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SyncToy 2.0 not detecting missing files on Right side RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi, I just upgraded from 1.4 to 2.0.  I noticed the following and would like to understand it better.

    I'm using SyncToy to do backups.  I have the source as the Left and the backup as the Right, using Echo.

    I sync'ed using 1.4, then upgraded.  Then I ran the same pair with 2.0, as instructed by the upgrade.

    Great.  Then I noticed I was backing up some stuff I didn't want, so I edited the folder pair (by selecting subfolders to be excluded).  The changes excluded many subfolders within a particular tree, so I thought I'd just delete (using Windows Explorer) the entire tree on the Right and have SyncToy reconstruct it cleanly.

    Much to my surprise, SyncToy didn't notice all of the missing subtree on the Right!  It only replaced a small fraction of the tree.

    I wasn't able to figure out anything to get it to notice, so I created a new folder pair with identical specification and ran it.  It functioned as expected, filling in the missing tree.  Great.

    I need to have confidence that SyncToy is making a mirror ('echo') of what's on the Left, so I tried the following, which failed.

    1) created a file on the Left.
    2) Ran SyncToy -- it noticed and copied the file to the Right -- good.
    3) Deleted the file on the Right using Windows Explorer
    4) Ran SyncToy -- it didn't notice the missing file on the Right!

    I expected SyncToy to notice the missing file on the Right and copy it from the Left (in step 4).  'Echo' implies to me 'make the Right identical to the Left'.

    What am I doing wrong?

    There are some hints in the FAQ that I might not be doing anything wrong, in which case I'd like to understand SyncToy better.  Is SyncToy relying on a database to 'know' what's on the Right instead of checking the actual files?  If so, could I delete the database to force it to look at the actual files? (recreating a new folder pair each time would be very tedious but is that a solution?)

    Could it be that one should never touch the Right side manually (in order to keep the Right side in sync with SyncToy's database, if there is such?)?  I could do that but it seems fragile (would it be practical to re-scan the files each time, or make it an option?)

    Anyway, could someone who knows exactly what SyncToy is doing comment on the above please?

    (I'm using Vista Home Premium, and Left was my internal disk and Right was a disk via USB.  Both are normal simple NTFS disks, AFAIK -- let me know if you need more info.)

    Saturday, March 28, 2009 1:29 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    Echo action is to reflect changes on files and folders (file creation, delete, update or rename) on Left to the Right.
    Presently Echo is not designed to detect changes on Right (say delete/rename) and undo them to exactly reflect what's on Left.

    For such a backup facility, you may want to use Robocopy or try Xcopy with </E /D> options.

    Hope this helps,
    Sameer
    • Marked as answer by Baffin Wednesday, April 1, 2009 7:34 PM
    Monday, March 30, 2009 8:54 PM

All replies

  • Hello,
    I had a similar experience. The left side contained a number of folders. In one of these I deleted some files but this was not noticed by synctoy it left all files  in that folder unchanged.

    I use XPpro and synctoy 2.0

    Regards,
    Goursat
    Saturday, March 28, 2009 8:43 PM
  • I see the same behavior and agree it doesn't make sense for echo.  I do see that switching from echo to synchronize it'll note the difference and want to delete the left side.  Having synchronize behavior being kept track of in echo isn't what I want.  I want the right side to always be the set to the same as the left side when I'm doing echo.  If there's no setting that can make it actually do what it should be doing, then this feels like a design flaw.
    • Proposed as answer by Sameer[MSFT] Monday, March 30, 2009 8:54 PM
    Sunday, March 29, 2009 8:11 PM
  • Hi,

    Echo action is to reflect changes on files and folders (file creation, delete, update or rename) on Left to the Right.
    Presently Echo is not designed to detect changes on Right (say delete/rename) and undo them to exactly reflect what's on Left.

    For such a backup facility, you may want to use Robocopy or try Xcopy with </E /D> options.

    Hope this helps,
    Sameer
    • Marked as answer by Baffin Wednesday, April 1, 2009 7:34 PM
    Monday, March 30, 2009 8:54 PM
  • Thanks for posting collaborations.

    Thanks, Sameer.  Sounds like SyncToy will work for me (keep the Right looking exactly like the Left) as long as I don't touch the Right side using any other tools that make changes to it.  (And I can check using 'Synchronize' in Preview mode.)

    Until the software can be changed (if that's the plan -- I hope), I think it'd be good to stress in the documentation that Echo has that characteristic -- it's fair to say, I think, that the current UI (and even documentation) for Echo is being interpreted by many people to mean the Right will be made identical to (an 'echo' of) the Left in all circumstances.

    Thanks also for the tips on Robocopy (didn't know about it) and xcopy.  It'd be messy for me to specify the exclusions, but I guess I could do that.

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009 7:33 PM
  • I got bitten by this also: used Echo, deleted a file on the Right and lost the updates on that file.

    What I did next: deleted the entire Right tree on the disk. It turned out that I had deleted some hidden file and therefore SyncToy gave up. The only way to resume was to delete entire pair in SyncToy and create it anew.

    It's great that supposedly SyncToy 3.0 has features like syncing loced files and syncing broken pairs. Can't wait, I wish the dev.team all the luck there is. It's also great that supposedly the backup tool in Win7 has regained the fantastic feature - to backup only certain files/folders.

    [rant]What isn't great is current situation with Vista backups, where one has to hunt around for reliable ways to back up only docs+Outlook. What was MS thinking?[/rant]

    Thursday, April 9, 2009 2:24 PM
  • Hi

    The help files say this:-

    The echo action will make copies of files that are new and changed on the left to the right.  New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames and deletes on the left are repeated on the right. Folder creates, folder deletes and folder updates on the left are repeated on the right.

    This looks exactly what I need whatever I do on the left is done on the right. However if I move a folder under another on the left it does the same on the right but leaves the moved folder where it is without deleting it.

    My requirements are to have my music library on the left and as  I add, change folder names, delete etc it is backed up on the right.

    Cheers

    Sunday, May 17, 2009 6:15 PM

  • Hi, I don't think xcopy is a good solution as the files I wanted to re-created is size of 2GB and more. I don't want them to be overwrote again and again when not required. This is simply - too slow.

    >>>>>>
    Files deleted on right pane folder not re-created again
    • Stanley.C Users MedalsUsers MedalsUsers MedalsUsers MedalsUsers MedalsSaturday, April 25, 2009 4:43 AM
      I created a "contribute" type folder pair and run the synctoy, files are created on the right pane folder.
      After I delete some files on the right pane folder, and re-run synctoy. I found that these deleted files are not re-created on the right pane folder. This is not a sync operation in common sense. Is there room to improve?
      • EditedStanley.C Saturday, April 25, 2009 5:24 AM


        Stanley.C Users MedalsUsers MedalsUsers MedalsUsers MedalsUsers MedalsWednesday, April 29, 2009 12:31 AM
        I noted some other users also want the feature I want.

        Adding that Xp may run the next 7 to 8 years, perhaps one more folder pair type should be created for this purpose?
        • EditedStanley.C Thursday, April 30, 2009 4:46 AM

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009 1:05 AM