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Echo does not work as expected RRS feed

  • Question

  •  

    I have a simple setup using Synctoy to create a backup from C: drive (LHS) to an external USB hard drive (RHS).

     

    I have setup a Synctoy folder pair with the action type of ECHO, expecting it to produce a file and folder set on the RHS that matched the LHS i.e any adding or deleting on the LHS being replicated on the RHS when Synctoy is run.

     

    What happens is that new files/folders are copied from LHS to RHS, but no deletions on LHS are replicated on the RHS.

     

    I used Synctoy V1.4 prior to installing V2.0 last week, and V1.4 worked OK, except that folders were not removed on the RHS, although files were, just leaving empty folders, and I was hoping that V2.0 would remove the deleted folders on the RHS as well as the files. Insted it does not remove files of folders.

     

    Am I misunderstanding what Echo does?

     

    Harv

     

     

     

    Friday, September 12, 2008 6:59 PM

Answers

  •  Deepa Choundappan - MSFT wrote:

    Deleting the synctoy data files will ensure that deletes on the left will not be reflected on the right. Echo can be used as a backup solution but it is not a "mirroring" solution either ( we will not gaurantee that your right folder will always look like your left under *any and all* circumstances).


    Sure. It's a free bit of software and I am not going to complain about it. It does something that I find incredibly useful and makes up for some serious shortcoming in the Windows file-copying abilities. I am very happy that you made it.


    I deleted the synctoy data files after trying several times to get the sync working correctly.



    However, for a normal Echo scenario I agree the delete should synchronize to the right. But we cannot perform the delete on the right, if any change has been made to the files on the right. And that appears to be the case. Some other troubleshooting questions -

    1) Any of the filesystems happen to be FAT?

    2) Any timezone changes happen?

    3) I see you say file properties have not changed - did you check the last modified times as well?

     

    Thanks
    Deepa



    1) both are NTFS
    2) no timezones changes
    3) I used the 'last modified date' field to confirm that they had not been altered

    I did consider whether having the files on the right accessed (but not altered!) by other software might be an issue (e.g. Acdsee, Lightroom) but these applications only read the individual files and make no changes to them. Also, this does not tally with the guy above me's testing.

    A thought: perhaps the fact that the file is still present on the left, after a move, is confusing the software (although it is  in a different location)


    Monday, September 29, 2008 3:45 AM

All replies

  • Hi -

     

    No you are correct - changes from the left ( including deletes) should be reflected on the right as well. Can you try this? Change your sync option to "Synchronize" and do a "Preview" sync ( be careful to not do a Run). Take a look adn see if there are changes that appear to be flowing from the right to the left? If there are changes then it means you made changes to the files on the RHS and SyncToy does not want to delete those changes.

     

    Thanks
    Deepa

     

    Monday, September 15, 2008 6:32 PM
    Moderator
  •  

    Hello Deepa,

     

    I have the exact same problem. Echo does not cause folders/files on the right to be deleted.

     

    A simplified version of my file structure was

     

    Left / Right (ie when sync'd okay)

     

    FolderA \sub-folderA

    FolderB \sub-folderB

     

    I did some moving around and ended up with

     

    Left:

     

    FolderA \sub-folderA

                 \sub-folderB

    FolderB \(empty)

     

    Right (after an echo sync)

     

    FolderA \sub-folderA

                \sub-folderB

    FolderB \sub-folderB

     

    Doing a preview synchronize shows that it wants to copy FolderB\sub-folderB from right to left (as the folder/files does not exist on the left)

     

     

    Thursday, September 25, 2008 8:41 AM
  •  

    I've had this exact problem since I started using SyncToy 2 beta.  It's not a HUGE issue as I basically will delete and refresh my backup folders once a month to ensure there's a 'fresh' copy (I've had issues with 'bitrot' in the past that I have learned to compensate for) and the extra folders 'go away' as a side effect.  Just wanted to let you know that it is indeed effecting more than one person.

     

    Also, for your information, my technique is to copy my data (Firefox profile, Thunderbird profile, Folding @ Home folder and others) into respective folders in my My Documents directory, then I back that folder up to two separate folders on my file server.  There is NO activity on that computer that would be changing ANY files to cause SyncToy to want to reflect the changes back to my source folder (Which shouldn't even matter based on teh description of the Echo action, anyway). 

