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Robocopy keeps copying same folder over and over again

Posted on 2009-03-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I've recently started to use Robocopy for my daily backups.  It seems to work well but I have one issue.  It keeps copying the one folder over and over again.

I'm running Windows Vista and so far ever folder has copied with no problem except for the C:\Users folder.  I've tried to setup the batch file to copy the files and keep the same directory structure but it keeps copying a "Documents and Settings" folder with a subfolder for "All Users" which I don't even see as a valid folder on my PC (I am showing hidden files/folders).  To make matters worse, this folder apparently has some subfolders that it just keep copying over and over again, nesting them within themselves.

For instance, if the Users folder has subfolders called 1,2,3,4, and 5, then folders are created with those names but for some reason folder 5 gets new folders created for 1,2,3,4,5, then again #5 has them created, and again and again.  Maybe I'm just missing something but I can not figure this out!

My batch file line to kickoff the backup is as follows:

robocopy C:\ P:\%ComputerName%\  /S /COPY:DAT /XO /ZB /R:0 /W:0 /ETA /MON:5 /XA:STH

Can someone let me know what I'm doing wrong?  Thanks in advance for your help!
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Question by:maianoel
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Assisted Solution

by:BrandonGalderisi
BrandonGalderisi earned 100 total points
ID: 24020644
I had a problem similar to that.  The problem that "I" had was because somehow I had a shortcut in a folder that pointed to another folder in it's lineage.  So a shortcut to it's grandparent.  It would seem to get it stuck in a loop.
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Author Comment

by:maianoel
ID: 24020682
Really... how were you able to locate the short cut and fix the issue?
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Author Comment

by:maianoel
ID: 24020765
to make matters worse I've even looked through my C: drive and I don't even see a directory structure that matches what Robocopy is even backing up...
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Accepted Solution

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LeeTutor earned 400 total points
ID: 24020842
The C:\Users\<useraccountname> folder has a number of symbolic links in it which you can only see when hiding files and folders is turned off in Folder Options. E.g., My Documents is a symbolic link to C:\Users\<account>\Documents. These symbolic links are there to make it easier for older programs written for XP able to work without having to be modified to reflect Vista's new folder structure. These are probably what are causing the problem. To see the symbolic links, go to the CMD prompt in the \Users\<useraccountname> folder and type DIR /AL
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Author Comment

by:maianoel
ID: 24021032
great, thanks... and I'm sorry, now that I've done that what do I do about it?  I don't see anything listed which has a symbolic link referencing Documents and Settings.  Is there a way to fix the links or change the batch file to prevent this?
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 24021179
There is a Documents and Settings symbolic link in the C: root directory.  I'm not sure what you can do about it.
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Author Closing Comment

by:maianoel
ID: 31564411
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, guys... this really helped me solve my problem!
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Author Comment

by:maianoel
ID: 24021533
Great, thanks guys, this really helped me.  Apparently if you add the /XJ switch it will exclude the junction points.  Once I did that my backup is now running like it should.
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