How to copy an old xp drive to a large ntfs drive

Jul 18, 2009
I am new to TCC and am using a 30 day evaluation of the latest version.
Formerly I had and used version 12 but it's been a long time.
I'm a Linux user and Windows is hard for me.

The old version 12 is on the drive I want to copy
and I don't know the syntax of a copy command that would copy the entire old xp drive to a subdirectory on my newly installed 1.5 tb ntfs drive.

I tried twice but was unable to create the proper command line.
I ended up with a partially filled directory that I could not figure how to delete.

I basically need to copy Program Files and Users which would give me all my personal data and programs which hopefully will run.


Charles Dye

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 20, 2008
Albuquerque, NM
You should be able to copy all files from one location to another with something like this:

copy /a: /s /k c:\source\* d:\target\

However, don't assume that copying all the files under "Program Files" will give you working software on the target drive. Most software is more than just the files in its install directory; programs will also install .DLLs in the system directory, put information in the registry, configure themselves (and possibly tie themselves to) the specific hardware of the original computer, add environment variables.... The proper way to move software is to install it on the new computer from the original media, if at all possible.
May 24, 2010
Northlake, Il
To add some more to what Charles has said, if the drive you are copying from was drive C: and you are copying to what is now (or will be) drive C: (and you copy from and to the "root" directories on each drive) you might be (at least mostly) OK. However, if you are not for whatever reason(s) you will have to re-install all of the software that no longer works; hopefully you still have and can find the installation media for that software. And it might be better if your "old" drive C: remains your drive C: (and the new drive would therefore be D: or later) until the copy has been completed, after which you physically remove drive C: and reboot making the new drive drive C:. (BTW, if you follow this procedure and what was on the old drive was an earlier (likely) version of Windows then you have (or want) now; you will have to (re-)install Windows after completing the above procedure.)
Jul 18, 2009
Thanks to both Charles Dye and mathewsd w.

The reason I wanted to copy _most_ of the old drive is so I can dig up software I used to use and replace it on the new drive with newer versions
and also to be able to use the old parameters on those programs that had parameters in them. These are all ham radio program files so of course I want to know what files to replace and how to reproduce the settings. The most important file was my ham radio log with about 30,000 records of contacts over 60 years which I just copied as a single file copy from a USB sled.

Which brings me back to my original question.

I need to create a new subdirectory and copy over the important data for my programs and their data and various notes that I have written over the many years of hamming.

But I'm not sure of the proper syntax and, as I stated before, I tried twice to just make a copy of the files to my subdirectory and that did not work.

So my request is:
My request is what is the exact syntax to copy my files from the original drive to my new 1.5 TB drive so I would have a faithful copy to use as a starting point to replace the old programs with newer versions.

My second request is how to I delete the tree of the 2 subdirectories I created that seem grossly incomplete with only 2 files in each
that I cannot seem to delete. Where ever did good old deltree go?

BTW, I have been using JPSoft sortware for many years starting with 4dos and then 4nt and purchased new versions over the years.
One of the things I hope to be able to reproduce is my extensive alias files mostly constructed by myself.

Now I use Linux and I'm happy to say that the JPSoftware is very similar to bash which I use all the time (except for syntax).

Please forgive my ignorance of Windows CLI usage but it's been many years since I used Windows much.
I'd be grateful for any help you can give me.

May 24, 2010
Northlake, Il
Larry, it seems to me that if these are old ham-radio programs it is unlikely that they are "Windows GUI" programs but, rather, are strictly command-line programs. If that is in fact the case, then Charles's instructions are completely relevant pretty much without modification (although be careful about the exact syntax) because "registry" and "DLL" issues generally won't exist (any needed DLL's, if there even are any which is probably most likely the not the case for command line programs) would most likely be contained in the same directory that contains the program itself. For those programs that are Windows GUI programs, it's worthwhile to test them before proceeding but there is a good possibility that what Charles suggest applies in which case you'll either have to re-install them or do what I suggested (which is only really a good solution if you've got a lot of these programs or you no longer have the installation files for the ones that you consider "important" and aren't able to (re-)acquire them). But it seems likely to me that the first situation is really the case here.

- Dan
May 20, 2008
Elkridge, MD, USA
My request is what is the exact syntax to copy my files from the original drive to my new 1.5 TB drive so I would have a faithful copy to use as a starting point to replace the old
programs with newer versions.
The alias below is what I use all the time:

alias fullcopy=*copy/[!descript.ion]/e/f/g/r/h/v/netj/j

The command below should do the job for you:

fullcopy /s source target

My second request is how to I delete the tree of the 2 subdirectories I created that seem grossly incomplete with only 2 files in each that I cannot seem to delete. Where ever did good old deltree go?
The aliases below are what I use all the time. USE WITH CAUTION! TEST FIRST!

alias era*se=*del/q/y/z/nejt
"era file" deletes without confirmation prompting all files in the current directory, EXCEPT files which have been opened and not closed, that match the name "file", which can contain wildcards. If "file" is * (asterisk), deletes all files.

alias exs=era/x/s
"exs file" deletes all instances of "file" in the current directory AND ALL ITS SUBDIRECTORIES, and deletes any subdirectory that is left empty. Use * as filename, or name one of the subdirectories, and it does "deltree"
alias noempties=*del/q/y/x/s/net/a:d .
Prunes the current directory and its subdirectories so there are no branches without files.
Which operating system are you running Take Command under Larry?? It sounds to me like you are falling foul of file permission and/or UAC elevation issues, both more than possible under either Vista or Win7. Take Command does not run in Admin mode by default so you may need to start an elevated TCC to achieve what you're after (see the /ELEVATED switch on the START command) - FWIW I have an alias:

ele*vate=*start /elevated

whereby I can start an elevated TCC by simplying issuing an elevate command or do things like:

elev secpol.msc

to start MMCs in admin mode.
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