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Software for hard drive synchronization

fishiee 14 478 3 United Kingdom
4 Aug 2009 9:56AM

Due to a recent portable hard drive storage failure I'm now a little paranoid about the reliability of hard drives. It's the only failure I've had in about 15 years, but that was one too many!

So now I am looking to buy two additional internal hard drives (I needed 1 new anyway as my main c:\ drive is crammed as it is).

The aim is to ship over all the photos to one of these new drives and then I'd like the second new drive to be an identicle copy of the contents. I'm not that fussed about backing up the c drive - I can re-install applications but I can't re-take photos.

Therefore can anyone recommend a decent application to perform this drive synchronization? Ideally live synchronization?

I'd ideally like the drive to be copied rather than backed up as I want to be able to just read files straight from the 2nd drive rather than have to perform a restore before being able to read the files. Some kind of verrification would also be desireable.

Thanks in advance


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Boyd 14 11.2k 11 Wales
4 Aug 2009 10:06AM
Allway Sync is good.
fishiee 14 478 3 United Kingdom
4 Aug 2009 10:16AM
Hi Boyd,
Thanks for the reply. I'd been told about always sync by someone else actually but saw the limit on the free version was 40,000 files per month which might be an issue... presumably it means synching 40,000 files in total rather than 40,000 new files per month (I can take a lot bnut not that many !).

If necessary I'll put up the cash for the unlimited version unless someone can suggest something better.
fishiee 14 478 3 United Kingdom
4 Aug 2009 10:18AM
Oh I see the unlimited version is only $20 so no great shakes. I'll see if any other suggestions come forward from others...
Pete Plus
17 18.8k 97 England
4 Aug 2009 10:20AM
I use SyncBack. There's a free version or pay versions of this too.
SyncBack compared
Gaucho 16 2.8k 2 United Kingdom
4 Aug 2009 10:23AM
John, I back SyncBack too.

simont 14 2.3k 4 England
4 Aug 2009 10:25AM
I found Good Sync reasonable.
User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
4 Aug 2009 11:24AM
Another vote for Allway Sync. Been using it for years and never lets me down. I have a 500Gb 'My Documents' HDD which Allway Sync mirrors to another identical drive perfectly every time.

Oh! ... and it's Free Wink
fishiee 14 478 3 United Kingdom
4 Aug 2009 12:26PM
Do you guys with Allway Sync. not have issues with the 40,000 file limit?

I would think I might be pushing that limit with my photos... or maybe after all the duff ones are deleted I don't have so many Wink
digicammad 15 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
4 Aug 2009 12:43PM
I've used ViceVersa for years. I don't think there is a file limit with the free version, but with the pro version you can schedule jobs.

MeanGreeny 12 3.7k England
4 Aug 2009 12:50PM
Replicator by Karen Kenworthy

lobsterboy Plus
14 14.9k 13 United Kingdom
4 Aug 2009 12:54PM

Quote:Do you guys with Allway Sync. not have issues with the 40,000 file limit?

Just paid the $20 and there is no limitation at all.
timiano 14 894 United Kingdom
5 Aug 2009 1:25AM
Straight up, the best thing any household with digital assets can invest in, is Windows Home Server. It's brilliant.

Sleep safe at night.

If anyone wants to know more, please do ask.

JamesBurns 10 1.3k 7
5 Aug 2009 9:11AM

Quick question about Windows Home Server then... Can it function as a domain controller (or at least provide central account management)? It looks good for what it is, but with 3 PC's and 2 laptops in the house, I'd really like to move to some kind of centralised account management, rather than maintaining individual accounts on each machine.

timiano 14 894 United Kingdom
5 Aug 2009 5:05PM
No it can't. And to be honest, centralised account management for less than 10 users is just crazy.

I have quite a lot of PCs too, but the only resources I have are on the homeserver, so I only need one username and password. Even if I need to logon to other machines, it's not that difficult creating simple username and passwords for them - once it's done, it's done.

Perhaps in the future they might integrate lightweight account management, but the way I see it, is if you run AD at home, you've already got a single point of failure for your accounts - bad.

All you need to do, is create accounts on the WHS with username and passwords that match (although not entirely necessary), and off you go.

The beauty of WHS is it's storage engine. It doesn't present traditional drives, just shares through SMB. You can choose to 'duplicate' certain shares (say photos), and if you have two disks it makes sure a copy exists on each. Lose a drive, and you still have your data. Also it balances storage on its own, if you add a disk, it just uses it and balances. If you remove one (you have to tell it you are), it moves the files off it onto the other disk(s) and you can physically remove it. It's soooo easy.

Further to that, it'll backup your client machines everynight incrementally using VSS and the storage engine is the same as their enterprise product DPM; so it compresses it down to very little and you can point in time restore for as long as you set it. If your machine dies, you just put in a CD, plug it into the network on your router choose when you want to restore to, wait 15 minutes-ish and off you go. It's saved me a few times, rather than spending a couple of hours fixing - I just pop in the disk and put it back to how it was last night.

Also!!! There are several plugins that you can use that will mirror shares into the cloud for offsite backup. So I pay 50/year for 100GB, which is automatically uploaded as soon as it appears in the selected shares - so things like photos, home videos and docs. Movies and music not so much.

It does even more, but they're then main selling features. Honestly fast forward 10-15 years and every single household will have a homeserver of sorts, probably built into a wall with slot in storage. It'll probably run various displays around the house with a mixture of thin and thick client, and probably a million things in the cloud also.

Get on board Grin

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