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I need to perform a differential copy from one computer to another. The problem is that the data set is in excess of 2 TB, and the largest drive I have is 2TB. So, I will need to clean space off of my drive and then copy the rest of the files I need.

All of the synchronization software I see works from one directory to another. Is there a way to export a list of the files I have from one side, compare that to the live folder, and then only copy those files?

Edit *** This issue has come up again, and now the data set is 4+ TB. It is not feasible to have a portable drive large enough to hold the entire data set in order to keep remote copies updated.

I'm close to simply writing a solution for this, but I really don't want to duplicate effort.

It seems to me this is a very reasonable solution:

  • Use Filesize, Date and optionally Checksum for comparison
  • Create a index of the contents on Computer A
  • Manually copy index to Computer B
  • Computer B compares contents to Computer A's index
  • Computer B creates differential data set which is manually copied to Computer A
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I normally use Unstoppable Copier (with the awesome kitty picture) to do a copy, I normally tell it to copy the files that are not there, it also gives you various options for corrupt files, how large it will be and how long it will take.

I'm not to sure on getting it to provide a list as sometimes I would forget a file or miss it out.

when doing this similar thing on my Apple Mac I use a Python script I mangled together which will look at both folders/drives and only copy what it missing from one to the other then it gives me a list of what was or wasn't copied.

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