I want to move a subfolder from one folder to another on the same partition on Windows Server 2008. When I do this on Server 2003, it only takes a split-second. On Server 2008, it counts the number of files which takes almost five minutes (it's a huge folder with a lot of little files), then does the move. I've only found one workaround: I log into a Server 2003 computer and access the admin share for the 2008 server to do the move.

How can I tell Server 2008 to move the folder without gathering the size of the contents?

EDIT: I'm only looking for solutions that use the GUI. I'm not interested in CLI solutions. I know they exist but that's not the problem I'm trying to solve.


If this is an effect of Explorer, try using move at the command line, or better yet, use robocopy.

The syntax for move:

move /Y [source] [destination]

The syntax for robocopy:

robocopy [source] [destination] /S /COPYALL /MOVE /Z /LOG:c:\robocopyjob.log

  • +1 Was just getting in to say this. Whenever Explorer ticks me off (such as in these situations) I switch over to robocopy. – squillman Sep 14 '11 at 16:02
  • Thanks, but I'm only interested in solutions that use the GUI, not the CLI. I apologize for forgetting to add that detail to the original question. – Starfish Sep 30 '11 at 15:56
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    @Starfish Do you mind if I ask why? The CLI of any OS is much more powerful than the GUI in almost all cases. – MDMarra Sep 30 '11 at 16:13
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    Starfish, it is a function of Explorer to calculate the times. I believe it's related to conflict resolution that's inspecting files on the source and destination. Does the calculating time operation take less time on a destination folder where no files exist? Also, take a look at this post by a Microsoft Engineer debunking the myth that RDC slows down copying. Take a look under "Changes that can truly improve file copy performance." – mbrownnyc Sep 30 '11 at 18:13
  • MarkM: There are two reasons. (1) When it comes to moving a single file or folder from point A to point B the GUI excels at ease of use. Opening a CLI for this one task takes many more steps, including opening the CLI, navigating to the folder, typing the commands and making sure the paths are correct. I'm already using the GUI for navigating and viewing files. I don't want to switch to another tool to manage them. (2) Using the CLI works around my problem without solving it. I don't want a different method of moving files; I want to fix the annoyance I'm experiencing when I use this method. – Starfish Nov 13 '11 at 7:04

That sounds like it is populating the thumbnails in the thumbs.db. Turn this off and it should make a big difference. Under Folder Options, View tab, there is an option to show icons and never thumbnails. You can try this and there is a group policy that do this as well. Be warned however, if you are used to using the thumbnails to see pictures, movies, etc, you will be disappointed by now only being able to see the icon.

  • I have always assumed that Windows was totalling things up (number of files & total byte size), so the GUI could show a nice progress bar and still get the ETA wrong... It would be nice to see myself proven wrong on this one, fingers crossed ;-) – DutchUncle Sep 30 '11 at 17:54

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