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You'll find hereafter Echosync documentation in English, organised as a Frequently asked Question form. Before asking for support, please check that the topic hasn't been addressed and solved in this page.


Installation

Limits of Echosync are the following:

  • VSS (locked files copies), mounting and unmounting VHD files need administrative rights with Echosync. These functionalities are deactivated if Echosync is started in standard mode.
  • Echosync is a “folder” oriented software and not a “files”, “library” ou “volume” (partition clone) oriented software. The minimal grain size being the directory (including root although not recommended). It is not possible to exclude files included in that directory.
  • Echosync doesn't allow multiple versions of the same file to be kept. It is therefore not possible to use a time machine type action by recovering previous version of a file before the last synchronization. It is however possible to create multiple profiles saving the same source folder and to use them in alternance.

Echosync is available in French and in English. By default, Echosync starts in French on a French Windows version and in English for all other languages. Language displayed can be changed at any time using software options that are accessible through right click in the main window.

Importing a new language in Echosync is very easy and doesn't require to recompile the software. Those who are interested in adding translations, may take contact with the technical support.

Sylvain Rougeaux is the sole developer of Echosync which has been started in 2010.

Echosync has been developed with C# and Visual Studio. Graphic interface is based on WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation).

Echosync requires preliminary installation of .NET Framework (version 4.5 or higher). This last is included with Windows 8 and higher.

However, Echosync only works under Windows 7 or Windows server 2008 or higher because it uses API that are present in these OS.

Synchronization profiles

User can create a new profile by entering required parameters in window Create a new synchronization profile, that can be opened using the link New… right corner up.

New synchronization profile creation window

Two types of profiles can be created:

  • Synchronization of a pair of folders
  • Synchronization of folder in a VHD file

Echosync displays the list of loaded profiles, with Name, Source folder, Destination folder, last synchronization date, status and a free description zone. Profile name and description can be modified at any time.

Profiles are stored under XML file with the name of the computer that has created them in the directory Profiles of the application.

Profiles are set to the computer that has created them which means that only profiles corresponding to the computer that is running the software are visible. As Echosync is a portable software (thus not requiring installation) that may be executed from the destination support itself, it was necessary to manage distinct profiles belonging to distinct computers.

Selected profiles (Ctrl+Click adding to selection, Shift+Click for interval selection) can be deleted using the link Delete.

Deleting a profile doesn't delete files.

VHD files

VHD files (“Virtual Hard Disk”) is an open standard of “virtual disk”, previously exclusively used by virtualising software like Xen, Virtual PC and Hyper-V. This mode is native with Windows 7 which also allows to start on a VHD file.

As for a real HDD, preliminary steps are required to prepare a VHD file to receive data: disk initialisation, volume creation (partition) and format. All these steps are automatically performed by Echosync.

It is possible to mount and unmount a VHD file by clicking on relevant commands of the menu available with the chosen profile. It is then possible to visualize the content of a VHD file, for instance to extract data.

Windows 7 file manager is sufficient to mount and unmount VHD file in the system. A right click in Echosync window, opens a contextual menu allowing the fast launch of the Windows Disk Management tool. If Echosync isn't started yet, the Disk Management tool can be started using the command diskmgmt.msc in the Run window (Windows+R). Windows 8 allows to mount VHD files within the file manager when clicking Mount in the Disk image tools tab.

If the VHD file cannot be located for instance because it is located on an external disk that is not currently connected, a yellow icon indication would be visible before the mention of the location. It is then possible to modify the location using the contextual menu of the profile either to create a new location or to modify the current one.

VHD files created by Echosync are dynamic which means they will grow with data size copied. Minimal size is from few times 10 MB to the maximum extent of the source folder size.

Please note that if the amount of data reduces, the size won't. Freed space will then be available for any future increase without further modification of the file size again, which improves performances of synchronization operations

This is the reason why when operations involve an important data deletion, it is better to first delete, then create a new VHD file.

Comparison and synchronization of folders

Basically, Echosync never alters source files. It only compares a source folder content and its destination folder set in the profile and on demand, modifies the destination according to ticked options as explained hereafter.

  • Synchronize moved or renamed files: renamed or moved files in source folder are moved or renamed in the destination folder.
  • Synchronize deleted elements: deleted files and folders from source folder are deleted in destination folder.
  • Synchronize modified elements: modified files and folders in source folder are overwriting corresponding files in destination folder.
  • Synchronize new elements: new files and folders found in source folder are copied to destination folder.

Individual synchronization operations can be individually deactivated: modified elements copy, delete missing elements, rename/move renamed/moved elements, new elements copies.

In order to do so, untick corresponding boxes.

Echosync is comparing elements by checking differences about:

  • Deleted elements that cannot be found in the source but are still present in the destination. These elements will be removed from the destination.
  • Modified elements that can be found in the source and in the destination but have a different date/time stamp. These elements will be overwritten in the destination.
  • Moved or renamed elements that are identical in the source and in the destination but have a different path because they have been moved from the source path. Are also concerned files which attributes read only or hidden file have been modified in the source path. These attributes will be synchronized in the destination path.
  • New elements that are present only in the source path. These new elements will be copied in the destination.

There is no task manager in Echosync. This would have asked for a resident program running in the background which on top of using memory and slowing down computer start up, would have compromised the portabilty of Echosync.

However, synchronization can be started using command line and the Windows task scheduler which is easy to use. Profiles names can be passed as arguments to the command line of Echosync. Wildcard are correctly interpreted (e.g., 'NAS*' starting all profiles names starting with 'NAS').

Button Compare starts comparison between the source folder and the corresponding destination folder.

Button Cancel, aside of the button Compare, interrupts comparison steps.

Comparison result is displayed for review. The view displays the future content of destination directory according to the selection of synchronization options.

The click of button Synchronize is starting sync operation after the comparison has been completed.

A progression bar in the profile status indicates progress of operations and if selected it is also visible in the Windows 7 task bar.

ButtonCancel, which is left to Synchronize, interrupts sync operations.

Column Status of report is displaying potential errors of synchronization with its cause.

When multiple profiles in parallel are started with command Compare or Synchronize , operations are run sequentially. Information line with each profile are displaying the current status of each profile: queue/wait status or running sync task.

A simultaneous start of operations can be forced by explicitly forcing the start of operation in each profile. It is however not a gain in terms of performances but if sufficient resources are available that is obviously limited by read/write limits of the system or by the bandwidth.

A right click in the main window starts a contextual menu with software options including what action to perform when sync is finished: switch off the PC, deep sleep mode (hibernation), or close Echosync.

Switch off PC at the end of the sync process

Switch off, deep sleep mode or close Echosync can also be programmed when starting Echosync by explicitly adding the argument /shutdown, /hibernate or /exit to the command line.


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