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I have an external drive and it's not working well. I want to move all the stuff to a new external drive before it's too late.

copy and paste will not work as it keep coming "Path too long" and kills everything. What do you think of XCopy?

Looking for a free solution - what do you recommend?

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migrated from Feb 11 '11 at 15:17

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Maybe you could try rsync. – Alan Haggai Alavi Feb 11 '11 at 15:16
up vote 15 down vote accepted

Use TeraCopy.

TeraCopy is a compact program designed to copy and move files at the maximum possible speed, providing the user with a lot of features:

  • Copy files faster. TeraCopy uses dynamically adjusted buffers to reduce seek times. Asynchronous copy speeds up file transfer between two physical hard drives.
  • Pause and resume file transfers. Pause copy process at any time to free up system resources and continue with a single click.
  • Error recovery. In case of copy error, TeraCopy will try several times and in the worse case just skip the file, not terminating the entire transfer.
  • Interactive file list. TeraCopy shows failed file transfers and lets you fix the problem and recopy only problem files.
  • Shell integration. TeraCopy can completely replace Explorer copy and move functions, allowing you work with files as usual.
  • Full Unicode support.
  • Windows 7 x64 support.
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I use TeraCopy as my Explorer copy/move replacement, and have been more then happy. It also reduces the "slow-down" introduced in the Windows file copy/move operations introduced in the Windows 6.0/6.1 Kernels. – Breakthrough Feb 11 '11 at 16:24
Sounds good I will give it a go when I go home tonight – user9969 Feb 11 '11 at 16:48
@Breakthrough: I found teracopy less useful on Windows 7 than on Windows XP. could you explain the 'slow-down' a bit further? – akira Feb 12 '11 at 10:14
You haven't noticed a LOT slower file transfers in Win7/Vista as compared to Windows XP? (Especially the "calculating" period when it waits before copying...) – Breakthrough Feb 13 '11 at 16:59

If you're using Windows 7 or Server 2008, try robocopy.

cmd > robocopy c:\ d:\ /s

robocopy everything from C:\ to D:\ including subdirectires

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+1 for suggesting a tool that comes with Windows Vista, 7, and Server 2008 (meaning no download), although it does depend on the OS of the original poster. I would add that if you have any security settings on the file you could add /COPYALL. In addition, if the drive is failing the default retry count for robocopy is 1 million, so try adding /R:5 or similar to speed things up in case of read failures. – icabod Feb 15 '11 at 17:30

Use Fastcopy.

FastCopy provides a faster way to copy, move or delete large numbers of files. It automatically selects an optimized method depending on whether the Source and Destination directory are on the same or different hard drives, and performs read/write operations without using the O/S cache. In addition to simple copy and delete operations, the program also supports advanced methods that allow you to synchronize files based on their date and size. Other features include customizable buffer size, preview of file actions, adjustable speed control, command-line support, file verification and advanced file filtering. FastCopy supports Unicode and long file names. Standalone software, installation is optional.

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All fantastic replies I will give it a go – user9969 Feb 11 '11 at 16:48

Consider RichCopy, a popular internal Microsoft copy tool. A huge improvement on robocopy.

Multithreaded, fast, and allows serialized disk access (useful when copying to USB drives and the like). Has proper pause, resume, and error handling. Allows various file selection parameters. Usefully, it can consolidate multiple source directories into a single target.

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Start any Linux live CD and use dd command.

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My dad had exactly this error when he was trying to move some stuff off of his old machine onto an external drive. He had some names like "Process and Integration April 2008", with similarly named folders going a few levels deep and files with equally long names at the bottom; didn't take long for the path length to hit the (I think) 255-character limit.

We just renamed the directories to make the names, and ultimately the paths, shorter - starting at the top level and working down - then tried the copy again. Took a couple of goes before we nailed everything that was over the limit, but it worked and we didn't need any special software.

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xxcopy is a good replacement for xcopy.

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