Introducing HoboCopy

Ever tried to copy something on your hard disk only to get the annoying message  (on Windows) that the file is currently in use and can’t be accessed? Well now you can (including all those flash movies in your Internet temp folders)!

HoboCopy is a backup/copy tool. It is inspired by robocopy in both name and in functionality. It differs greatly from robocopy, however, in two respects:

  1. It is not as full-featured as robocopy.
  2. It uses the Volume Shadow Service (VSS) to “snapshot” the disk before copying. It then copies from the snapshot rather than the “live” disk.

Because HoboCopy copies from a VSS snapshot, it is able copy even files that are in locked by some other program. Further, certain programs (such as SQL Server 2005) are VSS-aware, and will write their state to disk in a consistent state before the snapshot is taken, allowing a sort of “live backup”.

Files locked by VSS-unaware programs will still be copied in a “crash consistent” state (i.e. whatever happens to be on the disk). This is generally a lot better than not being able to copy the file at all.

Download it or read more about it. I for sure found it quite useful.

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