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Tremendous overwrite on identical files RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hey all,

    I just installed SyncToy 2 and did a preview test run. I was really amazed that all 500 files had to be overwritten. On both sites they have identical time stamp, file size and name. They actually are identical. When I do a compare with SyncbackSE or with Total Commander they do not claim any difference in the directories.
    Also I detected files that are cross related overwritten (preview). Also with identical files. i.e. Drive E <file> ---->  Drive N <file>
    and a line below Drive N <file> ---->  Drive E <file>.
    This does not make sense to me. Two questions:
    - when I run this synchonize will I end up with messed up files?
    - can anybody explain this to me?

    I would like to switch to SyncToy, because it also deletes the deleted files in the one or other side, but with this experience I hardly feel happy.

    regards,
    Henk
    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 11:52 AM

All replies

  • If you are doing music files, synctoy appears to compare all the metadata fields that you can see with windows explorer. One of the ones is date accessed, which accounted for my music files being rewritten very frequently.
    Monday, June 16, 2008 1:22 AM
  •  

    Hi, can you give us a little more detail on your issue? What kind of files are you synchronizing - are these music files? What are the file types - e.g. wma, mp3? I believe Windows Media Player (and maybe other media players as well), write metadata to the files when the files are played back (e.g. play count, star rating, etc..). This causes the file contents to be modified (even though you may not always notice a difference in the file size). In the preview window, SyncToy displays the interesting fields about each file - do you see any differences in the field values between the source and target (e.g. file size, last modified time, etc.)? Are all of the operations you see Overwrite operation or do you also see some Rename operations?

     

    This will help us better analyze the problem and maybe suggest some workarounds. If you are absolutely sure that all the files are the same on both the sides, then the obvious workaround is to manually do a one time copy of all the files from one side to the other and then try SyncToy - it should not report any differences.

     

    Thanks,

    Ashish Shah

     

    Monday, June 16, 2008 8:55 PM
    Answerer
  • Hey Ashish,

    thanks for reacting,

    It are non media files. The file types are various. I even doubt if I have accessed the files, because they belong to i.e. a tax program.

    i have posted a screendump file in in Skydrive    named STcompare (.png picture format). All file properties seem to be indentical, time, size, name, location. ST does not show discrepancies. Is there any way to get a report out of ST to get the discrepencies clear?
    Do you know how ST compares the files on source and target?

    regard,

    Henk

    Tuesday, June 17, 2008 3:10 PM
  • Hi folks,

    Any updates to this thread?  I just installed SyncToy 2 (not an upgrade) and am seeing exactly the same kind of behavior -- zillions of identical file listed for overwriting.

    Thanks,
    --George
    Friday, August 29, 2008 4:16 AM
  • Please refer to the SyncToy FAQ here (http://forums.microsoft.com/sync/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=3753122&SiteID=75

    ) for this issue and how to resolve it.

    Tuesday, September 2, 2008 4:18 AM
    Answerer
  • Hi folks,

    Unfortunately the FAQ does not address this particular problem.  My installation is not an upgrade, but rather I started with SyncToy 2 (and this is my very first attempt to use it).

    I've discovered what appears to be the problem: SyncToy appears to compare the file's Created date instead of the Modified date.  This is not useful, since Windows tends to assign the current date to Created when a file is copied under some conditions.  (I've never understood why this is true, but I see it all the time.)  The Modified date on all the files SyncToy wants to overwrite match, the Created Date does not.

    Until this is fixed, SyncToy is useless for me.

    --George
    Wednesday, September 3, 2008 6:32 AM
  • Hi George -

     

    If you have identical files on both sides - the only way SyncToy knows these are identical is if all atributes are identical. So files which have different creation times even if all else matches, still look different to SyncToy. This is by design and is not something we plan on fixing currently.

     

    Do you know what application you used to copy the files from one side to the other?

     

    Thanks

    Deepa

     

    Wednesday, September 3, 2008 5:38 PM
    Moderator
  • >>

    If you have identical files on both sides - the only way SyncToy knows these are identical is if all atributes are identical. So files which have different creation times even if all else matches, still look different to SyncToy. This is by design and is not something we plan on fixing currently.

     

    Do you know what application you used to copy the files from one side to the other?

    <<


    Yes, I just copied a folder onto the USB drive by dragging in exporer.  This is, I presume, the normal way one would be expected to generate a backup which one would later want to update via SyncToy.  The way Windows works is that it maintains the Modified date on the new copies, but the Created date is set to the date the COPY actually occurs.  Thus to determine if a file is idential, you CANNOT use the Created date, since in the case of a backup copy on a different volume, this date will ALWAYS be different!


    Presumably the Created date is useful for flaggins some kind of restore operation, if you want to remove files which did not exist on a particular volume before a certain date, but it has no bearing on whether the file should be considered 'new' or not in the backup sense.


    --George

    Saturday, September 13, 2008 5:42 AM
  •  Deepa Choundappan wrote:

    Hi George -

     

    If you have identical files on both sides - the only way SyncToy knows these are identical is if all atributes are identical. So files which have different creation times even if all else matches, still look different to SyncToy. This is by design and is not something we plan on fixing currently.

     

    Do you know what application you used to copy the files from one side to the other?

     

    Thanks

    Deepa

     

     

     

    This expected behaviour would be fine if multiple select, select all type "Overwrite", etc. was possible. Surely not allowing multiple select was not by design?

     

     

     

    Sunday, September 14, 2008 6:58 PM
  • By design is a bit dissatisfying if people are not aware of the design rules.
    Why isn´t there an option that gives the user the possibility to set the various criteria for the comparison between the files on both sides to be synchronised.
    That will make Synctoy much more usable and friendly.
    At least make clear/visible with any discrepancy what the reason is for the discrepancy and do not let the end user guess what´s wrong this time.

    But it´s still Microsoft software, so this might probably be one of their core values." Never tell the user what´s wrong".
    Yes, I got a bit cynical about MS software at last. Listening to their users seems to be very hard.

    regards,
    Henk
    Monday, September 15, 2008 6:06 PM
  • I'd like to echo the above problems. I have a new install of SyncToy 2.0.100 and I took days to sync 200 GB of music files from an older computer to a new one. They synced correctly and for a short time I was happy. Then I ran a back-up from the new computer to the old one (basically switched the direction of the sync) and SyncToy wanted to overwrite 97 GB of the same files. That means copying almost 50% of the exact same files it just synced in the other direction!

    To add insult to injust I cannot uncheck the 10,000 files at once. So without a way to tell SyncToy to ignore certain irrelevant metadata (last played, created on, etc.) the tool just became useless. And it will be useless to anyone who tries to use it for music files in this way, no?
    Sunday, March 1, 2009 8:01 AM
  • I would also like to "echo" the dissappointment expressed by several users above.  Synctoy really sounds great, looks nice and claims great benefits, but the execution is not useful when you try to rely on it to solve real world problems.

    Not being able to use MICROSOFT GUI stardards like Shift-Click and Ctrl-Click selection actions, combined with no obviously REQUIRED features like "select all deletes" or "invert selection" does finally make this offering unusable.

    Saturday, March 14, 2009 8:48 PM