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Need a program to syncronize files between 2 computers on my LAN.. anybody know one?

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Old 10-14-03, 06:55 PM Thread Starter   #1
squale
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Question Need a program to syncronize files between 2 computers on my LAN.. anybody know one?


I have a lot of important files and other data that I need to syncronize between 2 seperate machines on my local network. The problem is, that right now I just have the option of going into Network Neighborhood and copying the entire directory structure over to the other computer, hence overwriting a bunch of the files already on the other machine just to get the new files over there. Instead I want a program that will basically scan the directory structure and the file "last modified dates" and just upload ONLY the changed or NEW files to the other machine. This will save me a lot of time because I only have a 11mbps wireless connection between the two machines, and I the entire size of all the files and directorys that I need syncronized is upwards of 20gigs. So you can see this would take a VERY LONG time to copy the ENTIRE directory structure back and forth EVERY TIME I add a new file or change a few files. I have used programs like Aodbe Golive and Macromedia Flash that have an option called like: "Upload modified files", this basically did what I am looking for, but again, these programs are meant for web design and NOT meant ONLY for what I am trying to do here.

So can anybody point me to a program that does specifically what I am trying to do here and does it FAST.

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Old 10-14-03, 07:30 PM   #2
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I think that you can use the "briefcase" function in the newer versions of Windows for that. I have been looking for a same program, and got pointed to the briefcase numerous times, as there is nothing yet that can do that specifically for what you want it to do.

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Old 10-14-03, 07:33 PM   #3
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Sounds like rsync. Maybe windows has some sort of analgous program to rsync.....

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Old 10-14-03, 07:46 PM   #4
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I think windows 2000 and XP support offline folders, which might do what you want.

I'll try look for a guide on how to use it, but if someone know of a good one, post it up.

edit:

found one for Windows 2000:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/pdf/t1549.pdf

that should be a pretty detailed guide, but do a google search and you should find many others.

basically, you navigate to the computer sharing the files, then right click the folder you want offline and specify that you want it available offline.

I noticed that if you join WinXP Pro to a domain, by default it has offline folders synching turned on.

Last edited by shiyan; 10-14-03 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 10-14-03, 07:50 PM   #5
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The only thing i've found is Laplink.Was very expensive so I didn't buy it. So i'm still looking too.

BTW I read something about Laplink having $$ problems, so that pretty much nixed the idea for me.
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Old 10-14-03, 07:53 PM Thread Starter   #6
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what do you mean the briefcase? I have windows xp so I think I have that.. but I didn't think that was anything to do with syncing?
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Old 10-14-03, 07:54 PM   #7
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briefcase was basically the predecessor to offline folders.
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Old 10-14-03, 07:55 PM Thread Starter   #8
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I mean I know you could run an ftp server on one computer.. say the host machine, and they get ftp client software on the other computer and then do an upload of the whole file directory, and it SHOULD go through and only upload the files that have been modified or the new files.. but that is just a pain in the butt to run ftp servers to do this.. there has to be an easier way..
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Old 10-14-03, 07:57 PM   #9
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Well as far as the briefcase is concerned>> you can make a new briefcase and "copy" the folders that you are editing ( or not) in there, it will make a copy of those folders in the briefcase, and you can then copy the briefcase onto a floppy, or in my case share it on a network, so you'll have it on 2 computers, when you work on a file, open it FRM the briefcase, and then when you get to the house, hook up the network, and rightclick>update all, and it'll show a window with the lastest modded-date and HOW it is updating your files, give it a shot,

It's not perfect but got me at least halfway to what I needed, about the same as you.

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Old 10-14-03, 08:06 PM   #10
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offline folders do not require any ftp servers, and do not require you to copy and paste anything...

you just need to specify the shared folder from the other computer you want synchronised between the two computers, and you can specify the times for the synchronisation to take place.

default for WinXP Pro in a Domain was after log off.

what it does is basically copy all the files from the shared folder to the local hard disk, and then even if that other computer is shut down, you still see that shared folder. whatever you change while the other computer is down gets synchronised to the other computer the next time the two are synchronised.

if the same file is changed on both computers before a synchronisation happens, windows will notify you and ask for which copy you want.
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Old 10-14-03, 08:07 PM Thread Starter   #11
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yeah see this really isn't the right thing for me.. because this requires COPYING all your files into the briefcase.. in that case I would be copying 20+ gigs.. WOW.. too big... not enough HD space.. then I still am at the same point as I am now..

right now I can just make a shared drive on my network and access the files from that one shared resource. But the actual reason I want to do this is to CLONE the files and directories I have on one computer to the other computer... Data Redundancy you know.. it is safer for my files..
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Old 10-14-03, 08:09 PM Thread Starter   #12
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so basically with offline folders, you just make a shared folder on computer A, then set some sort of scheduler to syncronize the files? but will it ONLY upload the NEW or CHANGED files to make both directory stuctures IDENTICAL? Is it fast at doing this?
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Old 10-14-03, 08:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by squale
so basically with offline folders, you just make a shared folder on computer A, then set some sort of scheduler to syncronize the files? but will it ONLY upload the NEW or CHANGED files to make both directory stuctures IDENTICAL? Is it fast at doing this?
that's right.

Computer A shares the important folder.

User on computer B navigates to the shared folder through Network Neighbourhood, and specifies (after rightclicking) that the folder is required to be available offline.

Computer B copies over all the files to the local hard disk, and makes it look like it's the network shared folder at Computer A.

User on computer B changes one of the files in what he thinks is the shared folder.

The next time Computer B syncs the folder with Computer A, both computers have the same file.

There are a lot of options in the scheduling of the synching of the two computers... when B is idle, logging on or off, at a certain time...

----------------------------------------------------------

what I'm not sure of is what happens when the user of B edits the file. I'm not sure if computer B always ends up editing the local cached files, and then syncs it to A, or whether it only edits the cached files when A is offline.

I'd suspect the second, but I'm not sure.
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Old 10-14-03, 08:18 PM Thread Starter   #14
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hmm.. I will have to look into this... do you use it? is it fast? does it ONLY do the new or modified files and folders?
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Old 10-14-03, 08:22 PM   #15
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I don't use it as I only have one computer, so I'm not sure how fast it is, but it is definitely faster than copying over everything.

I saw it in action at my parents' office though, and I've read about it in a Windows 2000 book I bought several years ago.

The reason it still needs a little time is because even though you don't need to copy over all the files when you sync, the two computers still have to tell each other the attributes of all the folders and files.

From the few times I used it, it did not look like it was copying over everything.

I guess you could schedule the sync to occur after office hours.
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Old 10-14-03, 08:24 PM Thread Starter   #16
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how do you set this up in Windows XP? I don't see any option on the right click of a network neighborhood folder that says "Offline Folder"

Windows XP has this Shared Folder thing, but I never used it..
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Old 10-14-03, 08:38 PM   #17
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hmmm.... I'm not on a network at the moment, so I'll have to go look that up... just a sec.

well, it looks like you have to enable offline folders from within Folder Options.

but I found a great guide. probably won't get better than this. who else better to explain how to use Windows XP offline folders step by step than Microsoft!

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/pro...c_overview.asp
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Old 10-14-03, 08:47 PM Thread Starter   #18
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yeah now I need to find out where the offline folders are actually stored on your harddrive?
do you know?
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Old 10-14-03, 09:02 PM   #19
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it's under C:\Windows\CSC.
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Old 10-14-03, 09:06 PM Thread Starter   #20
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yeah but it doesn't keep the same file name.. actually you can't even tell what the hell the file name is..

how do you change the location of these files?
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