How can I keep two separate folders in sync? Leo says to use Second Copy by Centered Systems. It works great. The other choice is Microsoft's Sync Toy, but it's not very good. Russ will have to be careful not to sync deletions. If he syncs deletions, it'll delete whatever was deleted on the other one. He'll want versioning.
Angelo bought a Toshiba Laptop with Office 365 and One Drive backup in 2013. When he started to back it up to the cloud, he bought a second computer and now he's lost a lot of data because files were removed when syncing to the secondary computer. So it's deleting files off his original computer. Microsoft doesn't know what to do about it. Leo says that's a good reason to have more than one backup. One Drive is not a backup. It's a file sync system that matches two folders, or two hard drives to make them equal. That means syncing deletes as well as copying files.
Greg wants to know if ransomware will infect and encrypt drives in multiple locations. He uses the Transporter to sync his data. Leo says it won't do that. It can't go over the internet to infect it. But if he's backing up encrypted files, those could get backed up replacing the other files. That's why versioning is so important. Carbonite has a great solution and a white paper on versioning.
(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor)
Gary backed up some data and the deleted the original. But now Carbonite has deleted them as well. Leo says it's not a smart thing to delete his original because that makes the backup the only copy! He needs to have at least two or three copies of a file for it to be properly backed up. With Carbonite's versioning software, if it sees he's deleted an original, after 30 days it'll just delete it assuming he didn't want it anymore. Always have at least 3 copies, from two formats, one off site. That's the best way to do it.
File syncing can be complicated, especially when multiple people are accessing the file, or if a file is being edited in two different locations separately. The computer or cloud service often won’t know what changes should be preserved in the official file, so it will create duplicates which can be messy. It’s also possible to lose changes when the file is synced, or a collaborator could delete something you want to get back. Google Drive is one cloud service that makes this easier to manage with ‘file versioning.’
Paul is looking for software to allow him to backup each version of what he's working on. Leo says that's called "versioning." Windows 7 has versioning, called "Shadow Copy." He can enable it in his settings, inside System Properties Control Panel. He should look for a System Protection Tab, and enable Shadow Copy. It'll copy to a portion to the local hard drive that he can then backup.
There are several third party programs that can also accomplish this:
This is $55, but has a free trial.