locked
Problems syncing My Documents with Windows 7 RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I tried to My Documents sync 2 windows 7 machines but ran into problems.

    I successfully synced My Documents from machine 1 to the Live Desktop, in a folder called XXXX's Documents.

    On Machine 2 I went to the greyed out XXXX's Documents on the Local Desktop, selected Synchronize With This Computer and browsed to the local My Documents Folder. Once the syncing started I noticed in Explorer that it was syncing to a new blue subfolder called XXXX's Documents inside the local My Documents folder of Machine 2. I interrupted the sync because I believe I would have ended up with 2 copies of all my Documents
    - 1 copy in My Documents
    - another copy in My Documents/XXXX's Documents

    I uninstalled Live Mesh until I can figure this out. However I would love to use Live Mesh since it seems the perfect application for what I want to achieve.

    Can you help me figure out how to correct/avoid this situation?
    Wednesday, November 25, 2009 12:57 PM

All replies

  • I've done that exact thing before. I can't repro exactly what the steps are, but basically, you managed to tell Mesh to sync the Documents folder to a new location within \Documents.

    Let's give it another go.
    Delete the extra documents folder that was created on machine 2.
    Go to the Live Desktop at www.mesh.com and remove Machine 2 from the Mesh.
    Install Live Mesh on Machine 2 once again.
    On the Live Desktop, check the sync settings for that documents folder to sync with Machine 2.
    When the light blue folder appears on the desktop of machine 2, click it and then browse to the \Documents *folder* - being careful not to browse to the Library entry. Accept the "merge" warning.
    The light blue folder will disappear from your PC desktop on machine 2 and the documents folder you selected should now appear blue when viewed in Windows Explorer. If not, and somehow a new documents folder gets created, simply go back to the Live Desktop and change the sync settings again to not sync with Machine 2. Once the local folder is no longer blue, delete it.

    If you still can't get it working right - I can't promise a fast response, but I'll try to document the process and get some screen caps. With the holidays here, it may not be for a while, though. I am confident that you'll get it, though.
    -steve
    ~ Microsoft MVP Windows Live ~ Windows Live OneCare| Live Mesh|MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator ~
    Wednesday, November 25, 2009 2:47 PM
    Moderator
  • Oh, I'll note that in Vista "My Documents" is a shortcut, not a folder. The actual folder will be located here:
    \Users\{Login name}\My Documents
    If this is a Vista to 7 upgrade, you may have the shortcut leftover for some reason.
    If you browsed to "My Documents" shortcut as the destination, I suspect that it what caused the issue.

    -steve
    ~ Microsoft MVP Windows Live ~ Windows Live OneCare| Live Mesh|MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator ~
    Wednesday, November 25, 2009 2:48 PM
    Moderator
  • Thank you for your help. I think its getting me along the way to a solution.

    Here is a rather long response (I don't want to miss important details). It details an amendment to your proposal, which seems to be working. I'll let you know once I have completed synching using a few more tests, since I assume I would have the same issues with all the other "special" folders e.g. My Pictures, My Music, etc.

    1)   
    First, a possibly related question: The first time I install as admin, it leaves light blue folders on my local Desktop. Keeping in mind that I use Live Mesh from a limited user account, but the same live.com ID, can I delete these folders from the admin user?

    2)      2)  When selecting the light blue XXXX’s Documents folder on my local Desktop, selecting Synchronize with this computer, I get the pop-up Synchronise folder. If I then browse to My Documents (no library option available in this pop-up) and select My Documents, the path it sets is C:\Users\XXXX\Documents\XXXX’s Documents i.e. it forces a new subfolder. It does the same if I use the browse window to navigate to C:\Users\XXXX\My Documents. The only way of fixing this is to edit the Synchronize path to C:\Users\XXXX\Documents.

