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XXCOPY
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3.33.3


Released
2016-10-28
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    XXCOPY TECHNICAL BULLETIN #036

    From:    Kan Yabumoto           tech@xxcopy.com
    To:      XXCOPY user
    Subject: Norton Ghost and XXCOPY
    Date:    2002-03-01 (Original Edition)    2010-03-18 (Addendum added)
    ===============================================================================
    
    This technical bulletin is based on the article that I wrote for
    BootLIST.Com (www.bootdisk.com/bootlist/005.htm) in February, 2002.
    
    ************************************
      What is XXCOPY really all about?
    ************************************
    
    
    By Kan Yabumoto    <tech@xxcopy.com>      2002-02-07
                       ©2002 Copyright  Kan Yabumoto
    
    
    Hello, Everyone.  My name is Kan Yabumoto.  I'm the author
    of the XXCOPY software.  It is a great honor to be invited
    to this new exciting newsletter for an article.  The subject
    is of course, XXCOPY.  Its home page is
    
        http://www.xxcopy.com
    
    Rather than boring you all to the death by parading the
    myriad of features in XXCOPY, I would like to pick a few
    topics and give you my side of the story.
    
    I've been using a lot of software products just like you,
    and I seldom come into contact with the author of the program.
    So, let me make myself available to you and discuss the
    product's history, the primary goal, and the near-term and
    long-term road map of XXCOPY development.  Also, I would like
    to brag about a feature in XXCOPY that I'm most proud of.
    
    After all, XXCOPY is just a file-copy utility.  In order for
    XXCOPY to stand out from the crowd in the competition,  it has
    to offer to the user something unique.  We wanted to make
    XXCOPY irresistible to those who give it a try.
    
    Many of you must have come to know XXCOPY for a particular
    purpose.  I hope you found it useful for what you had in mind.
    But, chances are, you are still wondering why XXCOPY is so
    often talked about in various newsgroups lately.
    
    From my point of view, many favorable comments about XXCOPY
    by others are often picking just one of the many virtues of
    XXCOPY.  By observing the newsgroups at the sideline, I
    often find myself frustrated by the fact people talk about
    the relatively "minor" features of the tool.  The real
    power of XXCOPY seems to be largely untapped by most users.
    
    So, here I am, trying to de-mystify the tool and set the
    record straight.  What is XXCOPY all about?
    
    
    1. Brief history of XXCOPY
    
      XXCOPY debuted in the Internet as a freeware in November,
      1999.  But its predecessor, DCOPY (and DCOPY32) was born
      around 1994.  It has been a bundled utility program in
      our DATMAN package (DATMAN makes a tape drive behave like
      a disk.  Visit http://www.datman.com for details).  Its
      modest goal was to circumvent the problem of Microsoft's
      XCOPY which often got stuck in a script (batch file) when
      files are transferred to a NetWare file server for backup.
    
      The file-sharing problem in a multi-tasking and networking
      environment has always been a common headache. The problem
      will be with us forever.  When a file is exclusively opened
      by one program, the next program which attempts to access
      it has no choice but to let the first program be done with it.
      The trouble with Microsoft's XCOPY was that it gave the
      user the infamous "R(etry) or A(bort)" choice --- you either
      try it again which usually gets you nowhere, or abort the
      whole backup operation.  But worst of all, the situation
      makes the batch script sit there idle (Microsoft later
      added the much-needed third, F(ail) option in the prompt
      along with the /C switch to prevent a failed copy from
      ruining the rest of the backup operation).  DCOPY had that
      capability long before Microsoft corrected its XCOPY.
    
      We always listen to the users.  Later, we found ourselves
      adding many more backup-related features to DCOPY.  But,
      after many more switches were added, one key principle
      remains the same: the latest XXCOPY's command line syntax
      is still compatible with Microsoft's XCOPY.
    
