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I'm working on a few different computers (PC, two notebooks) and I'm looking a way to easily synchronize files through these machines.

I wish it would work the following way:

  • I've got an external HDD drive with the latest versions of the data;
  • When I plug the HDD in, some program automatically synchronizes the data two way (maybe there are newer files on the HDD, maybe on the machine) and asks for resolving conflicts;
  • Data are synchronized on-the-fly when I modify them.

Actually, SkyDrive and Google Drive solves my problem with two exceptions: the data are stored online, while I want them to be stored offline and there is not enough space (I want to synchronize ~20 GB worth of data, maybe more).

Do you have any suggestions?

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2 Answers

I will have to assume the file location would be the same on each machine, and assuming a few means a 'manageable' few computers I'd consider a Robocopy file as it does sync:

The code layout is

robocopy <Source> <Destination> [<File>[ ...]] [<Options>]

So, to use a real example

robocopy \\SourceServer\Share \\DestinationServer\Share /MIR /FFT /Z /XA:H /W:5

/MIR specifies that robocopy should mirror the source directory and the destination directory.
/FFT uses fat file timing instead of NTFS.
/Z ensures robocopy can resume the transfer of a large file in mid-file instead of restarting.
/XA:H makes robocopy ignore hidden files
/W:5 reduces the wait time between failures to 5 seconds instead of the 30 second default.

This does mean, maybe having different versions of this file per computer and there are many posts here on SU which explains how to use Task Scheduler to detect a USB type and then trigger off a command (such as starting a program).

Source

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There are many applications to do this for you depending on your budget and the level of automation/ease of use required.

The one I am most familiar with is SyncBackSE. There is a free version but I'm not sure whether it does the disk insertion check or the live monitoring that you want. Certainly the SE version does what you want. There is a trial version so you can try it out.

SyncBack will allow you to background monitor for the appearance of a specific disk ID and run a sync profile on it.

It will also use the native Windows events to monitor for changes on files/folders and sync as appropriate.

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