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Xcopy vs. Copy & Paste

Discussion in 'Networks' started by Pete01, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. Pete01

    Pete01 Kilobyte Poster

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    Is there any reason when copying files across the network some people favour using xcopy instead of just copying and pasting? Does Xcopy do it any quicker?
     
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  2. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Pete,

    As a general answer I'd say, Yes, some people use command line utilities because they are faster. Almost anytime you can work directly with the OS rather than through a gui it's going to be faster.

    Second, there is a problem with Win2K and XP that doesn't affect all machines the OS's are used on, but does affect some. Read this thread to see a description of the problem, and the solution.

    Third, some people actually prefer working with the command line rather than the gui. I know the more I work with Linux the more I prefer to do things from the command line. I can edit files, move files, copy files, delete files, read directories, search for specific files or groups of files, install and uninstall software, etc... all from one screen. And I can do it more quickly than I could from the gui. The command line is ultimately much more powerful and flexible than any gui, which is basically one big wizard for working with the OS.

    The above power from the command line is pretty much available through the cmd prompt in the NT OS's too. NT doesn't have quite the power from the command prompt that Linux does, but the same principles still hold true for both systems.
     
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  3. Pete01

    Pete01 Kilobyte Poster

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    Thanks,

    I'm going to start to try and work more from CLI for as much as I can as a rule of thumb.
     
    Certifications: MCP (NT4) CCNA
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  4. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    I think that's a good move. It will really pay off for you as you will become much more knowledgable about how your computer really operates than you could through the gui alone.
     
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  5. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    The reason people use XCOPY is that it gives you more control over what you want to copy than the GUI does. You can use switches with the command, for a list of the switches type XCOPY /? at the command prompt.

    You could use it in a batch file or script to backup files depending on their archive attribute or the date they were changed.

    You can verify the new file with the /V switch

    You can copy hidden and system files with the /H switch

    And with the /O switch you can copy the files ownership and ACL (access control list) information.

    There is more, you should check it out.

    As to whether it is faster over a network, I am not sure but if you really want to know, give it a test run :D

    Pete
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  6. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    This sentence of Bluerinse's makes me realize that at least a part of my post was not very well-written.

    What I really meant when I said that working with the OS from the command line is faster in that through the usage of options and switches from the command line it is much faster to do many of the jobs an admin needs to do. Try deleting a group of files through the gui that don't necessarily group intuitively in a gui. You'll be deleting them one by one and verifying each file sent to the Recycle Bin. It's very slow, but doing the same job from the command line can be done very quickly.

    The same goes for copying or moving files too. It's a much faster and efficient way to do things, regardless of whether or not it will physically transfer files over a network at a higher speed than a gui will.
     
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  7. Pete01

    Pete01 Kilobyte Poster

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    That was my initial question however I've learnt from this thread that working from the CLI in general is far quicker and for an admin should be a natural way of doing things.

    Thankyou for your replies
     
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  8. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    You're welcome. Glad to help in any way I can.

    If you do dedicate yourself to learning to work from the command line, you're going to have "a leg up" on quite a few admins. There seem to be quite a few admins out there who just detest doing anything from the command line or doing an scripting, and these are two tools that will make you a much more efficient and valuable admin. You will be seen as much more skilled than someone who can't work from from the command prompt by experienced admins.
     
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