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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Sep 2001
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    Manchester, Lancashire, England
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    Synchronization Woes

    I have a number of offline folders on my laptop, mainly relating to work documents that I may modify on the road or at home, which I need to keep up to date on both my desktop and laptop pcs.

    I worked on the desktop PC late last Friday getting work finished in preparation for a weekend away. At the end of the session, I synchronized the laptop folders, and all of the amended documents were copied from the desktop PC.

    The next morning, the PC would not start - hard disk failure. Fortunately, I had a fully operational ASR disk and backup set, about a week old, and all the more recent documents were synchronized back to the laptop, so was nothing lost (apart from 2 hours trying to work out why the ASR failed formatting the drive).

    On Wednesday I got a replacement hard disk, booted from the XP CDRom, and then ran the ASR (warning, the ASR wipes the partitions on ALL of the drives on the PC, including any hard disks used for backup purposes). All went well, and I had a fully operational system again after about an hour.

    Once I was sure that everything was as it should be, I reconnected the laptop to the peer network, and all of the files were re-synchronised back to the PC, and everything was as it was on Friday evening, when I shut down.

    I was working away Thursday and Friday, and when I went to find some of the documents that I had been working on on the laptop, I discovered that they had vanished. Further investigation showed that ALL* the files that I created or edited between the ASR backup and restoring the backup had gone - from *both* machines. There is no trace of them anywhere. [*some files did remain, but I am not sure why]

    What went wrong?

    Julian

  2. #2
    Platinum Lounger
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    Jan 2001
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    Roanoke area, Virginia, USA
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    Re: Synchronization Woes

    I'm not totally sure, but it sounds about like the screw ups system restore makes - if you set a restore point, download (but not install) a bunch of exe's (shareware etc) then use restore, those files are wiped out by system restore. This isn't supposed to apply to documents, but i've found old documents in my system volume folder that shouldn't be there (it was during the beta, i haven't found any since).

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Re: Synchronization Woes

    I've worked out what went wrong. The XP ASR routine changed the Modified date of all the files on my PC to the time they were restored, which was, of course, later than the Modified date of the files on my laptop, although these were more recent files. The sychronization therefore threw away all of the modified files on my laptop (although it copied the new documents to the PC). I suppose that it is logical, really, so I cannot blame the synchronization, although given the likely problems that changing the modified date on files will cause to other backup routines, I would have thought that ASR should have preserved the original modified date, and not used the restoration date.

    The moral of the story is to have an independant backup routine on my laptop, and not rely on syncronisation, so I have installed 12Ghosts excellent mini-app Backup (www.12Ghosts.com) to create a separate backup folder of offline files on my laptop.

    Julian

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