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Confirmations missing, deletions disabled and similar warnings

When a job runs in unattended mode, there can be some conditions which have to be confirmed when the profile is configured. For example, file deletions have to be confirmed specially, in addition to configuring the sync operating mode to include deletions.

To give the confirmations, please edit your profile in Advanced Mode, go to the Safety section at the bottom and choose the tab sheet “Unattended Mode”.

For an Exact Mirror profile, you would usually make sure that the top four checkmarks are chosen and that the last one is not chosen (Special Safety Checks). The first four checkmarks allow things like replacing files and deleting files. The last checkmark would impose additional safety checks which can prevent file deletions, so you’ll want to remove that checkmark.

In addition, you should specify a percentage of files which may be deleted during a profile run. You should not set this to 100% unless you expect that nearly all files are regularly going to be deleted. This is a safety percentage. If more files than allowed need to be deleted, the program realizes that something is wrong and disables the deletions completely. This will protect you against rare error conditions like disk errors or network communication errors, which can sometimes cause empty folders to be reported on the source side. Due to the percentage limit, the program will not delete everything from the destination if suddenly the source seems to be empty, or nearly empty.

However, even if you do specify 100% for deletions, the program will never delete all files in order to protect your data. If the source side is empty, it will throw an error and refuse to delete everything from the destination. This should be a good safety measure for most use cases. Some customers, on the other hand, have use cases where deleting all files is a regular, normal requirement. These customers can disable the 100% deletion protection by adding the following line to the [Main] section of the INI file:

UnattendedDeleteAllIsOK_IfDelPercIs100=YES

(Add this only if you need to delete 100% of files in a destination folder in unattended mode!)

Keeping 5-7 Full Backup Copies of Your Data in Separate Folders

There are different ways to keep several versions of your files on your backup storage. Firstly, in the profile under Versioning, you can specify to keep a number of
older versions for each file. Each file will be versioned independently, and the Restore Wizard can restore your newest data, or restore according to a specified target date in the past.

However, some customers prefer to have 5 to 7 complete and independent copies of their data. To achieve this, you can use the variable $WEEKDAY in the destination path. In that case, you would not use anything from the Versioning tab sheet.

This will keep seven days of complete folder copies, if the profile runs on every day of the week. It will cause your backup folders to be named Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. and the next week’s backup is simply going to re-use the same folder from the week before.

For example, your destination path could be like this:
D:\Daily Backups\$WEEKDAY

Use Exact Mirror Mode to make sure that the backup is always identical even though the folder is re-used. Under Safety->Unattended Mode, allow file deletions as well as overwriting newer files with older ones (which will hardly ever be necessary, but should be chosen).

See also: Variables to use in your sync paths

v6.40 (Windows) adds support for SkyDrive

Starting with version 6.40, the Windows version of Syncovery supports SkyDrive from Microsoft.

SkyDrive offers some free online storage, which has made it popular. You need to sign up for it with Microsoft under skydrive.live.com. If you already have a SkyDrive account, you can also see your files on that web site.

To sync with SkyDrive using Syncovery, please choose your local folders on the left-hand side, and click on the Internet button for the right-hand side. Then, choose SkyDrive as Internet Protocol and specify the folder where the data should be stored. You should also specify your SkyDrive username and password here.

Even though your data is uploaded via secure https with SSL, you may want to use zipping and encryption for your files. To keep a constantly updated mirror of your data, we recommend using the option “Zip Each File Individually”.

With SkyDrive, the “Last Modified” and “Created” timestamps of files can be preserved, so Filename Encoding is not necessary.

Additional cloud services will be added in the near future. Feel free to send your suggestions to info@syncovery.com!

System Requirements

Syncovery runs on:

Windows
All versions of Windows since Windows XP and Server 2003 are fully supported, including Windows 10 and Server 2016 (with Desktop Experience) and all other versions and editions of Windows that have a graphical user interface. Syncovery is available in 32-bit and 64-bit editions. The 64-bit editions require at least Windows Vista. For older 64-bit Windows versions, please use the 32-bit edition of Syncovery.

For Windows 2000, please download Syncovery version 6 from our additional downloads page.

Macintosh
Syncovery runs on all Intel Macs, and on all Mac OS X versions since 10.4 “Tiger” up to including the latest version (currently 10.12 “Sierra”). An older version 5.73 is also available if you need to run it on older PowerPC Macs. This version also requires at least Mac OS 10.4 “Tiger”.

Linux
The command line Edition SyncoveryCL is available for Linux. It should run on any recent 32-bit or 64-bit Linux distribution for Intel processors. See the Linux download page for details.

Works on OS X 10.9 (Mavericks)

Syncovery works fine on Apple’s new operating system, OS X 10.9 (Mavericks).

To install it, you need to go to the Mac OS System Preferences, Security & Privacy, and specify that you want to allow apps downloaded from: Anywhere.

