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Copying rapidly many CDs or DVDs

In this article I'll show how to automatically copy many CDs or DVDs on a Hard Disk. If you have many backup CDs, for example, and you want to copy them on your new backup USB hard drive, this guide is for you. Copying a CD content is really simple, but when you have 50 or 100 CDs, times get bigger. With this script I try to avoid dead times, like opening or closing the CD-Rom reader, initializing the disk, performing copy&paste operations, etc. The user has only to change physically the disk.

What we need
  1. Windows Vista or Windows XP: I didn't test the scripts on other Windows versions, but maybe it works also on Windows 2000. On the other side, Linux has natively the required commands.
  2. NirCmd : a simple command line program which allows to perform many nice operations, among which to open or close a CD-Rom unit.
  3. A directory, called "Copy", where we will put all the required files.
  4. One or more optical units. In this guide, two units will be used, D: and E: . Since the reading time of an optical unit is much longer than the writing time of an hard drive, we can copy various CDs in parallel.
  5. A hard drive unit, like for example an USB external disk H: .

  1. Copy inside Copy the file nircmd.exe. This program allows to open or close the optical unit by:

    nircmd cdrom open D:

    nircmd cdrom open E:

  2. Create .bat files, one per each optical unit, and call them CopyD.bat and CopyE.bat. In each file write:

    @echo off
    nircmd cdrom close d:
    PING -n 1 -w 5000 >NUL
    xcopy d:\*.* h:\
    nircmd cdrom open d:

    The file performs these actions:

    • Row 1: disables the visualizations of commands at the prompt.
    • Row 2: Closes the CD-Rom.
    • Row 3: waits for 5 seconds, allowing the CD-Rom reader to initialize the disk.
    • Row 4: Copies all the files from unit D: to unit H:
    • Row 5: Opens the CD-Rom reader
    • Row 6: Closes the prompt.
    We will have only to put a disk into the already opened CD-Rom reader, launch the program, go and do something else meanwhile the software takes care of copying everything.
  3. To launch the copy simultaneously for different CD-Rom readers create a main file, called Copy_Main.bat:

    @echo off
    start "" copyD.bat
    start "" copyE.bat

    It will start the copy on the drives at the same time. The command start was not present in the old DOS distribution, and was introduced with Windows to manage multitasking operations.

Nice copying!

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