In my job we are not guaranteed to keep using the same computer forever. Also, I need to keep the files at arm's reach when traveling. This is screaming a "cloud" solution, but here in Brazil mobile connectivity is still an issue, and relying on company networks there is always the firewall and network policy issue, so cloud is no-go.

So I started using a 16GB flash drive to store all my personal and work documents. But I am afraid someday the thumb drive will die on me and I will lose everything. Also I have a hard time when I forget it at home and can't access my files.

So I am looking for some utility/script that will run on my home and work computers and whenever I connect the thumb drive, it detects it as my thumb-drive and synchronizes with folders on the computer, kinda like rsync.

These are the needed features:

  • Securely recognizes the thumb-drive (using a special "key" file or volume serial numbers)
  • Update only modified files (no dumb-copying, as it's several GB)
  • If a file was modified on both on the thumb-drive and the computer, ask for which one to keep.
  • I may choose which folders to sync (do not want to sync the music folder, for example)
  • Non-annoying operation, just ask for a decision on conflicts if needed (but a progress indicator would be nice).

Desirable but not required, are syncing being done automatically before removal (instead of at insertion).

Is there a ready-made Windows tool for this job? This could be pulled out with a batch file but I wanna know if there is something on the market already.


Update for future viewers..

SyncToy is very good, but has the flaw of needing Administrator account for installation. I needed to sync with na old XP work computer, with limited permissions. I've settled for Unison http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/ . It is a command-line app, but matches all my requirements, and does not need to be installed.


1 Answer 1


Doing anything before removing the drive is much harder, but Desynchronize offers real-time sync, which should do the trick.

  • 1
    That was quick! SyncToy did the trick, the only missing feature is the auto-run, but I can implement that easily using a batch. thanks! Nov 27, 2013 at 2:37

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