     

    I do all of this work by setting up 6 distinct 'steps' through different folder pairs, and then step through them one at a time using a batch file to make sure that the programs that might attempt to lock the files are closed before the folder pairs run.

     

    d

    Thursday, September 25, 2008 5:45 PM
  • When you say copy FolderB\sub-folderB from right to left - I assume you mean the files underneath that folder. When moving around files - did you modify files on the right? We try to copy these files only when we have detected that some change was made to them on the right. Can you look at the files that we are copying and do they appear to have any attributes changed or the LastModifiedTime changes?

     

    Thanks
    Deepa

    Thursday, September 25, 2008 8:16 PM
    Moderator
  •  Deepa Choundappan - MSFT wrote:

    When you say copy FolderB\sub-folderB from right to left - I assume you mean the files underneath that folder. When moving around files - did you modify files on the right? We try to copy these files only when we have detected that some change was made to them on the right. Can you look at the files that we are copying and do they appear to have any attributes changed or the LastModifiedTime changes?

     

    Thanks
    Deepa

     

    That's correct.

     

    Synctoy sees that there is a folder on the right called 'FolderB\sub-folderB' and no corresponding subfolder on the left in FolderB and so wants to copy that folder, and all it's contents, to the left.

     

    That appears to be working correctly.

     

    What is not correct is that when a file is removed from the left, it is not being removed from the right, which an echo should do.

     

    Looking at the file properties on the right, they have not been changed since they were first copied.

     

    I have tried deleting all the syntoy data files from both folders and it still exhibits this issue.

     

     

     

     

    Friday, September 26, 2008 11:26 AM
  • Hi -

     

    Deleting the synctoy data files will ensure that deletes on the left will not be reflected on the right. Echo can be used as a backup solution but it is not a "mirroring" solution either ( we will not gaurantee that your right folder will always look like your left under *any and all* circumstances).

     

    However, for a normal Echo scenario I agree the delete should synchronize to the right. But we cannot perform the delete on the right, if any change has been made to the files on the right. And that appears to be the case. Some other troubleshooting questions -

    1) Any of the filesystems happen to be FAT?

    2) Any timezone changes happen?

    3) I see you say file properties have not changed - did you check the last modified times as well?

     

    Thanks
    Deepa

    Friday, September 26, 2008 6:25 PM
    Moderator
  • Deepa,

     

    I am having the same problem. I am using echo to backup a folder and its subfolders to a folder on a USB External HD. I had moved several folders on the left side to other folders contained on the left side leaving several folders empty. When I checked to see if there was any indication that SyncToy had not done its job completely I found many folders still in place in folders on the right side that should have been empty. SyncToy appears to have written the folders and files to their new locations on the right side (I haven't check every single instance)* but it left folders/files in place that should have been removed.

     

    I don't touch any files or folders on the backup target - the right hand side. The device is strictly for backups. These folders were empty. SyncToy should reflect that.

     

    * I ran software to find duplicates (uses bit for bit search) and dupes were found...

     

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    Friday, September 26, 2008 8:07 PM
  • I totally understand that you won't 'guarantee' this as a mirroring solution, but perhaps with some information sharing, we can figure out if this is really a bug or flaw in the software vs an intentional 'feature' that really should be better documented so there won't be any future misunderstandings.

    For myself, the three answers are
    1) All of the filesystems are NTFS, being driven by Windows XP Pro, SP3 systems.
    2) No timezone changes at all.
    3) No property changes at all beyond the last modified times as my backup-echo is moving 10 gigs of info, so there's a definite spread of times when compared to the orig files.

    I did a simple test where I created a folder and file layout as below:

    c:\First Folder\Folder1\folder\Test.txt
    c:\First Folder\Folder2\
    c:\First Folder\test2.txt

    and I set up a folder pair with the left folder as Folder1 and right folder as Folder2, set to Echo.

    The first run copied folder\Test.txt to Folder2.

    I then moved test2.txt into Folder1 and reran the folder pair.

    The layout now looks like this

    c:\First Folder\Folder1\test2.txt
    c:\First Folder\Folder1\folder\Test.txt
    c:\First Folder\Folder2\test2.txt
    c:\First Folder\Folder2\folder\Test.txt

    The final test was to delete the 'folder' folder and see if it completely reflected the change into Folder 2, or if it left an empty folder behind.  In this case, it did.

    The ONLY differences I can find in the two different scenarios (My 'backups' and the test I just did) are that the Last Modified times only differed by a matter of 2 minutes in my test as I did the whole thing vs the Last Modified times on my 10 gig backup having a last modified difference of some great deal of time.


