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Refuses to resync any folder after first synchronisation RRS feed

  • Question

  • If I create a folder pair SyncToy 2.0 will correctly synchronise these folders.

     

    However if I return to this folder pair and re-sync them (knowing they have changed) SyncToy will always find nothing to sync.

     

    If I now delete this folder pair and simply recreate it, the same folders are correctly synchronised.

     

    As such SyncToy is unusable.

     

    Has anyone else found this or am I doing something wrong?

     

    I am running Vista Ultimate.

     

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008 1:17 AM

Answers

  • To clarify from our help file - from the definition if "Echo" is your synchronization option NO change on the right will be echo'ed to the left.

     

    .

    • Synchronize: New and updated files are copied both ways. Renames and deletes on either side are repeated on the other.
    • Echo: New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames and deletes on the left are repeated on the right.
    • Contribute: New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames on the left are repeated on the right. No deletions.

    From your email above -

     

    "Files had been deleted from the right hand folder (that were present in the left hand folder) and with echo selected SyncToy saw nothing different between the two folders and therefore nothing to update."

    - This is By Design - to bring the file back on the right hand side you have to make an update to the file on the Left.

     

    "Created two folders on my PC Folder 1 and Folder 2

    Folder 1 had 11 mp3 files inside

    Created folder pair and echo (unmodified from default)

    Ran Sync

    All 11 mp3 files were correctly copied to Folder 2"

    Deleted 1 of the 11 mp3 files in folder 1

    Ran echo sync (no change to previous rules)"

    - This should work if Folder1 is a folder on the LEFT hand side.

     

    Thanks

    Deepa

     

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008 9:54 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • What kind of changes have been made ? If you make changes to a file without changing the size or the Last Modified Time - we will not detect any changes unless you have the "Check file content" checked.

     

    Thanks

    Deepa

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008 5:57 PM
    Moderator
  • Files had been deleted from the right hand folder (that were present in the left hand folder) and with echo selected SyncToy saw nothing different between the two folders and therefore nothing to update.

     

    I fully appreciate your point about file changes, but in this case they were very obvious deletions that SyncToy did not detect until the folder pair was deleted and recreated.

     

    Every single time a folder pair is used more than once SyncToy will never find any difference between the two folders regardless of how obvious the changes made between the two folders may be. Delete this folder pair, recreate the same folder pair with identical rules etc and now SyncToy sees how the two folders differ and makes the correct adjustments.

     

    Not sure if it has an impact here but the Synchronisation in the first cases were between my laptop and an external USB connected hard drive.

     

    However to check I am not going mad I just tried the following:

     

    Created two folders on my PC Folder 1 and Folder 2

    Folder 1 had 11 mp3 files inside

    Created folder pair and echo (unmodified from default)

    Ran Sync

    All 11 mp3 files were correctly copied to Folder 2

    Deleted 1 of the 11 mp3 files in folder 1

    Ran echo sync (no change to previous rules)

    SyncToy found no difference between the two folders

    Deleted this folder pair

    Recreated the same folder pair with identical rules and echo

    Ran echo sync and it now detected that the folders were different and it correctly deleted the file from the right hand folder.

     

    I finally retested with files being deleted from Folder 2 (right hand folder)

    The results were identical.

     

    So to summarise every folder pair created will never work in echo mode more than once. Whatever changes are made to either left or right hand folders are not detected after the very first synchronisation. 

     

    "Synchronize" mode does work does but this is of no use if the right hand folder is missing the files (found in the left hand folder) and you wish the right hand folder to end up identical to the left hand folder, as Synchronize correctly (but obviously wrongly in relation to the required outcome) deletes the corresponding files from the left hand folder.  

     

    I hope the above explanation makes things clear.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008 9:23 PM
  • To clarify from our help file - from the definition if "Echo" is your synchronization option NO change on the right will be echo'ed to the left.

     

    .

    • Synchronize: New and updated files are copied both ways. Renames and deletes on either side are repeated on the other.
    • Echo: New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames and deletes on the left are repeated on the right.
    • Contribute: New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames on the left are repeated on the right. No deletions.

