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Has anyone managed to get the Echo feature working under SyncToy v2.0 or v2.1? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have an external USB drive attached to my PC and I've tried to use SyncToy v2.0 and v2.1 to echo files from the main drive to the external drive. As I understand that feature, all the files on the external drive are supposed to mirror the contents on the main drive, all new or altered files are copied from the main drive to the external drive and all files deleted from the main drive are to be deleted from the external drive.

    New files are correctly copied to the external drive but I've found that files that have been deleted from the main drive are not deleted from the external drive when I run either SyncToy v2.0 or v2.1. It's easy to check, I either use the RMB -> properties to count the number of files on the main drive and external drive paired folders, or I use a diff program to detect the differences in contents of the main drive folder and the echoed folder on the external drive. The file count in the paired folder on the main drive drive is always lower than in the echoed folder on the external drive, sometimes by hundreds of files.

    Has anyone found the echo feature to work with SyncToy? AFAIK, v2.1 was supposed to address the problems with the echo feature, but it has never worked for me. If you've found it to work, what did you do to get that feature to operate properly?

    I'm running XP Professional SP3.

    Are there any other packages that should be updated, other than XP service packs? Does the  Visual C++ runtime package have to be a certain level?

    Saturday, December 11, 2010 4:44 AM

All replies

  • I believe the install automatically updates any other needed stuff (like .net). 

    Are you changing the files on the external usb drive at all?  That might cause a problem with echo.

    Just a thought: Try switching the job to a synchronize with the "check file contents" option and run a preview only.  See what that says needs to be done.  Check the log, too, and see if anything looks odd there.

    Thursday, December 16, 2010 5:54 PM
  • It would make sense that the install would check if any updates were needed. Is there any way to verify that the update was done properly?

    None of the files on the external drive have been touched.

    I tried the synchronize option with "check file contents" turned on.

    That test did seem to show that the Synchronize function is somewhat messed up as well.

    To test out SyncToy, I used a frame capture program to grab about 88,000 frames from a DVD, then I used SyncToy to create a backup on the external drive. Then I deleted files at random from the main drive and ran SyncToy with Echo.

    SyncToy found and deleted some of the files from the external drive, but not all of them. At the moment, the external drive has 87,179 files, the main drive has 85,858 files. There are 1321 more files on the external drive than on the main drive, which is wrong. The Echo feature should have deleted those files.

    Running a preview of Synchronize resulted in SyncToy wanting to copy a large number of files from the external drive to the main drive, which makes sense. However, randomly checking a few the files that SyncToy wanted to copy was baffling. Some of the files SyncToy wanted to copy from the external drive to the main drive were already on both drives and the files were identical. Some of the other files that SyncToy wanted to copy were, in fact, the files that the Echo feature should have deleted from the external drive.

    I don't use the Synchronize feature, the bug that I found doesn't lead to a bad result, just unnecessary copying of files.

    Just in case the problem was caused by so many files, I ran a second test involving only 300 files. I used SyncToy to create a matched pair and then deleted a few files from the main drive. Echo found and deleted some of the files, but not all of them.

    Here is the log file from the synchronize test:

    .......................

    SyncToy action was 'Synchronize'
    Found 1519 actions to perform.
    Found 171,517 files that did not require action.
    Analyzed 267.5 files per second.
    Avoided copying 74,037,456,034 bytes in 171,517 files.
    Saved approximately 17:07:54:00 by not copying any files.

    SYNC: 12/17/2010 22:06:17:878: Started scanning directory : I:\images\
    SYNC: 12/17/2010 22:06:17:878: Started scanning directory : G:\images\
    SYNC: 12/17/2010 22:11:26:722: Stopped scanning directory : G:\images\
    SYNC: 12/17/2010 22:11:39:738: Stopped scanning directory : I:\images\
    SYNC: 12/17/2010 22:11:44:941: Preview of Images (G:\images\, I:\images\) in time 00:05:27:62.
    SyncToy action was 'Echo'
    Found 100 actions to perform.
    Found 172,927 files that did not require action.
    Analyzed 528.7 files per second.
    Avoided copying 74,881,076,262 bytes in 172,927 files.
    Saved approximately 17:36:02:00 by not copying any files.

    .........................

    All the entries in the log file were similar, I didn't see any error messages or warnings.

    BTW, I wasn't looking to debug SyncToy, I was hoping someone had found a way to get the Echo feature working and would post his results in this forum.

    AFAIK, fixing Echo was one of the official reasons for releasing SyncToy v2.1, so someone must have found that it worked. Either that, or the new version was released without the Echo feature being tested at all.

