Robocopy: Copy Contents of One Drive to Another

It’s can be difficult for many users to use Robocopy to copy contents of one drive to another. Here are specific examples to copy files or folders from one drive to another using Robcopy and introduce a powerful Robocopy alternative.


By Dervish / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Basic introduction about Robocopy

Robocopy is a powerful file copying utility included with Windows. It enables you to copy or move files from a specified drive path or server path using the Command Prompt. The command is Robocopy, and it has been a standard feature of Windows since Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

Although it is very powerful, its Robocopy syntax are more complicated, so it is difficult for users with no computer experience to use Robocopy. And for different computers, some instructions cannot be implemented. This article will explain to you how to robocopy contents of one drive to another and how to replace it with other software when the instruction is unsuccessful.

How to use Robocopy to copy contents of one drive to another

Robocopy has many syntaxes. But if you want to use robocopy from drive to drive, you have two syntax to choose, one is “Robocopy copyall” syntax, and the other is “Robocopy move” syntax. I will provide you with examples of using these Robocopy syntaxes.

Syntax 1. robocopy C:\src D:\dst /E /COPYALL

This syntax will copy all NTFS ACLs, file owners, subfolders (including empty folders) and all file attributes from one drive to another. C:\src refers to the source drive, D:\src is the target drive, /E selects to include all empty subfolders and /COPYALL to catch the rest.

The specific operations are as follows:

Step 1. Search for “CMD” in the start bar, right-click and select “Run as administrator”.

Step 2. After opening, copy the above instructions to CMD, and then modify the source drive and target drive according to your actual situation.

Copy All

Note: As shown in the figure, when using robocopy copyall syntax to copy a file from C drive to D drive, a prompt of invalid parameters will appear.

Syntax 2. robocopy C:\src D:\dst /MOVE

Moving files transfers files from one directory to another just like copying does. The only difference with a move operation is that the source files are removed after the copy. /MOV means to delete files/directories from the source after copying.

Same as the previous method, enter this command in CMD, and then change the source drive and target drive.

Robocopy Move

Note: If you use Robocopy move syntax, there will also be a prompt for invalid parameter.

Alternatives to move contents of one drive to another

It can be seen that the robocopy instruction does not necessarily succeed (depends on different computers). So, when you need to transfer contents from one drive to another, you can seek help from third-party software.

Fortunately, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional (support Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP) can help you transfer content from one drive to another. It is easy to operate, does not require complicated instructions, is suitable for users with no computer experience, and will not fail due to different computers.

If you want to transfer single or multiple installed programs to another drive, you can use the App Mover function; if you want to transfer the data on the entire drive to another drive, you can try Clone partition. By the way, if you want to clone the entire disk to another disk, the Disk Clone function is also provided by AOMEI Partition Assistant and it can clone all the data, OS included, on the old hard disk to the new hard disk without reinstalling.

There are many other advanced features you can try, such as: Convert File System between FAT32 and NTFS, Migrate OS from GPT disk to GPT/MBR SSD or HDD, Allocate Free Space From One Partition to Another.

Please download the demo to try and see how it works.

Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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▶ Method 1. Transfer contents of one drive to another by App Mover

 Step 1. Install and launch PA Professional, click “Free up”, then select the “App Mover”.

Click App Mover

Step 2. Select the disk and partition where the program to be moved is located.

Select Disk

Step 3. In this step, tick the applications you want to move and the location where the target file wants to move. Then click “Move”.

Tick Apps

Tip: You must select a disk with enough space for the new file.

Step 4. Decide if you want to move, and then click “OK”.

Select Place

Step 5. After theMove” is completed, click “Finish” to return to the PA main interface.


▶ Method 2. Migrate contents of one drive to another with clone partition

To copy all contents from one drive to another, AOMEI Partition Assistant provide two clone ways: Clone Partition Quickly and Sector-by-Sector Clone. The former refers to clone the used space of the partition to the destination space and the whole process is faster; the latter refers to clone every sector of the partition to the destination space.

Step 1. In the main interface of AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro. Right-click the partition you want to clone and select “Clone Partition”.

Copy Partition

Step 2. Select partition copy way in the following pop-up window, and clickNext”.

Select Partition

Step 3. Select the source partition that you want to copy and clickNext”.

Step 4. In the following Windows, you can resize and move partition by dragging and change drive letter. Then, clickNext”.

Step 5. ClickApplyto carry out the pending operation.

Sum up

According to the two Robocopy examples I provided, I think you already know that using Robocopy to copy the contents of one drive to another drive has limitations, and it will not be 100% successful, so I will introduce you to AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro. AOMEI Partition Assistant won’t get “invalid parameters” error, and can safely and quickly move contents from one drive to another. If you want to implement these operations in Windows Server, please use AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.

Dervish · Staff Editor
Dervish is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; He is delicated to offering users easy and effecitve solutions for issuses related to disks and partitoins. In his spare time, he enjoy wathcning films, playing footable, traveling and so on.