    From your email above -

     

    "Files had been deleted from the right hand folder (that were present in the left hand folder) and with echo selected SyncToy saw nothing different between the two folders and therefore nothing to update."

    - This is By Design - to bring the file back on the right hand side you have to make an update to the file on the Left.

     

    "Created two folders on my PC Folder 1 and Folder 2

    Folder 1 had 11 mp3 files inside

    Created folder pair and echo (unmodified from default)

    Ran Sync

    All 11 mp3 files were correctly copied to Folder 2"

    Deleted 1 of the 11 mp3 files in folder 1

    Ran echo sync (no change to previous rules)"

    - This should work if Folder1 is a folder on the LEFT hand side.

     

    Thanks

    Deepa

     

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008 9:54 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the reply but it does not answer the question.

     

    If I wish for the right hand folder always to be a copy of the left hand folder (I.e. always left to right).

     

    What should I do?

     

    If the answer is Echo this never works (on 2nd 3rd etc sync runs) for any files that exist on the left hand side but have been deleted from the right hand side. The very first time you create a folder pair it will work but after that even if the right hand folder is empty (say these files were inadvertently deleted) neither Echo nor Contribute will make any changes. On preview both modes always show nothing to alter. Only new files added to the left hand folder will be seen.

     

    Only synchronise sees these changes but this simply deletes the missing files (of the right hand folder) from the left hand folder as it should do, but this obviously is not the type I synchronisation I wish.

     

    For Echo I have the following settings:

     

    Files to include *

    Files to exclude (blank)

    Exclude read only / hidden / system files (all three un-checked)

    Select subfolder (all subfolders checked)

    Activate for run all (checked)

    Check file contents (checked)

    Save overwritten files in the recycle bin (checked)

     

    My own thought is that SyncToy looks at a file in the left hand folder and asks once "have you been synchronised with the right hand folder" if the answer is yes then unless that file (in the left hand folder) is updated or itself deleted it will not look at the right hand folder. So if files have been wrongly deleted from the right hand folder and that folder is part of an existing folder pair SyncToy will never replace the files (from the left hand side) that are missing in the right hand side.

     

    As such SnycToy does not work as a back up utility.

     

    As a little challenge create two folders and place two files in the left hand folder.

    Create a folder pair.

    Select Echo and run.

    Both left and right hand folders should now contain the same files.

    Now delete one or both of the files from the right hand folder

    Run Echo again and see if it sees this change and re-copies the missing file(s) to the right hand folder.

    This is what, on my computer, the software will not do.

     

    All I would like to know is what do I need to do for the Right hand folder to become a copy of the left hand folder again. Without having to recreate a new folder pair every time.

     

     

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 7:55 AM
  • ThoughtPad, SyncToy does not claim to do what you want with it's Echo mode. You're trying to use the utility for a purpose that it wasn't intended to solve. Echo only copies changes from the left TO the right. It's not supposed to do anything with changes that you did on the right.

     

    Having said that, the only way you can achieve this with SyncToy is the following:

     

    Create a batch file that does the following:

     

    1 Delete the Echo folder pair using the SyncToy.exe command line support

    2 Recreate the same folder pair using the SyncToy.exe command line support

    3 Delete everything from the right folder

    4 Run the folder pair

     

    Now run the batch file every time you want to do this. This will ensure that your Right folder is always the same as your Left folder.

     

     

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 4:59 PM
    Answerer
  • Ashish, I beg to differ.  SyncToy 1.4 worked exactly as ThoughPad has described.  This feature broke in SyncToy 2.0.  Besides, if SyncToy 2.0 has been redesigned to exhibit the new (problematic) behaviour which ThoughPad has carefully described in his posts, then I would say this tool no longer serves 90% of the people out there who found SyncToy 1.4 invaluable.  The SyncToy 2.0 team has plain screwed this feature up.  The workaround you described is a huge kluge and is unworkable.

    What we are really looking for with Echo is a one-way sync.  If we inadvertently delete files on the right (the backup), we would like to have some assurance that this will be detected and recopied from the left on the next Echo sync.  Asking us to go and touch that same file on the left (when we might not even know which file we deleted), or asking us to completely deleted our entire backup (holy cow, risky or what) and recreate the folder pair and then DO a FULL ECHO is ludicrous.

