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Posts Tagged ‘tool’

Microsoft’s SyncToy Keeps Data Safe and Handy

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Do you have a need to frequently access folders and files on a laptop or other computer that is not turned on 24/7? If this is you, you’ll know that you usually have to turn on the laptop and wait for it to boot to a state that allows you to access the data. This could be as quick as two minutes or as long as 10 minutes, depending on the age of your hardware. Even worse, if your battery is low and no ac power is available to plug in the laptop you may have to wait even longer.

You don’t have to wait anymore, there is a solution to your data accessibility problems! You can copy those folders and files to a usb memory stick and, not only will you be able to access to the data from another computer, you will also have a “live” backup just in case something ever happens. On a small memory stick with a small amount of data it is possible to perform the data copy operations and keep the data synchronized manually. As your data grows however, the process will eventually become difficult to manage in an effective way. Just the need to answer “Yes” or “No” to every overwrite dialog could make a regular copy operation turn into a nightmare.

Fortunately, Microsoft provides a free tools called SyncToy which will help minimize the time it takes to keep files in sync between folder pairs on your laptop and thumb drive. Download SyncToy here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=15155

You will need the proper download based on your existing operating system, your choices are x64 or x32 bit versions. To find out what version you need, click Start, right click on the computer icon, and select Properties. Half way down the page you’ll see the “System” Header, now find “System Type” and look to see if your system requires 32-bit or 64-bit software. Download and install SyncToy then run it, which will bring up the following screen:

SyncToy's opening screen

To begin, you need to create a folder pair. This pair is how SyncToy manages keeping your files syncronized between the left and right folders. When you click on the Create Folder Pair button you start the process of joining the folder pairs. It is easiest if you browse to the location for each pair:

Starting a folder pair

For this example we will use a “Test” folder with the “left” folder on the local hard drive and the “right” folder on a thumb drive. If a folder does not exist on the right folder destination, SyncToy allows you to create the folder as needed. Once you have folders set, you will be given a choice to Synchronize, Echo, or Contribute. For most applications you should Synchronize. You should carfully consider each option to get the best result. Here are the definitions of the options.

Synchronize: New and updated files are copied both ways. Renames and deletes on either side are repeated on the other.

Echo: New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames and deletes on the left are repeated on the right.

Contribute: New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames on the left are repeated on the right. No deletions.

Choose your Sync

Now name your pair. This should be a simple name, yet descriptive of the pair.

Name your pair

That is all there is to creating folder pairs:

The First Pair

The simpler you keep your pairs, the easier it will be to maintain them. Now you simply need to run the pair(s) as needed, or put them on a schedule, but that is a topic for a future blog post.

my PC Techs provides expert computer consultants to your Arizona business. Let us help your business save money and increase productivity. Call today (602) 456-0150 for a free consultation.

Using Google Realtime Search to Track Social Media Efforts

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

We now have another tool in the shed for tracking the effectiveness of social media marketing campaigns. Google has a new search page, Google Realtime, that allows a search of social updates, news articles and blog posts about hot topics around the world.

This tool gives you an easy way to find hot companies offering products and services on the social web. This beta project could very well be a testing ground for something much bigger down the road. Google has tried several times to integrate real time social web search results into standard Google searches, but nothing much has come of those efforts. If this tool takes off, I believe the research they gain from the project will lead to bigger things down the road. Specifically, the merging of standard web search results with results from Facebook, Twitter, news sites, and other social networking sites.

One other lesson that this experiment can teach us is the importance of a deep online marketing approach for your business that doesn’t focus solely on pay per click advertising to get the word out. In addition to SEM, proper SEO and social media marketing methods continue to gain ground as cost-effective ways to put products and services in front of prospective clients.

Get searching now and see if your company rates well in realtime.


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