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Synchronizing data between two XP pro machines

Software, hardware, combo?

     
12:19 pm on Jan 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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How do you make sure that data: D from machine A will update data: D from machine B.
Software, hardware, combo?

I am looking for a solution where I will decide if there is a call for updating.
Not looking for an automated solution
thanks

2:46 am on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It depends on the data really. A lot of data can get locked down by the OS when it's being used and therefore can't be synced easily. (Think Outlook .PST files) Fortunately most data doesn't have that problem/limitation.

Microsoft offers a number of data sync options. The latest is Live Mesh [mesh.com]. This will sync data among multiple machines. You install the widget on each machine and the data syncs automatically. It rarely asks for advice about overwrites these days. In earlier versions of this beta I would get a lot of dialog boxes asking if I wanted to overwrite certain files. That doesn't happen much anymore.

An older sync tool was FolderShare [foldershare.com], but that has now become Windows Live Sync [sync.live.com]. This is confusingly similar to the Mesh product. In my experience the FolderShare product had more limitations in terms of the number of files that you could sync. However, both work reasonably well. In older versions of this software you could set it to confirm any overwrites or updates. I'm not sure about its new incarnation.

SyncToy [microsoft.com] is another MS tool that was originally developed as an unsupported PowerToy. SyncToy is becoming more automatic according to what I've read, but you can set a lot of parameters to determine what gets synced. The software also places overwritten (synced) files to the recycle bin.

These solutions might be a bit too automatic for you though. A lot of the sync software is moving in that direction. If you want real fine grained control then I usually use batch files.

12:00 pm on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Bill, Thanks for the detailed answer
I should have mentioned that what I need to achieve is:
Script related
I work on a script from A machine, but I have a web “search/view” dedicated machine, where I like to keep a script backup (only if I wish to)
So we are here only speaking about my local “localhost” being kept updated with changes .
I will review each of your posted links
1:12 pm on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Take a look on GoodSync. You can synchronice two (or more) computers.
2:59 am on Jan 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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That sounds pretty limited in scope. The solutions I mentioned might be overkill.

If it's just one file or directory why not just write a batch file and run it manually? Do you really need software for something that simple?

11:30 am on Jan 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I would think so; it could involve a few dir and a few files
I am always concerned by forgetting that I updated something here or there
further that software might be useful for many other tasks, I will give it a try.

I am not sure that I may (on my own) write a batch file to do the job; I kind of became DOS deficient :)

4:55 am on Jan 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Something as simple as XCopy [technet.microsoft.com] in a batch file might be able to handle all of your copying needs.
11:46 am on Jan 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Yes, Thanks, that should do it
1:58 pm on Mar 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure if it would work in your case, but I'm becoming a big fan of NAS (Network addressable storage). It's basically a raid hard drive that has it's own OS and goes on your network.

I have most of my data at my home office on the NAS. The beauty part is that it doesn't matter which machine I'm on. The data is available .

12:23 am on Mar 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Having the storage of a NAS is fine, but you still need a program of some sort to get the data from machine A to machine B.

I'd even advocate running a small home server instead. I've done that myself. Take an old PC and toss in a few hard drives and then use that server as your data storage point. Microsoft makes and excellent product called Windows Home Server [microsoft.com] that will backup every machine on your network. There are also many free Linux options if you don't mind the learning curve.

9:59 am on Mar 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Bill, indeed that is the solution
season with some RAID and ... done!
I should have thought about it :)