      When we released XXCOPY to the general public in late 1999,
      our motivation was to provide something for free in the
      Internet to attract more traffic to our main DATMAN.COM
      web site.  We gave it the new name, XXCOPY which correctly
      characterizes the nature of the product; the behavior stays
      very close to that of XCOPY.  This makes the user's first
      experience with XXCOPY relatively painless, provided that
      he already knows Microsoft's XCOPY fairly well.
    
    2. XXCOPY for cloning the Win9x system disk.
    
      Soon after the XXCOPY freeware version became more widely
      circulated, a few people discovered its usefulness in
      duplicating the Windows 9x system disk.  I'm not sure
      exactly who mentioned this usage first.  At various
      newsgroups, XXCOPY was recommended to others for disk
      cloning purposes.  At that time, many people were using
      Microsoft's XCOPY for this.  We still see plenty of
      users run the following command for this purpose.
    
        XCOPY  C:\  D:\  /h /e /k /r /y
    
      Being compatible with XCOPY, XXCOPY can be run using
      exactly the same combination of switches
    
        XXCOPY C:\  D:\  /h /e /k /r /y
    
      But, I was recommending an improved variation,
    
        XXCOPY C:\  D:\  /ks /h /e /r /q /y /bi /zy
    
      In order to help memorize this long combination, I
      came up with the following mnemonic for it;
      "Kiss Her Quick, Yes, But I'm busy."  But, it requires
      photographic memory.  So, I devised a shortcut switch
      in XXCOPY that is a direct substitution of the longer
      combination. That is how the /CLONE switch came to life.
    
      Now, the command is much easier to remember.
    
        XXCOPY C:\  D:\  /CLONE
    
      Of course, we could have advocated a batch file to achieve
      the similar goal.  But, this shortest form as a built-in
      switch was an instant success.  Then, I wrote a special
      manual with step-by-step instructions for this operation.
    
        http://www.xxcopy.com/xxtb_010.htm
    
      If you help others by mentioning the /CLONE switch for
      duplicating the Win9x system disk, I hope you also add
      this pointer in your advice so that the new user will not
      have to wonder "What's next?"  after he runs the /CLONE
      operation and still does not have a bootable disk.
      The MBR, the boot sectors, etc. must be properly
      initialized in order to have a bootable system disk.
    
      Now, you know why we did not develop XXCOPY for disk clone
      operations.  Nor was the very /CLONE operation specifically
      designed for cloning!  It is simply a natural consequence
      of making a versatile tool for many purposes.  The /CLONE
      switch remains a mere convenience feature in XXCOPY to
      ease the typing and memorizing.
    
    3. Ghost, DriveImage and XXCOPY
    
      The /CLONE switch made XXCOPY a free alternative to
      Norton Ghost and PowerQuest's DriveImage.  I have great
      respect for both of these products.  In newsgroups, we find
      so many people asking the same question over and over
      again.  Here's a typical thread:
    
      Q: I just bought a 20GB hard disk and I want to replace my
         Win98 system disk with the new one.  Tell me how?
    
      A: Most hard disks come with a utility to do just that.
         Otherwise, buy Ghost or DriveImage, or try freeware XXCOPY.
    
      Some people adamantly suggest Norton Ghost.  Not only do they
      recommend it for the one-time system cloning operation, they
      also advocate the use of Ghost for daily/weekly backup.  That
      is fine.  But, many say they chose XXCOPY and they are happy
      with it.  After all, when you buy a $90 disk, would you spend
      an additional $50 just for this one-time operation?
    
        ---------------------------------------------------------
         I hear the Ghost software that one bought two years ago
         cannot do well in cloning the XP disk.  Thus, the $50
         price tag is not a one-time investment for a good tool,
         but rather a recurring expense like an annual
         subscription.  I suspect many Ghost advocates are a
         professional system integrator or consultant who buy
         Ghost as his tool for everyday work.  But they must
         not forget that they are talking to one-time users.
        ---------------------------------------------------------
    
      XXCOPY works great for this purpose.  It works better
      than the XCOPY method by not taking chances with the short
      filename (SFN) (see http://www.xxcopy.com/xxtb_003.htm
      for detail).  XXCOPY preserves the SFN when files are copied
      using the long filename (LFN), whereas most other programs
      (including Microsoft's tools) neglect this aspect.
    
