Newbie to SyncToy -- Basic questions about order of update and delete with synchronize option RRS feed

  • Question

  • I know this is so basic -- my apologies -- I learn slow at the start then speed up. I did try to search the forums but it is a little dizzying with something so basic.

    So I just downloaded SyncToy 2 and created my first pair.

    I don't believe it...I feel so dumb --  but I believe the very issue I am talking about is answered in the second of the FAQ's. Duh!!!  It explaines why the first time the time stamp is off. It does not explain (at least I don't think it does but I am not sure what UTC time is) why SyncToy would then opt to overwite a "later" files with an earlier one. Any way -- the FAQ gives a solution for first time synching to correct for all this and I will do that as I am almost 100% certain that for probably 100% of these files the two files are identical. I know for sure that is the case for all the ones I did look at though there are about 1800 of them.

    But I left this here below anyway -- incase someone had some insights to offer.

    I want to synchronize "My Documents" and all its subfolders and their contents that are on my laptop with same on my flash drive.

    E.g., as I understand it, SyncToy will compare the files in Folder A in My Documents on my laptop with the files in Folder A in My Documents on my flash drive. If the file on the two drives is different, SyncToy will take the latest version -- whether it is on the laptop or on the flash drive and overwrite the file that is the older version so that after the operation -- both files are now the same and are the latest version. If a file in folder A exists on the laptop but was deleted after the last modification on the Flash Drive, then SyncToy will delete the file on Laptop's Folder A. And vice versa, if the file was deleted on Laptop's Folder A after it was last modified on Flash Drive’s Folder A, then SureSync will delete it off the Flash Drive.

    Assuming my description of what will happen is correct, below is what the preview showed would happen when I set things up. Don't worry I just did a preview and was puzzled by the intended action. No action was actually taken.

    But the preview confused me.

    I put the Laptop My Documents on the Left of SyncToy and Flash Drive My documents on the right. Selected Synchronize and hit Preview.

    What the Preview showed was that for 90% of the files that had a different "last modified" date, SureSync was going to use the Laptop verison as the Source file, it stated that the action was going to be Overwrite and the Target was the same file on the Flash Drive.

    The problem is that in every one of those 1800 instances, the laptop version was *older* than the Flash Drive version.

    Logic says the overwrite should go the other way.

    E.g., One of the early lines read as follows

    Operation: Overwrite
    Source File: Swole Vegetable Melange.DOC
    Source Path: C:\Documents and Settings\Justitia\My Documents\Physical Fitness\Food
    Last Modified: 6/2/2008 7:09:26 PM
    Target File: Swole Vegetable Melange.DOC
    Target Path: E:\ASUS\My Documents\Physical Fitness\Food
    Last Modified: 6/2/2008 10:09:26 PM

    It showed, of course as one long string across, but I could not figure out how to copy and paste so I typed it here in a vertical column.

    The C drive is my laptop and the E drive is the Flash Drive (E drive says ASUS because this is my backup on my flash drive for my ASUS laptop -- I have more than one laptop.)
    If you note -- the source file was last modified 3 hours earlier than the target file.

    And in fact I am pretty sure that the file in both places is the same. I believe the precise 3 hour (down to the second) difference was because my laptop computer clock or something was set for Pacific time when I was actually in the East coast and the Flash Drive has the correct time.

    But regardless -- shouldn’t the target and source be reversed as the flash drive version is stated as being last modified 3 hours after the laptop version? Shouldn’t it be the flash drive’s version that overwrites the Laptop version?. (Because I have multiple machines and I use the flash drive to carry modifications from one machine to the other -- quite often the flash drive will have the latest version of the document. I do not want to use the internet mesh.)

    The situation I describe is the same for about 1800 files. Then there are a handful of files in which the source is the flash drive and it is the last modified and it is going to overwrite the earlier Laptop one. And in these cases -- these are genuinely different versions. All the ones from laptop to flash drive are earlier on the laptop and the difference is precisely the 3 hours that I believe represent different time zones.

    So can anyone explain this?

    Does this have to do with the fact that the laptop version was put on the left side for SyncToy and the Flash Drive version was put on the right?

    The way I understand the operation of "synchronize" it shouldn't matter which source is on the left folder and which is on the right folder of SyncToy . Synchronize means: take the latest version wherever it is -- left ot right and overwrite the older version on the other drive with the latest one.

    • Edited by Justitia Saturday, July 18, 2009 12:05 AM FAQ (:-o)
    Friday, July 17, 2009 11:51 PM

All replies

  • Really a long story :)

    It seems you have two different questions, 
    1) To your first question if it is your files were identical, but synctoy synced it? If yes, could you take a look with OS, if the files has modify time issues before you use synctoy?
    2) To your another question, Yes Synchronize means: take the latest version wherever it is -- left ot right and overwrite the older version on the other drive with the latest one. Except if you rename the file name on both side.


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Wednesday, September 2, 2009 8:33 AM