Disk Mirroring for Free

9 Feb, 2011 By: Robert Green

CAD Manager's Toolbox: RoboCopy is a powerful, fast way to move files between offices.

Many CAD managers have to support multiple offices, and thus have to move and synchronize large numbers of files between servers. To make this task easier, consider using the powerful, free RoboCopy utility.

This Command line function was created as a server resource kit for XP (XP download available from Microsoft), then made into a native command in the Vista and Windows 7 operating systems. The flexibility of this utility allows for very simple — and fast — disk mirroring between mapped or UNC drives.

As an example, let's say you have a drive folder called Z:\Blocks for all your users in the Houston office. You'd like to share this with your users in the Helsinki office that use the Q:\ drive, and you'd like to make sure that all blocks edited in the Houston office are updated to the Q:\Blocks folder in Helsinki.

Open a Command prompt (Start button > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt), as shown below.


At the prompt, type the following:
RoboCopy Z:\Blocks Q:\Blocks /mir

In this case, Z is the host drive and Q is the target drive. The /mir option denotes mirroring between the host and target.

The first time you perform this operation, the files are simply copied from Z to Q, which will take some amount of time that will vary depending on network conditions. But subsequent operations will be much faster, because they will only update new files/directories from the host to the target, and will delete files/directories on the target drive that no longer exist on the host.

Note: RoboCopy will not copy files that are in use (such as CAD files being edited), so you may want to use it in an overnight mode in conjunction with normal system backup procedures.

Check It Out

To obtain more detailed information about the use of RoboCopy, simply type RoboCopy /? at the Command line. This powerful, free utility really is one that every CAD manager should be acquainted with. Take a little time to explore the possibilities and I bet you'll add RoboCopy to your toolbox.

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About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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