Alternative to Synctoy

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by bob_estremera, Jul 10, 2021.

  1. I have been using Synctoy for years but lately it's been unreliable. I used it a couple of times today and it was fine but when I tried to back up a different external drive, it was unresponsive and wouldn't work at all.

    I like the simplicity of Synctoy in 'Echo' mode. I work on photos with Lightroom and Photoshop from either my PC or a 'working' external Western Digital drive. The working drive has everything backed up on it from the PC also. I also back up to a second WD drive (identical specs) and a smaller WD Passport, just in case.

    I don't need to schedule backups or backup to the cloud because I unplug the externals until I use them I set up folder pairs in Synctoy and just sit down a few days a month, set the pairs to start Echoing between drives (left to write Echo) while I putter around doing other things. That's all I need.

    I'm looking for something more robust and reliable but with the same ease of use.


    Thanks, Bob
  2. I use SynchBackSE, one of the backup products offered by BrightSparks.I believe it is for windows only.

    Check out their three products to see if one fit your needs and price point. I have used it for over 10 years without any issues.

    I prefer to launch the software myself when I want my images backed up. I use either a Backup or a Mirror synch depending on what I am doing or have done with my files.

    Detailed backup software comparison - SyncBackPro, SyncBackSE and SyncBackFree
  3. Robocopy is quite robust (it stands for "robust file copy"), simple, and free. It's a command line tool included with Windows, but several GUIs are available. The "robocopy /?" command in the command prompt or power shell will list all its functions, but for backups, perhaps the " /mir" switch is the most commonly used. Read up on it a little before using it, because it is not foolproof, but a very powerful and simple tool.
  4. I use SyncToy daily to create offline backups.

    The few times I have had problems with it is because the drive access letter had changed and caused a conflict with the way the pairs had been generated. I now set the drive letter for the SyncToy target drive high (in my case I use "L") so even if I have other drives or Flash Drives plugged in, the SyncToy drive is always the same letter, "L". No more problems, for me.

    In Windows 10, to assign a drive letter to a specific disk, plug the disk in, Right Click on START, and select Disk Management. Highlight the disk, RIGHT Click on it and select "Change drive letter and paths..." Do this for each of your SyncToy disks. I would suggest a reasonably high letter ("L" or above) to avoid conflicts when the operating system assigns letters to disk you simply plug in.

  5. SyncToy invokes RoboCopy to make the actual copy after it build the lists of files that need to be copied.
  6. Karen's Replicator
    Charles_Webster likes this.
  7. So sorry everybody, I didn't receive notice of these replies. Thanks for the input.
  8. Directory Opus, a superb replacement for Microsoft' toy file manager, includes a completely reliable sync function, in addition to all sorts of other tools. It's what I now use to create a mirror of my photos, which serves as my local backup.

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