    I've just recently refreshed my backup folder and have some updates I need to do to the source directory, so if I find the empty folders happening again, I'll give you a better idea of the last modified times.

    d
    Friday, September 26, 2008 8:56 PM
  •  Deepa Choundappan - MSFT wrote:

    Deleting the synctoy data files will ensure that deletes on the left will not be reflected on the right. Echo can be used as a backup solution but it is not a "mirroring" solution either ( we will not gaurantee that your right folder will always look like your left under *any and all* circumstances).


    Sure. It's a free bit of software and I am not going to complain about it. It does something that I find incredibly useful and makes up for some serious shortcoming in the Windows file-copying abilities. I am very happy that you made it.


    I deleted the synctoy data files after trying several times to get the sync working correctly.



    However, for a normal Echo scenario I agree the delete should synchronize to the right. But we cannot perform the delete on the right, if any change has been made to the files on the right. And that appears to be the case. Some other troubleshooting questions -

    1) Any of the filesystems happen to be FAT?

    2) Any timezone changes happen?

    3) I see you say file properties have not changed - did you check the last modified times as well?

     

    Thanks
    Deepa



    1) both are NTFS
    2) no timezones changes
    3) I used the 'last modified date' field to confirm that they had not been altered

    I did consider whether having the files on the right accessed (but not altered!) by other software might be an issue (e.g. Acdsee, Lightroom) but these applications only read the individual files and make no changes to them. Also, this does not tally with the guy above me's testing.

    A thought: perhaps the fact that the file is still present on the left, after a move, is confusing the software (although it is  in a different location)


    Monday, September 29, 2008 3:45 AM
  • You could try the freeware product Syncback instead, no problems with the deleting of files on the right side. I have used it for a couple of years and it works fine... http://www.2brightsparks.com/

     

    Monday, September 29, 2008 5:14 PM
  • As the original poster on this thread, I have battled with Synctoy V2.0 for the last few weeks, and found several instances where the Echo does not work. Culminated in today having a RHS folder only holding some of the files that the matching LHS folder had, but SyncToy was determined that there was no action to be performed and the folders would not Echo LHS -> RHS.

    After that I downloaded and tried the freeware version of SyncBack and can recommend it. It does exactly what is required, is simple if you wish, but has advanced options for the more unusual requirements. Give it a try and dump this dodgy Microsoft effort.

    Thanks Reidulv
    Friday, October 3, 2008 7:10 PM
  • Hi Deepa.,

    I have windows Vista home premium. My backup is in a LaCie (on the right) external drive.

    Last friday I had problem with my computer. Details are not important, only that my pictures folder on my laptop was moved to another place. I wanted to make sure that the pictures were complete, so I made a folder pair with the moved folder on my laptop and with the pictures folders on my backup. I used syncronise. Then I found out that the moved folder on my PC had all the pictures dubbled, because there was a new folder and in that folder all the pictures where repeated. So on my LaCie backup I had the same problem.
    Today I sorted out all the double pictures on my laptop (so the were no double pictures anymore) and put the folder back to the right place. Then I thought I will echo the folder on my laptop to my backup on the right. But nothing changed in backup folder!: the pictures were still double on the right!
    Here is my question:
    When pictures are added to the backup folder (on the right) -even with synchronisation of synctoy- isn't it possible to delete them using echo?

    You wrote : "But we cannot perform the delete on the right, if any change has been made to the files on the right. And that appears to be the case."

    So, does it mean that any change made on the right (even adding files through synchronization) will be ignored by an echo?

    It was very difficult to explain my situation (and it became a bit long, sorry), but I hope you understand what I mean?!

    Regards,

    Percy
    Thursday, November 6, 2008 12:14 AM
  • Hi Deepa,

    Sorry. I forgot to mention somthing:

    I deleted the folder pair and made a new one and still the same thing happened.

    The where no hidden files like SyncToy_333.... in the folders anymore!


    I have a small important question for me. It is not about the specific example I gave above:
    Sometimes hidden files like SyncToy_280........... stay in certain folders, which are not used anymore. Is that a problem?

    Thanks and I really hope you respond, because honestly I am a bit stressed out about the situation.

    Regards,

    Percy Bakker


    Thursday, November 6, 2008 12:15 PM
  • Hi Deepa,

    I wrote:

     "Hi Deepa,

    Sorry. I forgot to mention something:

    I deleted the folder pair and made a new one and still the same thing happened.

