Windows Tip - Copy Files/Folders Fast on Windows (Updated)

The following question came up:

Is there a fast and easy way to copy one hard drive to another?They are not identical in size - one is 320 and the other 500. They are the same make though, Western Digital, if that makes a difference. Both are external. I am trying to create backup of all my files.
My response included several options and I welcome other suggestions:

Option 1:
You could connect both drives, then use one of the following to copy files/folders from one side to another.
  1. TeraCopy (free for home use) -
    (Get this one)
  2. Cubic Explorer (free open source) -
  3. CopyHandler (free open source) -
  4. EaserSoft's Free Extreme Commander (no cost version) -
  5. SynKron (free open source and cross-platform)- (at Rusty Meyner's recommendation)
  6. MuCommander (free open source) -
Which do I recommend? Having used only muCommander on Win/Mac/GNU-Linux, I'm not sure. I intend to try these out when I get a chance. For now, I'd try them in the order they are listed.

Update: Ok, I've tried them out and I like Teracopy the most on Windows. You simply drag all your files/folders you want copied to the little box that pops up (Source) and then tell it where you want them to go and it gets started. Fast!

Check out this YouTube Video Tutorial on sure to set the resolution to 720:

Video Link:
You can find other related video tutorials at ILoveFreeSoftware blog. Great!

For those that need a little more of a guided process (such as two panes with source files on the left, target location on the right), consider SynKron or MuCommander. Which would I use? Well, if I want exact copies of everything in more than one location, I'd use SynKron. If I wanted to be judicious about moving only certain things and select them manually, MuCommander would be the one to use.

Option 2:
Another option is to save a backup of your 320 drive and restore it to your 500:
(this is the free version)

Option 3:
Or, boot from System rescue and run FSArchiver...I'd try one of the first two options, though if you're not familiar with GNU/Linux.

I'd love to hear what solutions you'd recommend in response to this question!

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Rusty Meyners said…
SyncToy used to be my tool of choice for this type thing, having first discovered the need when migrating large amounts of network folders to different servers with fewer delays from errors and connection burps. It is a free Microsoft PowerToy but the Wikipedia article on it is a good place to start evaluating it: A year or so back, I caught SyncToy mis-handling file permissions and decided an alternative was needed.

Synkron is now my favorite after trying several free offerings. It has more and better features while still retaining a reasonably intuitive usability. As I looked up the link for this comment I'm reminded that it is OPEN SOURCE as well as free:
Ishan said…
Nice article. Thanks for adding my link here :)

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