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Author Topic: Sync/mirror program that monitors but waits for go-ahead before backing up?  (Read 6452 times)

suleika

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I currently use SyncbackSE, but when I am travelling with my laptop I only need to backup a few files/folders a day, to USB-stick or via FTP.  But how to keep track of which files?

I need a program which monitors changes and which will then let me review the list of changes before going ahead with the backup.  I wouldn't be able to make use of a mirroring program which syncs automatically, since I don't have a large enough external drive permanently attached.  But with my current set-up, the one-off reading and comparing of lots of very large folders takes a lot of time. 

So is there a program out there that will do the monitoring, and will prepare the backup, but which will then give me a choice of which files/folders to backup only when I am ready?


mouser

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this is a terrific idea as i understand it.

something in between a program that automatically monitors and creates copies of changed files vs. a program that only checks and makes backups when run manually.

so it would always be monitoring.. and maybe show an icon when you could quickly bring it up and say "go" when you want, with easy ability to quickly mark files as not to be backed up, etc.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2007, 07:55:33 AM by mouser »

mouser

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barring such a program, you might be able to condigure a manually run sync/incremental backup tool using a shortcut to do almost the same thing.

suleika

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something in between a program that automatically monitors and creates copies of changed files vs. a program that only checks and makes backups when run manually.

so it would always be monitoring.. and maybe show an icon when you could quickly bring it up and say "go" when you want, with easy ability to quickly mark files as not to be backed up, etc.

Yes, that is pretty much what I was imagining.  Now if I can just find such a program...

barring such a program, you might be able to condigure a manually run sync/incremental backup tool using a shortcut to do almost the same thing.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean here.  Is there a particular tool you had in mind, that I could take a look at?

jack99999

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what about FileHamster? you set it to monitor folders and it copies all changed files to it's backup folders. you could then just do an ordinary sync of the FileHamster backup folders with your external disk. since the FileHamster folders would contain only the changed files, it would be quick.

i dunno what you'd do about deletions...

http://www.mogware.com/FileHamster/


or, somewhere, i've seen a directory comparison program that will compare against a list. you could probably use such a thing to compare against a file list and then back up the changed items to your external disk.

jack

jack99999

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actually, FileHamster would be ok for deletions too, cos you have the option to delete the FileHamster copy when you delete the original. your sync to your external disk would then see the deletion.

jack

suleika

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Thank you, jack of the nines.  I am taking a look at FileHamster now.  I'll try googling for the directory comparison program you mention - any clues on a good search string for it?

siouxdax

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Personally, I use SyncToy, even though it's Microsoft. I'm not a programmer, so this is what works for me. You can find it at http://www.microsoft...rophoto/synctoy.mspx
Kind Regards,
Daniel in Tulsa
AKA siouxdax

Visit my tumblog!

hobiedave

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Although it does not let you review before backing up , AutoSave does a pretty good job of monitoring while off line and flushing when connected.

http://www.v-com.com...t/AutoSave_Home.html

CleverCat

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suleika - have a look at this...

http://www.file.net/...t-changed-files.html

 :)

muntealb

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Re: Sync/mirror program that monitors but waits for go-ahead before backing up?
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2007, 04:07:01 AM »
GoodSync ( http://www.goodsync.com/ ) is the software that you need. It is free, but does not allow you to synchronize more than 100 files. The Pro (paid) version allows an unlimited number of files to be synchronized.

ppass

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Re: Sync/mirror program that monitors but waits for go-ahead before backing up?
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2007, 04:18:37 AM »

I currently use SyncbackSE, but when I am travelling with my laptop I only need to backup a few files/folders a day, to USB-stick or via FTP.  But how to keep track of which files?

Since you are using SyncbackSE, you do not need any other software. It is already embedded there. Before actually implementing the backup, you get by default a confirmation window called "Differences for profile" with the list of files that will be added to the destination / modified in the destination / deleted from source. All the information that you want to know is there.

In anycase, it is better to user only one software, as you may not get exactly the same results if you use different softwares and you may be mistaken.

