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Windows 7: SyncToy Contribute issue

21 Dec 2014   #1
revel

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 
SyncToy Contribute issue

I have been using SyncToy because it seemed nice and simple and I have been using Contribute within the program because it seems the safest, keeping the program from doing any deleting.

I recently found out about a behavior of the program that is quite concerning. Here is an example.

Lets say you pair D:\Pics to F:\Pics and you are doing Contribute. On the LEFT you have 1.jpg 2.jpg and 3.jpg. You run sync and now those are on the RIGHT.

Later you realize that all 3 of those images are the same photo more or less so you just want to keep 1 of them. So you go onto F:\Pics and you grab all 3 jpgs and delete them all. Then you go to D:\Pics and you delete 2 and 3 but you keep 1.jpg.

Then you run the sync again. I expected that the LEFT 1.jpg would be copied to the RIGHT. But this is not the case!!! Even if this is within nested folders and you delete folders going up the tree it still does not contribute the files.

Does anybody know how to get the function I want either within SyncToy or another program? I want files to be copied LEFT to Right so that the right matches the left. If a date modified is new on the LEFT then it gets copied to the RIGHT and overwritten.

I'm now concerned with how SyncToy actually works. What happens if I create a new pair of the same exact thing as a Contribute again?

Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Dec 2014   #2
tblob

Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

It pains me to have to say this, because I always wanted SyncToy to work reliably. IT DOES NOT. It is only a matter of time before it will let you down. Guaranteed. I have found nirvana (and peace of mind) with FreeFileSync.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2014   #3
Pyprohly

Windows 10, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, OS X El Capitan
 
 

Tblob,

SyncToy is a remarkable application. I've used it ever since I could remember and it certainly has not let me down. Not once. Initially I had my doubts concerning it's reliability, but the more I used it, the more impressive I've found it to be.

When you say it does not work reliably, do you care to queue me in as to the reasons why?


Revel,

If you want the folders to synchronise so perfectly, why not use 'Synchronize' mode instead of 'Contribute'? By using Contribute mode, you are expected to be making constant edits to the files on the Left Folder; and seeing as your scenario is image saturated (no pun intended), Contribute might altogether be a terrible mode choice.

Synchronize is and does exactly what you want.

And by the way, by "delete" it really should say "moves to the recycle bin" because that what it does. No perma' delete happens. You will get a second chance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Dec 2014   #4
revel

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Thanks tblob. I've never heard of that one. I'll check it out.

Pyproholy: I can check out synchronise but perhaps it has to do with how I work. I use 3dsmax and Zbrush and create very large files quickly. These programs crash a lot and losing work can be horrible. So I might spend 2 weeks working on a project with out worrying about the data, creating iterative files, side files, temprorary files. These files can be huge! In the middle of those 2 weeks i'll run Sync Toy to back it up to my Drobo so that if my D drive fails mid-project it will be backed up. Then perhaps months later when i'm on a new project I can go into the D drive and clean the project up by hand. Then go to my Drobo and just delete everything and run SyncToy to send the cleaned up project over. The projects are big with a network of subfolders and files.

I was worried of letting SyncToy do the deletions. I've read on the internet about SyncToy "having trouble deleting files." And in "Synchronize" it will copy from my DROBO back to the D drive which for some reason I just didn't want to risk.

But I can look into it! It might be the way to go. Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2014   #5
tblob

Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Pyprohly View Post
Tblob,

SyncToy is a remarkable application. I've used it ever since I could remember and it certainly has not let me down. Not once. Initially I had my doubts concerning it's reliability, but the more I used it, the more impressive I've found it to be.

When you say it does not work reliably, do you care to queue me in as to the reasons why?
Yes, on Win7 64-bit Home Premium, I found that after months of using SyncToy for crucial backups, following all directions and recommendations, it was not synching correctly. It was not detecting moved stuff or changed folder names, and my backups were filled with mistakes and confusing redundancies that had to be gone thru manually and edited, as well as some folders were simply missing.

I panicked, then hit the internet to see what I might be doing wrong, and what others' experiences were. My research led me to 2 places, "It doesn't work, stop using it" and "It DOES work, but you need to start all over, try this, try that, delete your folder pairs then redo them like this, blah blah"

After a few more months of using it I rechecked the drives and there were still many missing and redundant files and folders. Just like before. Then I set it up to try to IGNORE moved or renamed stuff and simply make 100% sure the data is identical, even if it means deleting and re-copying more files. Still failed to be 100% accurate for even this simple task.

So, I realize this is just one man's experience, but backups are one of the most crucial things in my life, do I really want to spend even one more minute of my life worrying about whether I am covered on that, just so I can use the MS solution? For me the answer was clear and I moved on. This is not a slam on other MS products, I still use their solutions whenever possible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2014   #6
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

You might look at FreeFileSync from sourceforge.net

Or any number of similar programs. They work pretty much the same way, but may use different terminology. I've never heard of "contribute".

I've never used Synctoy, but I've used similar programs for 15 years.

If you want your backups to be identical to your originals, then do your deletions from your originals and run the backup again.

If I delete file X from my backup, but file X is still in my originals, then file X will be recopied to the backup when the next backup is run. But I'd never do that anyway---I never delete from backups. Always from originals. I sync only one way--original to backup; not backup to original.

There is a way to keep file X on the backup even though it has been deleted from originals, but I don't use that functionality.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2014   #7
Pyprohly

Windows 10, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, OS X El Capitan
 
 

I'm glad you found your ideal backup program, Tblob. I might just even convert to using FreeFileSync myself in future.

 
Revel,

I think I properly understand your intensions now (I thought not that the images will be frequently edited over time), and it sounds like you just want a one-way copy system where items from the Left Folder are copied to the Right Folder, and the Right Folder should not be deleted from by any program and will merely just stack up with files that you can later manage yourself.

So if you delete a file on the Left Folder, the ideal backup solution, when run, should leave the Right Folder's equivalent file untouched for yourself to manage/delete.

And if you decide to delete a file on the Right Folder but it still exists on the Left Folder, the ideal backup solution, when run, will just re-copy the file to the Right Folder.

This will let you work on the original files in the Left Folder while the Right Folder acts as a place where you can go to if you acidentally delete a file on the Left Folder that you shouldn't have deleted, or the Right Folder could simply act as a place you can go to if you just want to review every file that existed in the Left Folder.


Does this all correctly reflect your aim? If so, I suggest you ditch SyncToy altogether and use Windows' builtin ROBOCOPY. This will do a one-way copy of files on the Left Folder to Right meaning that the Right Folder will stack up with files.

Post back if this is exactly what you need and I can assist you futher in achieving this solution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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