FreeFileSync has been syncing files between my C:\user\documents folder and a backup drive without flaw for quite sometime. lately though one MS Excel file will not sync properly. FFS correctly identifies it as having been updated, and it shows in the menu. But when I click on mirror, it runs, says complete with the check mark, but reports 0 bytes copied. In the information, it reports "nothing to sync". Any ideas on why this one file will not sync properly?
Here are the screen shots. When preparing to sync, FFS correctly shows one file to copy and the correct size. After "mirror", the info states "nothing to copy". All other files I'm backing up (many thousands) work just fine.
FFS indeed does not synchronize anything, although in the preview there is a file that should be created on the other side. One explanation for this can be that during synchronization the source file C:\....xlsx is not found anymore, whereupon FFS assumes that the source file has been deleted externally after comparison.
But to be sure what's going on I need a Process Monitor Trace of the synchronization step. Can you send one to me, either here as an attachment or via email (address can be found in FFS's about dialog)?
I'm not sure how to do a process monitor trace - I'll have to check that out. In the meantime I also tried to back up the same files to another backup drive and got this message - which states error code 5. I don't get the error code using the first back up drive and it in fact does not report an error at all - it just doesn't copy anything.
not sure how to do a process monitor trace
not sure how to do a process monitor trace
That shouldn't take much time:
1. startup process monitor and FreeFileSync
2. click the cross hair button in process monitor and drag it onto the FFS dialog. This will set a filter to only monitor the FFS app
3. start the test case with FFS
4. stop the trace in process monitor by clicking the magnifying glass button
5. save the trace to a file in process monitor
Here is the file for the second situation (the ffs3.jpg post above). I've not yet been able to reproduce the first situation at the top of this discussion but when I do I will also send you that process monitor file. Thanks.
The difference between situation one and two is that in former case the file exists on one side only, in the second case it exists on both sides. In the first case FFS has special logic to handle the situation where the source file is not existing without showing an error message. The problem is this check is not working correctly, since the file is indeed existing in your example but FFS does not have permissions to check this and incorrectly assumes it to be not existing.
From FFS's perspective the correct behavior would be to show an error message like "access denied". The access denied error itself is a problem the user has to solve, it is not caused by FFS. I've fixed the former problem of FFS silently not copying the file by improving the file existence test to handle a restricted permission scenario.
You should now get an error message in scenario one, also; no change for scenario two:
Thank you for your help on this. I will check into why I have two Excel files among many others where access is denied. I can't seem to find where to locate the access permissions in Windows or Excel to change these, but I will keep searching the web for this.
Despite my issues, FFS is a great program and I'll certainly send a contribution through paypal.
I ran an experiment - I moved a couple of .jpg files into a source directory and then did a backup. The excel files I was having the problems with and the jpg files were now reporting error code 5 as per my attachment above. Thinking it was a Windows permission issue, I tried two other backup utilities (SyncBack and SyncToy) and there was no problem with either. With both of them, they easily copied the files from source to destination without a problem, as does manually doing it through File Explorer. So I'm thinking the issue really is related to FreeFileSync.
Do you have steps how this access denied issue can be reproduced with FreeFileSync? It probably has to do with NTFS permissions of the file including DACL, SACL and owner, but the parent folder(s) permissions should be checked, too.
If I can reproduce the symptoms (FFS failing to copy, other tools not failing to copy), then this is a FFS problem and I can fix it.
No idea how to reproduce this issue. FFS no longer gives the errors shown in attachments ffs1.jpg and ffs2.jpg above. Now I just get the error code 5. But no other software shows access to the files is a problem including other sync software. I'm not real technical, and I don't know what DACL and SACL are. When I click on the file properties, it says full control, read, write etc all checked for Systems, User and Administrator - same as on other files that sync just fine under FFS. I tried deleting the backup folder on the external drive and creating a new pairing. When I did this, a few files copied over just fine but many others came up with error code 5. Its all very strange. I'll keep trying things and I'll let you know if I discover anything.
Resolved! See new post