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Folder synch

itmstech asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
here is the situation.

1. Computer A has a folder on it named SWL
2. Someone tried to use an xcopy script to copy folder SWL to computer B.
3. However, it did not work as they intended and now there are files on computer A that did not make it to Computer B.
4. In the mean time users have been using the copy of SWL on computer B for all their work.

How do i synchronize the two folders on two seperate machines without overwriting any data on computer B's SWL folder and making sure that files that dont exist on computer B get moved over from SWL on computer A.

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Arrr, that fantastic method of data migration !!!

Well, you could manually check each folder and see what has changed? Use Last Accessed Date and delete anything that has not changed after your copy date. (DIR /s /OD or use something like FileSize Pro 3 or even Explorer).

Alternatively, you could start your copy off again, but using something like RoboCopy which will let you do more explicit copy commands.

Finally, you can use a reverse copy of all changed files first, then copy everything back again.

XCOPY B:\SWL /S /D:12-01-2006 A:\SWL

where A: is server A drive
B: is server B drive
SWL is folder
12-01-2006 is the date which you performed the original copy.

This assumes that noone is making changes to the files on Server A of course. If so, then you would need to copy to a seperate location to ensure data integrity.

Then, do your copy back again. Make sure you use continue on failure, and event logging so you can see what you missed.

XCOPY A:\SWL B:\SWL /E /H /R /C /O /K /Y /F >c:\copy.log

XCOPY /? to see what all the switches are but this should work. One minor point....


A good way to ensure noone does anything while you perform your network copy is to

1. ensure no open files (close any that are open)
2. ENsure noone is connected to computer other than you, and your destination computer
3. PAUSE the NETLOGON service to stop any more logins. Don't stop it or else you won't be able to do anything else.
4. Perform your copy
5. restart NETLOGON and test

Hope this helps
Most Valuable Expert 2015
use robocopy, it is much better than xcopy. There is a doc file with all the help you need and by entering robocopy /? you also get a lot of info about the syntax. Robocopy is free and part of the resource kit tools.


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I agree with Rindi about using Robocopy. If you want a nice GUI for syncing the files, I can recommend some shareware from Fileware called Filesync - http://www.fileware.com/public/fsync.exe
Just to help Rindi's comment, look at this link : " http://www.ss64.com/nt/robocopy.html "

Best Regards !
SyncToy 1.2 has just been released by Microsoft.  It has a nice straight forward user interface and gives you numerous options as to how you syncronise the folders.  It is perfect for this one off task, i expect you can also schedule regular syncronises too!

For example:  copy everything from A to B, overwriting only newer files


Hope this helps


Thank you for your help, Robocopy worked well and the additional information on ss64 page was helpful.

Just for everyone's knowledge, you will have to download the tools to a 2003 or xp machine and then bring the tool over to the windows 2k machine.

Thanks for your additional input !

Best Regards !
Most Valuable Expert 2015

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