    The where no hidden files like SyncToy_333.... in the folders anymore!"

    I meant with "
    no hidden files like SyncToy_333.... in the folders anymore!". What I meant is no hidden folder from the old pair!

    -Another thing I want to know, my external drive is FAT, is that a problem?


    I want to explain something personal about myself: I have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsessive-compulsive_disorder

    That means I get in panic very quickly. With this problem I got an extreme lot of anxiety. Your help would really really help me.

    The main problem with me is that I know if you change somthing on the files on the right, then an echo won't delete it. But what I really need to know is if files were added by synchronisation from another folder pair, will the echo not delete them?

    THANK YOU so much,

    Percy Bakker



    Saturday, November 8, 2008 12:07 PM
  • Sorry Deepa.

     

    I read at "SyncToy 2.0 - Frequently Asked Questions" by Ashish Shah :

    "

    Q. SyncToy 2.0 appears not to sync deleted files when I have the sync option set to 'Echo'

     

    A. This can happen if the files are updated on the right. This includes if the file was touched by an anti-virus program, music player, etc."

     

    Does did mean that I cannot run a virusscan on right side??

     

    Thanks again for everything Deepa,

     

    Regards,

     

    Percy Bakker

     

    Monday, November 10, 2008 10:08 AM
  • Deepa,

     

    Need some help to complete my photography workflow. SyncToy 2.0 appears not to delete files with sync option set to 'Echo'.

     

    On my typical photography workflow I first import files from memory cards both to the computer and to a external backup HD simultaneously using Adobe Lightroom after manually creating folders on both drives.

     

    Some hours later, after editing (modify, rename and delete some files in the computer-left), I run SyncToy 2.0 to ECHO to the external backup HD (right), but it does not delete files on the right which were already deleted on the left. This happens even if I run action Synchronize just after importing with Lightroom.

     

    A few weeks later, having editing lots of folders and images, current and past, I Echo all to this first external HD, then I Echo this first external backup HD (left) to another external HD (right) but I don't get the files deleted on the Right either.

     

    Deletes on the left are NOT replicated on the right. I don't touch any files or folders on the backup targets - the right hand side. Computer (left) is NTFS with Vista sp1, external (right) HDs are strictly for backups, all NTFS.

     

    How do I get this right? 

     

    Thank you

    Cesar Werneck

    Monday, November 24, 2008 12:54 AM
  • Deepa, when you say "Echo can be used as a backup solution but it is not a "mirroring" solution either ( we will not gaurantee that your right folder will always look like your left under *any and all* circumstances).", this really makes no sense I think.

    What else should echo possibly do? This functionality, if made to perform logically, would be quite invaluable as a backup mirror. Even if someone touches files on the right, that should not matter. If s0omeone adds file, updates files, whatever on the left. Echo should do what it is supposed to do - make the right side look like the left side again.

    Please reconsider as otherwise folks will continue to be taken by surprise by this sort of illogicl behaviour and SyncToy will not be near so valuable!

    I always run preview before Run and if I make the mistake of modifying the right side I would depend on SyncToy to set things "right" so to speak ;-)

    Thanks,

    Dave
    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 3:29 AM
  • Actually, the situation is MUCH worse that I thought. After swapping the right drive with my alternate and trying to resync left to right, there is no pretense whatsoever to have the right drive look anything like the left drive. How disappointing!
    Dave
    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 4:51 AM
  • Actually, the situation is MUCH worse that I thought. After swapping the right drive with my alternate and trying to resync left to right, there is no pretense whatsoever to have the right drive look anything like the left drive. How disappointing!
    Dave

    I switched to RoboCopy and that works well but a minor pain to do a "preview" of what will change. At least it does what you would expect.
    Dave
    Monday, March 30, 2009 3:23 AM
  • It is an interesting message. I use a program to file synchronization, which is called File Sync. File sync and backup software (http://www.fileutilityblog.com/archives/229) is a necessary thing for everybody. That is why I use this program and haven't such problems. Did you deal with it?
    Saturday, October 24, 2009 5:32 PM
  • I have the same problem when I use the Synctoy echo function (the only function I was interested in).   Files and folders that I have deleted on the left will not be deleted on the right by SyncToy.  I'll try the program suggested above by Rose83.
    Thursday, December 10, 2009 7:05 AM
  • Using SyncToy v2.1.0.0, I have the same issue.  This is so obvious, I can't believe its still broken after being reported in 2.0.  I am using NTFS and tested Echo and it did not queue up any deletes at all, not one file or folder.     Thanks to leharvey for the suggestion of SyncBack, I'll be trying that next.  Too bad, SyncToy is very good right up to the point where it fails to do what it is supposed to do.
    Thursday, December 31, 2009 3:44 PM
  • Hi -

    SyncToy 2.1 should have fixed this issue. It would be helpful to us if you could give us more details on your scenario ( including file system type, how you set up the scenario and the sync's/previews that  you ran ).

