Every now and then as a reviewer I run into a program that solves an especially annoying problem. I'm happy to say that's exactly what happened when I reviewed FolderMatch.
FolderMatch is just an incredibly cool piece of software. I didn't know I needed FolderMatch, but now I'd hate to live without it.
A lot of people seem to use Norton Ghost for backups, but that particular program has never worked well for me. It has normally been just as easy for me to completely copy an entire hard drive every now (using Maxblast or EZdrive) than to do systematic incremental backups.
Using FolderMatch let me do incremental backups, and moreover gave me real peace of mind and a warm fuzzy feeling that my important files are really safe.
I found an economical way to recycle my old hard drives was to buy some of those external USB cases for them. These cases are very inexpensive, and they have a fan for cooling the hard drive, and a USB cable to attach easily to your PC. The problem was Norton Ghost wants to go back to DOS to start the data backup process, and then it couldn't find the USB drives. I always meant to troubleshoot this problem, but just could never find the time. So I'd sometimes resort to copying large folders from my main drive to these backup drives from Windows. This was time-consuming, and not very accurate.
With FolderMatch, backing up my important folders is a real breeze. Not only that, but you can see what's going on, and it's a lot faster than copying an entire large folder. Try copying the Windows folder and see how many error messages you get. ha! It's nearly impossible to back up a Windows system folder just using normal file copy methods.
This is what I do to back up my files on the external USB drive now:
- Pick a folder on my main drive C:
- Pick the same folder on my backup drive F:
- Click the "compare" icon in FolderMatch (The differences show up right away.)
- Click the "synchronize" icon in FolderMatch. (There are various options to choose.)
- Choose "move the orphan files to the right side" (that's my backup drive F:)
Then I run "compare" again. If it shows me that some files on the right are older, then I just tell FolderMatch to copy over them. If there are extraneous files on the right, then I delete them. This saves space on my backup drive.
There are lots of ways to set up FolderMatch, but this is what works for me. It's really easy, and quite adaptable to a variety of file management needs.
Finally I decided to put FolderMatch to the ultimate challenge - the Windows folder. This should take a while... or so I thought. I swear to you, FolderMatch compared the Windows folder (with subfolders) in only 12 seconds!
You won't have any trouble figuring out how to get started with FolderMatch. The first time you run it, you are given the opportunity to view a brief animation which quickly and easily demonstrates how to use the software.
FolderMatch will synchronize your PC with an atomic clock on startup, if you want. This is advisable, since FolderMatch relies pretty heavily on timestamps.
FolderMatch creates reports which you can view in FolderMatch or Ms Word, if you like.
FolderMatch can also check for file differences according to size or contents. FolderMatch can even use cyclic redundancy to check the data integrity!
You can use FolderMatch to find duplicate files and eliminate them, saving drive space. There are (at least!) 101 ways in which you can use this terrific file management utility.
I love FolderMatch, and I'm betting FolderMatch will be the solution to your data backup problems, just like it was to mine!
The Great Mind Review Team
Great Mind Inc