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How to Synchronize Two Computers

Shah Newaz Alam Oct 12, 2018
When using two computers, an office desktop and personal laptop, we would want our files to be synchronized, updated in both of them.
The easiest way of synchronizing two computers is by connecting them to a wireless network or a Local Area Network (LAN) cable and copying the files directly. However, there are chances of human error, that you unintentionally drag and drop an old version of a folder. Hence, we need an automated way of performing the same task; here are options you can try.

XCOPY Command

This is one of the Windows command line commands, which you can use with a lot of ease in Windows XP and Windows 2000. This command can be used to copy files which are newer than the current version of the files and folders in the destination folder. It is considered as one of the most powerful and versatile ways of creating a backup in Windows XP.
Here, you can use a USB flash drive for carrying the copy, from one computer to another. The syntax of the command is XCOPY [source] [destination]. You need to mention the source and destination path of the folders you want to synchronize. There are lots of switches associated with this command, that allow a lot of features.
You can search for the switches and understand their use. Now, to avoid typing in the command every time you want to synchronize files and folders, try creating a batch file. To do so, simply type in the two lines mentioned here in notepad and save the file with the name 'SYNC.CMD' in your Windows folder.
XCOPY "%1" "%2" /D /I %3
XCOPY "%2" "%1" /D /I %3
Now, plug-in your USB device and type the command 'SYNC "source folder" "destination folder" /S' in the command prompt. Here, in the source folder and the destination folder, mention the complete path.
The /S option is one of the switches of this command, that can be used to specify the sub-folders you want to be synchronized too. Using this command, you can synchronize the hard disks of two different computers too.
Another way is to use shortcuts. Right click on any empty space on your desktop and click 'Create Shortcut'. On the first dialog box that appears on the first window, after selecting create shortcut, type 'xcopy "source folder path to be synchronized" [destination drive or removal drive] /d/y/s'. Name this shortcut export and complete the shortcut setup.
Now, create the same shortcut again, with one little change. Simply name the shortcut import and in the path type 'xcopy [removal media] "folder that needs to be recognized" /d /y /s'. Create the same two shortcuts in the other computer too.
Now, whenever you need to synchronize files, you can simply click on the export of the first computer, with the USB flash drive (removable media) connected, and then connect it to the other computer and click on import.

Software Approach

There are various softwares that can help in synchronizing two computers. SyncToy 2.0 is one such software. It allows you to copy, delete, move, and rename folders and files between two computers. This software not only provides you the synchronization and backup features, but various other features too.
For example, the software 'Second Copy' can be used for creating the backups of your files at regular intervals, to any other location in the network. The other location can of course be your laptop too. It not only allows the backup feature but also security features, like encryption. Other considerable softwares are Binfer Sync, Good Sync and Syncplicity.
However, before you try of any of the approaches mentioned here, please ensure, that you are not trying it on any important data. Hope the mentioned information helps you with the queries regarding how to synchronize two computers.