    Please, SyncToy team... go back to the drawing board with this one and rethink carefully your critical use-cases and end-user rationales for requiring a tool like this.  It was a great and promising tool, especially with the new features in 2.0 like remembering your root folder selection/unselection and propagating those to subfolders... that was the only thing lacking in 1.4.  Also, somewhere along the way, 2.0 became MUCH SLOWER than 1.4, but this gripe is livable.  The non-replacement of files deleted on the right during Echo is a HUGE flaw.  I hope you guys fix this.

    Friday, August 29, 2008 4:38 AM
  • I would like to echo (no pun intended) the sentiments of CalgaryShadi where it concerns the behavior of the Echo parameter.  I have always expected the Echo parameter to provide a "reflection" on the right of what is on the left.  Maybe a new parameter could be coded (call it, say, "Reflection") that accomplishes the behavior in which ThoughtPad and CalgaryShadi have expressed an interest.  I, too, would like to have this functionality native to SyncToy.  Thanks
    Charlie
    Sunday, August 31, 2008 12:35 AM
  • Guys, I'm not sure it ever worked the way some of you want on this thread. Look at the text for Echo from the help file for 1.4 (that's from 1.4, not 2.0). The 2.0 version is working exactly as advertised. Almost everyone who uses the Echo option, uses it for backup purposes and hence they never touch the files on the right, in which case it works great as a backup.

     

    <<snippet from the SyncToy 1.4 Help file>>

    Echo

    The echo action will make copies of files that are new and changed on the left to the right.  New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames and deletes on the left are repeated on the right.

    For example, when you travel, you take a copy of your pictures, tunes, and documents to work on. When you return, you want SyncToy to notice the files you added, changed, deleted, and renamed in the left folder, and you want SyncToy to recreate those additions, changes, deletions, and renames in the right folder. Echo is very similar to Synchronize, except Echo works only left to right.

    Echo is the SyncToy action to use.

    • Every file in the left folder that is new or changed is copied to the right folder.
    • Every file in the left folder that has been renamed is renamed in the right folder.
    • Every file that was deleted from the left folder is deleted in the right folder.
    • SyncToy does not actually delete any files. It merely moves the files to the Recycle Bin.
    • No left folder files are deleted, or renamed.
    • No files are copied from right to left.
    • Right folder files are deleted.

    << The images in the help file clearly show the exact behavior that should be expected >>

    Tuesday, September 2, 2008 3:51 AM
    Answerer
  • Ashish, with all due respect, have you ever USED SyncToy v1.4 with the Echo option?

    Perhaps it was the original intent of the SyncToy team was to implement the Echo option in the way that you (and perhaps even the documentation) describe, but SyncToy 1.4 DID NOT in actuality work as you have described.  Don't take my word for it... go and set up a quick test with SyncToy v1.4 and try it.  You will find that what we are saying is true.  If it's going to take a camtasia screen video to prove it to you, then I will gladly do it.  Now, I grant that perhaps at the time of the SyncToy 1.4 development cycle there may have been some crossed wires between your development team and those who wrote up the documentation for it and that's why there is the discrepancy which we describe.  But the discrepancy exists.  It is real.

    If all you are interested in and looking for is a corroboration that SyncToy 2.0 performs as advertised, then my answer is YES, it absolutely does.  HOWEVER.  HOWEVER.  HOWEVER... We are desperately TRYING TO TELL YOU you that the way it is working NOW (in SyncToy 2.0) is NOT USEFUL to us, your user community.  The way it was ACTUALLY working in SyncToy 1.4, be it a defect or a bug or whatever you choose to call it, IS the way that we prefer for it to work.  And it is the ONLY logical way for it to work.  If you really do "eat your own dog food" over there at the SyncToy development team and really do make use of the tool on a day-to-day basis to backup your files, photos, music, whatever, like we do, then you will know exactly what we are trying to tell you here, and you would immediately stop playing these semantic games as to whether the feature functions as advertised or not, and really listen to what your users are saying.  Please don't try and use the "this is the way it is written in the docs" argument to avoid addressing the real issue at hand ... which is... Echo in SyncToy 2.0 is NOT working the way your end-users want it and NEED it to work.

