Allway Sync

I had a crash on my home media server a few weeks ago and was somewhat concerned for the safety of my data. It turned out ok, some of the files were recoverable from the file duplication on the WHS, and the remainder I got back from my USB backup. The situation exposed weaknesses in both backups though, so I wanted to look for alternatives/additional options.

Since I've got a rather large hard drive in my primary PC that isn't used for much more than the OS and some games, I decided to do a nightly replication/backup of my files from the WHS to the PC. I'm using Allway Sync for that, which a friend recommended as it has a free for personal use version. After less than a month of use though I've started getting nightly messages - which interrupt the backup - that imply I'm not a personal user due to the volume of data being processed. Today I received my final warning, indicating the program may not run at all anymore.

I've got roughly 7 thousand files containing 30gb worth of data, consisting primarily of photos and music which do not change often. Actual data that's changing on a nightly basis is closer to a dozen files or so and less than 10 meg. Apparently just scanning through the 7 thousand files looking for changes is considered 'processing' the data, even though the amount being actually replicated is trivial.

The pro license of Allway Sync is only $20 or so, so I could really just buy it. And normally I would, I'm not adverse to supporting the programmers of software I'm using. But the whole way this has gone down has left a bit of a bait and switch taste in my mouth. Has anyone found a program that is similar to Allway Sync that would do what I'm looking for?

Have you thought about just mapping a drive back from the WHS to your PC, and running the system backup tool? I don't know if it's as good as Server2K8's, but the one in 2K8 is pretty darn good.

Another thought would be an rsync client, but I've had trouble getting rsync to work well on Windows.

Try Microsoft's SyncToy utility. It's free and plenty flexible.

I had some problems with both SyncToy and Allway copying to my NAS, as my NAS was running an older version of Samba, which meant that the file timestamps were only good to 2 seconds and not exact. This resulted in constantly copying unchanged files because they didn't exactly match.

I ended up finding an app called Second Copy which solved this problem completely. There is an option you can set in the profile file that tells it to ignore time differences of 2 seconds, which worked out perfectly.

At any rate, Second Copy comes highly recommended by me.

SyncToy leaves a file in each directory to track stuff--I've never been crazy about that.

Hadn't thought of the system backup tool. Does that result in individually identifiable files, or a single backup image? I'll also check out SyncToy and Second Copy. I remember having problems with SyncToy many moons ago, but can't for the life of me remember what they were. Can't hurt to check again.

Thanks guys.

I use 2brightspark's SyncBackPro both at home and work for backup jobs. Highly recommended.