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Synchronization in Windows XP

Posted on 2007-11-28
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Last Modified: 2009-12-16
Dear experts,

Easy question for you. Suppose I want to syncronize two locations on Windows (local folder vs network AFS mount folder) whereas the local folder contains Outlook pst files which would be open (in use) at the time of syncronization. Is there a way of doing it? I'd rather stick to Windows built in capability, or free utilities.

Cheers :)
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 20371090
If the files are open, then you will have problems, unless you use a special program that can handle open files properly.

XP version of SyncToy
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/prophoto/synctoy.mspx



I hope this helps !
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Expert Comment

by:mcse2007
ID: 20371337
outlook.pst file is always open hence it is not possible to sync this file
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Author Comment

by:pretentious_indifference
ID: 20371352
Their white paper says nothing about copying open files. Do you know if it does it successfully?
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Author Comment

by:pretentious_indifference
ID: 20371360
mcse,

I think I saw some archiving/imaging software like Genie or Ghost being able to handle open files. Wont some applicatoin have something similar to this with syncronization?
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Expert Comment

by:mcse2007
ID: 20371374
if you are referring with Ghost then mine as well back up your folders  and mounted folders.

The issue with PST file is regardless if Outlook is open or not, this file is alway active. If you really want to back up this file try creating a schedule ntbackup and place it where it gets sync.

To run the ntbackup from start>run ...then type ntbackup

you will need to exclude the PST file when sync but include your backup file.
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Author Comment

by:pretentious_indifference
ID: 20371420
mcse,

so ntbackup would handle open files without reporting errors or skipping them?
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Expert Comment

by:mcse2007
ID: 20371466
yes as long as your account is a member of Backup operator group of the local machine.

ntbackup has a feature of vsc (volume shade copy), it backup even files that are open.
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Author Comment

by:pretentious_indifference
ID: 20376986
Thanks for that information, but regardless, I still have my original question unresolved. Any other takers?

Oh, and I tried SyncToys, unfortunately it just skips open files.

I raised the number of points for this question.

Cheers
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:mcse2007
ID: 20377665
when you say you want to sync two locations in Windows, what do you mean exactly by this ? Are you enabling your working offline feature then synchronise  user's home drive folder into the server?

I need a little bit more info here !
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Author Comment

by:pretentious_indifference
ID: 20505512
msce2007,

basically it will be a sync between two local drives, the pc is always on. The only requirement is to handle correctly any open files (i.e. open pst files)
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Accepted Solution

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mcse2007 earned 300 total points
ID: 20505883
Again, as I said, outlook.pst file by default always open file hence you can try to sync it but you will get an error. My final propose to you are as follows:

1. create a schedule backup for outlook.pst file ONLY and save the backup file in the same location as the outlook.pst file - the NTBACKUP will back up any open file due to its volume shadow copy capability, while a file is open it will create a shadow copy of that file during the backup process.
2. make all files available offline EXCEPT for the outlook.pst. Why? your backup takes care of this outlook.pst in case you need to restore the 'pst' file in case something happen to it.

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Author Comment

by:pretentious_indifference
ID: 20522848
RESOLUTION:

As per threat the solution is that there's no solution. One workaround I can see is to copy-backup an open file using ntbackup then copy it over to the sync destination, unbackup and sync from that point on. Sort of hacky but works.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:mcse2007
ID: 20524282
ntbackup will back-up the PST file, regardless, so when the sync is run don't include the PST file but only the .bak file. When you want to restore the .bak file incase something happens with the PST file, simply run the restore then point to its original location.
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