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Identical files mislabeled as orphans?

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  • Identical files mislabeled as orphans?

    Hi - I am new to BC3 so please bear with me. Consider the attached screenshot. Why are these files on both sides being labelled as Orphans (blue) when they seem as identical to each other as ones BC3 usually finds to be the Same (black)?

  • #2
    If you use the Tools->Save Snapshot command to save snapshots of each side and then compare those instead of the original folders, does it still produce the misalignment? If so, attach them here or email them to [email protected] and I'll take a look.
    Zoë P Scooter Software


    • #3
      Thanks for the snapshots. Your files are misaligning because the ones in E:\MP3s\celtic have a space before the first "-" and the ones in E:\MP3s\Music\Habib\MP3s\celtic do not. BC will preserve leading whitespace when it copies files; it doesn't look like Explorer does.
      Zoë P Scooter Software


      • #4
        Well spotted, Eagle Eye Craig! I have to squint very hard to see it, but yes it does seem a few pixels difference between the start of the filenames in both BC and Explorer.

        It's reassuring to know BC is so accurate, but accurate isn't always practical. So assuming there are thousands of files with this minor discrepancy and impossible to rename manually, what is a solution to having them get identified as identical? Is there a certain Rule or other setting tweak in BC3 to ignore/adjust these filenames accordingly when comparing, or is there a 3rd party tool which you would recommend using in conjunction with BC3 to batch rename them in bulk before comparing?


        • #5
          There are two ways to handle this within BC:

          Rename: Select all the files that might be affected (you can include ones that don't have the leading space), and issue a Rename command. In the rename dialog select the "Regular expressions" radio button, then use "^ (.*)$" as the "Old mask" and "$1" as the "New mask".

          Force alignment: If you have BC Pro, open the Session Settings dialog, switch to the "Misc" tab, and click "New" under "Alignment overrides". In the "Align left file" use "^ (.*)$", and for "with right file use "$1", then check the "Regular expression" checkbox.
          Zoë P Scooter Software


          • #6
            Success!!!! Works like a charm. Thanks Craig -- back to evaluating BC now...


            • #7
              Same symptom, but looks like a different issue?

              Howdy. I am new to BC3 as well (still in eval period) but I am having a similar issue except that I think I am definitely seeing orphaned files on both sides with the same names.

              I am comparing a local dir with a shared dir (via UNC path) and I always seem to see this issue for files at the "root" level of the share. The share (UNC path) is from a windows home server and the local files are on a win 7 box (64bit).

              I have attached a snapshot of a simple example. The files on the right do show the "arrow glyph" and the documentation mentions that:

              "Folder icons will include a small arrow glyph if the folder is a junction point or symbolic link."
              (BTW, you should probably add this info and the "red X" glyph to the "Legend"(Ctrl-Alt-L) -- took me a while to find that icon modification in the written documentation.)

              However when I do a dir on the UNC path, the files appear to be normal:

              C:\>dir \\relativity\public
              Volume in drive \\relativity\public is DATA
              Volume Serial Number is E8FF-0256

              Directory of \\relativity\public

              01/09/2011 12:59 AM <DIR> .
              01/09/2011 12:59 AM <DIR> ..
              03/21/2008 02:20 AM 187,392 WHS_ReleaseDocs.doc
              12/20/2007 01:17 AM 691,504 Windows_Home_Server_Drive_Extender.pdf
              2 File(s) 878,896 bytes
              2 Dir(s) 1,584,810,708,992 bytes free

              C:\>dir /ah \\relativity\public
              Volume in drive \\relativity\public is DATA
              Volume Serial Number is E8FF-0256

              Directory of \\relativity\public

              11/26/2009 05:31 PM 0 desktop.ini
              1 File(s) 0 bytes
              0 Dir(s) 1,584,705,851,392 bytes free


              BTW, I have even selected the local/left files and clicked "Copy to Right" and the files end up lining up and comparing fine -- that is until I restart BC3 and then I get the same mismatched orphans results.

              Any ideas?



