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  • File Copying Question

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 8.1 File Copying Question

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      • #2370947
        AskWoody Lounger

        Need to finish copying a large number of files to a secondary location without duplicating any of the files already copied. Which file copy method or utility will avoid the problem I describe below?

        I was using the Windows 8.1 “Copy to” option to copy our music collection to a backup location on the same PC. The total size to back up is 968GB. When the task had reached 946GB it paused/stopped with an error message window saying that a particular file name is too long for the target location. The error message window was so tall I couldn’t see the bottom of the window to check if I could tell it to skip the file. For whatever reason, I was unable to resize the window (tried to click and drag various corners of the window and tried to click for full screen but both of these failed. Finally, I closed the window.

        Thought if I restarted the entire copy task it would display the common “A file with this name already exists. Do you want to replace it? With options to Skip file, Do this for all files, etc.” But no such message appeared; the entire copy task began and kept on going, and it duplicated over 2GB of files before I halted it and deleted the duplicate folder(s).

        I don’t want to tediously go through the entire collection trying to find which files have yet to be copied. What’s my best option for copying the remaining 22GB of files to be backup location, please?

      • #2370963

        I use fast copy and long file names are not an issue with it either

        • #2371159
          AskWoody Lounger

          Haven’t heard of Fast Copy before. Do you know if it can skip duplicates? If so, does it do so automatically or does it need to be configured somehow?

          • #2371163

            Yes. I use it all the time for that in its default setting Diff (Size/date)

            Operation mode Mode Detail
            Diff (No Overwrite) Copy if the same filename does not exist in destination.
            Diff (Size/date) Copy if size or date is different, or if it does not exist (in default)
            Diff (Newer) Copy if source file timestamp is newer or does not exist.
            Copy (Overwrite) Always copy/overwrite all.
            Sync (Size/date) Copy if size or date is different, or it does not exist.
            In addition, delete all destination files/directories that do not exist in Source.
            Move (Overwrite) Always copy/overwrite all and delete all copied source files.
            (To change select “Move (Overwrite all)” → “Move (Size/date)” in the settings dialog.)
            Delete Delete all files/dirs forcibly.


      • #2370970
        AskWoody Lounger

        From Properties queries for both (originals and existing copied), how many files and folders are there?

      • #2370971
        AskWoody Lounger

        I recommend using Robocopy via Command prompt or Powershell. I use it for my scheduled daily backup and it only copies new or changed files….no duplicates. It is faster than Windows because it can do multi-thread coping. For those that don’t like the Command prompt or Powershell, there is a free GUI version at the following link:

        I wrote an article on how to use Robocopy and I can post it if you desire.

        HTH, Dana:))

      • #2370999
        AskWoody Plus

        I use TeraCopy (Pro). It won’t (will if requested) override existing files.
        TeraCopy is the fastest copy application for Windows.

      • #2371009
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Robocopy is built in to Windows but the syntax is not the easiest.
        Fastcopy is a nice GUI that does much the same job – and it’s free.

        cheers, Paul

        • #2371161
          AskWoody Lounger

          I also asked “anonymous” above this same question:

          Haven’t heard of Fast Copy before. Do you know if it can skip duplicates? If so, does it do so automatically or does it need to be configured somehow?

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