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Any recommendations for a seamless 'Robust File Copy' addition to Windows ?

I deal with a lot of computers with Windows damaged beyond repair by viruses, rootkits and spyware, where the operating system won´t even boot, or if ti does, it´s so damaged and/or crippled that its cheaper and faster to just do a clean install from scratch.

In these cases the easier path is to save everything in the hard drive to a USB drive, reinstall Windows, and then move everything back to a folder in the computer hard drive, and let the user sort it out later.

Since sometimes users save documents outside the Documents folder, like in the Desktop, in the C: drive root, in another partition, etc. it´s easier to do it this way than to hunt down every folder for stray documents, pictures, etc.

Right now I use a combination of tools to do this:

KLS Mail Backup to save Outlook Express mail folders and configuration. NIRSOFT Mail PassView to save Outlook Express passwords Ultimate Boot CD for Windows to boot the computer to a portable Windows XP, and then manually move folders using Windows Explorer, having to click confirmations about moving things, dealing with the fact that a certain Adobe ocx is unmovable, etc.

All this takes a long time when you are moving sometimes hundreds of GB, is not automated, is interrupted all the time by those pesky Explorer confirmation dialogs, etc.

Is there any software that will more or less do all these things in just one click? Or at least move EVERYTHING in a hard drive to a folder in a portable USB hard drive without asking ANY questions?

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marked as duplicate by Moab, random Jan 29 '11 at 5:01

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3 Answers

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Have you tried Robocopy? It's part of the official Microsoft Windows Resource Kit, which can be installed on XP and is a standard feature of the newer versions.

Personally, I would boot the machine using a Linux live cd, then mount the internal HDD and copy the files over from there, thus reducing the risk of infecting the USB drive with whatever malware is on the target machine. I presume you also run a suitable malware scan on the contents of the drive before you put it back on the freshly installed target?

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RichCopy is the new upgraded version of Robocopy...technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/… –  Moab Jan 27 '11 at 17:05
    
RichCopy seems to be exactly what I need, thanks. FastCopy seems to be similar, will try both. –  Carlos Alloatti Jan 27 '11 at 19:15
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Copying every single file is very easy to do with FastCopy. FastCopy is very fast and displays no confirmation dialogs to you.

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Thanks, it seems suitable for my purposes, since it seems I can only mark one answer, I will go with Robocopy/RichCopy since its a MS tool. –  Carlos Alloatti Jan 27 '11 at 19:14
    
Glad it helped, though FastCopy has an UI, Robocopy not :). –  sinni800 Jan 27 '11 at 20:31
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I'd try Microsoft's free SyncToy utility, which you might be able to install on your Windows Boot CD. It's very robust and can be made to skip things it can't copy, and creates a log of everything it did (or tried) to copy.

You need to be careful about copying files back that are from the infected PC because you might re-infect the clean target.

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I already use SyncToy, I think both RichCopy and FastCopy are exactly what I was looking for. Thanks. –  Carlos Alloatti Jan 27 '11 at 19:15
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