Notification if SyncToy fails

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QUESTION :

I support a number of laptop users. In the past (before there were many laptops), each user’s computer was set up so that their My Documents folder was mapped to a shared folder on the server. This worked very well for desktops, but has several obvious downsides for laptops (no files when you’re off-site, etc).

I’m exploring several alternatives for laptops to better map the shared drives, and SyncToy seems the best so far. I have a couple trial users set up so that it syncs automatically whenever they log in, along with a desktop icon they can click if they know they’ll need something saved before the next login.

My problem is that I’m concerned how I, as the maintainer of this system, can spot failures. I don’t want my first indication of a problem to come after a user drops their laptop in a lake and it turns out nothing was synced for the last year. Any ideas?

ANSWER :

Check to see if a log is created on each sync.

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SyncBack backs up on a schedule, can be configured to backup when Windows shuts down, and can email a log when the backup is completed.

I’ve not used SyncToy for two or three years, so I cannot remember.

Have you considered using Windows Live Sync Wave 4 instead? It’s actually only in the beta stage at the moment, but I have been using one of its predecessors, Live Mesh Beta, for a couple of years without any issues.

As well as syncing, it can store up to 2GB in cloud space (although they have not fully integrated this space into SkyDrive, for some reason).

Dropbox is another alternative, but you are probably not after cloud space syncing. I use this for other things, as it can handle large files and I can send direct web links to files in it using the associated iPhone app. Dropbox has a disadvantage in the fact that you cannot define particular folders to sync.

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