    Thanks
    Deepa
    Deepa ( Microsoft Sync Framework)
    Thursday, December 31, 2009 9:02 PM
    Moderator
  • SyncToy 2.1 has still this problem..

    Is there some kind of size limitation of what synctoy can handle (or oversee) in a folder pair ??

    The situation here.

    A large folder with photo's (87 GB) on the right side.
    This folder has 6 levels of sub folders.

    When I move a photo at my computer to another folder, the photo is added on the left, but the old photo isn't removed.
    The photo wasn't changed, only moved to another location.

    Computer is win XP with SP3 with NTFS
    The left side is a Mapped network drive to a NAS.
    On this Mapped network drive I can move , delete, create everything I want.

    I Tested this situation also with another PC with XP sp3 NTFS and  a external usb drive NTFS and cannot recreate this problem..





    Sunday, January 3, 2010 8:09 PM
  • Deepa:

    It failed when I synced a 5.25 GB directory structure on NTFS.  I didn't try it on anything bigger or smaller.  The preview and runs showed no deletes, despite being set to delete files and folders on the RHS which do not appear in the LHS.  I have used syncback free edition and it works fine.  I'd recommend syncback based on my testing compared to synctoy and GFI Backup.  I especially like the way syncback does not create pesky index files in the root of the tree you are working on.

    Thanks,
    Jeff
    Monday, January 4, 2010 3:04 AM
  • I am using SyncToy v2.0.100.0 with Windows 7 Home Premium and I have the same problem - when set to Echo, it fails to delete folders on the right that I have deleted on the left! For instance, in folder A on the left directory I had two subfolders B and C. I cut and pasted the files in subfolders B and C into a the parent folder A. When I ran SyncToy, it did not delete the 2 now empty folders B and C from Folder A on the right directory! Instead it just copied the files I had moved into folder A on the left to folder A on the right but left the 2 subfolders B and C in place!

    This is a great shame as I prefer SyncToy 2 to other similar synchronisers because unlike with most of the free synchronisers available, I like the fact that you can see your complete list of folder pairs on the main screen in SyncToy. Whereas with most of the other free synchronisers available you have to keep browsing to and setting up your folder pairs every time you want to sync them, which I hate.

    Yes, I know that SyncToy is provided "as is" and that it is completely free. But I still think that we should report its failings in the hope that someone will see fit to try and improve it. I would even go as far as to say that I would be more than willing to pay for it, if all these little bugs could be ironed out! So please someone, take a look at it and see if you can fix it?
    HP Pavillion a6632uk, AMD Phenom(tm) 8550 Triple-Core Processor, 3GB RAM, Vista Home Premium
    Wednesday, January 20, 2010 5:33 PM
  • There is a solution (other than abandonning Sync Toy) - proposed by jdg0928 on another thread. When you create a folder pair, first run it synchronised, make a change to the lefthand folder, and run it again. The change should reflect in the RHF. Then switch to Echo, and all should be well. It has been for me so far (today).

    Vista Business, Sync Toy 2.1.0.0

    MS - please fix this (serious) bug asap. Thanks - but for this, a fine program.
    Saturday, January 23, 2010 3:55 AM
  • I have always had the same problem with Synctoy since version 1.
    I am currently running Win 7 Home Premium and Synctoy 2.1 with NTFS on my backup External Drive.
    I never change anything on my backup drive exept for manually deleting all the empty folders left over by Synctoy.
    I use the Echo function on all my folder pairs and regularly delete complete folders with Explorer on my System Drive.
    It is not always possible to remember which folders are involved and it is a pain to go through a thousand odd folders and manually delete the empty ones on my Backup Drive. 
    SyncBack has an option to do that automatically, why can't Synctoy?.  
    Thursday, January 28, 2010 8:29 AM