    3)      3) Could this have anything to do with the way I installed Live Mesh, which is as follows:

    a.       As Admin account, open www.mesh.com

    b.      Add a device, install live mesh. 

    c.       When logging in for the first time, do not remember the password info, but install with the extra enhanced options.

    d.      Log out of computer as admin, log in as regular user.

    e.      Open www.mesh.com

    f.        Log on to Live with Live ID.

    g.       Remove the previously added device.

    h.      Add a device again, this time as limited user, install live mesh. Remember the password options and auto log-in. Install with extra enhancements.

    i.         Log on with Live ID when prompted. I get an Error: & Message about remote desktop – because I am using a limited account????

    Wednesday, November 25, 2009 4:23 PM
  • No sooner had I set the strategy 2) above in motion when I noticed that:

    On my local Desktop I have:
    Light Blue Folders:
    XXXX's Music
    XXXX's Pictures
    XXXX's Favorites
    XXXX's Videos
    XXXX's Documents
    Blue Folders:
    XXXX's Music
    XXXX's Documents

    On my Live Desktop, I have:
    Light Blue Folders:
    XXXX's Music
    XXXX's Pictures
    XXXX's Favorites
    XXXX's Videos
    Blue Folders:
    XXXX's Documents (I have canceled sync to Machine 2 even though nothing appeared to be synching)

    I think this may be a carryover from botched previous attempts and incorrect deletes/uninstalls/installs. I really want to get this to work, so how do I go about cleaning everything up and starting from the very beginning?
    • Edited by Roland6543 Wednesday, November 25, 2009 5:06 PM completeness
    Wednesday, November 25, 2009 5:04 PM
  • From your first post -

    1)    First, a possibly related question: The first time I install as admin, it leaves light blue folders on my local Desktop. Keeping in mind that I use Live Mesh from a limited user account, but the same live.com ID, can I delete these folders from the admin user? 

    Open the notifier when signed in as the other user and click options. You'll see one for hiding the folders on the desktop.

    Here's what I'd do to start over.

    1. Remove all devices from the Mesh at the Live Desktop
    2. Uninstall Live Mesh from all devices.
    3. Delete any leftover folders created by Live Mesh that should now appear as normal Windows yellow folders
    4. Change the user that you intend to use Live Mesh with to have admin rights and login with that user to Windows
    5. Install Live Mesh
    6. Log out of the PC and back in as the admin account and change your other user back to be a standard user
    Repeat 4-6 for all PCs
    7. On the PC you wish to start on, select a single folder you wish to add to the Mesh.
    8. On the other PC, the light blue folder should appear on the desktop. Click it, click browse, browse to the destination folder and select it. Make sure that the path points to the destination you desire and not a new subfolder within the existing folder.
    9. Confirm that the destination folder turned blue and watch the files sync; deal with any conflict presented in the notifier
    10. repeat the above for your other folders.

    Note that you should have a backup of all data you plan to sync with Live Mesh that is stored elsewhere outside of these Mesh folders in case something goes wrong - it is a beta and things can go wrong!

    -steve
    ~ Microsoft MVP Windows Live ~ Windows Live OneCare| Live Mesh|MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator ~
    Wednesday, November 25, 2009 6:09 PM
    Moderator
  • Oh, and:

    I get an Error: & Message about remote desktop – because I am using a limited account????


    I suspect that this is a limitation of running as a standard user, but I can't be certain as I don't run as a standard user.

    And:
     Could this have anything to do with the way I installed Live Mesh, which is as follows:

    I suspect that the answer is yes, since you actually installed Live Mesh twice on the same PC under different User accounts. Since you want to use Live Mesh under your standard account, install under that account.
    In my above reply, I suggested that you make the user and admin temporarily, but that may not be needed.

    -steve

    ~ Microsoft MVP Windows Live ~ Windows Live OneCare| Live Mesh|MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator ~
    Wednesday, November 25, 2009 6:13 PM
    Moderator
  • I followed your instructions to start fresh.

