Sync/Backups: There is such a thing as a free lunch! (SyncToy)

I wrote a brief post previously about online sync providers and storage.  Following on from that I wanted to get my own house in order, quite literally.  I have a beefy desktop, a HTPC (but with only 90gb ssd) and a laptop from my employer.

As with most of you I imagine your work laptop has accumulated plenty of your personal stuff.  I also expect if you have more than one pc at home (not forgetting phones and/or tablets) that your pics/videos and mp3s rapidly become distributed and a pain to manage.

So it would seem that there are still helpful Propellorheads working at Microsoft churning out PowerToys.  For those of you too young or too addled to remember.  The PowerToys made Windows95 really useful for admins or slightly techy users who wanted to say grab 1 file out of a cab file without running command line utils.  Well they carried on the trend for Windows XP and tucked away in there was

SYNCTOY.  At it’s latest incarnation of 2.1 it looks at home in Windows xp/vista/7 and it’s simplicity is what makes it so useful.

  • Point it at two folders, left and right.  In my case the left being the folder on the pc, the right being my external USB drive.
  • Then tell it to Sync (this will make the two folders perfect mirrors of each other, if you add or delete a file from one it will do the same on the other)
  • Or Echo looks for changes in the left folder and makes them in the right folder.
  • Or Finally Contribute is like an Echo, but it does not delete any files on the right folder.

You can create multiple folder pairs and even preview what it’s going to do before it syncs.  I now have all my media in one place on my Beefy PC, also backed up on the external drive.  It took one evening (after I left it all syncing 300gb onto the usb drive and back to the Big PC.

And all with a free program!  Download and enjoy!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SyncToy
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyid=c26efa36-98e0-4ee9-a7c5-98d0592d8c52&displaylang=en

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