The item below is reprinted from the Spring-Summer, 1995 IDI Newsletter
(printed predecessor of this web site). As far as I know this is still a
dependable way of synchronizing a user's files when he or she moves
from one computer that supports DOS commands to another. I still find
this handy when I move between my own office and a client
or university site.
I've added footnotes to update it to today's Windows environments.
- Conrad Weisert
1—Actually, they don't have to have the same names, but it's
System management tip . . . by Bitzen Beitzmann
REPLACE helps synchronize off-line directories
A helpful tool in managing files on your office computer, your home computer, and your portable is the
REPLACE command found in version
6 or later of DOS. Suppose you have a directory with the same
name1 on each computer's fixed
disk2, and that you want to be able to work on any file in that directory on any computer.
Using a diskette3 for communication, you can prepare a batch procedure
REPLACE %1\*.* %2 /A (add new files)
REPLACE %1\*.* %2 /U (replace if later date)
REPLACE %2\*.* %1 /A (do in
REPLACE %2\*.* %1 /U both directions)
Now if you execute
DIRSYNC A:\INCLUDE C:\INCLUDE
on one computer, carry the diskette3 to another computer, execute the same command on the
second computer, and later repeat the process on he first computer, the two
INCLUDE directories will then both contain
the current versions of each file. As a bonus, the
diskette2 will serve as a full backup
To make the procedure more foolproof4, you can
from another batch procedure that knows the names of the directories you routinely
want to synchronize.
Of course, this works only if you're a single user observing the disciplne of not
updating the same file on two different machines without an intervening
DIRSYNC. It also doesn't take care of file
deletions (they'll keep coming back!), but you can build a more elaborate
procedure that does.
2—or network accessible storage
3—or other removable storage medium
4—We're assuming that the system date and time on each computer
are in agreement, or that if you move to another time zone, the difference will have
elapsed. Obviously running this procedure or updating files on a machine with an erroneous system date may destroy your valuable files.
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Last modified 18 March 2010