VMWare Fusion 6 Windows 7 VM On Mac - Mirrored Folders

sharingsunshine
sharingsunshine used Ask the Experts™
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I run a Windows app on Windows 7 that I need to backup to a local folder on the guest.  Then I need to have those contents mirrored to a folder on the Mac (OS X Mavericks).  So when I run TimeMachine the contents will be backed up.

I have the Windows app writing to C:\Users\[username]\My Documents\QuickBooks-Windows-Backup

but when I go to /Users/[username]/Documents on the Mac the QuickBooks-Windows-Backup isn't there.  Nor can I find it in spotlight.  I have sharing enabled (see screenshot) https://gyazo.com/8e1184e3805d39d4b313605973411ad6

Please help me to get this working.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
We use Dropbox for Windows and the Mac!
C:\Users\[username]\My Documents

is not the same folder as

/Users/[username]/Documents

In Windows, go into My Computer and see if you have a Z: drive for shared or mirrored folders. You should find the host's Documents folder in there.

In other words, to save something from the guest to the host's /Users/[username]/Documents folder, you have to save it to:

Z:/Documents

Author

Commented:
I was wondering if they were the same.  Thanks for that clarification.

How would I use dropbox?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
I have DropBox installed on my computers and iPhones. Go to Dropbox.com and set up an account. I am not sure how much space your files will take, but a basic account is free. Set up Drop Box on each machine and make your mirrored folder one of the Dropbox folders.
Dropbox is not needed nor appropriate for your application.

You have a host and guest OS on the same machine. All you want to do is to access a folder on the the host hard drive from the guest. You are doing it the right way using the tools built in to VMWare Fusion. Just look for the shared folder which should, from the Windows side, appear as Z:\Documents.

Dropbox is great for sharing between a Mac and PC over a network, but, as I understand it, that is not what you are trying to do. Using Dropbox for your application would be a waste of both drive space and bandwidth.
Just to clarify, instead of backing up to

C:\Users\[username]\My Documents\QuickBooks-Windows-Backup

backup to:

Z:\Documents\QuickBooks-Windows-Backup

Author

Commented:
I have backed up to Z in the past and intermittently I get a message like this

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&docTypeID=DT_KB_1_1&externalId=1014986 - I have that entry in the host file and it still failed.

except I get the error trying to open the company file and it says the company file can't be found.  So I was making sure I was doing it correctly.  According to you I am.  Because of the failures I was wondering if there was a better way to do it.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
With QuickBooks, make certain the file is local and you are not trying to open it from a different machine. QB is very fussy about this and so the file should be local to QuickBooks unless it is on a very fast Windows Server.

Author

Commented:
I am not sure of what you mean by local.  If you need more details just read in the beginning but Windows and the Mac are on the same machine.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
Commented:
What I mean by local is that the QuickBooks file should be on the same machine as QuickBooks. In this case, I think QuickBooks is on the Windows guest machine so the company file should also reside on the guest machine.
The workaround in the link you posted should work. I don't know why it doesn't. Have you double-checked the hosts file to make sure it is correct?
@John Hurst - John, did you read the link in the OP's post ID: 41416298?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Yes I did. And if QB cannot find a file, it can be (a) because it is not there and (b) because of a bad / slow connection, and (c) because the path does not meet QB specifications.

Author

Commented:
I don't mind it residing on the guest machine except to back up vmware you can only do it by snapshots and I backup with Time Machine.  Is there a way to have it on the guest and easily get it into Time Machine.

Yes, I double checked the host file before I posted this question.

******
Yes I did. And if QB cannot find a file, it can be (a) because it is not there and (b) because of a bad / slow connection, and (c) because the path does not meet QB specifications.
******

a. it had been working for several weeks
b. it was the same as before when it worked
c.  same path that was working
So it was working for a while and just stopped? Have you made any changes to VMware or to QuickBooks? Updated either?

You could try re-installing the VMWare Tools.

Author

Commented:
I reinstalled VMWare tools after this happened.  The only updates to QuickBooks are the mandatory ones.  After the last update it worked fine and I opened and backed up 3 times before it failed.

I can keep it on Z if I knew a way to recover when that error comes up.  Are you saying you have never had that error?
I have never used QuickBooks with VMWare.

When the error comes up, can you re-open Quickbooks by double clicking on the file in Windows Explorer instead of opening it from inside the app?

Just a thought. I wonder if the error occurs when QuickBook tries to open the file while it was being backed up?

Also, is your VM Machine being backup up by Time Machine or has it been excluded form the backup? If the VM Machine is being backed up, then presumably you don't need to have the back up on the host drive.

Author

Commented:
never tried that I will try that in the future

don't know

VM machine is not backed up by TM because of this info https://communities.vmware.com/thread/337524?start=0&tstart=0

Has this changed or do you have a better way?
Unfortunately, apparently it has not changed.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
QuickBooks can run happily in a VMware machine but the file should be local to the machine and QuickBooks. I can do this myself.

It would appear in moving the file (perhaps when QB was open) that the file was damaged.
I've had this type of issue before with another application using another VM application (Parallels).

My solution was to keep the file on the VM in a folder in C:\User\[username]\MyDocuments .. but then install SyncToy under windows and set up a simple copy that copied the contents of the folder in MyDocuments to a folder on Z:\Documents .. I used the Windows scheduler to run the script every 10 minutes so the backup on the Mac was never more than 10 minutes behind the windows version.

Not the most elegant but it was reliable.

Author

Commented:
I downloaded synctoy and it looks very promising.  I keep 8 backups inside of a folder.  I set up the folders on both OS's.  I backed up the new backup to the windows location and ran synctoy and got this message.  I used the echo option on synctoy

https://gyazo.com/3aaf4ba4d7e76776507c633958ccdc74
Sync toy can be a bit funny
The only workaround I can think of at this time is that when setting up the folder pair ( creation for the first time) - make that source folder briefly read-only so that it cannot write the marker file. If it cannot write that marker file the first time, it will quit searching for it then. And once the folder pair creation is done - put the original attributes back.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
I use Sync Back Pro (2brightsparks.com) myself as it is more reliable for this work.
Try the free Sync Back SE if sync toy continues to give errors
http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/sbse.html

Author

Commented:
well both of you mentioned sync back and it looks like it will work.  I especially like the FREE option.

Also, john you were most versed in QB insisting best thing to do is make it local.  Strung got me straight on the url.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Thanks for the update and I was happy to help.

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