    Now, if you fellows choose to dig in your heels and insist that you have followed the letter of the law (or in this case, the documented behaviour), and are NOT going to change the way the present Echo in SyncToy 2.0 works, then could you at least please give us another option which DOES do what we are asking.  You can call it anything you like, but for God's sake give us what we need, not what you THINK we need.  A possible name for such an option is "reflect" or "mirror" or "clone", whatever.

    I implore you to take this back to your team and your product/programme manager, and I ask on behalf of all your loyal SyncToy users for your open-mindedness and your commitment to listen to what your end-users want and act accordingly.  Otherwise you will be leaving us with no other choice than to abandon this tool and look for something that works for us.

    Thank you very kindly in advance for taking the lead on this...

    Shadi

    Friday, September 12, 2008 7:18 PM
  • Hi Shadi -

    We understand how it is frustrating if you were depending on a particular behaviour and it does not work like that anymore. Currently, using SyncToy 2.0 there is no way to duplicate the bahaviour you expect to see. We will most definitely take this into consideration for a future version.

     

    Thanks

    Deepa

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008 1:46 AM
    Moderator
  • Well, thanks for having this discussion out in the open, folks, because I was going to upgrade from 1.4, but this is a TOTAL dealbreaker for me. I need to know that if data corruption happens on the right hand side and files are lost, that they will be replaced on the next sync. Otherwise it's completely worthless as a backup tool.

    I know it didn't work the other way (though deletes do work left-to-right, if you tell SyncToy to stop echoing a certain subfolder on the left, it's on you to delete whatever files are there on the right, and that's fine, if a little annoying while you're still tuning exactly what you want to be syncing), and I was fine with that, but it HAS to replace files deleted out of the right if they're still there on the left. Just HAS to.

    (Actually, wait. Deepa's right. I use SyncToy on my home machine to Echo my User folder in Vista. Under 1.4, I deleted a file out of the backup of Downloads on the right. Re-synced. It did not copy over. I renamed the file in question on the left. STILL didn't copy over. Had to go into Select Subfolders, uncheck the Downloads folder, back out, and go back in and recheck it to get it to replace the file. MAN, is that bad news. Now what do I do for a backup?)

    (If you check Check File Contents, it will copy deleted files over the first time, but in the case of larger folders (like a User folder) the sync then takes six years. But ONLY the first time. If you run again with the box still checked, it does NOT replace them if deleted again. You have to actively change the state of the checkbox to get it to replace them.)
    Tuesday, September 16, 2008 6:50 PM
  • I use a program to file synchronization, which is called File Sync. Auto file and folder sync software (http://www.fileutilityblog.com/archives/232) is a necessary thing for everybody. That is why I use this program and haven't such problems. What can you tell me about it?
    • Proposed as answer by sanjonny Sunday, December 27, 2009 6:27 AM
    Wednesday, October 21, 2009 7:18 PM
  • I think this doesn't make much sense now that we are on 2.1, but I understand the situation after reading all the reports and cannot understand what people do not get. If you use the echo option and the sync is left to right only, then why the heck would you think that it syncs right to left. That would be using the sync option and not the echo option. It seems that people got all irate about not understanding how to configure the application. Anyway, I am glad that the sync toy works and if you read the directions and maybe put a drawing together you can understand that if you are trying to sync right to left, you need to use that option and not use one that only echos what happens on the left to the right.

    I understand this can be confusing but complaining about functionality and all is silly. I can do both, I only need change the option. In the previous version it worked differently but if you read the options it will let you do the sync the way you want, you simply have to read the directions instead of getting all angry about how things are broken and all.

    Anyway, I love the new sync toy. If it confuses you too much to use, ask a question and don't complain about stuff being broken that is not broken if you read the directions. The msft moderators are very tolerant of people who don't get it, but this works much better than 1.4 and is not broken.

    Thanks for a great tool
    Sunday, December 27, 2009 6:27 AM