How to? Run TCC from Windows Install DVD...

May 24, 2010
Northlake, Il
I've got a 2TB external hard drive for backup purposes. The backup I want to do is to copy all of the files from the C: drive to the external hard drive (the C: drive on this laptop only has one partition) without endless "The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process." error messages (I know I can hide the messages but that is not the point - I want to be able to copy the files). There are two issues here:

#1: The following command does absolutely nothing - it just returns to the command prompt after a minute or so:

Copy /E /F /G /H /J /K /S /V /X C:\* I:\

#2. I'd like to do the copy without Windows actually running, i.e. from the Windows Install DVD command prompt. However I can not get TCC to run (it errors out) from the Windows CMD prompt. Is there any way I can do this? Or do you have a suggestion on how to do the task when Windows is running?
May 26, 2008
You'll never make a valid disaster recovery backup by using the COPY command from either cmd.exe or tcc.exe. Is that your goal? To have a complete backup in case the C: drive fails?

What version of Windows are you using? I would suggest a completely different approach: use the built in Windows 7 backup utility. It has the ability to make a "system image" of the C: drive for the purposes of performing a bare metal restore. As an added bonus, it can do this perfectly fine WHILE the system is running (thanks to the volume shadow copy service). No need to inconvenience yourself by having to boot into a different mode. (This also means you can SCHEDULE it to run automatically!)

I don't have Windows 8 or 10 in front of me at the moment, but I am almost positive that they include the "legacy" Windows 7 backup app that can still make system images.

If your C: drive were to fail, you can replace the drive and then restore the system image by booting the Windows DVD and choosing the appropriate recovery option in setup. It works great!

You can even peer inside the backup image (VHD file) with the right tool (like 7-Zip, or there's native support in Windows 8+) to extract various files, if you just need to restore just a few things. Although for file based backups I would definitely recommend Windows' "file history" feature which can capture multiple versions of files. (Or even better, use a service like CrashPlan to back up unlimited versions of files off-site. I personally use a combination of CrashPlan and Windows 7 image level backups to cover both scenarios.)
May 24, 2010
Northlake, Il
Thank you for responding, Rod! I found the backup utility in Windows 10 (it was removed from Windows 8.1). I was vaguely aware of Windows "File History" system but it only back up "libraries" and my non-use of "libraries" is so complete that I don't even know what a "library" is! I keep my hard disk organized by creating directories for different kinds of data and putting the data into the appropriate directory.
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