I would take mysqldump because you store it in a script-file and do a batch on it. About mysqlcopy I do not know much but a dump is a dataset where the stored information of database/tables is saved sequentiell. Best is you test it. I did not test it but will do it soon to make sure I can administrate the databases well. Get the mysql reference. Especially chapters 5 and 6 are very interesting because they teach you the administration. They also tell there about reorganisation and other important things on mysql. Normally I adminstrate DB2 on a Host so I know the techniques but not how to handle them in mysql.