Figuring out a Sync strategy

At first I was going to draw this all out – I did, with VISIO, but the drawing isn’t quite right pretty enough.  It does reflect the solution I’m going towards. 


I have the following computers, with the following uses:

  • “Big” Computer – my main workhorse desktop at home.  It does a lot of Video Editing, Audio Mixing, etc.
    • Currently has USB 3TB drive #1 mounted
  • Surface #1 – my most portable computer.  Usually just edits things in the cloud, occasionally gets an offload of an SD card while I’m on the road.
  • Laptop #1 – My “I would program on this laptop” laptop, which I mostly use for Remote Desktop into my work computer
  • Laptop #2 – this is the laptop that controls the 3D printer.  It has a lot of 3D printer tools on it.
  • Work Computer – for work stuff.   Not my computer
    • Currently has USB 3TB drive #2 mounted

I pretty much use the pattern of:

  • C:\2014\<project Name>\  is where I put all files for a project.
  • I keep the same project name between computers if I move the project around.  For example, when I was doing book design for Dad’s book, that started on Laptop #1, then moved to “Big” Computer
  • I consider “iTunes” to be a project, as well as my local instance of my Dropbox folder.  Unfortunately, these are still in 2013. 

My needs:

  • When I’m working in C:\2014, it needs to be fast and stable.
  • When I’m working in C:\2014, it eventually needs to get backed up to the big backup
  • Not all C:\2014 projects should be on all computers.  In fact, almost NONE of them should be on the Surface, it only has a smallish SSD.  Same deal with Laptop#2, that has 10G free or so after the O/S.
  • The Big Backup should be offsite-level backed up.


  • A computer cannot btsync with itself (yet)
  • A R/O folder (like the phone backup destination) cannot be inside a R/W folder.


I thought about something like this:

  • BigComputer 3TB \BtSync1  syncs to Work 3TB \BtSync1
  • I create a sub-sync of WORK:\BtSync1\users\sunny\2014 to BigComputer:c:\2014

It would work, but it would be a bit ugly.  Lots of hops going offsite and then back home to get things backed up.


I believe I’ve decided on the following:

  • The large 3TB drives maintain their own sync pool.  
  • The local folders (C:\2014) MIGHT maintain their own sync pool, on a per-project basis.   For example: 3dModels between my big computer and the 3d printer laptop.
  • Every project should end up at Sunny’s Big Computer
  • I’ll use Robocopy on a schedule to bridge the final gap from Sunny’s big computer c:\2014 to USB:\BTSync1\users\Sunny\2014
  • When I bring another machine online at home which can hold large drives, I’ll add it to the big sync pool as well to have a local (faster) backup. (Offsite can lag behind by days when we’re talking video files)

For things like backing up Mom’s important stuff, I’d probably create a USB:\BTSyncMom folder and have that be its own pool, not make it sub- or super- to any other sync pool.   Or, continue to use Crashplan there.

Something I Don’t Yet Have

Windows Home Server gave me the ability to restore a machine to a specific state, covering all the installed software on a machine.  I could do that using a copy of Ghost, or some other Hiren tools.    I don’t yet have a plan for that.  On the other hand .. reformatting a machine these days is “no big deal” for me, with all the data being out in the cloud somehow anyway. 

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