    Everything went according to plan, but as before, when trying to select the local documents folder to sync, the browser pop-up only offers the local My Documents folder. If selected, it shows the path as C:\Users\XXXX\Documents\XXXX’s Documents. To overcome this I edited the path to C:\Users\XXXX\Documents. There is no way to select this, you have to edit it. I do get the merge warning and this appeared to work OK, since if I used Explorer to navigate to the local My Documents folder, although not blue, it did have the fly-out menu characteristic of the Mesh shared folder. However, nothing synched. Even if I created a new file in the local My Documents folder, it still didnt sync. Furthermore, later on I rebooted, and a new XXXX's Documents appeared on my local desktop, but remained empty.

    Funny thing is, I did exactly the same with my Favorites folder without any issues. I think the problem is related to shortcuts vs folders (a legacy of Vista). In my case I did a custom install of Windows 7 over Vista, and used Easy Transfer to export/import my documents. I have noticed that some of the user folders are labeled with the "My" prefix while others are not e.g. user 1 has Music, while user 2 has My Music. Interesting to note that User 1 was not included in the Easy Transfer, while user 2 was. 

    First, I want to thank you for your help, which has been clear and logical. However I really think there must be significant shortcomings/bugs with Mesh in the way it handles shares between Windows 7/Vista, especially when there has been an upgrade or an Easy Transfer of files as in my case. Although I recognise that Mesh is a beta, I find this a bit surprising since I would have expected the Documents/My Documents change between Windows 7/Vista to have been thoroughly tested. After all, it seems reasonable to assume that most users would be synching folders from their user data e.g music, etc.

    Anyway, Mesh is too high maintenance for me right now. It also slows down the log in process a lot. Perhaps when it comes out of Beta I will try it again. This is disappointing since it seemed the perfect solution. It seems that I am left with a choice between Live Sync and SyncToy.

    Perhaps you can give me a final bit of advice - although I am not sure if that is appropriate in this forum??? My main requirement is to do a backup (copy) of user files from my Laptop to a networked location on my desktop. The files on the desktop location are a security backup not really for synching or online storage (although that would have been nice). What I would strongly prefer is that the backup could be pushed in one direction (from laptop to desktop) without having to be signed on to both.

    Thanks again for your help. You are a real asset to this forum.
    Thursday, November 26, 2009 12:48 PM
  • You're very welcome.
    I haven't tried to Sync the entire Documents folder into Live Mesh, only sub-folders, so you may be correct in your assessment of the behavior you've encountered.

    I can offer two bits of advice for your scenario:
    1. Use Windows backup to backup to a network share:
    http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/First-Look-Windows-7-Backup-Part1.html

    2. Use the free Microsoft "power toy" SyncToy 2.1 to manually sync the contents of your folder(s) over the network. The destination folder does not need to be your Documents folder, it can be a new "backup" folder on the other PC.
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=C26EFA36-98E0-4EE9-A7C5-98D0592D8C52&displaylang=en

    -steve
    ~ Microsoft MVP Windows Live ~ Windows Live OneCare| Live Mesh|MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator ~
    Friday, November 27, 2009 8:45 PM
    Moderator
  • 1. Use Windows backup to backup to a network share:
    http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/First-Look-Windows-7-Backup-Part1.html
    Yes, Windows Backup has improved A LOT. I use it for local backups.

    However, the Windows 7 team left one critical shortcoming in the Home Premium version..... that is you cant backup to a network share. So, since all laptops have a single HDD, the new Windows Backup limits you to backups to a local partition. This is hardly a good scenario for backup up critical data. Networked backups to a large USB drive connected to my desktop seems to be an obvious and common scenario, yet its a scenario restricted to the Professional version. And that one feature alone is not worth me upgrading to Professional.

    I guess SyncToy will be what I will use, but too bad Microsoft didnt give more thought to the practical needs of home laptop users.
    Friday, November 27, 2009 9:20 PM
  • Ah, darn - I had forgotten about that limitation since I don't use Windows backup myself.
    SyncToy is a very good alternative and has the added benefit of the files being available on the other PC without the need to "restore" them.
    -steve
    ~ Microsoft MVP Windows Live ~ Windows Live OneCare| Live Mesh|MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator ~
    Saturday, November 28, 2009 12:37 AM
    Moderator