How To's & GuidesTech Tip on a Tuesday Morning - SyncToy 2.1

Tech Tip on a Tuesday Morning – SyncToy 2.1

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Having a Windows Home Server is a great way to store your videos, pictures and files so how do you manage the files between your PCs and the server? How do you synchronize files between multiple drives? Microsoft provided an answer. SyncToy 2.1

SyncToy

Tech Tip

We all have a lot of data that we store and manage. I have 6 PCs at home, each with different functions, and it was difficult to manage the data files on each PC. Of course WHS kept them backed up but I was always dragging files to the server and then deleting old folders and trying to remember which folder had which version of each file. What a pain.

The solution? SyncToy by Microsoft. SyncToy has been around for a while but has not received any real attention. It is a real simple way to synchronize folders.

Download Link and Installation

Download and installation is easy. The link for SyncToy 2.1 is:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=C26EFA36-98E0-4EE9-A7C5-98D0592D8C52&displaylang=en

SyncToy

Using SyncToy

SyncToy is a very simple tool. Double click on the icon. Create a link to a pair of folders:

SyncToy

Choose the type of Sync you want to perform:

SyncToy

Name the Sync:

SyncToy

Run the Sync:

SyncToy

ALL DONE!

Mental note: Microsoft has a disclaimer on this tool.

This tool is not part of Windows:

Note: We’ve taken great care to ensure that this tool operates as it should, but it is not part of Windows and is not supported by Microsoft Technical Support. For this reason, Microsoft Technical Support is unable to answer questions about SyncToy. To speak to other users and contribute feedback about your experiences with SyncToy, please use the SyncToy forum at http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/synctoy/threads.

Results

I am very impressed with this tool. It is quick, easy and a breeze to run. I use the SyncToy at home to make sure my iTunes folder on the WHS always has the latest music files I have bought and downloaded.

I use the tool to sync all of my work files to one of our central servers so my people can always get the latest versions of my database files.I click on All Folder Pairs and run as I am walking out the door and the server is updated while I drive home.

SyncToy

 

I added WHS folders as drive paths to make it easy to Sync.

SyncToy on WHS Folder

 

See you next Tuesday,

Tim

Timothy Daleo
Timothy Daleohttp://usingwindowshomeserver.com
Timothy Daleo is a Project Resource Analyst and Oracle Applications Trainer in Pasadena, California. In addition to financial analysis, Tim has been developing training materials since 2003 and supporting direct projects through various auxiliary databases since 2005.

15 COMMENTS

  1. thanks Tim, I used this in an earlier incarnation and kept meaning to come back to it.

    I will go try it again 🙂

    Andrew

  2. I'm still a bit cautious. I was a victim of the version 2.0 jpg corruption. Make sure to check the files on the server are the same as the originals.

  3. I understand that previous versions were not WHS friendly – and I notice in all of your screenshots above there are no UNC paths.

    Has anyone tried this to sync files back to their WHS (e.g. syncing an iTunes library, etc)?

    Jeff

    • I assign drive letters to the folders I want to save to on WHS. I just added a screen shot of a SyncToy run on a WHS drive.

      Tim

  4. Synctoy is great. I use it all the time. I also use Live Mesh for real-time syncing with WHS. There are also some other sync tools I'd like to look into, but haven't the time…

    I don't think that Synctoy is UNC path friendly, it needs drive letters. I've had issues doing a sync over webfolders until I got Xythos drive, which makes dealing with webfolders much nicer.

  5. In my experience UNC paths can certainly be used in some cases: I have been using SyncToy 2.0 for a while now to synchronize FROM my home server TO my local pc, using paths defined as "SERVERshare" as Left Folders.

    If I remember correctly, the reported problems SyncToy 2.0 had were when synchronizing TO network paths. Hopefully those are solved now with v.2.1

  6. I have not had any issues with any network drives on my XP Pro machines here at work or with my WHS at home when set up with drive paths.

    Lets hope your experience with 2.1 is better than the previous version.

    Tim

  7. I am not familiar with SyncToy so I am a little curious about the difference with it and Live Mesh. Is it just that SyncToy can only sync with locations on the network you are connected to versus Live Mesh allows you to sync if you are on separate networks?

    • SyncToy is just a small simple program that allows you to keep folders organized on your local network.

  8. This is an old post but I wanted to ask a quick question about installation. Does it need to be installed in only one location, such as on the PC(s) I want to sync to and from, or does it have to be installed on the WHS as well.

Comments are closed.

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