    Given that I found bugs on my very first attempt to use the Synchronize feature, IMO it looks like SyncToy v2.1 was just smoke tested and then released into the wild. I understand that SyncToy is a free product but it's also been released under the Microsoft brand, so at least some care should have been taken.

    Microsoft has taken a beating over the years with virus vulnerabilities and Vista. This isn't helping.

     

    Saturday, December 18, 2010 3:19 AM
  • I noticed the last batch of replies from MS were posted in early November 2009, just before SyncToy v2.1 was released. The last moderator message was posted in mid October after an absence of several months.

    Has MS abandoned this forum and SyncToy?

    Friday, December 31, 2010 5:43 PM
  • I just experienced the same problem as you with the Echo feature of SyncToy 2.1 not working right.  I have been using Echo to backup a 1tb to another 1tb drive for sometime without any problems.  The only thing I can think of that I changed was the source drive is now fully encrypted using TrueCrypt, but the destination is not (I really don't think that was the cause of the problem. SyncToy is just junk software).  To find what didn't get echoed over to the destination drive, I ran sync and it told me what files were still on the destination drive that should have been deleted.  I fixed the problem by using another back up program called SyncBack.  There is a free and a paid version.  I used the free version and it worked super.  I actually had it for a while and forgot about it until this mess started happening.  It has a lot more features than SyncToy.  http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/
    Monday, January 3, 2011 9:43 AM
  • I just experienced the same problem as you with the Echo feature of SyncToy 2.1 not working right.  I have been using Echo to backup a 1tb to another 1tb drive for sometime without any problems.  The only thing I can think of that I changed was the source drive is now fully encrypted using TrueCrypt, but the destination is not (I really don't think that was the cause of the problem. SyncToy is just junk software).  To find what didn't get echoed over to the destination drive, I ran sync and it told me what files were still on the destination drive that should have been deleted.  I fixed the problem by using another back up program called SyncBack.  There is a free and a paid version.  I used the free version and it worked super.  I actually had it for a while and forgot about it until this mess started happening.  It has a lot more features than SyncToy.  http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/

    Thanks, I'll check out Syncback. I was also considering Robocopy and Richcopy, both freeware from MS. Other people have reported success with those apps.

    Monday, January 3, 2011 8:00 PM
  • I ran across this solution somewhere on the web: When creating a New Folder pair for "ECHO", only start with the Master folder (on left side). When it asks for the right side folder, create a brand new one - do not use an existing folder. I did this for my 100GB Pictures folder, and Echo has been working perfectly ever since. Just make sure you never manually edit the Right folder. (btw, I'm using Synctoy 2.1)
    • Proposed as answer by KyzerS Monday, May 16, 2011 10:11 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by KyzerS Monday, May 16, 2011 10:11 PM
    Monday, May 16, 2011 9:00 PM
  • Experiment Running Version 2.1 set for ECHO starting with folders in sync

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

    Left Folder                      Right Folder

    Moved file out                 SyncToy doesn't correct

    Deleted file out               SyncToy does correct

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

    SyncToy seems to recognize when a files absence is the result of a delete vs. a move. 

     

     

    Monday, May 16, 2011 10:22 PM
  • In the end, I switched to FreeFileSync, found here:

    http://freefilesync.sourceforge.net/

    That's a free, open source file sync app, which is better than SyncToy in every way, except one.

    It's much faster, maybe 10 or 20 times faster. The Echo (called Mirror) feature actually works.

    SyncToy has a better and easier way to pick sync profiles, but other than that, it's the far inferior program.

    I've uninstalled SyncToy and thought I'd add a closing post to the thread I started almost a year ago.

    It's been years since anyone from MS has posted in this forum, I think the app should be considered to be abandonware now.

    Anyway, there are several free alternatives to SyncToy, there's no need to suffer with the slow execution and the fact that SyncToy doesn't work most of the time.
    • Edited by Weblurker Monday, October 24, 2011 5:40 AM
    Monday, October 24, 2011 5:38 AM
  • Thanks for mentioning http://freefilesync.sourceforge.net/ .

    I've been using SyncToy (echo) for months and it works. I just tried FreeFileSync (echo) and it also works.

    I made a speed comparison between them - I transferred 40+ GB - both started up fast and ran in the 39-44 MB/s range.

    Both were pleasant to use, in their own way.

    Saturday, March 3, 2012 8:03 PM
  • thanks for the suggestion, freefilesync is alot better than synctoy, which gave me similar problems (it actually changed 1200 files of two perfectly mirrored pairs and didnt even offer a log of what the hell it changed! YIPES!). M$ sucks at everything that isnt OS specific.
    Sunday, March 4, 2012 3:56 AM