Automatic backup of my flash drive?
April 23, 2006 11:21 AM   Subscribe

Can I set it up so that my flash drive automatically backs itself up onto my home computer when I plug it in?

I have a flash drive (thumb drive, memory stick, whatever you want to call it) that I use a lot because I'm seldom on the same computer at work. I envision this magic process checking the flash drive for any new or modified files and updating only those files without my having to do anything.

I'm running Windows XP at home.
posted by goatdog to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
synctoy by microsoft
posted by yonation at 11:22 AM on April 23, 2006

sorry, use that [free] powertoy in conjunction with scheduler, or some such thing. but synctoy really is pretty awesome.
posted by yonation at 11:22 AM on April 23, 2006

What would be awesome is if microsoft let you choose SyncToy folder-pairs as AutoPlay actions for removable storage devices, but they don't.
posted by Good Brain at 11:28 AM on April 23, 2006

1. Install synctoy
2. configure a folder pair in synctoy to do the backup you want.
3*. Create autorun.inf file using notepad or similar (make sure the file extension is .inf, though, and not .inf.txt as notepad is wont to do). See the "Schedule Sync Toy" help topic for details on how to tell it which folder pair to run.
4. Put the newly created autorun.inf onto your flash. Not sure off-hand if you'll get an error box when you place into another computer, but should work.

*I'm not familiar with autorun since win9x days, but if the current autorun.inf doesn't support args for command line starts, you could use an alternate (free) autorun.exe here.
posted by gage at 11:48 AM on April 23, 2006

I like the freeware Unison. This lets me do any combination of sync or generations of backup, multiple folders, etc. I prefer to invoke it by clicking a batch file, but autorun is cool too.
posted by gregoreo at 12:20 PM on April 23, 2006

What about for OS X? I see that Unison works with OS X, but how might someone I Unison automatically? Does an autorun.inf equivalent exist for Macs?
posted by jsteffa at 3:26 PM on April 23, 2006

google "cron job" (for you OS X / unix needs).
posted by zpousman at 6:56 PM on April 23, 2006

You can do it with only one click using a Briefcase, and I suppose you could try to get the autorun.inf to do it for you on insert, but I've never gotten that second part to work.

From what I understand autorun won't work on flashdrives, but there is supposedly some way to change the device ID on the flash drive to make the computer think it's a CD, which will enable the autorun properties.
posted by tiamat at 5:43 AM on April 24, 2006

SyncBack is my program of choice for this (among other stuff). Good, and free! Should be able to initiate this via autorun.inf (if you can get the flash drive to do this).
posted by noahv at 9:29 AM on April 24, 2006

Tiamat, my WindowsXP install reads programs on my flashdrive and offers me a menu of things to do, including running Robotform Portable. Not quite the same autorun as on a CD, but a single click chooses from the available applications/actions.
posted by lhauser at 11:19 AM on April 24, 2006

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