ebalog
Contributor
Contributor

Sync a few files in 2 VMs on 2 separate Macs?

Hi!

I have both a laptop and desktop (Macs) running VMWare on each. Each machine has a licensed copy of Windows on it (one has XP, the other Win7).

I use a program that stores data files in a particular user directory within Windows. I primarily use the desktop, but when I travel I want to have those data files available to that program.

Is there a way for me to automate the process of syncing files in that directory? It does not have to happen daily; the ideal situation would be some type of macro that I could run in one step when I am getting ready for a trip.

Here is what I do now:

  1. Start Fusion on the desktop.
  2. Open the file folder and copy files from Fusion to my Mac Pro's desktop.
  3. Shut down Fusion on the desktop.
  4. Copy those files to my laptop (when connected to the network).
  5. Open Fusion on my laptop.
  6. Copy files from the laptop's desktop to Fusion.
  7. Open the particular program within Fusion on the laptop to import those files.
  8. Close Fusion.

Does anyone have any ideas about how to reduce the # of steps or, ideally, automate the whole process? During travel, I sometimes modify the data files so I'd also create a macro to transfer files back.

Thanks for any tips or leads!

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Paulv45
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi,

I have what I think is a similar situation and have had success with using Dropbox.com for file sharing.

Here's what I do.

(1)  Run dropbox on both MacBook and iMac (but not on the Fusion VMs)

(2)  Put the files in a vmware host/VM shared folder.

(3)  Share that folder on dropbox.

Files by default remain in sync all the time, but I'm a bit nervous about that so after booting the systems immedialtely "Pause Syncing" in Dropbox and then "Resume Syncing" when I actually want to sync.

So far this has worked for me and hope it helps a bit.

Paul

ebalog
Contributor
Contributor

thank you so much for the reply. dropbox is a great solution in terms of mirroring a folder between macs, and using shared folders in vmware will help in getting the files from vmware to my mac.

one problem (potentially) is that the windows program expects data files to be stored in a particular location that i cannot control. as a result, i think i need to either:

1) find a way to share that directory with my mac (and then share that with dropbox)

--or--

2) create a macro that will, in one action, copy files from the program's data directory to the folder that is shared between windows & my mac.

do you know of any way to accomplish #1? let's say my data is in c:\program\data\.

in my VMware shared folders i can clearly see my mac's desktop and other shared folders (let's call it z:\shared\desktop\data\). i'm wondering if there is a way to connect the 2.

if this were just on my mac, i could make a symbolic link such that the pogram would think it is saving files to c:\program\data but in reality would be saving to z:\shared\desktop\data\.

thank you!

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ebalog
Contributor
Contributor

Quick update:

Windows 7 allows for symbolic links; this was news to me. I'm getting a bit closer to my goal. Here's what I've done thus far:

On both Macs:

1: Install Dropbox.

On the Mac running Fusion w/ Win 7:

2: Share the Dropbox directory with Fusion.

3: Move the program's data directory to the Dropbox directory on my Mac.

4: Create a symbolic link from the old data directory to the Dropbox directory.

On the Mac running Fusion w/ XP:

5: Share the Dropbox directory with Fusion.

6: ???

The missing step is syncing files on the Mac running Fusion w/ XP. There are some tools like SyncToy that can changed/new files from one directory to another. One can automate the task of running SyncToy.

Not sure I'm happy with SyncToy, but everything else is running great. If anyone has other suggestions, please let me know.

Thanks!

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