Strategies for backup up and keeping multiple devices in sync

As was noted earlier, I am going to be using two pretty much identical devices, and my strategy here is to alternate between them at the end of each week, in the theory that this will extend their longevity.

More importantly, it means that if one breaks, the other is a hot backup.

So, my plan is in addition to all the other backing up I am doing (real programmers keep their backups in a public repository) my plan is to:

  • Friday evening — use a utility to update all the files from my user directory to an external device (USB drive? Micro SD card?) — ideally this would have a facility for putting the device to sleep when it’s done
  • Saturday morning — swap devices, use the backup device to synch the user directory, then continue normal usage

Is this a reasonable strategy?

Is there a program which would facilitate this?

Looked and found:

which seems promising — is there a reason not to consider it?

Anything else which I should try?

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I mean that may work. I do this with computers all the time. I just save everything using Nextcloud on my UNRAID server. this means that when I pick up my Macbook Pro, it has the same exact files as my iPad Pro. Same with my Windows laptop. All realtime. Keeping everything updated is a bit of a pain. I have to do the same updates multiple times–and then there are the updates specific to each. Then there is…

You know, I don’t think I should be answering this one.

Same here - I’ve not found any way to reliably keep everything synched (which is 90% user error) - even now that I’m in the same ecosystem, because I refuse to rely on iCloud for file access across devices. Don’t even get me started on trying to add Windows to the mix, or trying to synch ANY files on an iPad with any other device due to iPad’s crappy file support…

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I found the best way to keep everything synched is to use one device. :vb_agree:


Yeah but they don’t make a macPad! And I can’t really game with Apple! So here I am with 3 devices!


Unfortunately, getting the replacement device has kind of blown any discretionary funds for a home NAS.

The other software I’m thinking about is Microsoft’s Sync Toy — any reasons not to try that first?

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I definitely used SyncToy for that purpose back in the day. To be honest, I didn’t know it was still around…I would say to give it a try.

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I used sync toy in the past as well. There is an issue with it and W11. When you load it, it tells you it needs Net Framework 2.0.5727. You can turn on the features in Net Framework 3.5. Here is a link to the discussion. SyncToy and Windows 11 - Microsoft Community

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Interestingly, when powering up the machine it offered to restore a backup — we’ll have to see what that puts in place.

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Apparently, it backs up everything except for certain applications (older, installed from various download links, most opensource things, but OpenSCAD was offered as an install option from the backup).

It also seems to backup/mirror in just about real time — I didn’t have the same background desktop options, so I figured out how to extract the background picture from my old computer and copied it to the desktop — while I was deciding how to copy it over to the other machine, it appeared on the other desktop.

I guess we can close this thread and note Windows 11 “just works” for this.

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There are several strategies for drive redundancy. I currently use StableBit DrivePool with a 2x redundancy across my drive array. If you get their add-on CloudDrive and Scanner products or purchase their products all together as a bundle, they respectively can be used to add remote copies to a remote source/cloud service and proactively scan for drive failures at the sector and device level.


This is the best advice, bar none, and I wonder why I keep trying to violate it???

You continue to give into the temptation of the fruit.

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@violajack - as always you are spot on - I want to be a fruit ninja but have an affinity for the surface pro design…

One thing in my defense, more and more clients insist on texting because they LIVE on their iPhone (they don’t even consider that a computer is easier for most things) so I end up with messages AND attachments in my iMessage app that are very hard to transfer to a PC but a snap on a Mac…

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Plus there is the whole MS slowly turning into a cluster at an even faster rate than the aforementioned fruit company. I mean when Mr. Thurott is calling you out and touting Secure DNS options to get around MS grabbing data?

But then…I am still holding out hope for an OLED iPad Pro with MacOS…

:+1: :+1: :crossed_fingers:

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For synchronising across multiple devices I can highly recommend syncthing. It’s cross-plattform compatible (at least Linux and Android, which are the two I need, and definitely Windows - but entirely sure about Mac, but I’d imagine so?).
It is a decentralised system, so you only really need it to run on all devices your want synced when you want to sync, although I have an instance running on a server that’s always accessible, so I always have an opportunity for asyncronous syncing between mobile devices. That also serves as a “sort of” backup, although syncthing is explicitly not meant to be a proper backup solution (I haven’t figured out a sustainable and systematic solution on that end for myself yet).
But it’s great for keeping my work files aligned across my laptop, tablet and phone (and also my desktop when I still had one).

PS: here’s the link

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