Bug in "echo" mode RRS feed

  • Question

  • Dear good people,

    when using the "echo" mode with SyncToy 2.0, version, build 12.08.2008 15:07:12, if you delete a directory or a file on the "right" and launch again "preview" or "run" for this pair, the right doesn't get rebild... :-(

    This tool doesn't look really robust, does he?

    When is the next version expected? (last build from August!) Is this tool maintained at all?

    Thank you for some guidance here...


    Wednesday, February 4, 2009 8:12 PM

All replies

  • Wednesday, February 4, 2009 8:27 PM
  • The answer is not in the FAQ and I have run into the exact same bug. If you deleted a folder on the right hand side (after noticing it is horribly out of sync for some reason), the folder structure is not rebuilt by SyncToy. The closest Q/A on there is: "Q. SyncToy 2.0 appears not to sync deleted files when I have the sync option set to 'Echo'", and that one just talks about the case where a file on the right is newer than the left, if the file on the left is deleted, the right one isn't because it is no longer considered the same file.

    The bug reported above is related to the following scenario: what if the file doesn't even exist on the right?!!?! My expectation is that it should rebuild that set of directories and recopy the missing files, otherwise the software is useless because it can't be trusted. I've also noticed my folders getting out of sync for no apparent reason... That is why I deleted some folders on the right side thinking SyncToy would be smart enough to recopy those for me... well, it's not and it refuses to copy the missing files on the right-hand side back to where they are supposed to be. I think it's a bug, a big one at that.

    Please answer/fix this urgently because this is a MAJOR defect that I definitely can't work with. In the mean time I'm going to start evaluating other options.

    edit: Oh, and I did try the 'synchronize preview' trick and it didn't even know about the files and folders that existed on the right side when they were not on the left for like the last 3 months... this really is one hell of an unreliable piece of software. Perhaps it is because it is a .0 release... I think it has the potential to be a decent program, at the end, if I am making backups, I want to know for a fact that they are reliable, and so far SyncToy hasen't proved to be so.
    Saturday, February 7, 2009 2:50 AM
  • Hi -

    There are at least two scenarios that you are pointing out here
    1) We are aware of the fact that "Echo" mode will not recreate folders that are missing on the right. Echo mode will ONLY pick up changes that are made to the left currently. So only create/updates/deletes made on the left will flow to the right.
    2) No changes will flow from the right in Echo mode. So if you create any file/folder on the right - changes will not be reflected on the left.

    From the scenario you are describing - it sounds very much like you need the "Synchronize" mode where changes flow in both directions.

    Deepa ( Microsoft Sync Framework)
    Wednesday, February 11, 2009 12:29 AM
  • I'm not trying to make changes on the right... What I do want though is a reliable program that will mirror my hard drive properly... in other words, if something is missing on the right hand side I would expect my backup software to re-copy it from the left. If it can't do that it is a completely useless piece of software. I'm expecting perfect mirroring without assumptions about what's there on the backup drive or not.

    And what you're basically telling me is that SyncToy doesn't deal with the case where a file or directory goes missing on the backup drive - it simply won't do anything about it. I'm sorry, but that makes it a really unreliable backup solution.

    Are there any alternatives to SyncToy that will guarantee a good mirror with copying from left->right if something has gone missing on the right hand side?

    Take care.
    Thursday, February 12, 2009 2:58 AM
  • Try robocopy.
    Thursday, February 12, 2009 8:24 AM
  • Nice, this looks like it might be what I'm looking for. If it turns out to be fast enough this will be perfect.

