Using xcopy for backups

For DOS purists everywhere, you can use the Windows XCOPY command to carry out simple but effective backups as follows:

G:\BK> xcopy/s/e/d/y/r/h/c C:\*.*

This command will copy every file on C: to G:\BK and will include all subdirectories (/s) including empty ones (/e), copying only files that have actually changed (/d). It will also presume yes to any questions asked (/y), overwrite read-only files (/r), copy hidden and systems files also (/h) and continue if errors occur (/c).


  • The /c parameter is useful for when you want to skip past (system) files that are in use (normally reported as sharing violations)
  • The /d is only useful if your target disk drive has been formatted using NTFS (for me this is the most powerful and useful parameter.
  • Even though you might think that you don’t want hidden/system files to be copied, bear in mind that Windows Media Player stores the artwork images for albums and songs as hiddent JPG files so if  you leave out the /h parameter you wouldn’t necessarily be backing up everything in your music collection.

Aren’t Mothers Great

The mother of a 13-year old girl gives Steve Ballmer from Microsoft an earful about her experiences with Windows Vista, their latest operating system offering.

I especially love how she appeared to got the final word in when, after Ballmer tried to waffle his way around the situation suggesting the Service Pack 1 would address many of the issues she’d seen, she retorted, “Good, I’ll let you come and install it for me!”


Source: SlashDot

Moving Times

I recently spent several hours hopping between my desk and the consoles of a number of computer systems running different operating systems (Solaris, Linux and Windows to be precise). I hadn’t yet configured remote access on these machines, hence the need to sit at the console.

Anyway, a rather curious observation was that the time on these systems was located in completely different areas. On Windows, it defaults to the bottom-right corner, Solaris defaults to the bottom-left corner and Ubuntu defaults to the upper-right corner. As I quite often don’t wear a watch, I found my eyes playing a game of Boggle every time I wanted to check the current time, a very strange experience.

Naturally, I presume I could have reconfigured the desktop(s) to show the time in the same place but it’s still interesting to wonder if this was a deliberate move on the part of each operating system vendor.