Avoid Windows Server Data Storage Copy Pitfalls Using a Subfolder

Our normal web server consists of a OS and Program File drive (C:) and a data drive to hold website files (E:). This provides an extra layer of security, speed and helpful structure. Sometimes we will also add another data drive (F:) for clients with really large storage needs. For example all user uploaded photos goes onto a 2TB drive array.

So let’s say you have user upload photos dedicated to one drive. You may want to just place the data onto the root of the drive. Simple right?

Well here’s what you may run into: When migrating/copying that drive to a new drive/machine using Robocopy you’ll find a few issues: (robocopy \\OLD-SERVER\UserPhotos F:\Data\UserPhotos /e /copy:DT /MT:8)

  1. If you’re putting the data into a subfolder this time, that root subfolder will become a system-hidden folder. The reason is you are copying the root of a drive. Pretty annoying.
    1. You can fix this by running this after the copy starts: “attrib -H -S F:\Data”
  2. It will try copy “System Volume Information” and “Recycle Bin”. But you’ll find out that your process will just get stuck because it doesn’t have permissions to do so.
    1. You can fix this by not copying any system or hidden files/folders:
      “robocopy \\OLD-SERVER\UserPhotos F:\Data\UserPhotos /e /copy:DT /MT:8 /xd $Recycle.bin “System Volume Information”” FYI: I tried using “/xa:HS” instead of the /xd, but that didn’t work as expected.
    2. If you’ve already gone 8 hours into your copy operation just to find this out, speed things up by syncing things instead using: “robocopy \\OLD-SERVER\UserPhotos F:\Data\UserPhotos /mir /copy:DT /MT:8 /xd $Recycle.bin “System Volume Information” /xo /fft”

So my point is, don’t put your data folder/file structure in the drive root. It’ll get mixed up with hidden-system files and folders and one day throw you for a loop. Instead put that all in a subfolder such as “F:\data”. Another example might be “E:\websites”.

Side-note: There are other copy methods to avoid this situation, however Robocopy is going to be one of your fastest options.

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#folder, #server, #windows