    Thanks ruddg.
    Thursday, February 12, 2009 12:07 PM
  • I just tried Robocopy and that severely just screwed up my backup drive. Not really sure what happened, but even though my backup drive is larger than my PC's drives, it now claims to have 0 bytes free, and none of the backup folders is actually on the drive... as in, the drive is supposedly empty except for a few files I left on there earlier. Looks like that is not an option either :-(.
    Friday, February 13, 2009 12:46 AM
  • Okay that is weird... with robocopy it seems to dislike going from C:\, in this case it never creates the top-level directory on the destination... if you enter the directory manually it does actually exist though. If you copy from something else, like C:\Windows (as in, not the root directory) it works fine. Isn't there any software that isn't bugged to hell these days?

    edit: Managed to fix the problem by using the command line argument /A-:SH (which effectively removes the system hidden attribute from any files/folders. Which seems stupid since why is a root directory considered system hidden... oh well, this seems to be a solution that will work for me though).
    Friday, February 13, 2009 3:18 AM
  • What the original poster (and I and several others, apparently) want is a way to make an exact copy from left to right.  If something gets deleted or corrupted on the right, we want it replaced, not duplicated to the left. 

    Perhaps you could add an action and call it BACKUP or MIRROR, which would make the right an exact copy of the left, no matter what was done to the right.

    You suggestion of SYNCHRONIZE would duplicate to the left an unintentional delete or file corruption on the right.  This is not what one wants in a backup of the left folder.

    While we are at it, why not add a RESTORE action, which would make the left folder an exact copy of the right (yes, this could be done by redefining the left and right folders, but so much easier to keep the folder pair, and change the action!).

    My $0.02.

    Friday, February 13, 2009 5:06 AM
  • aparman, the program ruddg suggested seems pretty decent and works once you've figured out all of its quirks. It is a command-line program that is built into Windows already so you can just use it without additional downloads etc. I suggest you try using my set of command line options as these seem to work as expected:
    robocopy D:\ N:\DRIVE_D /MIR /E /B /DCOPY:T /R:0 /A-:SH

    I would suggest a batch file or something to do all of your drives. In the example above, the left side is D:\ and the right side is N:\DRIVE_D. The command line parameters mean the following:
    MIR - mirror left to right (in other words, if a file is deleted on the left it should also be removed from the right, otherwise it will just leave deleted files there)
    E - means a bunch of stuff, just look it up
    B - backup mode, copies more stuff than standard mode which may skip files that are in use etc.
    DCOPY:T - use the original file timestamps rather than whatever the time is currently set to on your PC
    R:0 - don't bother retrying (I like this setting, you may not)
    A-:SH - remove the system hidden attributes from files (important, or your "DRIVE_D" folder in the example above will not show up in windows explorer, which was the first major problem I ran into)

    This program seems to have problems with my "Documents and Settings" folder on my C drive... major issues... but that is okay since I don't really need to back it up so on C drive I only selectively have it back up my desktop and my uTorrent folder.

    Hope that helps, this program seems a lot better to me and works, it is also pretty fast just from my initial experience with it.

    Take care.
    Friday, February 13, 2009 6:24 AM
  • Thanks, Raziel2001au, I will look into it.  Sounds alot like the old DOS XCOPY, though.  How about a GUI version?
    Friday, February 13, 2009 6:30 AM
  • This program is a lot better than XCOPY, it was designed as a replacement for it I guess. As for a gui... there is an official GUI from microsoft, but it sux, I wouldn't use it. I ended up having to figure out most of the stuff myself anyway, and it doesn't have the ability to add '/A-:SH' to the command line options, which pretty much makes it useless. I am considering writing my own GUI once I am more familiar with the program - but that probably won't happen for a while since my batch file seems to do the job.

    I would recommend just going with my command-line options listed above as a starting point and changing the left/right locations.

    edit: I've also been experimenting with things like killing the process half-way through etc. and it reliably seems to recopy the partially copied file. People have suggested that you shouldn't use its special resumable mode since it is apparently 6 times slower than doing it in non-resumable mode. The program is pretty fast though so whether you actually need the resumable mode is questionable to begin with.
    Friday, February 13, 2009 6:39 AM
  • Ever try Karen's Replicator?  http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptreplicator.asp

    Interested to know what others think.
    Friday, February 13, 2009 6:45 AM
  • Can't say I have, but this robocopy thing seems to work pretty well so I'll probably just stick to it at this point until I find good reason not to use it. Just from an initial look at the program though, it seems to be written in Visual Basic, that is already enough reason for me to stay well away from it. I prefer stuff written in C/C++ because you know it will be as fast as it can possibly be.
    Friday, February 13, 2009 6:51 AM