The SyncToy interface is surprisingly user friendly for such a complex tool
- 1GHz Intel P3 processor or equivalent
- 256MB RAM, 512MB RAM recommended
- 20MB free disk space
To determine if you already have the .NET Framework installed, begin by clicking Start button, selecting Control Panel, and then double-clicking the Add or Remove Programs icon. When you see the Add or Remove Programs window, scroll through the Currently Installed Programs list and look for Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1.
If you see it listed, make sure that you also have Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Hotfix listed. If you don't see the Hotfix listed, follow the instructions below for installing Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1.
If you don't see Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 in the Currently Installed Programs list, point Internet Explorer to the Windows Update site (http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com), select the Custom button, select the optional software category, and look for Microsoft .NET Framework. When you do so, you'll find two versions of Microsoft .NET Framework--1.1 and 2.0. Since SyncToy specifically requires 1.1, you must download and install it. (If you bypass 1.1 and go straight to 2.0, SyncToy will not install.)
In addition to .NET Framework 1.1, you need to install Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1. To do so, point Internet Explorer to the Windows Update site (http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com), select the Express button and allow Windows Update to scan your system. Because you have Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 installed, Windows Update will recommend Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 in the High Priority Updates section. Just follow the online instructions to download and install it.
Downloading and installing SyncToy
SyncToy is available as a free download from the Microsoft Download Center. However, keep in mind that while Microsoft ensures that SyncToy, or any of the other PowerToys for that matter, will work as described, they stop short of guaranteeing them. Furthermore, they're not officially supported by Microsoft, which means that Microsoft Technical Support will not answer questions on problems with SyncToy. Nevertheless, I've been using this tool quite extensively for some time now and haven't encountered any major problems.
When you arrive at the SyncToy download page, just follow the onscreen instructions for the Genuine Windows Validation procedure and begin the download. Once you've downloaded the Setup.msi file, just double-click the file to launch the SyncToy Setup Wizard. Then, follow along to install SyncToy. When the installation is complete, you'll find the SyncToy shortcut on the All Programs menu.
Getting started with SyncToy
The first time that you run SyncToy, you'll find that it sports a very straight forward interface. As you can see above, the opening screen prompts you to select a pair of folders that you want to keep in sync. As you can see, for simplicity the folders are designated as the Left Folder and the Right Folder. More about these folders in a moment.
On the first screen of the wizard, you're first asked to select the Left Folder
This example folder pair consists of a folder on a local drive and a backup folder on the network
SyncToy provides you with your choice of five different synchronization methods
As the last step in the wizard, you'll be prompted to name your folder pair
The summary page provides you with an overview of the synchronization operation you've chosen
The Preview provides a comprehensive list of the files and the types of operations that will be involved in the synchronization operation you've chosen
The Results screen shows you a tally of all the file operations that occurred during the synchronization operation
On the first screen of the wizard, you're first asked to select the Left FolderWhen you click the Create a New Folder Pair button, you'll launch a four page wizard that will walk you though the operation of selecting your folder pair, which can exist on the same computer or on separate computers connected to a network. As you can see above, you're first asked to specify the Left Folder by clicking the Browse button.
Related Topics:Microsoft Enterprise Software Software Collaboration Mobility Cloud Hardware
By Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.