Feedback: New User impressions RRS feed

  • Question

  • Using SyncToy 2.0 on WinXP SP3 to manage my digital photos.  Looks like it'll be a very valuable tool for my purposes, after I experiment a bit more.  Really a BIG THANKS for making this available!



    I have about 65,000 photos and am concerned that I will lose them, so wanted SyncToy as part of my backup options. I am not happy with backups that create weird data files that can only be understood by running the backup program if there's a loss.  I want to see original files, update daily, but COPY has limitations (should I overwrite?).


    I have a internal RAID 1 volume where I add photos, work on & change photos (My "Left" Folder).   I have an "NDAS" (like NAS) external hard disk that I want to be portable so I'm able to take it with me in case of a fire-type emergency (My "Right" Folder).


    I started using SyncToy to "Echo" the photos from my RAID 1 drive onto the NDAS drive.


    I selected the option "Check File Contents" just to be sure of picking up changes, and selected the entire root of my 65000 photos as the "Left" folder, and a target folder "Camera" on my NDAS drive. 


    Even though SyncToy created the "Camera" folder - it went through the process of checking each photo to see if it had changed on the target drive.  The Preview was just under an hour.  The rest of the process was just under 10 hours to complete.  Since to xcopy the files is less than 2 hours, I was disappointed.


    The next day, I edited 5 photos as an experiment, and ran SyncToy again, to see how quickly it would locate the changes and Echo the updates.  This was about 5 1/2 hours, and I cancelled the process, after the report was generated. 


    Then I de-selected the "Check File Contents" option, and ran the operation over again.  This was MUCH better, and caught the files.  Only 25 minutes or so - I forgot to time it.



    1. Have the "View Log" file be accessed by a Button down with Preview / Run, etc..  I didn't see it until later in File > View Log. 


    2. I haven't figured out how to get to the beginning of each Run in the Log file.  Something like a Next Chapter command to move the beginning of the next run into position.  So if I were to hit, say "Page Down" or something over and over, each run would appear with the beginning in the same place in the screen.


    3. Why does SyncToy report "Looking for Changes" on the first run?  If SyncToy creates the folder in order to perform the first operation, it should know it's empty and just run a straight copy.  It would be MUCH faster for my first scenario.


    4. Clarify (at least for me!) a little more what kind of changes SyncToy might overlook if "Check File Contents" is not checked.  I have to experiment to see what kinds of edits I can do on a photo that would not be picked up by the default "unchecked" option. This just could be my inexperience.


    5.  Pause command (not just Run and Stop) so I can perform various intense operations while SyncToy waits in the background.  Not so necessary if the run time is short, but when it's running for hours, it would be nice to use the computer on other things and not lose the progress with a STOP.


    6.  Nice examples in the help file with the left and right columns indicating file changes and how each operation (Sync / Echo / Contribute).  However, please include an example where each file location gets an operation, so that L:\1.txt gets modified/deleted and so does R:\1.txt.  What happens under each scenario?


    7.  A little discrepancy in timings in the Log.  If my first experience was a Preview of an Hour, and copying for 10 hours, how does a subsequent run report that I saved 18 hours for not having to copy files?  I've been puzzling this over, and now I think I see why I'm confused.  I'm only using the "Echo" operation, but the 18 hour results are for Synchronize.


    Windows Explorer says it's 65,000 files.  The first operation, copying the files over, reports 65,000 files.  But subsquent reports "save even more time" by doubling the 65,000 and making it 130,000 files.  Since it's set to "Echo" the most I should expect would be the 65,000 in the left folder.  No fair counting the right folder!


    8.  I think the instructions are very clear and well-explained.  The program is simple enough and well-created so it really doesn't need instructions to run, except to clarify Echo, etc., options.


    Thank you!



    Tuesday, August 26, 2008 12:53 AM

All replies

  • Nice report! I'm also a new user - on my second day and having issues with what ST does after other means are used to sync folders between different file systems and the misreporting of Last Modified Time.



    Tuesday, August 26, 2008 2:36 PM