This post will be TMI for most readers who stumble across it, but it's important for anyone who is investigating the many sites that synchronize computers automatically.
[This post may be moot. I'm finding Copy is not syncing reliably. I've edited and added files on one computer that have taken ages to show up elsewhere, if at all. So, as of the moment (11:55pm, 2013-03-24), Copy is on my DO NOT USE list. This is one of those problems that I may not go back to check on if I find other services that work as I expect and fill my needs.]
DISCLAIMER: I have done my best to insure the accuracy of these instructions. However, I cannot guarantee that they will behave as described. Even if they behave as described, it is no guarantee that they will continue to behave this way in the future. I am not an employee of Barracuda Networks. I have no special knowledge of Copy beyond what I have taught myself by using it. I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY DAMAGE THAT MIGHT RESULT FROM FOLLOWING THESE INSTRUCTIONS, EVEN IF THEY ARE FOLLOWED TO THE LETTER. In other words, trust no one and verify everything. I urge (warn!) you to try these instructions out on small unimportant folders to determine whether they produce the expected result. The existence of this disclaimer underscores why great care must be exercised in using links.
You may know that synchronization services are of two types: single folder and multiple folder. Single folder services create a special folder on one's hard drive. Everything to be synchronized, both files and folders, are moved into this special folder. Multiple folder services allow users to synchronize folders anywhere on their hard drives.
Copy appears to be a single folder service on the surface, but makes it very easy to synchronize multiple folders by creating shortcuts to the folders and moving the shortcuts into the special Copy folder established by Copy. However, like using a band saw without a hand guard, disaster can strike if one is not very careful. Things must be done in just the right order.
Here is the underlying principle: When folders are linked, their contents are NOT merged. Rather, the contents of the folder linked second replace the contents of the folder linked first! This is not an issue if both folders have the same contents. However
To link folders outside of Copy,
- On each computer create a shortcut to the folder you wish to link. The folders need not have the same name nor be in the same location. Once the shortcuts are created, change one or both of the shortcut names as you choose so that they are the same. Let's suppose I have a folder named Laptop on my laptop and Desktop on my desktop. I create shortcuts to the folders on their respective computers and change both names to Everywhere.
- While both computers are logged into Copy, move the shortcut to the folder whose contents are unimportant to that machine's Copy folder. If I want the contents of my desktop's files to be synchronized, the Everywhere shortcut on my laptop is moved to my laptop's Copy folder.
- Go to the other computer. QUIT COPY! Go to the Copy folder and delete the link that Copy moved from the other machine. It looks like a link but is really a folder that is a copy of the folder on the other machine that the shortcut points to. In my case, I would have QUIT COPY on my desktop and deleted the link to Everywhere from the laptop placed in the desktop's Copy folder.
- Move the link to the folder whose contents you wish to preserve to the Copy folder on the second machine. I would move the Everywhere link I created on my desktop to my desktop's Copy folder.
- Restart Copy on the second machine. The contents of the folder on the second computer will be moved to the first, if they are not already there. I would restart Copy on my desktop. Whatever is in the folder that everywhere points to on my desktop will now appear in the folder that Everywhere points to on my laptop's folder.
- From now on, changes on either computer will be replicated on the other.
FWIW, I use Copy and have used the shortcut facility in the past, but I'm not doing so at the moment. This may make me go back to using it again.