Sync laptop and desktop?
Thread poster: Daina Jauntirans

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:15
German to English
+ ...
Nov 7, 2007

What software have you had good experiences with? I would like something to copy over files from my desktop to my laptop and vice versa so that I can work on either and then switch and still have the most up-to-date files. This would hopefully also serve as an extra copy should something happen to one of the computers.

Thanks in advance.


Boris Kimel  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 08:15
English to Russian
+ ...
SyncToy Nov 7, 2007

Microsoft's sync app. It's free and worksicon_smile.gif
I did recommend it somwhere here already. Just google "SyncToy".


Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:15
English to German
+ ...
I don't think that any particular software is necessary Nov 7, 2007

When I got my laptop, my computer guru set up a wireless network with my older machines. The new laptop was - besides Windows XP - completely bare, but Mr. Guru copied the entire hard-disk of the older PC wirelessly to the laptop without installing anything at first.

I have no idea how this guy did that. He doesn't speak much, he keeps his business secrets to himself, then writes serious invoices.

I am using my old machines as "backup servers" by sending myself emails with attachments back and forth.

Stop laughing.

I don't know any better...



Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
Flash Drive Nov 7, 2007

I bought a flash drive for less than $30 and just plug it into a USB port on either computer, stuff a file in there and then plug it into the other one and put it there. From the start I also transferred four years of files plus other stuff from my old desktop to my new laptop to have it all there, and it is also on the flash drive.

Smaller than a cigarette lighter, you can put it in your pocket or hang it around your neck and take it anywhere with contents exceeding many tons of books. Or you can get ten of them and carry around the sum total of the world's accumulated knowledge (well, not quite, but close).


ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:15
English to French
+ ...
Several solutions Nov 8, 2007

If you have an external drive, couple it with a backup program and define the folders you want to back up. When you are ready to switch from one computer to the other, execute the backup application. In my case, this typically takes a couple of minutes (I routinely back up e-mail, work folders which contain contracts, analysis files, invoices and such, all my Trados files so that I always have the most up to date TM and TDB, and translatable files). Whenever you need your up to date files, just plus in your external drive and pick up the file you want to work with. I use SyncBack - it has all the features I need.

If you set up your two computers to function as a network, then you can use software like FileSphere (the Lite version, which is more than sufficient for freelance purposes, is free). It stores and keeps track of versions, and you can even enter notes that will help you distinguish between versions. It also has a handy file comparison feature. It is customizable and will let you launch TagEditor files from within the application.

Finally, there is IBM's Tivoli (about $35) which is also a backup software, but it also keeps track of versions. The neat thing about Tivoli is that it backs up everything in real time, so you never have to launch anything. As soon as you save a file, it is backed up. You can set it to back files up on another computer, on a USB drive, on an external hard drive or on CD. I see Tivoli as a cross between FileSphere and SyncBack - it is simple and straightforward. The real advantage is really that you never need to launch it and saved files are automatically backed up, so you can concentrate on work and not on handling files.


Margreet Logmans (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:15
English to Dutch
+ ...
Power Folder Nov 8, 2007

Nice and easy to work with.
No idea about costs and installation, but I've used it for a year now and I'm content. It synchronizes my two desktop PC's and my laptop.


Brandis (X)
Local time: 06:15
English to German
+ ...
IR interface is ideal... Nov 8, 2007

No particular additional hardware is needed and most PCs and Laptops already have this interface these days. If your PC runs on cable line and has an IP the IR goes with it as well without having it´s own gadget identitiy, this may however be visible on the local PC and the laptop but from the internet point of view, it is one and the same IP. Corrections and other experiences if any are welcomed. Best regards, Brandis


Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:15
German to English
+ ...
Thank you Nov 8, 2007

Thank you for your replies. Just to clarify, I have a wireless network, so I can transfer files back and forth "manually." I would like a system by which I can have all my files on both computers (say desktop is A and laptop is B). When I work on A and want to switch to B, I could just do an incremental backup to B so that it's up to date with everything on A. That would keep everything straight without me having to "manually" remember to transfer back TMs and such. Also, if I find great bookmarks or reference material while working on B, the next backup back to A would contain these, i.e. the content on both computers would be the same. (Maybe that's not a clear way of explaining it!)

I will check into the options - several of these sound good. Sounds like Viktoria's software (Tivoli) might be just the thing.


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