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Thread: Very OT Computer question: syncing files between computer and NAS drive

  1. #1
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    Default Very OT Computer question: syncing files between computer and NAS drive

    Sorry for the OT post, but is is clearly marked as such and this crowd knows something about everything.

    The subject line may not be a good description of what I'm asking, so here is the longer version:

    I have for quite a few years using both a desktop computer and a laptop for most all of the stuff I do. I have a small NAS with 3TB drives that I use to store stuff I like to have available on either computer.

    Things are now such that there is no huge advantage to the desktop and it is getting really old and sluggish anyhow. Sort of the same with my laptop, it runs mostly OK, but is going on 7 years old and showing its age. So I bought myself a decent new laptop that will be replacing the other two. I have cleaned all of the junk off of the laptop and stored anything I want to keep on the NAS. I am doing the same with the desktop, but as it is even older, it has quite a bit more stuff. The majority of that stuff won't kill me if I miss or lose any of it, but the one thing I want to make sure to grab is my photos, and there are lots of them. I have not (for shame, I know...) been a diligent as I could have been in making sure to back them up to the NAS, so I now have hundreds of folders both on my computer and on my NAS. Many are in both places. Is there a reasonably straightforward way to merge this mess such that I minimize the likelihood of either missing some or ending up with a ton of duplicates?

    I figure that this is just the sort of thing that computers tend to be good at. Any recommendations on methods or software to do this that is fairly easily navigated?


    [Forgive the typo in the subject line, I'm still learning how to type]

  2. #2
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    more info needed... Windows? Mac? Linux? Os versions?

  3. #3
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    Winmerge works but I've once seen a program specifically for photos which even catches duplicates with different names

  4. #4
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    I would suggest setting things up so you have programs installed on one partition, and all your stuff on another. never intermingle to the two! Then you've one spot to to worry backups etc. I never use the "my documents" for example which would intermingle (there may be some way put 'my docs' where you want it, but you get the point)

    Anyway, there's great free program "FreeFileSynch" that does exactly what you want. Highly recommended. Being on a machining forum, no doubt you're a thinking man, so that its windows based will be just fine
    .

  5. #5
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    Rule #1..... NEVER USE THE DEFAULT MICROSOFT FOLDERS. That will spray your data all over the disk, and you will NEVER find it all.

    Set up a SINGLE master data folder, and call it something you will remember that does not mention data. Put EVERYTHING you want to keep in that. Now you have just one place to back up to a thumb drive.

    So far, up to Win 7, for "normal" backup I have used Synctoy, a microsoft acquisition. I do not think it is offered anymore, and it probably will not work with 10. it does not seem to work with 8.1.

    OK, next, for backup to an external big drive.

    I just do a disk image, so that if I need to, I can make a new disk exactly the same as what I have now, in a much shorter time than if I had to re-load everything manually. And I do dated versions, I do not write over the old ones. That way I have several versions. I use "Drive image", but I will need a new version for win 8 and 10.

    YOU may not want to do that since you are concerned about "duplication" (I suggest you LOSE that concern, BTW, duplication is good for computer files). In that case you can just backup the data directory to the external drive as if it were a thumb drive.
    1601

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    Hashim Khan

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys, I appreciate the input.

    I do avoid the default MS folders for the reasons cited. This is a WIN7 system, and the main goal is to get the stuff off in some semi-orderly fashion so I can retire the computer. I don't have a separate partition, but for anything I care much about I store to a secondary HD on my computer. Most of that stuff is copied to the NAS which has one 3TB HD and a second one that mirrors the first.

    And just to clarify, my concern (and it's somewhat minor) about duplication is simply that I want to avoid many duplicate copies of the same folders on my NAS drive if I can help it. Sort of what I would end up with if I just did a bulk copy-and-paste from computer to the NAS. Hence the request for a reasonably clean way to merge or sync them. Appreciate all of the advice!

    Once I get past all this migration, I do plan to set up something more semi-automated to make it easier to stay ahead of this stuff. It gets away from me quickly if I don't.


    Thanks,
    Al

  7. #7
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    Check out software called Beyond Compare. Lots of manual work but that may do the trick.

    Steve

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside53 View Post
    more info needed... Windows? Mac? Linux? Os versions?
    Fair remark, my apologies, I should know better by now:

    Stuff is coming off of a WIN7 computer. I have been saving all of this to a D-Link DNS-321 (I had said I have 3TB drive in there, they are 2TB) like this:

    https://www.amazon.com/D-Link-DNS-32.../dp/B0019OZ3OO

    Some of the saved files will be ending up on a WIN10 laptop eventually, but that's sort of a different project.

    Thanks!

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    I use a program called FolderMatch. Interesting company. They think so highly of their product that their website had links to over 100 competing products so you can compare for yourself! We use it to sync a USB stick with a Dropbox folder of all our CNC programs.

  10. #10
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    WATCH OUT for some of the synching programs.

    I LOST a number of files that such programs had simply deleted, before I realized what was happening. If you do true synching, then if a file is deleted from the master, it gets deleted from all the others also.

    I did not want that, and the old "Synchtoy" program gives me the option of a setting they call "contribute", which copies new files, but does not delete old ones. I would far rather have a few extra files that I do not need, than be faced with disappearing files that I DO need, but no longer have.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

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