Consolidate backups by Search Target and Search Area -
30 Dec 2004
I sent this email to about 8 of my friends. Your help (.chm and website)
do not seem to be written by someone who speaks English as a first language.
No shame in that; my writing in languages other than my native English is
poor. It is not clear from the website and documentation that the examples
below are handled well by NoClone. But they are! And they are common needs.
The description of NoClone on your site, and download.com and tucows, do not
highlight it's superiority. In the applications below, competitors such as
"Duplicate File Explorer", "Duplicate File Manager", "DupCheck", etc do not
measure up. In addition to bugs, all the many other apps I have tried give
no automatic or semiautomatic way to achieve the below common tasks. They
lack the concept of "Search Target" vs "Search Area".
(I would rename them, "Targeted For Deletions Path"
and "Keeping Path" respectively) Using other tools, you have to manually check for deletion a box, one of each dup-pair that you don't want.
Or the program will select which is the
undesirable one almost at random. In NoClone, almost always that can be specified as described below and done automatically. With NoClone, but not with other dup managers, you can delete ONLY the dups that are below some PATHs, due to the fact that they have a twin brother ELSEWHERE. And at the same time, you can keep NoClone silent about dups within those ELSEWHERE PATHs.
With 3000 files, that is no small matter. Many systems now have 500,000 files on them. Please integrate the below precedure and examples into your help and website, and try and get download.com and tucows to re-review you based on these applications.
Have you used MS's Windiff (found on the Win95 and Win98 install CD as an "extra" or "support", email me if you need a copy). In Windiff, on files that are different and somewhat text (.txt, html, xls, somewhat .doc) you can doubleclick on the file pair and visually in color examine the differences.
You could add that.
Many people are looking at duplicate MP3s. There is a freeware called "EncSpot" that does an excellent job of figuring out which MP3 encoder was used to make the file, and estimating the listening quality of the file. You might integrate such a feature. In addition to "fuzzy match", you should perhaps have an option of ignoring the ID3v1 and ID3v2 tags inside MP3 files. It is easy to parse where they are. Maybe 1/3 of home users use tools (such as evil MusicMatch) that mass-change ID3 tags in their whole MP3 collection, so this is a very common situation of "almost a dup".
======= My Email to my friends, hopefully add to your docs:
I have been strugling with disk space management, and versions, for years on Windows. (Unix tools are better for this.) I have used about 6 programs to help me, and none really do the job. This week, I finally found one I REALLY like and can recommend:
I recommend you download this.
This explains why this tool is so great, and how to run it.
Previous tools I use take some hard drive letters or folders (many) and look for files with the same CONTENTS. They then list them in same-content-groups. Usually you can then delete the members of those groups that you don't want, presumably leaving one copy from each group in your prefered folder or filename, somewhere.
Some tools can or always delete automatically.
The problem is, they don't delete the one of the dup pair you wanted them to.
Definition: When I say "PATH" I mean a drive letter, or a folder, and all the subfolder and file contents below it. You may list as many PATHs as you like with noclone.
This tool allows me to specify one or more PATHs as "Search Target" (top, 4th tab).
Duplicates that live here are targeted for possible deletion. Then, the "reference" good places where you are hoping that your best organized and most current copy of this kind of file live, you add these PATHs as "Search Area" (top, 4th tab). Every PATH is added as either Target or Area, one or the other.
Then, usually, on the top far right I uncheck everything except "Duplicates" (search for same contents).
Then click the "Search" button.
When finished, I go to the menu
Result Files | Smart Marker
and take the right tab, and add in the Folders/PATHs that I am inclined to delete if they are duplicated elsewhere. After confirming and looking over the resulting check marks, I can use the TASK button and on those checked files either do a "Move..." (to a new folder) with full pathname, or a "Delete"
(to Recycle Bin by default).
Why is this good? Say you have a backup of your folder (or whole HDD). In the PAST, you have made a simple copy as backup. Then you change the working copy over time. Maybe you have several backups/snapshots.
Now you want to consolidate. You keep the best working version, the main version. But you want to keep or look at old versions.
1) You have versions of data files on one machine, which is your main storage/server.
You sometimes pull files over to a portable, home, or secondary machine. There you modify and add to them. As part of reintegrating the new work back to your "server", you make the secondary copy a "Search Target" and the server copy a "Search Area", and delete dups from the secondary machine, and reintegrate the new work onto the server.
2) Maybe you want to delete files that are on your HDD (Target) that are ALSO on the inserted burned DVD-R archive (Area).
3) You want to delete files from your website development tree in the backup folders (Target) IF they are still existing, with the same content, in the current website version (Area).
4) Your HDD failed mostly. You recovered 98% from the noisy dying drive. You bring in your backup which is a little obsolete from DVD-R's to HDD-scratch. You want to delete from the HDD- scratch area those dups that are on your recovered-more-current data area. Then you can look at what's left in the HDD-scratch area and get the possibly older versions of the 2% of files that your dead HDD has lost.
5) This program, noclone, also has two features called "fuzzy match" and "portions"(truncation) that are supposed to help people who pick up files over the Internet, which are occasionally changed slightly (DSL errors or mp3-tag alteration), and occasionally truncated in transmission, and identify these nearly identical files.
Noclone is $27 or $43 30-day function-limited shareware.
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