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Program to compare large files?

by Rob10 / March 11, 2010 8:43 PM PST

I'm backing up two computers to the same external HD. I have tried to keep the same files in two large folders across the two machines, but wanted to make sure I have everything without duplicates. Is there a good program that looks at two large folders and tells me what I might be missing in one?

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Re: comparing folders
by Kees Bakker / March 11, 2010 9:03 PM PST

I find Gyula's navigator a good tool for that. Worth a try, because it's free. Download from http://download.cnet.com/Gyula-s-Windows-Navigator/3000-2239_4-27561.html

Or use xxcopy (free download also, but you need to feel a little bit comfortable with the command line) with backup switch to backup everything you forgot.
Or use Syncback or Microsofts synctool (free) to to the same via the GUI.


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by Rob10 / March 11, 2010 10:08 PM PST
In reply to: Re: comparing folders

Thanks Kees,
I just tried Gyula's Navigator, but didn't seem that much better than Windows Explorer, though I'm no IT guy and I didn't give it a lot of time. The problem is the two main folders I'm trying to maintain on two PCs are "supposed" to have the same files, and for the most part are pretty close. But one is 4 GB and the other is 40GB, and to check each sub folder in a side by side list is a bit tedious. Is there is anything that you can scan one folder and scan the other and spit out which files are missing? The one that constsntly drives me nuts is freaking iTunes!

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by John.Wilkinson / March 12, 2010 1:05 AM PST
In reply to: Re

I usually use Beyond Compare, but WinMerge is a free alternative that offers the same functionality. For directories that large, it will take quite some time and works best if you just walk away while it performs the scan.

I should also note that:
1.) Many system files are in use by the OS and therefore cannot be backed up by some software.
2.) Some backup software does not include hidden files/folders by default, leaving a large chunk of system files unaccounted for.

Hope this helps,

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Thanks John
by Rob10 / March 12, 2010 1:58 AM PST
In reply to: Sure...

All the files I'm dealing with are either photos, or music in my iTunes folder. No system or hidden files, though I suppose there might be some inf. or exif. files. Would "Show Hidden Files and Folders" allow it to pick these up?
No need for speed, I can start it and come back when it's done

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Going to try Beyond Compare
by Rob10 / March 12, 2010 10:23 PM PST
In reply to: Sure...

I downloaded the free trial and will give it a go when I get a chance in the next week. It sounded like it may require me to ese my brain to figure out Wink Thanks for the tips!

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Re: comparing
by Kees Bakker / March 12, 2010 10:26 PM PST
In reply to: Re

Your requirements are becoming more clear. First you said you wanted to compare files, then folders, now folders including their subfolders. Please remember that the quality of the solution can't be better than the quality of the requirements.

With what I understand of the issue now, this is what I would do:
1. dir /b /s to a text file on both "main" folders
2. edit one of them (replace all) to correct the systematic differences such the drive letter; ideally, now both text files should be the same
3. use winmerge (free download) to compare the 2 text files


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by C0ldf1re / March 17, 2010 11:01 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: comparing

Please remember that the quality of the solution can't be better than the quality of the requirements.

You could have written that in CAPITALS.

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