              • #8
                It would be helpful to have BC snapshots of the remote site. Load the comparison then set the filters to "-*\" to exclude all of the subfolders. Use the Tools->Save Snapshot... command to generate the snapshots then email them to [email protected] with a link back to this forum post. It would probably help to have two snapshots, one with "Include: Symbolic link targets" checked and one without; none of the rest of the checkboxes should be checked.
                Zoë P Scooter Software


                • #9
                  This seems similar to an issue I'm encountering at work. I noticed this issue over 10 years ago (while at another company), so it hasn't been noticed or fixed for a very long time.

                  Though invisible to the user, it appears that files on our server may be compressed or encrypted. When I copy a folder from the server to drive C -- and then compare the source and destination folders -- many of the files (but not all) are mis-aligned and show as orphans. The filenames, dates, and sizes are identical on the left and right sides -- the only difference is that the server filenames have a small "arrow glyph" next to them. Filenames that do not have the "glyph" compare correctly.

                  When I do a manual compare of a single file (server vs. drive C version), it is identical. When I make another copy of the folder on drive C, both versions of the drive C folders compare correctly and are identical.

                  This is not an issue of a hidden blank. I suspect that the file on the server has a pointer to its contents (deep within the file structure) that requires an extra step that is normally taken care of (in a way that is invisible to the user) -- and that Beyond Compare is not processing it correctly because of some speed optimization. Beyond Compare notices enough of a difference that it adds the glyph to the server side filename and then chooses not to compare or open the two filenames (left and right side).

                  Instead of adding the glyph, I should be able to specify that Beyond Compare do a manual compare of each such filename (when a glyph would be shown). It may run slower, but that would be far better than forcing me to do manual compares on hundreds (or thousands) of files that are probably identical anyway. Or, better yet, Beyond Compare should just handle it. (If it would run noticeably slower, they could add a note to the listing saying that extra processing was needed due to hidden compression or encryption.)

                  Of course, if Beyond Compare already has a command to take care of this, please let me know what it is. :-)


                  • #10

                    BC4 uses the same copy function as Windows Explorer; if you perform a test copy using Explorer instead, then view in BC4, does the glyph also appear?

                    I suspect the glyph you are mentioning is the icon used to represent Symlinks, which some servers do create and manage. These aren't followed by default, but this is an option. In the Folder Compare's Session menu -> Session Settings, Handling tab, enable Follow Symbolic Links. Once followed, then the items are aligned. However, you may want to review exactly where these links are pointing to, and why your server is creating them, so you know exactly what you are comparing.
                    Aaron P Scooter Software


                    • #11
                      Yes, "Follow Symbolic Links" solved the problem! I'm extremely happy that Beyond Compare already had a solution -- and that you answered my question so quickly and completely. I should have asked years ago.

                      Beyond Compare is the computer program that I value the most because it helps me to reach the highest levels of quality in what I do (see Praise below). This was a somewhat obscure problem -- and I may not have used the help mechanisms as effectively as I could -- but I wonder if there is something that could have been done to help find this solution sooner.

                      The only clue was the tiny arrow next to the filename. I didn't know what it was called (keywords are needed to search for help) -- assuming I did it correctly, context sensitive help didn't help in this case. I agree that it is best that the default mode does not follow links, but I wish that somehow Beyond Compare made it easier to learn about the "Follow Symbolic Links" option.

                      Praise for Beyond Compare:

                      During my career, I've compared tens of millions of files for a wide variety of reasons. Of course, a key purpose of Beyond Compare is to isolate differences and it does this very well. However, I also value the ability to provide independent verification that other computer programs are doing their jobs correctly and haven't changed something that should not change.

                      I've detected more cases that one might guess where configuration management or compression systems made mistakes -- I regularly compare files before going into such systems to what comes out. I've even detected a couple of cases where even Windows Copy made a mistake (very rare, but it has happened). Please make sure that Beyond Compare is absolutely correct when it says two files are identical -- a lot very high quality systems depend on that independent verification.

                      I could write a small book on the multitude of ways that a good compare program helps improve software and data quality, but this post is already too long. :-)

                      Thanks again for resolving this issue promptly! Keep up the good work!


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the feedback. Adding and enhancing our display for symlinks is on our wishlist; I'll add your notes to our entry on the subject.

                        And thanks for the praise. Great to hear how BC4 can help.
                        Aaron P Scooter Software