Written by Barry Dysert (last updated October 9, 2017)
Robocopy is the tool to use when working with entire directories, since that's what it was designed to do. Let's say you want to "mirror" directories, i.e., make two directory trees contain identical files/folders. This is similar to using the /E switch (which is covered under the tip titled "Using Robocopy to Copy Entire Directories") along with the /PURGE switch. (The /PURGE switch tells Robocopy to delete destination files/folders that no longer exist in source.) The shorthand switch to mirror directories is /MIR, so the command to mirror directories is:
C:\> ROBOCOPY C:\Temp1 C:\Temp3 /MIR
This results in the creation of C:\Temp3, and all of the files and folders under C:\Temp1 will be copied to the newly built tree under C:\Temp3. In addition, if C:\Temp3 already existed, any files in its tree that are not in the C:\Temp1 tree will be deleted from the C:\Temp3 tree.
This tip (13197) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.
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Just to share one thing I read on a Microsoft TechNet:
Although useful in some scenarios, using /Z switch makes copying much slower.
"Copying files in restartable mode is about 6x slower over a network than in normal or backup mode due to the necessary management overhead."
..I use GS RichCopy Enterprise which has features like copying long file path names, copying NTFS file permissions and is not too costly..
I didn't understand exactly what mir did. I copied around 300 cds to an external drive, then delete them from the folder they were in, so I could store more there for backup. When I again backed up this folder to my external drive it wiped out everything i had previously backed up. I did a googlie on this and discovered I was not the only person who got screwed. There needs to be a clear Warning Visible that nobody can miss explaining this. I tried 10 free recover tools, none worked. I finally found a trial version of a recover software, it worked and it cost be 70 bucks to purchase it. It was either that or lose everything. Nice to notice you have this explained. Too bad every other person offering advice doesn't.