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Syncing files on two computers; is there an easier way?

Syncing files on two computers; is there an easier way?

Old Feb 3, 12, 3:25 pm
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Syncing files on two computers; is there an easier way?

Wise ones....

A couple of months ago I got Mrs. cblaisd a new laptop. I **thought** I had transferred all the files from her old computer's "My Documents" folder to the new one.

Alas, she has been informing me that that is not the case, that there are Word and Word Perfect (please, take your laughter to another thread ) files on the old one that are not on the new.

I am now in a position to try to rectify this.

First, no matter what I do, I cannot seem to transfer files from the old computer to the new via home network. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, I even temporarily shared C:\ on the new computer which I had assumed would allow it to be written.

Second, the way I did it originally was to get a USB drive (just got one, 16GB for $20. Amazing how cheap they've become. And that wasn't even searching out any sales, just walking into Radio Shack) and then do "sneakernet." Clearly I missed some files.

So.... I want to try to rectify this today, but here's where I could use some help.

I know that I could again copy the the files on the old computer (which will have files that have been worked on since the original transfer -- or lack of transfer) to a USB drive and then copy the whole thing to the new computer's "My Documents" folder.

But I'm not looking forward to 2000 instances of "File Exists, Do You Want to Overwrite" messages and having to pay attention.

Is there a DOS command or a program that would compare the two directories (the one on the USB drive from the old computer and the My Docs on the new computer) and allow me more easily to only transfer the ones that are not in fact on the new computer?

Running Win7 on the old computer and WinXPPro on the new one (and a hat tip to ScottC for finding the new computer for an amazingly cheap price).
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Old Feb 3, 12, 4:28 pm
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I have used MS Rich Copy in the past. It is very very simple and intuitive. Certainly worth a look in your case...
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Old Feb 3, 12, 4:51 pm
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You can use xcopy in dos with the /y command and it will not prompt you to copy over any files that are there, it will just copy them over.

xcopy /?

will give you all the different options available to use.
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Old Feb 3, 12, 5:39 pm
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People don't often do proper backups of their computers (especially their laptops).

I'd like to suggest that you do a full backup of the old laptop to the external drive, with file verification. Then, any file you later need will have been backed up for archival purposes. You can then restore some or all of the files to the new computer.

(I use the version of Retrospect that came with my external USB drive, but any backup program will have options to efficiently restore files without prompting.)

And, please be sure to back up the new computer regularly, too.
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Old Feb 3, 12, 7:58 pm
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Two suggestions.

First I use a free version of a program called sync back, it works quite well.

http://www.filehippo.com/download_syncback/

The other suggestion would be to use Dropbox, we use this all the time with my work to save backup configurations to automatically save in case I loose my laptop.

http://www.dropbox.com

Here's their little referral link - Always have your stuff when you need it with @Dropbox. 2GB account is free! http://db.tt/j3iUALn
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Old Feb 3, 12, 9:34 pm
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1) For a copy program, try Total Commander. It's far more than just a copy program but it can copy all files that don't already exist. The unpaid version is nagware but fully operational.

2) An alternative to dropbox:

https://spideroak.com/download/refer...61bd3363035b7c

(Yes, this is a referral link--but we both get the referral bonus. There's a thread about this in the SPAM forum.)

It's better because the encryption is done on your computer rather than theirs. Dropbox can see your files, SpiderOak can't. I believe you will still get 3gb out of this link. Also, there's a promo (I don't know how long it will last) code WORLDBACKUPDAY that will upgrade your account to 6gb. (Enter this as a purchase of more space, you won't be offered it at signup.)

It has sync capability also, I haven't explored that aspect of it yet.
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Old Feb 3, 12, 11:32 pm
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Okay, thanks everyone!

I realize that what I want is this:

Copy from source to destination only files that are on source that are not on destination.

I am not quite sure what xcopy switch to use.

And the MS Rich Copy interface is very powerful, and I'm not quite sure which options to tick/not tick.
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Old Feb 3, 12, 11:54 pm
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Xcopy can't do that in one step, but it could do it in two.

Copy all the files on the new machine to the flash drive

Copy the files from the flash to the laptop, which will overwrite any files on the laptop of the same name with the file from the new machine.

This will result in the laptop having all the files from the new machine, plus any files that did not get copied over. So what you have done create the end result that you want, only it's on the laptop

Copy everything off the laptop to the flash, and then copy it back to the new machine

A few extra steps, but is the flash is big enough to get everything at once, it will be a fairly quick operation.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 12:40 am
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(I don't know your tech level, so I might be mistaken here, but...)

The easiest thing is as a tech savvy friend to do it.

Technically, the most direct thing would be to use rsync or unison. Those might require some command line work. I believe there are GUI programs based on those. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rsync )

There are lots of software to do sync if you google around, I personally haven't tried any, but I know they're out there. (I'm the command line guy).

I will second the idea of a full backup and then getting what you need from there. You can also use the network by "sharing" one of the drives in one computer with the other computer.

Network storage is another alternative, dropbox, box.net, bitcasa are all options in this space.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 7:20 am
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use the 30 day free trial of sugarsync, install it on both computers and make "Documents" - "My Documents" a sync folder. (it's like dropbox but you can designate any folder on one machine to sync with any folder on another machine, including subfolders, etc).

Once it's done, cancel the free trial. If it's 5GB or less, you can just keep the free service or disconnect the sync folders and just use it for cloud backup under the 5GB free limit.



It will do the same thing that rsync would do, but via their cloud. rsync would be great too if you can figure out how to use it and make it work for you. It works well on unix/linux machines.

-David

Last edited by LIH Prem; Feb 4, 12 at 7:28 am
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Old Feb 4, 12, 7:27 am
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Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
Okay, thanks everyone!

I realize that what I want is this:

Copy from source to destination only files that are on source that are not on destination.
I use SyncBack as well and it works wonders. You can choose to copy the files to the backup destaintion (second pc) if they don't exist, and to delete them from the destination pc if they don't exist on the source.

Easy intuitive and working!
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Old Feb 4, 12, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by straniero View Post
I use SyncBack as well and it works wonders. You can choose to copy the files to the backup destaintion (second pc) if they don't exist, and to delete them from the destination pc if they don't exist on the source.

Easy intuitive and working!
Yep, I'm a big SynchBack fan as well, great program.

Regards
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Old Feb 4, 12, 9:04 am
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Just drag and drop all the files from the old computer to the new one.

Since the old computer runs Win7 (why would you run XP on a new computer?), you will get a prompt that the file exists. Click the checkbox to "Do this for all 2000 cases" or whatever it says, and then click the Skip button.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 6:47 pm
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I use Windows Live Mesh. Free, allows you to sync files between several computers, not size restrictions, all syncing is done using your internet connection.

Often I'll travel with my netbook rather than the laptop I use as my primary computer. If I leave my laptop running at home (display off), then my netbook automatically syncs files on the two. Always nice if you're worried about a computer getting lost/stolen. When I get home, all of my photos, work files, etc., are already up to date on my laptop.
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Old Feb 4, 12, 7:01 pm
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The new machine is running XP, don't believe Mesh works anymore on XP.
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