In short, you cannot copy-and-paste the contents of C:\ as long as you are running Windows from C:\. As long as you are running Windows from that partition you are always going to encounter dozens, if not hundreds, of files that are in use and cannot be copied. It would take you an awful long time to track them all down and work around them, and you'd actually be copying GBs of files that you don't need.
The simplest solution, since you're doing a clean installation, is to go around and copy the files you actually want, not the entire partition. The File and Settings Transfer Wizard is a very handy tool in cases such as this.
If you'd rather be safe than sorry just backup the entire C:\Documents and Settings directory, which contains all of your documents, settings, favorites, etc. It's still more than you need to backup but at least you'd avoid all of the problems associated with trying to backup C:\WINDOWS while it's in use.
Aside from that if you really want to make an identical copy of your C:\ drive then you'll need to use third-party software such as Norton Ghost.
Hope this helps,
Sony VAIO, VCG-RB34G
WIN XP MEDIA
150G INTERNAL DRIVE (WD) (main)
250G INTERNAL DRIVE (WD)(backup)
2 X 512MB RAM
My computer has gotten to that point where it?s running a little sluggish,and programs are freezing up.I'm thinking of doing my semi-annual "recovery to factory specifications". I usually make a C drive backup using one of the usual suspects, Windows Backup, or Nero, or Retrospect, etc. along with exact copies of my main file folders, just in case.
This time, I am trying to make an EXACT COPY of C (32.8 GB used) drive to D drive (109 GB free), my second internal hard drive. I figure if there's anything I need quickly after the backup, I can just go to D drive and open it since it will have XP and everything C drive now has? it?ll be like a second computer on this computer? right? No? Well if that doesn?t fly, I can just drag it to C to open. With the other backup, all I can do is "Restore".
So I created a folder on D drive, ?COPY OF C DRIVE?, opened C drive, selected all the contents, and tried to copy the whole thing to the new folder.
But I keep getting error messages like ?Cannot copy NTUSER: it is being used?
So I started copying the folders one at a time. When I get to the Documents and Settings I start getting error messages. So I move the folders inside, Administrator, All Users, Default User, Guest, My Name, one at a time. Lots of error messages...
Administrator: Cannot copy edb: It is being used?.
MY NAME: Cannot copy NTUSER: it is being used?
Perflib_Perfdata_ex4 is being used?(I can?t even find this file using "search?.)
At that point it aborts the copy process. I know that the NTUSER has something to do with the current user. What if I log in as a guest?
And I haven?t even started trying to copy Program Files, Windows, etc.
What if I simply open the folders in question and copy everything EXCEPT the files that are producing the errors? (Cannot find one of them?)
I am mainly worried about copies of my email files and other stuff that if you use the normal backup procedure it makes a copy that can be restored, but not opened. I want to be able to open any file presently on my computer by going into D drive and clicking on it after I ?Revert To Factory? and before I get all the software programs loaded back on C drive. I have an older computer with an 80 GB hard drive running XP Pro that I could do an exact copy to if all else fails, and if I knew how.
Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Joe in Houston