Sync’ing between Dropbox and Microsoft SkyDrive

I’ve been a long time user of Dropbox to backup my files and particularly lots (and lots) of kids photos.   Dropbox has also been a fantastic way to keep a bunch of electronic books / papers easily accessible so I can read them with my iPad on the road.

So when Microsoft has enhanced it’s SkyDrive service I was interested to see how the new client software stacked up against the Dropbox client.   I’ve also used Skydrive to exchange presentations with Microsoft SME’s (as part of my Microsoft Community of Practice work within IBM),  however it wasn’t easy to upload large files to Skydrive without the use of third party software.

I then thought I’d try to sync between the two cloud services via my Windows 7 laptop,  so I’d have a realtime backup my Dropbox files as well.  Rather than have two copies of the data on my laptop, I’d try out the NTFS symbolic link command which I’d used with Dropbox in the past.

I installed the Skydrive client from here.   During the install, I chose the default SkyDrive folder.  I wasn’t brave enough to point the SkyDrive default directory at my Dropbox folder !

Once the SkyDrive client was installed, I ran cmd (as Administrator) and changed to the SkyDrive directory.  Which in my case was C:\Users\Darryl Miles\SkyDrive

I decided to choose a test director to sync, rather than all of my Dropbox folder (which is large).  I chose my eBooks folder to test,  so I then ran the following command:

mklink /d "eBooks" "C:\Users\Darryl Miles\Documents\My Dropbox\eBooks"

So SkyDrive was looking at the same folder as Dropbox is using to store files.  I’ve noticed however that SkyDrive doesn’t seem to detect any new files copied into this folder until it’s restarted  (which is fine for me, it will then start sync’ing when I restart my laptop – from time to time)

This is a pretty basic way of synchronizing two file storage cloud services.  Which people will probably do more of for particular types of data, to protect them from situations such as their cloud provider looses their data… or worse still, going out of business!    I’m sure we’ll see more companies providing cloud to cloud data replication services too.

Do you see Microsoft SkyDrive having any success against a very popular Dropbox service?

Darryl

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  1. #1 by Bill Gould on April 26, 2012 - 3:01 am

    Now if only symlinks worked with Google Drive. Maybe I need to make a junction instead?

    • #2 by Darryl Miles on April 26, 2012 - 12:44 pm

      Hi Bill, aaarrrhh interesting I haven’t tested with Google Drive yet… another test when I get a bit more free time.

  2. #3 by Jase Wolf a iMac guy (@jwbjnwolf) on April 30, 2012 - 9:37 am

    what Ive done is put dropbox folder inside skydive and likely will put the google drive folder inside skydrive too and have dropbox inside google drive.
    I think this is quite a cool way to back up stuff as Im using dropbox for backing up and syncing my college work with my win8 netbook/iMac and iPod and because its all being put into skydive now, when I get a windows phone, everything will be already set to go on my windows phone because of skydrive 😀
    So I can take advantage of the features each service provides and have extra backing up 🙂

    So it wasn’t just me that thought of this idea.

    I am so excited for google drive when it releases in UK

    • #4 by Darryl Miles on April 30, 2012 - 3:40 pm

      Hi Jase,

      An interesting approach… box inside a box inside a box. Thanks for sharing.

      Darryl

  3. #5 by Surya Copler on May 15, 2012 - 3:39 pm

    Nice sharing,
    please help if I want to copy my data from skydrive into dropbox (in cloud only)
    so I no need to upload again
    thanks

  4. #7 by jeffmacarl on December 7, 2012 - 12:52 am

    Thanks this is a really good tip. Rather than sync from one cloud directory to another, I put a link in both skydrive and box.net to a directory in my “documents” directory. That way I don’t have to change the way I normally work

  5. #8 by Jeremy on February 5, 2013 - 6:38 am

    Sorry for reviving such an old post but I was wondering if you had found a way of syncing dropbox and skydrive to the same folder without needing to restart skydrive for changes to propagate.

    Up to now I was using the same setup, but needing to restart skydrive is a little inconvenient…

    • #9 by Bob on February 8, 2013 - 12:27 am

      No problem i suppose, there has not been introduced a adequate solution so far. The only way I could think of to sync dropbox, skydrive, and Google drive automaticly with eachother, apart from other third party platforms, is to put a box inside a box, like was mentioned before. I have been using this method for half a year now, at home, from my desktop. It works quiet well, because I do not often use the same documents on multiple platforms in a short period of time. Sadly, it isn’t an optimal solution, is my experience. as long as your computer is running, the syncing works fine, but when it’s shut down, obviously, it’s not. It resyncs after i’ve booted it up. To me it would be ideal when i do not have to use my desktop for syncing, I’d like that to happen automatically. using a public server would be an interesting option, because it will be running all the time!:) are there any experiences worthwhile sharing on this topic?

  6. #10 by digital electrical on March 10, 2013 - 6:08 pm

    You can of course always use Microsoft Synctoy to sync the folders locally on your computer.. and then rely on Skydrive, Dropbox, etc to sync the files to the cloud.

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=15155

  7. #11 by Chowdahead on May 7, 2013 - 11:00 am

    Is there any way to do this in XP?

    The equivalent command to “mklink” in XP is “fsutil”, but the syntax is so different I can’t figure it out.

  8. #12 by Lee on June 8, 2013 - 8:51 pm

    I can’t see how mklink is a solution for pointing multiple folders to the same destination when it will only allow you to issue the command once because the destination folder already exists from the initial run?

    • #13 by Darryl Miles on June 9, 2013 - 8:12 am

      You have two high level folders that you then share between cloud services.

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