Here is a screenshot as an example:


suleika

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Re: Sync/mirror program that monitors but waits for go-ahead before backing up?
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2007, 07:46:29 AM »
Thank you for the suggestions - I am looking at some of these programs now, and my thoughts are shaping up. 

ppass, I know about the "differences" screen in SyncbackSE (useful screenshot though, for anyone else reading).  The problem is that each time I use SyncbackSE, once my destination drive is plugged in, the whole process of scanning, comparing and writing can take up to 15 min, for my three main backups, since syncbackSE scans everything all over again. It's the scanning that takes a long time.  I have some large folders of too many small files (worth discussing in another post sometime - let's just say scrapbook extension for firefox), my thunderbird mail folder is very big, and other odd files are distributed in various places within large directories.  I've tried a system of keeping "new stuff" in one place to help the backup along but I find I can't organise my work with temporary folders and remembering to "file away" later etc.  So I am stuck with the filing system I've got, which works for me, except when it comes to regular backups.  There are various reasons why I don't keep the thumb drives plugged in all the time; security, the fact that they sometimes don't play with with hibernation, the fact that I only have three usb ports which are mostly in use (mouse, phone and second "foreign" phone) and I've not yet managed to find a hub that works consistently (perhaps I have a hardware problem there?).

Therefore I'm after something which will "ready" the scan on the source side, by monitoring, and will then copy changed files across when the destination is plugged in.  Unless they are used to restore, these backups are always one-way in my routine life - the only part which needs syncing is matching deletions, which I don't need to do so often.

I agree, ppass, that using two programs might be a bad idea - if I do adopt a FileHamster+SyncbackSE combination I will test it first for how it deals with various scenarios.   

I had previously considered using a monitoring program to backup only changed files, not copying them into a complete backup, and doing complete backups less often, since that system at least would protect all my new data. but after having had two laptops break down on me during my long trip abroad earlier this year, I really wanted a system where I could almost instantly continue my work from usb drives so I can use other computers if/when mine fails.  Perhaps this isn't feasible and perhaps I should stick to this previous idea (which FileHamster would acheive rather well).  But the seamlessness of having all my portable apps ready and backed up onto the thumbdrives to take on a short trip has already paid dividends in my life. 

What I am after is an imaginary adapation of syncback where "pure backup mode" is set up, where syncbackSE monitors in real time, so that the "differences" screen is being prepared constantly and dynamically, and when my destination drive was ready I could press "go" and the writing would take only a short time. 

I shall carry on looking at these programs, but I am considering other solutions, like sorting out the firefox scrapbook monster, like consolidating everything onto a larger portable drive and keeping it plugged in, like having more and smaller SyncbackSE profiles and somehow tracking which ones need to run when ... filehamster might very well help with this latter idea simply as a "cue" program for myself to remind me where I've been creating or modifying files.  Also tweaking my SyncbackSE profiles and making sure I'm not making it slower for myself.

« Last Edit: November 22, 2007, 08:51:10 AM by suleika »

ppass

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Re: Sync/mirror program that monitors but waits for go-ahead before backing up?
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2007, 05:53:05 PM »
You are right, when the USB drive is not plugged-in, then SyncBackSE refuses to go to the "differences for profile" window and flashed a pop-up window "Failed to prepare destination". This is normal, because in essence, it scans the destination to make the list of files that have not been backed up yet.

Be aware that the time-consuming part of SyncBack (and any other backup utility for that purpose) is the time to write to destination. The scanning of the source and build-up of the "differences for profile" is usually quick (at least, this is my experience with a disk with 5GBs of data).

If you want to scan in real time, you can use SpaceMonger (try the latest beta: SpaceMonger v2.1.2-pre3). In the Treemap view, you can click on the "Date" header and have the latest modified files on the top of the list, which gives you a good hint for what you want to do.


    http://img260.imageshack.us/img260/3923/treemapzg0.gif
Sync/mirror program that monitors but waits for go-ahead before backing up?

« Last Edit: November 25, 2007, 04:37:52 AM by ppass »