How to deal with changing USB drive letters easily

A lot of customers ask how they can define a job so that it always copies to or from a USB drive, even if that drive’s letter changes. For example, on one day, your external hard drive might be drive F: and on another day, Windows changes it to drive G:.

The solution is to change the “Base Path” for the external drive in the profile. Instead of the drive letter, type the volume label (volume name). For example, if your drive is named MyUSBDrive, then you would type MyUSBDrive:\FolderA instead of F:\FolderA.

v6.35 (Windows) adds support for Rackspace Cloud Files

Syncovery for Windows now supports synchronizing your files with Rackspace Cloud Files. This is the first of a series of new cloud services that will be supported in the near future.

Cloud storage allows you to upload as much data as you need, paying only for the storage that you are actually using. It is a highly recommended storage location for your online backups. You need to sign up with the cloud storage provider, and then set up a profile to upload your data. Choose your local folders on the left-hand side, and click on the Internet button for the right-hand side. Then, choose the protocol you want to use (for example: Rackspace), and specify a container and folder where the data should be stored. You should also specify your Rackspace username and password (access key) here.

Even though your data is uploaded via secure https with SSL, you may want to use zipping and encryption for your files. To keep a constantly updated mirror of your data, we recommend using the option “Zip Each File Individually”.

Due to the nature of Rackspace Cloud Files, the “Last Modified” timestamp of your documents cannot be preserved. Therefore, we recomend to use the “Filename Encoding” feature of Syncovery. This adds the timestamps to the file names when uploading, and restores the original names and timestamps when restoring. You will find this checkmark on the Versioning tab sheet, as well as on the Internet dialog.

Additional cloud services will be added in the near future. Feel free to send your suggestions to info@syncovery.com!

FTP over HTTP Proxy or SOCKS

One of the new features in Syncovery version 6 is the ability to connect to an FTP server via an HTTP Proxy as well as SOCKS. This feature is somewhat hidden in the software, so here’s how to find it.

If you are using the FTP protocol, then on the Internet/FTP dialog, change the FTP library to 2. Then on the Proxy tab sheet, you will see the option to use an HTTP Proxy or to use SOCKS to connect.

If you are using SSH/SFTP, Web Tunneling and SOCKS is also supported via the Proxy tab sheet. In that case, use library 1 (SFTP).

Amazon Glacier Backup

Since version 6.20, Syncovery can upload files to Amazon Glacier. To set up Glacier as the destination, click on the Internet button for the right-hand side and choose Glacier as the Internet Protocol.

Amazon Glacier is intended for long term archiving and backup with the expectation that most operations are uploads and not downloads. Downloads should be a rare exception, since they can be extremely slow. To download a file, Syncovery needs to initiate a job with Amazon Glacier, and even with small files, it takes at least three hours for Amazon Glacier to retrieve the item. The same is true for file listings. Therefore, Glacier cannot be used for two-way synchronizations. It is intended only for backing up and archiving.

Please be aware that there is a download fee from Amazon if you download more than 5% of your data per month (or something like that). It seems that in some special cases, the download fee can be extreme. If you intend to make a full backup and restore for testing, please read the fee schedule closely, and also read articles such as this one:
Is There a Landmine Hidden in Amazon’s Glacier?


Two methods to use Glacier

  • Choose S3 inside our software, and use a lifecycle rule in S3 to move files to Glacier to reduce costs. See the Amazon Web Services Blog
  • Choose Glacier directly in our software. The rest of this article describes this method.

Because there is no quick way to get a file listing from Glacier, Syncovery maintains a local database with the information of all the files on Glacier. This database is automatically maintained and it is independent from the checkmark “Cache Destination File List”. Therefore, with Glacier, there is no need to use the caching option. The local databases used for Glacier are separate for each vault, but shared among all profiles. When you create a new profile that accesses an existing vault, it will alraedy know the vault contents, if the vault has been used on the same machine.

Glacier also cannot rename items which have been uploaded. When you rename or move files on the local side, they have to be uploaded again.

In version 6.20, the download process is still inefficient if you need to download many files. It will initiate the download job for each file and wait for it to complete, then download the file, and then proceed to the next file. You can specify a number of files to copy in parallel in this fashion (on the Files tab sheet), but the limit is 30. So, you can download up to 30 files in 3 to 5 hours, but downloading 300 files will take 30 to 50 hours. This limitation will be removed in a future update.

In light of this, if there is a chance you will need a complete restore, it may make sense to use “Zip Packages” with many files per zip archive, instead of uploading individual files.

This information will be updated as support for Glacier is optimized and more experiences are made with Amazon’s new service.

Mountain Lion Compatibility

A Mountain Lion compatible update of Syncovery is now available. The version number must be 6.03 or higher.

To be able to continue using your old configuration and profiles, please use at least version 6.04 or higher.

The migration wizard should appear automatically, or you can invoke it via the File menu. You can also manually import config files via the File menu.

Since version 6.04, no special action is required any more to migrate your settings.