Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
by Alan German
needed to copy a folder, with several hundred
sub-folders, and many thousands of individual files, from
one external USB drive to another. While I expected this
process to take some time, even when using USB 3.0, what
I didn't expect is that I wouldn't be able to get it
It seemed simple enough; grab the source folder, drag and
drop it onto the target drive. However, when I did this
nothing! That's right no files being
copied, no error messages nothing!
A little research on the Internet suggested that perhaps
one or more of the files being transferred was corrupt
and that, if this were to be the case, Windows wouldn't
give any warnings. In fact, Windows wouldn't do anything,
which was certainly my experience. I'm not sure if this
is a feature or a bug. The issue was identified several
years ago, but it hasn't been fixed. It must be a
The suggested solution is to use Rich Copy. This
little-known program is one of those hidden gems, created
by a Microsoft employee (Ken Tamaru in this case),
released to the public with no support, and (seemingly)
Fortunately, an article on TechNet Magazine extolling the
virtues of this software is still posted on the web (http://preview.tinyurl.com/c2sxyn), as is a link to download the
last release (see the Bottom Line
Rich Copy is
simple to use. Specify the source path for the folder(s)
to be copied, the destination path for the target drive,
and press the green Copy Now icon. However,
there are also a number of options that can be selected
for the copy process.
In particular, Rich Copy is a multi-threaded application
so selecting multiple threads for directory search,
directory copy, and file copy can greatly reduce file
transfer times. Other features include the ability to
specify default folders, move files rather than copying,
and copying based on security settings, file size, or
The program certainly worked its magic in my particular
case. Most of the files were transferred successfully,
while a number of corrupt items were identified in an
on-screen log. Running chkdsk fixed all the corruption
issues, which were related to indexing rather than file
So, if Windows ever refuses to copy a folder, but won't
tell you why, give Rich Copy a try.
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Copyright and Usage
Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON K2G 1S6
opinions expressed in these reviews do not necessarily
represent the views of the OPCUG or its members.
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