Automatically Syncronise Laptop Files & Server

I am using windows 2000 on one of my laptops on my home network and I am wondering the best way to synchronise a set of files with a server (For backup purposes).  The network is a simple workgroup and central profiles are not used.

At the moment I am only backing up the "My Documents" folder which I have mapped to the server and syncing using "Offline Files".  However, I would also like to make sure that the favourites, mail databases, desktop files and a number of other (sometimes large) files get synchronised with the server too.  I cannot think of an easy way to do this.  My first thought was setting up a number of offline file directories, but I know that windows 2000 can be picky with the type of files it will sync.  My next thought was copying the data to the server on shutdown of the laptop, but I want to avoid having to copy all of the files every time the system is shut down.  I was also thinking about installing a backup program to backup the data on shutdown and pass the backup files to the server... again, this means copying too much data every time the system is shutdown.

Does anyone have any good ideas for this, are there any good, reliable and cheap synchonisation programs that will handle this instead of the offline files manager?

Thanks in advance.
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PsychotextAsked:
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Christopher McKayMicrosoft Network AdministratorCommented:
Hi Psychotext,
chicagoan has recommended these for synchronizing folders:
http://freedownloadswindows.com/windows/MirrorFolder/653938/
or
http://www.grigsoft.com/winsin.htm

Hope this helps!

:o)

Bartender_1
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PsychotextAuthor Commented:
That'll teach me for not searching properly!  Thanks.
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Christopher McKayMicrosoft Network AdministratorCommented:
Psychotext,

Thanks for the points!

I'm glad I was able to assist.
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SeanPPCommented:
Another and super easy and reliable method is to use a program called laplink. As long as the files are not in use at the time this will work very well and you can easily set up schedules etc. It may cost some cash, but it will save you loads of time and is an instant and effective solution.

:) good luck!
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PsychotextAuthor Commented:
Well... I've tried both bits of software (Not laplink yet) and my experience with Mirror Folder was not good.  In fact, it completely killed my Win2k server.  Basically I rebooted, installed mirror folder and rebooted again.  Splat, blue screen.  Managed to get it going through 'Last Known Good', but for some obscure reason my networking components failed on the next reboot.  This was shortly followed by a full re-build of the server. :-(  The networking failure was probably unrelated to the software, but it definately caused the blue screen on bootup as it was the only change made to the system between reboots.  Funny, I didn't have any problems at all with it on my Windows 2000 laptop.

Synchronise It! works, but the interface is a little poor and it takes an age to get all of the folders set up properly.  I still haven't worked out if I can get it to run on shutdown either (It does not automatically sync changed files.).  I have it running on a shortcut for now which will have to do.

I will give laplink a try at some point.  It's a real shame about mirror folder as it looked as if it was exactly what I was looking for (I'm not risking installing it again).
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SeanPPCommented:
Laplink adjusts the files thatr have been changed on both machines and nothing more. You can also tell it to do this in one direction only. If i were you i would seperate the files you want syc'd and then create a copy on the server. Then when ever there is a change they will both be updated....However .....remember.....e mails are not stored individualy, so if you you have changed the email files on both machines you will have a problem......I am not a IT expert by a long shot, so i only know the easy stuff! Good Luck!
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PsychotextAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the info.
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