You will find below the Echosync documentation, in the form of frequently asked questions.
Need some help? Before requesting technical support, please make sure that the answer to your question is not already on this page. If you wish to report a bug, please follow the recommendations in this article: How to report a bug efficiently?
Technical support is provided free of charge, by the author of Echosync, on his free time. If you want to thank him for his service, you can make a donation via PayPal.
Echosync has the following limits and constraints:
Echosync is available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Chinese, Dutch and Russian. By default, Echosync starts in the language of Windows if it is available, and in English if not. The language used can be changed at will in the software options, accessible from the Options menu.
Adding an additional language in Echosync is very easy and does not require recompiling the software. Translation candidates are invited to contact the technical support. Thanks to its volunteer users, Echosync is also available in Italian, Spanish, German, Chinese, Dutch and Russian.
Echosync is a portable software which means that it can be used without prior installation. Just unzip the Echosync archive to the location of your choice (like a USB key), avoiding choosing a folder that requires administrator privileges to write to (like the Program Files folder).
Echosync comes with a PowerShell script for automatic updates. During the update, the old folder is renamed. You can safely delete it after making sure that the new version is fully functional.
The user can create a new synchronization profile after filling in the fields in the Create a new synchronization profile window, which the user can open by clicking on the New... link in the top right corner of the software.
Echosync displays the list of loaded profiles, with for each of them, their name, source and destination directory, the date of their last synchronization, their status and a free description given by the user. The name and description of the profile can be modified at any time.
The synchronization profiles are stored as an XML file with the name of the machine that created them with an XBP extension (XML Backup Profiles), in the Profiles subdirectory of the application.
The synchronization profiles are associated with the name of the machine that created them. In other words, only the profiles corresponding to the machine running the software are displayed. As Echosync is a portable software, which can be run directly from the destination media itself, it was necessary to manage the case of profiles created on separate PCs.
Selected profiles (Ctrl+click for a non-contiguous multiple selection, and Shift+click for interval selection) can be deleted by clicking on the Delete link.
Deleting a synchronization profile does not delete any files.
It is possible to exclude some subfolders contained in the source folder from synchronization. To do so, it is necessary to edit the XML file in which the profiles are saved. You can then add each subfolder to be ignored during synchronization by adding it to the XML tag SourceFoldersExclusion of the corresponding profile, as follows:
<SourceFoldersExclusion> <string>C:\Source\Absolute path to a sub-directory of the source to be ignored</string>. <string>Subfolder\Relative path to a directory to be ignored</string> </SourceFoldersExclusion>
Echosync acts only on the files and directories of the destination folder. It never modifies the files and directories of the source folder which can be read-only. Depending on the desired synchronization mode, four distinct options can be selected individually or in combination.
Echosync proceeds by comparison, by detecting the differences relative to the differences in the data:
By default, Echosync ignores files with the system attribute. It is possible to include these files by setting the IgnoreSystemFiles parameter to
false in the AdvancedSettings.json configuration file, located in the Profiles subdirectory of the application.
Echosync relies on file modification dates to identify files that need to be updated. However, not all file systems have the same accuracy in time stamping and rounding beyond the second can occur when copying files.
For example, file timestamps on FAT drives (FAT16, FAT32, exFAT) are rounded to the nearest two seconds (even number) when the file is written to the drive. File timestamps on NTFS drives are rounded to the nearest 100 nanoseconds when the file is written to the drive. So when files are copied from an NTFS drive to a FAT drive, the file timestamp is rounded up to the next even second. This means that there can be a difference of up to 2 seconds in the date of modification of the file even though the file has not undergone any change in its contents.
This table illustrates this principle with some examples:
|Timestamp of the file on an NTFS partition||Timestamp of the file after copying on a FAT partition|
|7 h 31 min 0 s 000 ms||7 h 31 min 0 s 000 ms|
|7 h 31 min 0 s 001 ms||7 h 31 min 2 s 000 ms|
|7 h 31 min 1 s 000 ms||7 h 31 min 2 s 000 ms|
|7 h 31 min 1 s 999 ms||7 h 31 min 2 s 000 ms|
Similarly, the NTFS file system stores time values in UTC format, so they are not affected by changes in time zone or daylight saving time. The FAT file system stores time values based on the local time of the computer. For example, a file that is saved at 3:00pm PST in Washington is seen as 6:00pm EST in New York on an NTFS volume, but it is seen as 3:00pm EST in New York on a FAT volume.
While Echosync ignores millisecond differences by default, a difference of one second or more is considered a potential change. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid synchronizing folders between NTFS and FAT drives. FAT file systems that are intended to be used only under Windows will be conveniently converted or reformatted to the more efficient NTFS.
Echosync does not have its own programmer. This would have implied to have a resident program in memory at all times to trigger the synchronizations. In addition to the memory consumption and the increase of the machine startup time, such a solution would have compromised the portable aspect of Echosync.
However, since the synchronizations can be started from the command line, it is relatively easy to automate the synchronizations with the Windows Task Scheduler. All you have to do is to give the names of the profiles as arguments to the Echosync executable, being specified that wildcards are correctly interpreted (e.g.: NAS* will launch the synchronization of all profiles starting with 'NAS'). If profile names contain spaces, it is advisable to surround them with quotation marks when they are passed as arguments to Echosync.
Echosync.exe NAS* profile1 "profile 2"
It is possible to start Echosync in the so-called "silent" mode. This mode hides the splash screen and automatically reduces the program window in the taskbar. To do this, just pass the
/silent argument on the command line.
It is also possible to define the Echosync behavior at the end of the synchronization operations.
A Compare button is used to launch the comparison between the source and destination directories of the selected profiles.
The Pause and Cancel buttons, which appear to the left of the Compare button, respectively pause or stop the comparison operation.
The result of the comparison is immediately presented to the user by displaying a future view of the destination directory.
A click on the Synchronize button launches the synchronization of the selected profiles, carried out as soon as the comparison is performed.
The progress of the synchronization is displayed in the status of the profile, and if it is selected, in the Windows taskbar.
The Pause and Cancel buttons, which appear to the left of the Compare button, are used to pause or stop the synchronization operation respectively.
The Status column of the comparison report mentions, if necessary, the reason why the synchronization of an item could not be successfully completed.
Even after closing the software, it is possible to consult the synchronization log to check the correct progress of the operations previously performed by right-clicking on a profile and selecting the View synchronization log command. Be careful, if the size of the synchronization log exceeds 5 MB, Echosync will rename it by adding a timestamp in parenthesis and will create a new log file.
If several profiles are selected when the Compare or Synchronize command is launched, the operations are performed sequentially. The status of the profiles mentions the delayed start of a comparison or synchronization operation.
A simultaneous start of operations can be forced by explicitly starting the desired operation for each profile. This is beneficial in terms of performance only in very rare circumstances. Indeed, there is no point in launching several synchronizations simultaneously if the maximum read/write rate of the storage medium used is reached or if the bandwidth of the connection used (USB 2 in particular) is saturated.
The Options menu allows you to choose an action to be performed once the synchronization operations are completed: shut down the computer, put it in hibernation or close Echosync (unconditionally or only if no error occurred during synchronization).
The automatic shutdown of the PC, the hibernation of the PC or the closing of Echosync can also be programmed from the start of the software by adding respectively the argument
/exitonsuccess to the command line.