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How To Use HoboCopy To Copy Locked File In Windows 7?

Ever encounter “file in use” error and wonder how to copy or backup those open / locked files in Windows? Yes, there are many utilities but here am going to introduce just this open source freeware called HoboCopy.

HoboCopy is a Windows command-line program making use of Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to backup or copy locked file without worry about “file in use” error message (such as when copy Flash video files cached by web browser).

File In Use error while copying Flash video file that are opened and locked by Google Chrome.

Though the latest HoboCopy available for download from SourceForge.net was released on 2008, the 64-bit version is working fine on my Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit OS without any errors (so far so good for copying cached Flash video):

HoboCopy is an open source freeware making use of VSS to copy file in used, i.e. a file that is opened and locked by another program.

1) Download and extract the zipped file to Windows system path (e.g. C:\Windows):

2) Open elevated Command Prompt window and run HoboCopy to copy / backup locked files. For example, to copy Flash video files cached and locked by Google Chrome:
hobocopy %LocalAppData%\Temp C:\Walker fla*.tmp

Where
  • %LocalAppData%\Temp is the source folder containing the locked files (in this case, the Flash videos),
  • C:\Walker is the destination folder for saving copy of the locked files
  • fla*.tmp is the locked files that need to be copied or backup

For more info, type HoboCopy /? to get help on HoboCopy syntax and available options.

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  1. MAKs 23-11-10@04:47

    Just great!
    1000 thx!!!

  2. Wajahat 14-07-11@22:10

    +1 for this. Thanks

  3. waseem 25-11-11@07:58

    should i restart my PC after extract files to “c:\windows” ????
    I got this message:
    hobocopy is not recognized as an internal or external command
    :(

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