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Previous | Next by elfie 23 May, 2007 - 9:06 AM

So I've got one folder that I want to keep in sync with four machines. If changes are made to the contents of the folder on any of the four machines I want the change to be reflected in the other three.

Relevant Details:

  • All four machines are on the same network.
  • All four machines might not be on at the same time. (If needed, I can live with one of them having to be the "central" machine such that it has to be on for this to work)
  • One of the machines is running Vista, other three are XP.
  • Deletes and renames must be handled properly. Meaning that if File A is deleted from Computer 3, it should be deleted from Computer 1, 2, and 4, NOT copied back to Computer 3.
  • The amount of data to be synced is probably never going to go over a meg.
  • I'm not pressed enough for this to actually want to pay money for a solution.
I've tried SyncBack based on the recommendation of... some website I found. It's pretty cool and easy to schedule, but it doesn't handle deletes and renames properly.

I've tried SyncToy, which handles deletes and renames perfectly, but it doesn't have built-in scheduling. It does support running a sync from the command-line so I can use the windows Task Scheduler, unfortunately the GUI pops up when its run from the command-line and if I'm going to schedule this to run once a minute, that'll be annoying as fuck.

Ben suggested Handy Backup, but the description of it sounded like it didn't handle deletes and renames properly either.

Anyone have any other suggestions?

5/23/2007 >> muhgcee

I know Rich is a fan of rsync. It is rather Unix-y but it is worth looking into.

5/23/2007 >> Dan

Four machines syncing....I would recommend a small file server or NAS. Something will always break the sync and I you'll be pulling your hair our. I'm kinda fond of having critical info on a RAID. There are some very well priced NAS's out there.

5/23/2007 >> rich

yes I have some cygwin + rsync scripts that are nice but I don't know if I would recommend running them every minute. Why not just keep everything on a share and run it from there. Phone time with me tomorrow would better sort all of this out

5/24/2007 >> elfie

Well this isn't critical info. I'm not syncinc for backup purposes. And I can't keep it all on a share because they need to be in this specific folder on each machine.

They're templates for character skill sets in Guild Wars. Basically you can save a template of any of your characters' skills to a small text file that you can then load onto another character, share with a friend, load onto one of your heroes (sidekicks), or even back onto the same character if you've been playing with another skill set for a while. Pie and I want to be able to easily access each other's skill templates without having to manually copy them back and forth, and we want our laptops to stay in sync with our desktops so we don't have to keep yelling "damnit, this is the wrong Minion Master setup" every time we play in the living room.


My original reason for wanting to sync every minute was so that if we made changes while playing, the other person could check them out almost immediately without having to manually run a sync. However, I'm thinking that's probably not going to happen all that often and for the occasions when it does, we could stand just running the sync manually.

Right now, I'm thinking that we could probably live with a daily sync for the desktops and then a "whenever I boot up" sync for the laptops. Though for the laptops, they should REALLY also have a "whenever I shut down" sync as well, but I don't think that's easily doable. What would be REALLY nice would be to have a "whenever the game loads or closes" sync on all four machines. That'd be perfect, but in that case, it'd even moreso have to be a background process that wouldn't delay the loading of the game or popup an annoying processing window.


Rich, I'll drop you a line today :)

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