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Sync Folders on Same Computer

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March 18, 2012 6:52:56 PM

Not sure if this is the right forum for this question. Maybe it is a Windows 7 configuration question.

I would like to automatically sync my Pictures folder between two drives on the same computer. (One of the drives is an external drive which I will turn off and disconnect when not in use. It is the drive I use for backups.)

What I want to happen is for the Pictures to be duplicated to the external drive whenever I import pictures onto my system. If the external drive is disconnected I would like the pictures to automatically sync when the drive is connected.

I also back up my photos with Carbonite and as part of my regular back up routine, but if I have them on the external drive and something happens I can just copy them from the external drive to another computer. Of I could carry the external drive with me to my relatives' house and bore them with family photos.

I think this is one of those internet searches where the terms are so common that you get the more frequently used option of sync ing folders between computers. And the results are cluttered up with SyncToy results (unfortunately many hits contain Sync Toy so I can't just -sync because it is what I'm looking for.)

More about : sync folders computer

a c 383 G Storage
March 19, 2012 4:47:42 PM

Any software that watches folders for changes will impact performance. off hand i can't think of any programs that meet all these requirements, but you can use robocopy and set up a scheduled task to have robocopy keep the files synched.

In fact it looks like the /mir and /mon parameters might do what you need.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc733145%28v...
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March 19, 2012 6:54:11 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
Any software that watches folders for changes will impact performance. off hand i can't think of any programs that meet all these requirements, but you can use robocopy and set up a scheduled task to have robocopy keep the files synched.

In fact it looks like the /mir and /mon parameters might do what you need.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc733145%28v...


This is looking good. I'm doing more research on it. I'm wondering if it can be set up to run at a specific time, say 10 pm, after I'm done for the day. I seem to recall that you can schedule tasks so maybe you can schedule robocopy.

Or, I could just drag and drop the folders. But I'm lazy and probably wouldn't do that every day.

Thanks for the lead.
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March 19, 2012 8:52:19 PM

I use an online service to do something very similar - except it backs up my stuff to thier servers. The upside is that my files arent just on an external drive - they can be on any internet-connected computer, after I enter my username and password into their website. The service is called Dropbox. I know its not exactly what you are looking for - but I did hear there are "plugins" for it that allow you to do something like what you are looking for. Again my situaltion is a bit different from yours, but it may still be useful.

Good luck :D 
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March 19, 2012 9:09:23 PM

frombehind said:
I use an online service to do something very similar - except it backs up my stuff to thier servers. The upside is that my files arent just on an external drive - they can be on any internet-connected computer, after I enter my username and password into their website. The service is called Dropbox. I know its not exactly what you are looking for - but I did hear there are "plugins" for it that allow you to do something like what you are looking for. Again my situaltion is a bit different from yours, but it may still be useful.

Good luck :D 


We've got Dropbox and Carbonite. Windows Live, Flickr and many others offer limited amounts of storage for free. I'll probably set up a limited account for sharing with family and friends, but all my photos are many, many GBs.
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March 26, 2012 12:29:13 AM

I think I've figured out how to do it with Windows Live Mesh.

When you say "Sync a folder" Mesh asks you to pick a drive and then puts it in the My xxxx folder. But you don't have to pick a drive. You just say OK and then click on the Sync link below the folder and you can specify with more precision where you want to sync the folder. So in the case of my photos I will select a folder on the external drive.

One thing that I figured out is that I need to BE VERY CAREFUL BECAUSE THE FILES WILL SYNC IMMEDIATELY!!!! I'm shouting because that is how I screwed up my RAID 1 array at the start of this whole process. I made a change to the registry and instantly that change was mirrored. So in the case of photos if I delete one, it is instantly deleted from the sync drive and in very short order it would be deleted from Carbonite too (I need to check on that to see how long I have before the file is deleted. I know I can freeze my backup to prevent deletion but that requires that I realise that I deleted something I didn't want to.). But I plan to do a couple of things to help avoid that problem. The main one is to make copies of my photos onto Blu-Ray discs for older ones and CDs as I add new ones. That way I have an archive that I can recover from. I also plan to disconnect the external drive from the system whenever I'm not actively using it.

Thanks for the help.
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a c 200 G Storage
March 26, 2012 12:48:54 AM

The title of this topic has been edited by Area51reopened
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