Copying to lots of USB keys (again and again (and again))
January 27, 2009 8:24 AM   Subscribe

How can I speed up copying the same date to lots and lots of USB keys? I have to copy data, using XP, to a whole bunch of keys. That's a lot of inserting and dragging and dropping and it may drive me insane. Is there any way to speed up the process? Something that does lots of USB keys at once? Some sort of auto-copy thing?
posted by liquidindian to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I presume you've already tried putting the relevant files in one folder, then dragging the one folder across to a key?
posted by mippy at 8:33 AM on January 27, 2009

You can get a USB duplicator.
posted by spoons at 8:35 AM on January 27, 2009

Because of my own limitations I dont think I can guide you step by step but possible solutions could be:
1. using Windows XPs briefcase application

2. install dropbox ( and designate the dropbox folder to the drive letter of the usb drive and then just plug in and plug out and a copy will be made

3. do some clever thing with autoplay settings (not entirely sure of the details).
posted by london302 at 8:36 AM on January 27, 2009

Get a desktop USB hub with lots of ports, so you can do a bunch of keys at once without swapping.
posted by zippy at 9:11 AM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Make a batch file that uses xcopy to copy folder and files to the usb key.
Make a loop with a pause statement to give you time to swap the usb key.
Use with zippy's idea to make different batch files for different drive letters.
posted by PowerCat at 9:15 AM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

You could use xcopy. Start -> Run... -> Open: cmd In that window type xcopy /?

Here's an example 'xcopy c:/mystuff/*.* u:/' --where u:/ is the USB key.

Now when the next key comes along just hit the up arrow on the keyboard. The command prompt keeps a short history of the previous commands you've typed. The xcopy you just used, with the same flags, etc. will be right there.
posted by ezekieldas at 9:35 AM on January 27, 2009

Ok, I can't really explain the super awesome way I wanted to do this. For windows (which you are using, if I read correctly) I'd look at autoit (link). It's a fairly simple scripting language. I'm enclosing a link to a forum post with a script I think would help you.


$DISK = DriveGetDrive("ALL")
For $I = 1 To $DISK[0]
$STATUS = DriveStatus($DISK[$I])
If $STATUS = "ready" Then
FileCopy("C:\New\File.txt", $DISK[$I] & "\File.txt")

Basically, once compiled you would run this it would search all drives and copy c:\new\file.txt to them (root directory). Small tweaks might be required (I'd add a line to detect if the directory was present) and it'll copy it to all the drives on your computer (a pain). But it seems like a good starting place.
posted by syntheticfaith at 11:08 AM on January 27, 2009

Err search all drives should probably be find all drives/drive letters.
posted by syntheticfaith at 11:09 AM on January 27, 2009

Maybe try getting a USB hub? Then you can copy the files (whichever way you'd like, probably with a batch file as everybody's suggesting) n keys at a time (and only have to wait for Windows to recognize the drives once) instead of one at a time.
posted by neckro23 at 2:45 PM on January 27, 2009

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