      XXCOPY's /CLONE command can be used for subsequent daily
      backup without any change (by leaving the old disk in D:
      as a backup drive after the disk swap).  The incremental
      backup will run much faster than Ghost or DriveImage for
      this purpose.  Moreover, in a relatively rare instance of
      either of the disks (original or the newly cloned one)
      having a bad sector, a disk imaging software such as Ghost
      usually cannot handle the bad sector unless the two drives
      have bad sectors in exactly the same positions.
    
      It is quite amazing that both approaches work.  It's like
      traveling from New York to New Delhi, via Hawaii or via
      Europe.  We fly to totally opposite directions at first.
      In the middle, we are thousands of miles apart.  Yet, we
      arrive at the same goal.
    
      Am I saying XXCOPY is better than Ghost or DriveImage?  No.
      I say it is just plain silly to compare apples and oranges.
      But, since it continues to be a hot issue, let me briefly
      give my advice to the disk cloning issue once and for all.
    
      My answer to the Win9x/ME disk clone question:
      -------------------------------------------------------------
       Try XXCOPY Freeware first (be sure to read the XXTB #10).
       If it fails, use Ghost or DriveImage that fits your budget.
     -------------------------------------------------------------
    
      Honestly, I shouldn't waste my energy on this small issue.
      XXCOPY has never been designed for and will never be made
      for disk imaging.  It happens to work great when one
      wants to make a bootable system disk for Win9x/ME.
    
      As of this writing, we do not have a similar recipe for
      making a bootable WinNT/2K/XP disk using only XXCOPY.
    
    4. XXCOPY - More Than A One-Trick-Pony.
    
      When you have done your first /CLONE job with XXCOPY
      and you are happy with it, XXCOPY is not finished yet.
      It has just demonstrated its versatility in one of the
      many things that it is capable of.  Let me emphasize it:
    
        XXCOPY is not a one-trick-pony, not just for /CLONE.
    
      When you run XXCOPY /HELP for the first time to obtain the
      help text, the sheer volume will probably overwhelm you.
      The good news is, you need not learn them all at once.
      Take time.  Learn one feature at a time and use it
      repeatedly and explore some more.
    
      Here is a non-exhaustive list of what those switches do.
    
       a. select files by filetime, size, attributes, etc.
    
       b. specify exclusion pattern (files and directories)
          specify inclusion pattern (filename patterns only)
    
       c. create log file and name-list file.
    
       d. modify behaviors of all the above and much more...
    
      In essence, the great majority of file management activities
      you want to carry out are probably supported by XXCOPY already.
      But you need to find out which switch to use and that can be
      difficult.  My favorite reference page for that is:
    
        http://www.xxcopy.com/xxtb_027.htm
    
      This page deliberately avoids the alphabetical order; instead,
      the listing is ordered by the functionality of the switches.
      It is even more useful as an overview of all the available
      switches using the functional classification in mastering the
      galaxy of XXCOPY command switches.  I highly recommend it.
    
      Let me conclude this section with some more examples:
    
       xxcopy \src\ \dst\ /da#10      // files modified within 10 days
       xxcopy \src\ \dst\ /da:2002-2  // files modified after Feb 2002.
       xxcopy \src\ \dst\ /sz:-100m   // files up to 100 MB long
       xxcopy \src\ \dst\ /ats        // files with system attribute
       xxcopy \src\ \dst\ /x*.tmp     // exclude files that end by .TMP
    
      Rather than showing all of the 200+ switches, I let your
      educated guess extend this short list to what kind of cases
      the other 200+ switches might do for you.
    
