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What's the best way to set up folder pairs when syncing the same folder to multiple external drives that get assigned the same drive letter? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've been using SyncToy2 (first the beta, now the official release) for about 10 months and have really come to appreciate it.  I use it to sync certain folders to multiple external drives.  Because I only have one of the external drives connected at a time, it's usually assigned the same drive letter each time--in my scenario, the drive letter is F:.  On the few occasions one is assigned a different drive letter, I reassigned F: to the external drive before running SyncToy.

    I currently have a separate folder pair for each of the external drives because I thought using the same folder pair for all the drives might mess up whatever process/logic SyncToy uses to keep the folder pairs in sync.  Each folder pair is set up exactly the same--the only difference is in the folder pair names so I can keep track of which folder pair to use with which drive.  Is it necessary to do it this way or is SyncToy able to accomplish this (One source folder to multiple destination drives) with a single folder pair?

    Thanks!
    Friday, May 1, 2009 1:07 AM

Answers

  • Hi -

    Your approach is the right way to do it. We are storing on each of those drives metadata which tells us that this is the right directory to associate with a folder pair. If your drive does get assigned anything other than f:, SyncToy should be able to detect this and assign it the right drive letter. But continue with your approach of a new folder pair for each drive.

    Thanks
    Deepa
    Deepa ( Microsoft Sync Framework)
    Friday, May 1, 2009 5:29 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • My post above was made on my initial visit to this forum.  I had done some searching regarding my question before submitting my post, but I didn't find an answer.  But since then, I've done some additional searching and found several posts that appear to confirm my initial hunch and current approach--i.e. use a separate folder pair for each drive, even though each destination drive is assigned the same drive letter.

    Feel free to correct me if I've got it wrong.  ;-)

    Friday, May 1, 2009 1:39 AM
  • Hi -

    Your approach is the right way to do it. We are storing on each of those drives metadata which tells us that this is the right directory to associate with a folder pair. If your drive does get assigned anything other than f:, SyncToy should be able to detect this and assign it the right drive letter. But continue with your approach of a new folder pair for each drive.

    Thanks
    Deepa
    Deepa ( Microsoft Sync Framework)
    Friday, May 1, 2009 5:29 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks, Deepa.  I have a follow-up question--it's regarding the .dat files.

    As I understand it from many posts I've read, the primary purpose (only purpose?) of the .dat files is to allow for the dynamic allocation of drive letters in SyncToy.  But with that dynamic allocation feature in SyncToy 2, came the need to have a separate folder pair for each destination drive, even if the source folder and folder-pair options were the same for each destination drive--something not needed before the .dat files were used.  I think I would rather give up dynamic drive letter allocation in order to reduce the number of folder pairs I have.  Again, based on many posts I've read, I think I have a solution that would allow me to do that.  Can you please confirm if the following steps would do the trick?

    1)  Delete all my current folder pairs.  If I understand correctly, that will delete all .dat files in the source folders, destination folders, and the application data folder for the user.
    2)  Temporarily make each source folder "read only".
    3)  Create a single folder pair for each source and destination drive set I want.  e.g.  "My Documents" folder on the left, and the desired drive letter on the right.
    4)  At this point, I'll have all the folder pairs I want but there won't be any .dat files.
    5)  Run SyncToy2 once for each folder pair.  Because the source folders are "read only", SyncToy 2 will not create any .dat files anywhere.
    6)  Remove the "read only" restriction from the source folders.
    7)  On subsequent runs of the folder pairs, SyncToy will look and see there are no .dat files from that first run of each folder pair, and it will no longer try to create them.
    8)  I should now be able to sync the source folders to multiple destination drives without needing a separate folder pair for each destination drive.  e.g.  I could now use a single folder pair to sync "My Documents" (the left folder) to multiple destination drives, as long as the destination drives are all assigned the drive letter set up in the the right folder of the folder pair.

    Will this process work?  If it will, am I also correct in understanding that if in step #1, I manually deleted all the .dat files, then I could then leave in place the folder pairs I wanted to keep, then complete steps 2 through 8 as shown above?

    Thanks for your help!!!
    Saturday, May 2, 2009 4:52 AM