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SYNCHROMAGIC FAQ

This page last updated 7 March 2008

See version changes here

   General FAQ

      

   Additional FAQ's

  Specific Operation FAQ's

   Synchronize or Backup?

To Synchronize essentially means to make exact or duplicate copy of files and folders. One may Synchronize in order to provide a safety backup.

There is major confusion in regard to the use of the word backup. synchronization is a way to backup files to another location. This can be done either by file transfer to another location locally (i.e. another folder, another hard drive or to a removable drive, zip drive, CD Rom) or remote (FTP).


   Differences between Synchronization and Backup tasks

Backup tasks provides compression via a zip file (optionally). The backup is a backup to a nominated zip file. The zip file need NOT exist prior to creating the task, but the target should always be something.zip.
Another difference is that for Backup tasks multiple targets can be used simultaneously or consecutively. If the "Use targets simultaneously" option is selected, source will be backed up to all targets every time task started. If the "Use targets consecutively" option is selected, every time the task is started only one target will be used (next target for next time and so on).


   Files MUST be closed

Files may only be Synchronized if they are not opened exclusively. Database files, Outlook PST files, and ini files for other databases should all be closed prior to synchronization. Files that are LOCKED OPEN (I.E.the file is being used in its native program) cannot be Synchronized. But they can be skipped if option "Continue without asking" is set in App preferences.


   Hardware needed to Synchronize

You can keep two computers or in synch if you can map the network Drives in Windows Explorer or in My Network Neighbourhood. To do that, you need network cards, a hub, and network cables, of which there are several different kinds. You need to discuss your appropriate netwoking hardware with an accredited hardware technician. The major issue is to either be able to PiNG the other computer successfully or see a directory listing in the other computer. If you can do that successfully, you can use Synchromagic.

Laplink for Windows uses a parallel cable and does not need Synchromagic.

You can keep your Workstation PC and your laptop Synchronized if you have a proper network connection (PC Ethernet Card in laptop and network card in your PC or a hub. If you can connect to the network or local area network, and see the drives on both computers in Windows Explorer, then you can use Synchromagic.

When you first run Synchromagic, take care. Use Target Update and always update the computer you are transferring files to. That way, you will always transfer the correct files and update appropriately. Use the Compare and Preview functions to check that you are transferring the right files and you have the folders in synch and you understand completely why the folders are different if they are.


   Do I use the // before FTP command?

The // for the ftp command is shown only in the interface window. The inner instructions don't use ftp:// before address (it would not work). If you are having FTP connection difficulties, there may be an issue with the ftp parameters. If you have crashed on an FTP transaction, and did not save the task, the FTP password is lost. Suggest retyping password, try to use passive mode.


   How do I exclude files

This advise corrects the HELP screenshot. It shows entering "BAK; TMP" .... this is incorrect and future releases will display either space delimited or comma delimited entries. You cannot use the semicolon. A space must be used. Also, in the "File/Subdirectory" exclusion area, it is not possible to enter a filename there. For example, you cannot exclude all "Thumbs.db" files by entering it here and setting to all tasks. You must enter "*.db" for each task in the lower "extension" box.

How to exclude files


   Universal Naming Conventions (UNC)

Here is an overview of UNC

Universal Naming Convention provides a common method for accessing files on a network drive without using a "mapped" drive letter. Names specified this way are called UNC names. They typically appear as:

\\server\volume\path\filename

OR
//server/volume/path/filename

where:

server is the name of the network server where the files reside,

volume is the name of a volume on that server,

path is the name of the directory/subdirectories leading to the file, and

filename is name of the file.

The back slashes (\\) are mostly used with Windows networks. The forward slashes (//) are used on UNIX systems and on the Web. Always use forward slashes when using FTP.

There is another reference to this issue with folder names and UNC:
This advise comes from Winguides.com

Allow UNC Paths at the Command Prompt The Command Processor normally checks and disallows UNC names from being used for the current directory in the Command Prompt as they may cause problems with launched child processes. This tweak can be used to allow UNC paths and remove the warning message. Winguides.com registry tweak


   Long File Names and Maximum Folder Depth

Synchromagic support file path length up to 32000 characters.


