# Using robocopy and excluding multiple directories

I'm trying to copy some directories from a server before I restore from backup (my latest backup was corrupt, so I have to use an older one :( ). I'm in the Windows Recovery Environment and have access to the server's file system `G:\` and my backup media `C:\`. But, since I'm more familiar with Linux, I'm having a bit of trouble with the command line in Windows, specifically `robocopy`.

I want to copy multiple directories (maintaining the same directory structure) from G:\ to C:\ while excluding others (namely, the Windows and Program Files folders). I can't figure out the syntax for the `/XD` option. I was hoping to do something like:

``````robocopy G: C:\backup /CREATE /XD "dir1","dir2", ...
``````

NOTE: I want to clarify that I want to copy the actual files while maintaining the directory structure too. I just checked, and `/create` only creates empty files. Weird.

-

I figured it out with a little trial and error and the `/L` (to test the command before doing it for real). The command I end up with is:

``````robocopy G: C:\backup /MIR /XD G:\dir1 "G:\dir 2" G:\dir3 ...
``````

Apparently, including trailing slashes keeps robocopy from parsing the list of directories correctly, so be sure not to include trailing slashes on directory names and remember to put quotes around directories with spaces in the name.

The `/MIR` option maintains the same directory structure while copying the files.

Edit: After some more research, I improved the command a bit:

``````robocopy G: C:\backup /MIR /Z /LOG:C:\todaysdate-backup.log /XF *.iso *.log *.au /XD G:\dir1 ...
``````

• `/Z` allows the job to be restarted
• `/LOG:<logfile path>` is pretty self-explanatory.
• `/XF` is being used to exclude certain filetypes so it doesn't take so long
You can always use the `/?` switch to get help information for Windows console commands. There's also the `help` command, which similar to Linux's `man` program, but I haven't seen it used by third-party programs (it could be--I am not familiar with how it works, or if that's even possible). –  Ben Richards Oct 1 '12 at 22:18
Hey, thanks for the comment. I thought there was a `help` command, but it doesn't seem to be active in the Windows Recovery Environment (I received an error like "No command 'help' found"). Robocopy is a windows default command that replaced xcopy and is not 3rd-party. –  GorrillaMcD Oct 1 '12 at 22:38