Does anyone have any views about the best file synchronization software (preferably free, but if you have to pay to get accurate and reliable results, I'd like to hear about that too.)

I want to select particular files and folders to backup to an external hard drive. I don't need it to happen automatically or in the background. My computer is not the fastest or the latest, so all I want to do is set up a backup profile and then run the software manually when I choose to do a backup.

I have done a google search, but can't find any reviews by sites or people I trust - they all seem to be advertising rather than genuine reviews.

I have read about MS Synctoy and also Syncexpert, but I'd like to hear from people with personal experience of this sort of software.

I run Windows XP Pro SP3, Pentium 4(3gig), 2 Gig Ram.

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Hi, I know the feeling. I'm presently wading through 10 or so programs myself looking for one that will mirror and sync my large external bu's via usb as well as saving from 3 computers to them.

So far I've narrowed it down to SyncBackSE, ViceVersa Pro, GoodSync Pro, SmartSync Pro, AllWaySync & Advanced Directory Comparison & Sync. All 6 will find files buried in the target down a no. layers unlike some. ADCS doesn't save profiles unfortunately. ViceVersa & SyncBack purport to handle locked or open files but I haven't tested this yet. All have good interfaces once you get used to them. AJC Directory synchronizer...find the preview a little impractical but it can direct an odd file to a different folder if in doubt.

Programs I have discarded are Data Sync...forget it, PeerSync... very comprehensive but too expensive and deadly interface if you make a mistake, Novosoft Office preview I could find so forget it. .

MS SyncToy 2 beta ok for a basic program since it's free and there are cut down free versions of GoodSync, AlwaysSync.

Cheers, foxtrot64

Thanks for your suggestions - I'm giving MS Sync toy 2 beta a go at the moment, and no apparent problems so far.

I have used MS SyncToy 2 for many years but within the last few months, it is scrambling drives so I will have to give it up.

For example, when I set it up to sync folders in D to F, D to S, D to W, etc. it runs OK the first time.

Soon after that my entries are changed and the program no longer syncs properly. The folders sync'd change from D to F to S to F etc. in the list that I have entered. It actually changes the entries that I made.

Now, I am looking for another sync program and will try the ones mentioned above.

syncback from 2brightsparks does it for me and it comes in a free version.

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