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Backup-folder for updated/deleted files

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  • Backup-folder for updated/deleted files

    Up front: I am newbie and am testing Beyond Compare now.

    Have shortly but vainly looked if the below matter has been discussed before here. Maybe it is, but -as said- I could not find it.

    Following scenario:

    Say I am synchronizing two Excel-folders, one of them being located on the backupdrive.

    A number of files that are in the sourcefolders are updated.
    When synchronizing, the files in the destinationfolder will become the same.

    1) If BC finds a file with the same name in the dest.folder, but obviously with a different size/date, then the file in the destination folder should first be copied to a backup folder, including its full path and adding the date-time to the filename, before it is being replaced.

    2) If BC finds a file in the dest.folder, that is nót in the source folder, then
    same action above.

    3) this upto -say- 2-3 versions(?) of the file.

    4) older versions of the same file to be deleted.

    This way, in case of emergency, a backup can be restored of a previous file or even an earlier file, when accidentally synchronizing files that upon 2nd thought shd not hv been overwritten.

    Is this possible?


  • #2

    Beyond Compare can keep one level of backup by setting that option in the Tools menu -> Options dialog, Backups. To keep multiple levels of backup, you can perform that step manually by setting the Display Filter to show only Differences (file pairs where copying them will overwrite something). Then use the Edit menu -> Select All Files, and use the Shift+Arrow keys to select just the Destination side. Then use the Copy To Folder command to backup these files manually into a new, third location.

    Then perform the backup like normal, or copy the files from the Source to Dest manually.

    Our Folder Compare determines equality using Timestamp/Size by default. We then show the Newer file as red in an aligned, different pair. We have advanced Display Filters that can show "Left Side Newer and Orphan", etc for manual copying, or you can use our Sync:Update command.

    I strongly suggest testing this with already backed up data or test data. Many of our actions move, copy, delete, or replace files, and some of these are not undo-able. So while you learn our application, it is best to experiment with test files.
    Aaron P Scooter Software


    • #3
      Good day to you,

      Thank you for your feedback. It is clear.

      I have bought a license on your product as I think it really is a great product to work with!

      Further to your solution above, please allow me to come up with a suggestion.

      - when two folders are being compared and the source folder has files with the same name, but different sizes/timestamp (usually newer)
      - then the file in the destination folder should get a prefix with date time without '-', like:
      - this file to be stored in a backup folder keeping the same tree structure as the sourcefolder
      to keep things a bit organized, so x:\backup\xls\house\01012010235900-filename.xls
      - after a few sync's there may be a few of the 'filename.xls' - files
      - Beyond Compare to keep a max of -say- 3 files all older files are then deleted: when the source file is corrupted and the backup file as well, there are still one or two 'older' versions as a fallback.

      What do you think ?

      Just an idea...


      oh .. come to think of it, seems that only the original 'abc.txt' can be stored in a backup folder, other options, like abc.bak are stored in the same folder, as the original. An option to have this stored in the backfolder?
      i.e. users can either store files with any other extension in the backup folder
      (in order to keep the overview)


      • #4
        Thanks for the suggestion. We do not currently support this behavior, but I've added your notes to our Customer Wishlist. Please note that our wishlist is not scheduled development, but a place our developers go to for ideas for future enhancements or features.

        Scripting supports using a Date variable, so you could consider scripting a solution that copies into a dated folder automatically, but we would not have a way of deleting the oldest folder automatically; the delete would need to be manual.
        Aaron P Scooter Software


        • #5
          Thanks again.

          Just as a small additional remark, avoiding misunderstanding: pls do note that my suggestion is about adding a date-time prefix to the files only.

          The files are then to be stored in a backup-folder following the same 'Explorer-tree' as the source. The folder as such has no date-prefix.

          Keeping the same tree may result in a slightly better organized backup folder: tracing the backup-file may be easier...



          • #6

            That is certainly an option. BC3 will align files based on folder structure and file name, so the method I was thinking of was:
            C:\Backup\(Date Folder)\SameFolderStructure\SameFileName.txt

            That way, you can align your folder on the left, to (Date Folder) on the right, and all folders and files would align without additional configuration or renaming.
            Aaron P Scooter Software


            • #7
              I guess this would also be a possibility.

              In case of -say- 3 different versions of a single file, BC will create 3 different backup-folder structures then?

              i.e. something like:

              C:\Backup\010110\SameFolderStructure\SameFileName. txt
              =========\010210\SameFolderStructure\SameFileName. txt
              =========\010310\SameFolderStructure\SameFileName. txt


              • #8
                It would be one way to backup a file without needing to re-align files based on name or Ignore Folder Structure. You could then compare your original against a particular date, or any pair of backups against each other.
                Aaron P Scooter Software


                • #9
                  Okay. Either way, whatever BC developers decide, THE major improvement is to have at least an option to have previous versions of one specific file available. This may avoid BC overwriting a good backup file with a bad one. From my point of view that is.
                  Maybe the number of previous versions should be limited (doubt whether it will serve any purpose to have 10, 20 or more previous versions)
                  But then again, this may be a bit complex to program.

                  Imagine updating a big Excelsheet: you donot realize that you are accidentally deleting the wrong parts. You save the file. You run BC. Later, after a week or so, you get shocked by discovering your mistake. Another shocking discovery is that you even donot have a proper backup. A 2nd or maybe even a 3rd version may solve this.

                  Hope one day it will be available in BC...