Windows XP: I would like to auto synchronize files between a a local drive and a network drive.

I am aware of Windows Briefcase but it is very slow and I have to tell it to synchronize. I really like the way Dropbox does there synchronization as it is almost instantaneous. It is very impressive. I would just use Dropbox but I cannot install it on the remote machine. Is there some tool or script I can create that will watch a particular folder for any changes and then sync those changes to the networked drive automatically and nearly instantaneously?


I would like this tool/script to to be a daemon that starts when windows starts and continually monitors a folder for any changes to its contents. Once it observes changes in the source or the destination it synchronizes the files that changed (Very similar to the way Dropbox works). I have a good idea about how I would do this in a Perl script and if a tool does not exist that does this I will write it myself in Perl. If someone has already done this can they share the script?

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    Has anyone tried allways sync? – stephenmm Dec 14 '10 at 19:54
  • Dsynchronize seems like it does exactly what I want. It is free but if it works well I will donate some denaro to Dimio (and his cat :)! The reviews from this site seem good but they do mention that the "real time synchronization" takes more resources than Halo! So, I will have to try it out and see if it is really that bad. – stephenmm Dec 15 '10 at 20:59
  • freefilesync seems to be another well regarded tool but there are less reviews of this tool so I think I will probably try Dsynchronize first. – stephenmm Dec 15 '10 at 21:13
  • Bad news. Dsynchronize didn't synchronize when I tried to do bidirectional real-time sync and freefilesync does not do bidirectional real-time sync. So I am still looking for a working solution. – stephenmm Dec 16 '10 at 3:22
  • I think a script (pick your favorite modern scripting language) will be your best bet if you're comfortable with it. There might even be a nice library/script for this on CPAN. – Roy Tinker Nov 18 '11 at 2:08

Robocopy will do the job.


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  • note that the download link is a family of files for Windows Server...Robocopy is included in the suite. – studiohack Dec 14 '10 at 18:53
  • Maybe I missed it but robocopy seems like I must manually invoke the command. I was looking for a daemon to watch a folder and auto-update for me. I have updated the original question to clarify what I am looking for. Thanks. – stephenmm Dec 14 '10 at 19:50
  • You can call Robocopy on startup from a batch file, with the commands\options to do what you need. – joeqwerty Dec 15 '10 at 0:35
  • I use robocopy from a batch file but need to schedule it using the Windows task scheduler. – djangofan Apr 29 '13 at 17:44

It seems Dsynchronize does real-time backup to FTP, but I haven't tried it myself. The download on its author's page seems to be down at the moment, but there are other sites that host the file. http://dimio.altervista.org/eng/

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  • Seems like it does exactly what I need. I will try it out. – stephenmm Dec 15 '10 at 21:22
  • Ah it seems that you've Googled up a few more... good luck testing! I just looked for "real-time synchronize ftp". – Cerberus Dec 15 '10 at 21:28

If both the client computer and the share are both separate computes, then you can install either AeroFS or BitTorrent-Sync on both computers and you will have unlimited file syncronization.

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  • Based on the marketing, AeroFS looks to be a good substitute with self-hosted files. – Jason R. Coombs Sep 13 '14 at 21:41

SyncToy is better than Briefcase, but is not automatic...it is fairly fast and offers some nice syncing options, and works well on network drives...

Free, by Microsoft.

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You should try the Offline Files feature.


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  • Offline files isn't comparable to Dropbox. Offline either writes to the remote files directly (if the share is online), which can be slow, or writes to the local files but only synchronizes them when it is determined to be online. Dropbox, and the OP's request, does something different - always write locally, which is fast, but then synchronize immediately, minimizing delay. – Jason R. Coombs Sep 13 '14 at 21:34
  • Offline files can be setup to write locally – surfasb Nov 14 '14 at 20:34
  • I spent a decade using Offline files, reading forums, trying to use programming APIs to customize my behavior, recovering from corrupted caches, and trying to enhance my experience with little luck. If offline files can be setup to write locally but synchronize when available, that would be awesome. However, citation needed. – Jason R. Coombs Nov 16 '14 at 16:13

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