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Sync files on 2 different ext drives

Posted on 2012-03-24
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Last Modified: 2012-03-26
I have two large ext drives A: and B:.  A: stays with my computer, and I want to store B: off site.  

At this point the three drives are not synchronized and I want to make sure they are all the same.  I can't just copy A: to B: because, right now, there are mixed files on both drives.  

Is there a way to simply sync all the files so they match?
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Question by:mikecox_
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 150 total points
ID: 37761571
I use SyncBack Pro for that (2brightsparks.com). It is well suited to this task and I do this myself. I have one profile to sync back to my desktop and another profile to sync to my very large USB key. All devices are in sync.  I do use two profiles to keep things straight in my own mind, but it works well, reliably, and without error. ... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 37761794
there is the included with windows robocopy and sibersystems goodsync

when you say there are mixed files on both drives do you mean different versions of the same file? Please elaborate.
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Author Comment

by:mikecox_
ID: 37761813
In some cases there are different versions of the same files and in some cases completely different files on both drives.  If possible I'd like to avoid having to install new software; but if I must...
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 37761825
You logically cannot sync 3 copies of a file with any tool because you cannot know which one is true.

I sync between computers (either system can change) and once synchronized, I then sync to the USB key. It is subservient. So you need to pick one hard drive as subservient, or be incredibly organized as to which of the 3 devices has the true copy.

SyncBack Pro is cheap, but it allows multiple profiles and further allows you to change the direction of sync if you know the location of the true copy.

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:mikecox_
ID: 37761876
My A: drive will be the "subservient" drive.  I back up everything to that drive, then copy that backup to my B: drive.  There are tow B: drives, one on site and one off site.  I just need to files on the B: drives to match the ones on my A: drive and, initially I will need so sync the B: drives because, right now, they contain some files that are not on the A: drive.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 37761885
any syncing software will use the last modified date to determine whether or not to overwrite the destination file in its overwrite options.

from drive a: > b
robocopy a: b: /e /xo
and the converse:
robocopy b: a: /xo

you can use robocopy a: b: /e /xo /L
this will just show you what files will be copied as a test
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 37761923
>>> My A: drive will be the "subservient" drive.  

So then you are fairly well organized. Any sync tool should do.

I like and use SyncBack Pro because it uses a standard Windows interface, offers multiple profiles, groups profiles, and allows exclusions (in the case of licensing or control files). I use all these features.  There is a free version and a free trial of the paid version.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:mikecox_
ID: 37762242
How do I access Robocopy? I typed it into the search field and something popped and then disappeared in a flash.
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Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 50 total points
ID: 37762253
it is a command line program
start cmd then type robocopy in the command window
@name this whatever i.e. copyit.bat
@echo off
@echo this will copy from %1 to %2
@echo press ctrl-c to stop
pause
robocopy %1 %2 /e /xo

Open in new window

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Accepted Solution

by:
Darr247 earned 300 total points
ID: 37762536
If you want to try a free GUI program, look at TreeComp... it's fairly small (its setup file's a little over 1 MB), and fast.
e.g. I just ran it against some files and their backups, both on network drives, and it took less than 3 minutes (160 seconds) to compare 137 GB in 37,423 MP3 files (7,873 folders) on each drive.
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Author Closing Comment

by:mikecox_
ID: 37769211
Syncback  was ok but cost, Robo was command line; too much of a hassle, Bobocopy was small and free.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 37769221
Thank you, and I was pleased to assist. There is a free version of SyncBack if you wish to go that route. ... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:mikecox_
ID: 37769827
I'm sorry, I thought is wasn't free, otherwise I might have awarded more points to you.  And it wasn't Robocopy that was free it was Treecomp. If that doesn't work out I'll try SnynBack.
Thanks
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