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Need a utility to compare contents of 2 external hard-drives

Discussion in 'Computer Related Help & Discussion' started by Barney, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    As per the title of the thread, I want to compare the contents of two or more external hard-drives. What I want to do is use these drives as back-ups using Apple's Time Machine. I know that some of the data on one or both of the drives needs to be uploaded to my Mac or another drive first, but all the photos I have on there should be on the Mac already so I don't just want to upload it all.

    Is there a utility (Mac or PC) with which I can compare the contents of the two drives to spot whether the is data on either one which isn't on the other?

    Also, has anyone got any tips for using Time Machine as a regular back-up program?
  2. OneTen

    OneTen 'Two Breakfasts'

    MS SyncToy allows you to synchronise two drives, copying data from each drive to the other if it is missing, works in both directions. There are also options to echo a drive, copying updated, renamed and deleting files or contribute where deletions are ignored.

    I use this as my daily backup but I don't think it will just report on differences without actually doing the copying.
  3. Scphoto

    Scphoto Well-Known Member

    Beyond Compare (PC) might be available on a 30 day trial. Possibly deltawalker might be available as a 30 day trial for the mac.
  4. Slartibartfast

    Slartibartfast Well-Known Member

    Plug in your hard drive and let it run..... Simple as that :D

    There really aren't any options to choose from. As I'm on a notebook I don't have the hard drive plugged in all the time so I don't get the hourly back-ups but it does auto back-up whenever I plug it in (...that reminds me!)

    Have used MS SyncToy in the passed and would/have recommended it to many.
  5. BiGnoSe

    BiGnoSe Well-Known Member

    Hi Barney,

    I wonder if this might help you?

    What they say: "The program is incredibly fast; after a minute or two, one can see how many duplicate images are stored and how much disk space will be saved by removing the duplicates. The "dupes" can then be removed all at once with a single click. Alternatively, a user can specify which images need to be deleted, moved or copied." http://www.bolidesoft.com/imagecomparer.html

    Maybe the free version will highlight the duplicates even if you can't remove them with one click.

  6. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Thanks all for you tips. I'm not that bothered about comparing if I can be 100% certain that all files are residing on one drive or the other. I'll have a look at your suggestions and report back.
  7. bob58

    bob58 Well-Known Member

    i use ms sync toy, reccomended to me by Richard, does what it says on the tin :D
  8. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    I have also downloaded MS SyncToy, and it seems to be just what I was looking for.

    I know it's not PC to praise Microsoft, but the last two utilities I have downloaded, Microsoft Security Essentials and SyncToy are great - and FREE!

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