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Some clients of ours complained about robocopy failing badly and locking tables, has anyone had any experience with running robocopy on a potentially active database?

Could anyone explain the /b command-line switch?

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My suggestion is that you don't do it. That is not a good way to make a backup of mysql database. You are probably much better off simply using the built-in backup tool mysqldump.

The /b switch of robocopy allows robocopy to bypass filesystem ACLs by activiateing a special backup privilege. This allows the administrator to backup or copy files that he doesn't have access too normally because of the ACLs applied to the files. It has nothing to do with dealing with in-use files or backing up live databases.

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One could take a Volume Shadow copy of the mysql data drive, do a mklink, and copy from the now readable shadow copy.

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