    5. The feature in XXCOPY that I'm most proud of.
    
      If there is a defining feature in XXCOPY, this is it. 
      The feature called "Wild-Wildcard" is the crown jewel of
      the program.  It opens up new ways to look at the files
      and directories.  Forgive my complacency here, but I want
      you to feel my enthusiasm for it and learn the feature.
    
      From the user's point of view, the Wild-wildcard feature
      allows you to place as many wildcard characters and at
      any position in the source specifier.  It's quite elegant.
    
      Programming this feature was a little hard.  Then, handling
      the exclusion items with wildcards made it more difficult.
      Now, to implement all this with a great execution efficiency,
      was the most challenging experience in the entire project.
      But, inventing this type of unique and powerful feature
      brings joy to the programming profession.
    
      Here's an example of that.
    
        xxcopy c:\micro*\*\cache*\*\*.jpg  d:\myimages\
    
      If you know what "*" does to a filespec at the end of a
      fully spelled-out path, you can reasonably guess what it
      does when it appears in the middle of a multi-level pathspec.
    
      If you are confused and prefer not to know it, that is fine.
      You can use XXCOPY without knowing anything about this feature.
      On the other hand, if you are intrigued by it, let me briefly
      explain.  It's a liberal application of wildcards ( * and ?).
    
      One way to look at this is to view the feature as an extension
      of the /S switch.  See the difference of the following lines:
    
        xxcopy c:\mydir\myfile.*      // one directory level
        xxcopy c:\mydir\myfile.* /s   // multi-level subdirectories
    
      Most XCOPY users are quite familiar with the /S switch that
      allows the file pattern (myfile.*) to appear anywhere inside
      the subdirectories under the c:\mydir\ directory.  The
      file may appear immediately inside the c:\mydir\ directory
      or it may be in second, third or any level of subdirectory.
    
      Now, we introduce a new notation to denote the effect of /S:
    
        xxcopy c:\mydir\myfile.*   /s   // multi-level subdirs
        xxcopy c:\mydir\*\myfile.*      // equivalent to the above
    
      When it has the single-star (..\*\..) sequence, it signifies
      that the item(s) at the right hand side can be at any level of
      subdirectory.  The two command lines behave exactly the same.
    
      Once we agree upon how the sequence works when it is placed
      immediately left to the filename pattern, we can shift the
      occurrence of the single-star sequence to any other place.
      In short, this notation lets you apply the mechanics of /S on
      the subdirectory level other than the lowest (rightmost) level.
    
        xxcopy c:\mydir\*\xyz\myfile.*  // the /S switch can't do this
    
      Another innovation in the wild-wildcard feature is to allow
      wildcards (both * and ?) to appear for any number of times.
    
        xxcopy c:\*\*dir\*\xyz?\*\myfile.*    // can really go wild.
    
      So, let us wrap up this section with one more example:
    
        xxcopy c:\abc\*\xyz\*.jpg
    
      The xyz subdirectory can be anywhere under c:\abc;
    
        c:\abc\xyz\john.jpg
        c:\abc\def\xyz\paul.jpg
        c:\abc\def\ghi\xyz\john.jpg
    
      All the above are selected with c:\abc\*\xyz\*.jpg
    
    6. A One-Liner Batch File for You.
    
      Who in their right mind need to go wild with the Wild-Wildcard?
    
      You seldom need to go very wild in filespec.  But, the ultimate
      flexibility in XXCOPY becomes very handy when you look for
      something in your disk.  Since you don't want to remember
      the XXCOPY switches that work best for file searches, a batch
      file really makes your life easier.
    
