fails to later pick up where the file transfer left off. Furthermore, Robocopy can preserve all of the associated file information, including date and time stamps, security access control lists (ACLs), and more.
The switches

The Robocopy.exe file is stored in the \Windows\System32 directory on every Windows Vista installation. As such you can run it by opening a Command Prompt window. Once you do, type Robocopy /? > RobocopySwitches.txt to create a file that you can view in Notepad.

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