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Old Aug 15, 2015, 12:10 PM   #1
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Default How do you compare folders in seperate, different hard drives?

I have a C-Drive (Windows 10) and several EHD's (external hard drives).

The EHD's mirror what is on the C-Drive, I use the EHD's to back up the exact data that is found on the C-Drive.

Sometimes my C-Drive might have a folder that has way more files in it than the EHD does. For example, the My Pictures folder located on the C-Drive

might have 1,100 files in it

and the same folder located on the external hard drive might have less,
950 files in it.

Is there a procedure (or a software program) that will quickly find, highlight, and point out the 100 outstanding files so a person can transfer them over to the EHD?

Please dumb your answer down, way down, if you're a code king or code queen, thank you

OS: Windows 10
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Old Aug 15, 2015, 12:53 PM   #2
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I'd check your mirroring software. It may be that the mirror(s) just hasn't caught up with C:, especially if you have multiple mirrors.
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Old Aug 15, 2015, 2:35 PM   #3
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It does sound as if your mirroring s/w isn't operating in real time. If it is only doing it weekly, there will be differences in between times. If you have an original and an edited version of the same picture, it may not mirror both versions. (since I don't know what you're using, it's hard to say)
Windows has a built-in file compare utility, but may not be as simple as you want. Use Run > CMD and get a DOS window. Type in help FC, and it will show you the parameters and syntax to use FC.
If that is too much, here is a shareware program which should suit your needs:http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/deta...d_compare.html
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Old Aug 21, 2015, 11:45 AM   #4
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I tend to do this manually, I simply copy the current folder over my backup (I keep the folder structure identical from the start), and have Windows 7 "skip" files that already exist (and I check the 'do this for all conflicts' box).
This depends on my mirror being one-way (i.e., I'm never merging my backup into my working directory, only my working directory into the backup)

No external software, just one quick manual step and let the computers / network do all the 'heavy lifting'
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Old Aug 22, 2015, 3:10 PM   #5
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Default Mission accomplished

Update before I say thanks:

I never wrote that I have mirror software, I've never used mirror software. I copy and paste: I copy and paste new files into the same folder that is kept on separate EHD's / drives.

I was using the word 'mirror' as a descriptive word, or an adjective.

I lucked out big-time: I found some software that will compare a folder that might have a million files in it, when said folder is kept safe on multiple EHD's and uniformity is critically important.

The software has turned out to be a lifesaver and a time saver too because a missing file in a folder that has thousands of files

used to take 30 minutes or a lot longer

to identify

but now takes about one minute of time to identify the missing file(s).

Also, besides cutting down the time it takes to hunt down a file(s), after acquiring the software I learned that precision is no longer important, I can be sloppy and not worry about uniformity when creating new files and then storing them on separate EHD's -

like the night before I go to the bank and I need to be 1000% sure that both drives are uniform because I'm going to put the drives in a safe deposit box.

As soon as I downloaded the software this layperson saw some things and I was immediately hit with a good feeling by what I saw:

1) When you open the program you see 5 icons and one icon is labeled 'Folder Compare' (eureka !!! ... those two words spoke volumes)
2) Click on Folder Compare and then a window opens. Said window is split in half. At this point I was still trying to figure it out when up near the menu bar I saw a lot of icons but the one titled 'Diff' stood out like a sore thumb and I asked myself
3) Does 'Diff' mean it will compare the same folder that is stored on different drives? - boy, lets hope so. I soon learned that, yes, it is indeed the icon that compares folders and that is why
4) The window is split in half, because you drag and drop one folder, from each separate EHD, and into each half of the screen in order to compare the contents
5) You then click on 'Diff' and the program then HIGHLIGHTS the files that are missing
6) All of the above takes about one minute

After stumbling on the software I went to bed that night feeling as if I had finally eliminated a huge problem from my life. The next morning I was of course interested in the price, because I had downloaded a free 30 day trial - I learned that it costs $50, which I was kind of expecting.

Over priced? Oh heck yeah, but

since it can potentially save me a ton of time,

because I go to the bank on regular basis to swap drives,

and because you can't and never should put COMPLETE trust into online storage companies like Jungle Disk to protect your data,

the over priced $oftware is worth it to me.

Several years ago Jungle Disk lost ALL of my data when they made changes to their sites interface. The change to their sites interface,


with the loss of every single digital file I had, may, or may not, have been a coincidence. I will never surrender COMPLETE trust to any online storage service.

Sorry, but I can't, and will not, give out the name of the comparison software because you probably know why.

I came back to thank you for taking the time to answer my important call for help that I lobbed towards the community and to wish everyone Happy Labor Day 2015
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Old Aug 22, 2015, 8:03 PM   #6
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Though my suggestions didn't get implemented, I shall still say:

Thanks for coming by SDC, please come back regularly, you'll find there are a lot of extremely good, helpful, friendly people around here. Post your pictures, comment, ask questions. I think it's fair to say that this community can always benefit from a new member.

Aside from this, I'm personally glad you found a solution that works for your situation!

Edit: to be fair, $50 for software that shaves stress and time out of your life, pretty cheap, IMHO. Ask around, how much people here have spent on photo-editing software. I believe that Photoshop now costs between 10 and 20 dollars PER MONTH for casual users. $50 dollars to solve a serious problem is actually quite inexpensive in the software world!

Last edited by conor; Aug 22, 2015 at 8:08 PM.
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Old Mar 10, 2016, 4:12 PM   #7
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$50 is a steep price
Directory Report is half the price
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Old Mar 22, 2016, 6:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by binaryman View Post
$50 is a steep price
Directory Report is half the price
WinMerge is free and does directory compares.
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