Saturday, December 20, 2008

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SyncToy 2.0 - Free XP SP3 and Vista SP1 Synchronization Tool

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Microsoft has made available for download a free synchronization tool tailored to Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and to Windows XP Service Pack 3, but also to earlier versions of the two clients such as Vista RTM and XP SP2.

SyncToy 2.0 has been taken out of Beta stage, and the gold version of the code is live as of the end of the past week. Essentially a file management tool, SyncToy 2.0 is designed to permit users to "copy, move, rename, and delete" items between both folders and computers. Liam Cavanagh, senior program manager, Data Replication and Synchronization, revealed that SyncToy 2.0 has as its basis the Microsoft Sync Framework.

The Redmond company is presenting the PowerToy as the right tool to do all the heavy lifting for users when it comes to file synchronization. However, SyncToy is intended only as an enhancement of the Windows operating system and is not supported by the company. In this context, SyncToy has only been tested on a few operating systems, with the focus on Vista and XP, although it is possible that the tool will also integrate with additional platforms including Windows Home Server with Power Pack 1.

Dynamic Drive Letter Assignment, True Folder Sync, Exclusion Filtering Based on Name, Filtering Based on File Attributes, and Unattended Folder Pair Execution are just some of the new additions introduced in version 2.0. Cavanagh revealed that "based on the feedback from the SyncToy Forum and Windows XP Professional Photography web site, the following features were added to this release of SyncToy: Drive letter reassignment will now be detected and updated in the folder pair definition. Folder creates, renames and deletes are now synchronized for all SyncToy actions. File exclusion based on name with exact or fuzzy matching. The ability to exclude files based on one or more file attributes (Read-Only, System, Hidden). Addressed issues related to running scheduled folder pairs while logged off."

But at the same time, SyncToy 2.0 final will offer users the possibility to share end-point folder pairs (Folder Pairs With Shared Endpoints), improved management via the command line interface, a rearchitected synchronization engine, increased reliability, support for encrypted files and for - 64-bit Windows operating systems.

In addition, the tool offers "Sub-folder Exclusion Enhancements: Descendents created under excluded sub-folders are automatically excluded. Usability improvements for the sub-folder exclusion dialog. Folder Pair Metadata Moved: Folder pair metadata removed from MyDocuments to resolve any issues with server-based folder pair re-direction setup. Setup Improvements: Integrated setup with single self-extracting archive file and no extra downloads if you already have .NET Framework 2.0 installed. Enabled silent install for the SyncToy Installer file. And removed combine and subscribe actions," stated Cavanagh.

SyncToy is an easy to use, customizable utility that will help you move, copy, rename and delete files between computers and folders.

There are new sources of files coming from every direction: digital cameras, e-mail, cell phones, portable media players, camcorders, PDAs, and laptops. Increasingly, computer users are using different folders, drives, and even different computers (such as a laptop and a desktop) to store and retrieve files. Yet managing hundreds or thousands of files is still largely a manual operation.


SyncToy 2.0 (x32)

SyncToy 2.0 (x64)


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