You can ring my bell !

Many years ago as a teenager I discovered I had a strange and not particularly useful talent – I could ring my mums front door bell by sneezing !! As I said not particularly something that you might require to be able to do but the thing to note is that some things go together when you don’t expect them to. So read on to see what rang the bell with this problem.

The problem :

Needing to transfer just under 1 million files in one folder weighing in about 36GB from a windows 2000 sbs server to a windows 2003 sbs server with a gigabit ethernet connection between them.

The issue :

The slowness of transfer between the two machines was a bit strange and would have taken in excess of 48 hours (according to the software used – assuming it ever got to finish).

The solution :

Normally I would suggest that either Syncback from or my personal favourite Vice Versa from would tackle this transfer with aplomb. But not this time.

The overhead associated with the number of files and that the vast majority of the files being substantially less than 500K meant that the process would crawl through the heirarchy of folders and keep extending the software’s estimate of completion time.

After trying a standard windows copy and the two packages above – I was wondering what other options were available. Then a thought struck me – why not zip the folder. Nope – another strikeout – this appeared to be running almost as slowly as the transfers.

So the solution ?

Used the windows backup utility – with the target location a mapped drive and folder on the target machine and the result – full backup in just under 6 hours. The extraction on the new wizzbang server took an eye watering 45 minutes.

So the moral

When the methods you are trying are not gelling together – look sideways – look outside the box – look behind you – just look for an alternative angle.

Or in the words of the Sage Declan

When there is a lot – take a lot

When there is little – take all