I woule like to copy an entire hard drive (c:\ including Windows) to another as a backup
It is a windows 7 Pro installation
Can someone please give me the best switches to use for this
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
This is the script i use when using robocopy. Works great.
robocopy source destination /E /ZB /DCOPY:T /COPYALL /R:1 /W:1 /V /TEE /LOG:Robocopy.log

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It's actually not possible to copy over the entire drive including windows with a copy tool.
I don't know if it's from a running system but that would make it even harder.
You will need image software like Acronis or Image for Windows for that.
This will also copy parts of the Windows directory and other Windows directories which a normal copy tool can't copy.
It will also make sure that the master boot record and boot sector are also copied so you can startup Windows from this drive.
Does Robocopy process files open by Windows? I am not sure.

The free Shadow Copy seems to be better alternative to me. It also has much simpler parameters...
Acronis True Image 2019 just released!

Create a reliable backup. Make sure you always have dependable copies of your data so you can restore your entire system or individual files.

On the Shadow Copy website, mentioned by pcelba, there is also a tool called DriveImage XML
I have no experience with this software. But it seems to have some advantages over Shadow Copy especially if you want to clone a drive.  For personal use it's free.
It is hard to select the right product if you look at the list of available tools...

Even the decision whether to use file backup, partition cloning etc. is not easy.

Robocopy seems to be reliable for standard file copying. I would not use it for the Windows and other "system dependent" files copying.  To restore the OS partition is very easy from its clone when the C: drive crashes. If I would have just file copies then I am never sure about the restore completeness.
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