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Doug's Mailbag: Solving Synchronization, More

Last week, Doug asked readers for their file synchronization solutions. Here are a couple of your suggestions:

Just a quick note on your comment on file synchronization issues. I tried using Office Live to save Office docs and found that it was a bit flaky -- I would sometimes be unable to access it because of some type of issue with passport synchronization.

The best Microsoft option I have used is Mesh. I have work and home machines synchronized with this and it is great; I have not had an issue with it yet. If you need to get to your files from another machine that you don't control, you can also access them through the Web. You can even remote control other machines through it if you want, although I don't use that.

I've been using Windows Live Sync. Pretty cool and so far relatively bug-free. You should try it.

I've found a solution to sync My Documents or any other folders between all of my systems that works for me. I use SyncBack Pro. I have one system that is my "master" and all systems sync to it nightly. Thus, if I make a change to a document on my laptop, at the next sync cycle it will be synced to the master system. Then when my wife's system syncs to the master, the cycle after the laptop has synced, her system will pick up the changed files. All of her changed files are synced to the master and my laptop will pick them up on its next sync cycle.

With SyncBack Pro I can mirror, back up and use various other options. Example: I have one backup that I run for My Documents where I copy (source) any changed file to a special folder (destination) and if I delete a file in the source, it is NOT deleted from the destination. This covers me when I delete a file and then a couple of months later, I realize I goofed and really need it. With the Pro version, it will copy locked files. I also use it to back up my Outlook 2007 files (both the Local and Roaming folders).

And finally, Michael is looking forward to Windows 7, if only so we can stop talking about Vista:

I read Vista-hating comments and editorials all the time, and I really don't get it. After the traditional SP1 release, I've had very little trouble with Vista on literally dozens of machines at work and at home. You couldn't pay me to use XP again, and my friends and family say the same.

I think hating on Vista is cool and trendy and that's the real reason people do it. I'm eager to see 7 adopted just so we can finally stop beating this drum.

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to

Posted by Doug Barney on 09/21/2009 at 1:17 PM


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