   Using the Scheduler

In order to use the scheduler, you must first save the task; then the scheduler becomes available. To run the task scheduling, you MUST save tasks. Before and after selecting scheduling.

The correct account and password must be set in the "Run as" scheduler option. Moreover this account should be the one which was used when registering Synchromagic.

You must start scheduling as a service on your computer if you are running Windows NT or Windows 2000 or Windows XP ... to do this (Start->Settings->Control Panel->Services) for scheduling and AT command to work.

For Windows NT 4 active desktop must be activated to run task scheduler.

If you set to schedule a new task, or if you add some tasks to the task list, set scheduling options for them and then do Save as to the new tsl file. Scheduled tasks will not start because there are no new tasks saved in the previously open tsl file.

If nobody is logged in then for scheduled tasks:

  • silent mode must be set (don't show task status window)
  • continue without asking or stop without asking must be set
  • Preview must be unchecked
  • UNC names must be used for shared resources (like \\Computer_name\shared_dir_name\...)

When you plan to use the command line mode, go back to the Synchromagic task window, and get the task id for that particular task. You should add the task id into the command line like so ... I am running an email backup task using a tsl file called eml.tsl .... I should also include the task id, which, in this case, is 227


"C:\Program Files\Synchromagic\Synchro.exe" /f:"C:\Program
Files\Synchromagic\TLists\eml.tsl" 227 /s

   Command line options:

/r - replace target. Destination directory will be replaced with the
source directory.
/s - silent mode. No any windows will be shown.
/a - all tasks of <Tasks list> will be started. (same as Synch All)
/f:<Tasks list>
/c - tasks will be started consecutively.
/m - tasks will be started simultaneously.
/d - shutdown computer after finishing.
/t:<Target FTP host>

Quotation marks are required if there are spaces in the path.

Windows XP Scheduler Hiccups and other issues

A specific issue concerning scheduler under Windows XP Professional and may be also applicable to other MS operating systems and servers due the high frequecy of security patches being issued.

The problem with Synchromagic not running under Task Manager is completely because of Windows XP. Under Windows XP, any Task set up under Task Scheduler must be Password Enabled by the User who set up the Task.

If the User has not set up a User Password and entered the password for the Task, it will not run. This is even if the User is the only User and does not need a password for his computer.

On Windows XP (Home or Pro), with Service Pack 1 or any recent QFE's, there are additional issues.

If Synchronizing fails, or the scheduler fails, you should then do a little experiment. Attempt to drag files to the target folder from source.

If you get into problems with "do not have rights to (copy) this folder", please examine this page on Windows XP File Sharing and Security .
This can be found at http://www.udel.edu/timmins/FileSharingXP/

This is due to recent security fixes by Microsoft



   Synchronizing Outlook Email

Synchromagic can Synchronize email. The task is different for each Outlook email type, and also changes with different operating systems. However, you question is more a Windows question. The answer may somewhat depend on your operating system.

MS Outlook

Using Windows 98 or Windows ME, If you were to Synchronize C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook and then select the large PST file for Outlook you can synch to exactly the same folder on another computer and then the email is the same. That is how I keep my email in sych and it works well. Be sure you select the correct PST file.

Here is where Outlook 2000 is on most computers in Windows NT: C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook (where Administrator is the login or user name.)

In Windows XP the data is found here:

C:\Documents and Settings\User\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook (where User is the login or user name).

Outlook Express

If you are using Outlook Express, issues are slightly different. You have to find mailbox storage folders. Here is the instruction:

  • Outlook Express 6.* mail boxes have extension *.dbx
  • Outlook Express 5.* mail boxes have extension *.dbx
  • Outlook Express 4.* mail boxes have extension *.mbx

To view the path, run Outlook, Select Tools, then Options, then Maintenance panel and click "Store Folder" button.

This will show you the Identities folder. This is what you have to Synchronize between computers.

