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Utility to backup your folders fast

, 31 Jul 2005
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I use a procedure based on batch files to copy various versions of my project. I was a bit fed up to wait for the batch file to copy hundreads of files and wrote this small utility to speed up the process. I hope some of you will find it useful.

Sample Image - sync.png

Introduction

This utility is designed to backup a folder to another folder. It is not rocket science and not that interesting in terms of coding. However it can be useful if you want to copy your source from a machine to another or to make a quick backup. It will run a lot faster than a batch file if you repeat the command regularly.

How does this work

The program is very simple, it will copy only the files that were modified since the previous copy. It will always copy the subfolders and never ask any question. Any file or folder deleted from the source folder will also be deleted in the destination folder.

How to install

Just have to copy sync.exe into your windows\system32 folder.

How to run?

Just type SYNC <source folder> <destination folder> in your DOS command prompt window or batch file.

WARNING

This program despite being very simple is potentially lethal. Used with bad parameters, you can probably manage to erase your hard disk in no time at all. Use it only at your own risks.

Points of interest

Nothing very interesting in this program, this is a DOS utility not a code exploit. For each folder in the source tree, the utility gets a list of files and folders to copy to the destination. To avoid multiple lookups, the list of files in the destination folder are read once as well into a hash table. The program uses the FileSystemInfo.LastWriteTimeUtc to compare the source and destination files. It then copies the new or modified files and deletes the files that were deleted since the last backup. Again be careful how you use this utility, the deletion does not ask any questions.

Revisions

  • 31st July 2005
    • First release.
  • 1st August 2005
    • Force the copy when the files are read-only.
    • Move to .NET framework 1 (was 2 so far).

Questions to readers

When I use the IO.File.Copy method, the FileSystemInfo.LastWriteTimeUtc is modified one or two seconds forward. Anyone knows how to make the date of last write to stay consistent from source to destination?

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here

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About the Author

Pascal Ganaye
Software Developer (Senior)
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I am a French programmer.
These days I spend most of my time with the .NET framework, JavaScript and html.

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralConverted the code to C# and changed the date comparison to SHA CheckSum Pinmemberkittell23-Apr-13 6:55 
GeneralMicrosoft's SyncToy PinmemberJalapeno Bob9-Sep-10 11:54 
GeneralMy vote of 1 PinmemberYury300024-Aug-09 14:59 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberPascal Ganaye15-Sep-11 2:16 
GeneralThanks! PinmemberTonny Vaes24-Aug-08 2:45 
Hi Pascal,
 
Exactly what I was looking for! Simple, easy to use and fast. Before I found sync I was using a vbs script. It worked fine but was mega slow.
 
Thanks for a great tool!
 
Tonny.
QuestionConverting to c# Pinmemberchrisclarke1122-Mar-08 3:07 
AnswerRe: Converting to c# PinmemberPascal Ganaye15-Sep-11 2:20 
Generalpeogram to copy to cd_we or usb Pinmembersyriast29-Jul-06 22:46 
GeneralRe: peogram to copy to cd_we or usb PinmemberPascal Ganaye30-Jul-06 7:58 
GeneralRobocopy not so good PinmemberManuel JD Alves26-Feb-06 22:54 
GeneralRobocopy seems faster Pinsussanadem5-Aug-05 14:15 
GeneralRe: Robocopy seems faster Pinmemberpascal ganaye6-Aug-05 4:46 
QuestionNice, but is this any better than &quot;robocopy&quot;? Pinmembermikestrat3-Aug-05 3:10 
AnswerRe: Nice, but is this any better than &quot;robocopy&quot;? Pinmemberpric01123-Aug-05 8:48 
GeneralRe: Nice, but is this any better than &quot;robocopy&quot;? PinmemberTLWallace.NET10-Aug-05 9:16 
GeneralRe: Nice, but is this any better than &quot;robocopy&quot;? Pinmemberpric011210-Aug-05 10:15 
GeneralRe: Nice, but is this any better than &quot;robocopy&quot;? Pinmembercornejoserrano12-Sep-05 22:14 
GeneralRe: Nice, but is this any better than &quot;robocopy&quot;? Pinmemberraviaw23-Feb-06 9:40 
GeneralDestination issues with +/-RW media. PinmemberMike Whitenton2-Aug-05 21:56 
QuestionAnyone understand this bug ? Pinmemberpascal ganaye1-Aug-05 1:09 
AnswerRe: Anyone understand this bug ? Pinmemberumeca741-Aug-05 7:22 
GeneralRe: Anyone understand this bug ? Pinmemberpascal ganaye1-Aug-05 7:46 
GeneralRe: Anyone understand this bug ? PinmemberJohn M. Drescher1-Aug-05 10:58 
AnswerRe: Anyone understand this bug ? PinmemberJohn M. Drescher1-Aug-05 7:34 
Generala better way PinmemberIsta31-Jul-05 19:28 

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