      Here is my favorite batch file:
    
        where.bat
       -----------------------------------------------------
        xxcopy /lzdl/s/h %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9
       -----------------------------------------------------
    
       It is a file-finder script.  It often works best with a
       pathname that starts with the root (but need not to).
       With this batch file, I sometimes go quite wild.
       You may add any "adjective" using the xxcopy switches
    
        examples:
    
        where \windows\*\cache*\   // list all in cache dirs
        where \*\temp*\  /sz:0     // zero-byte files in temp dirs
        where \          /da#10m   // made in the past 10 min
        where \mydir\ \ref\   /u   // files common in both dirs
    
       This simple batch script exemplifies the flexibility of
       XXCOPY by allowing many ways to select files.  For instance,
       the fourth example above shows off some nifty combination.
    
    7. XXCOPY Road Map, Near-term and long term.
    
      Lately, I started to realize a disturbing fact in XXCOPY's
      user community.  I enjoy relating my experience in early
      days of CP/M, MS-DOS and so on with XXCOPY users who reminisce
      their stories with me.  But I suspect that the average age
      of the XXCOPY users is higher than that of the whole computer
      professionals (I'm afraid the same is true to BootDisk.Com)!
    
      We often hear from people at IT departments' supervising
      positions saying their young system administrators prefer
      clicking the mouse button a few thousand times to taking the
      time and edit a five-line batch file.  Sadly, it may be true.
    
      If we continue the command line-only design, XXCOPY will
      repeat the demise of the dinosaurs.  We have no illusion.
      So, Graphical User Interface (GUI) is the future of XXCOPY.
    
      In the near term, a simplistic GUI-based program will satisfy
      novice users' need for XXCOPY.  Since it will omit most
      advanced features, this product can be finished first.
    
      We also want to introduce a GUI application which helps the
      user find the right switches for file management operations.
      Since it presents nearly all XXCOPY switches in a well-
      organized fashion, it takes longer to develop; hence, it
      will be released at a later date.
    
      In the past, we have been contacted by a few individuals
      who wanted to develop a GUI-based front end program which
      runs side by side with the XXCOPY program.  We welcome
      initiatives from interested parties who might work with us
      for a loose, non-exclusive partnership.
    
    8. Conclusion for now.
    
      In conclusion, I try to make XXCOPY a worthwhile program
      for nearly everybody who is eager to learn its rich set of
      file management operations.  My publicly stated goal for
      this program is:  One day, XXCOPY will be called
    
        The Undisputed King of the File Management Utilities.
    
      Lastly, I hope this will not be my last time in this
      newsletter.  If you have questions, please send me your
      comments to bootdisk@xxcopy.com.  I will respond to you in
      my next appearance here (whatever name you use in the
      Email (but not your Email address) will appear in it).
    
      Alternatively, you may post your question to the XXCOPY
      discussion group, or join the group and/or subscribe the
      Email delivery of the messages.
    
      To post your message, send Email to: xxcopy@yahoogroups.com
      To subscribe the messages: xxcopy-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
    
      It is a Yahoo-sponsored group (with some ads), and a great
      place to meet other XXCOPY users who are quite eager to
      help newbies with their experience.  I will also post my
      message there when a clarification is needed.  It is also
      the place where announcements about XXCOPY are made.  For
      example, a new XXCOPY beta version is always announced in
      the discussion group, first.  You can post your suggestion
      for a new feature there.  It's like a Usenet newsgroup
      specialized in XXCOPY except responses usually arrive much
      more quickly.  The archived messages (> 1500) are a gold mine
      to retrieve past messages using the keyword search.
    
      So, please join the "XXCOPY Revolution".
    
    Kan Yabumoto
    Naperville, Illinois.
    
    
    [Addendum] added on 2010-03-18
    
      The disk-cloning method described in this article was written
      for Windows 9X systems that reside in a FAT volume.  This
      technique cannot be used in the NT-family Windows (NT4/2000/XP
      and so on).
    
      Specifically for Windows NT4/2000/XP and Server 2003, we
      designed XXCLONE (a siter product of XXCOPY) that makes the
      job of creating a self-bootable clone of Windows system disk
      extremely easy for anyone.
    
        www.xxclone.com
    
    
    
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