On Windows 98 the outlook store folder looks like this: C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Identities\{33AFC206-DD86-42B1-8C04-5719FE41FB18}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

So you should find something like that on Windows 98 or Windows ME

On Windows NT Windows 2000 and Windows XP the Outlook Store Folder looks like this: C:\Documents and Settings\User\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{1A384C15-F5BC-48D3-A4E9-64176299BAAC}\Microsoft\Outlook Express (you must look for login or user name)

You will have to make sure the same email accounts are selected for Synchronizing, it is better you select all files.

Your Synchronize email task is then to find the email folder, select it, then select the appropriate files. In Outlook, which comes with Microsoft Office, there is only one file, and that is a PST file. If you have saved many outlook files and made backups, then you will have several PST files. Be sure to select the correct PST file for Synchronizing.

In Outlook Express, the matter is slightly more complicated but achievable, none the less.

To Synchronize between a laptop and a PC you should have a network card in the PC, a null modem cable to connect the two, and an Etherlink PC Lan Card in the laptop, or an Etherlink PC Network and LAN card in your laptop.

If you are using Windows XP, and your laptop is NOT using Windows XP, then you will need to use the NETSTART utility which comes with With Windows XP and save it to floppy and run it on your laptop. You will find this utility in Network Troubleshooting. You will perhaps require the Windows XP setup CD nearby.

CAVEAT EMPTOR: The user must beware. Synchronizing Email advise above is advise on a Windows question, not a question about SynchroMagic. Please be careful and be safe, back up your sensitive data before doing things in Windows if you have not got the expertise in this area or if you have not done this before. It is always better to be safe than sorry. We accept no responsibility for this advise.


   Editing Task ID's (WARNING - Experienced users only)

If you are an experienced user of Regedit, and you are comfortable in making changes to system registry, you can modify the last maximum task ID:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\GeloSoft\Synchromagic\ELNum

But before setting it to lower value all tasks with high ID values must be deleted. In the other case when tsl files with these tasks are open ELNum value will be set to maximum ID of open tasks...


   Daylight Savings Issues

Given a Windows 98 client with a FAT32 filesystem and a Windows XP client with an NTFS filesystem, both in the same (with DST enabled) timezone, when DST kicks-in (simultaneously on both), then users will have a problem.

From http://techsupt.winbatch.com/TS/T000002001F17.html:

"Under WinNT (and some other platforms) file timestamps are stored in "file time" and translated to local "system time" by a formula based on the system's timezone, and whether or not Daylight Savings Time (DST) is in effect. The first problem is that when DST goes on or off, the formula changes - but the same formula is used for dates before and after the time change! Therefore, if last week you made note of a timestamp on a file on your server and you looked at it today, you'd see that the timestamp appears to have jumped forward one hour. Clearly, MS didn't want the overhead of a more complicated formula that conditionally adjusts for DST depending on the date of the timestamp.

That might be annoying by itself, but then the second problem comes in: The FAT file system under Win95/98 works in the opposite manner. Timestamps are stored as is and aren't affected by the system's timezone or DST. (If a program asks for the file's "file time", Windows fakes the answer by reversing the above formula.) So, the reported timestamp does not "jump" when DST changes.

If you have all FAT-based files systems, or all NTFS file systems, you probably wouldn't notice any of this. But when a Win95/98 PC is attached to a WinNT server and you move/compare files between them, then it's a real pain." Synchromagic will look to providing a solution to this issue. In the meantime, users should change the selection in the advanced settings page from Timestamps to Timestamps and Size, or Size, or other suitable setting.


Additional Help

Further help topics will be posted from time to time. If you have help questions that have not been answered on this page, you may contact support:
synchelp@gelosoft.com

Do not contact suppport if you use anti-spam, Spam Arrest, or have a message blocking rule in your email client where you do not allow messages from unverified sources to arrive in your mailbox. If you want support, unblock 'synchelp(at)infinisource.com'

If you haven't got your registration code you should unblock 'synchelp(at)gelosoft.com'


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