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Windows 7: File Synchronization

09 Sep 2010   #1

Windows 7
File Synchronization

I have been reading through some of the threads on this subject and please indulge my ignorance or more appropriately my apprehension of losing data.

We have started a small business and for those of you that have done this you know how tight resources can be at times so I am trying to do things on the cheap for now. We currently have 4 computers, three of which are 7 and the other is XP Pro. This latter does not have to be in the mix.

We have a collection of approximately 35 folders (with sub-folders therein) I need the files in all of these to be the same. This whole synchronization thing scares me as I don't want to lose data. Some people are saying you can do it in Windows 7 natively while others are saying you need a third party application. So here I am to ask the experts on what I have to say is probably the best Win7 forum I have come across so far.

Out of these three computers one is a laptop not that that should matter but the way they came from the computer store the drive letters will not be the same but the folder names will be identical. Is there an easy and fool proof way of doing this. If I have to buck up for some third party software I am ok with that but my preference would be not to at this time.

I have some general questions about this whole process so please bear with me.
-If I delete a folder on one of the computers will it be deleted on all the others.
-If I change a file on one of them will it be overwritten on the others so that only the most recent file is available to the three computers.
- I was pondering using an external drive as a "master" and then share that with the other computers internal hard drives. This would then act as our data backup. That has created another problem for me. I seem to be able to share folders but I haven't been able to share a whole drive letter for some reason. In XP all I did was right click the drive letter and then select share. This isn't available on the right click for a drive letter in Windows 7.

I hope I have explained this and I can take being called an idiot. Our data is important to us so right now we have a utility called Total Commander and I am spending way too much time copying files from this external drive to the various hard drives. It works fine except it doesn't know when to delete a file. I have played with its synch command but I have found some inconsistencies in the results.

Thanks much.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,

Hello Rattler,

You can use the sync center to sync your files, the link below shows you how. There is also synctoy 2.1 from Msoft in the next link below. I'm pretty sure that either of these methods would work for you.

Download details: SyncToy 2.1

There is also live sync beta.

As for sharing an entire drive or drive letter. You need to set both the regular permissions on the drive and also the security settings need to be adjusted to share the drive also. It's a two part process with Windows 7 because sharing an entire drive is considered a security risk.

The proper settings will be obvious once you open those tabs up on the drive itself. Adding "Everyone" will allow everyone access to the drive.

To share the entire drive:
Open My Computer -> right click Local Disk D or which ever drive letter your drive is using -> select Properties -> select Security tab -> click Edit button -> click Add button -> enter the name of the User you want to set Security permissions (it is the same user name you've set the sharing permissions for, ex. Everyone will set the read permissions to every user. Put check marks in the boxes for full access and control -> click OK hit apply-> select the desired permissions -> click OK -> wait while permissions are set -> and your Done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 File Synchronization

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