How can I setup a Backup Laptop?


#1

I’m just thinking about setting up a Windows 10 Backup Laptop. The Laptops are different (HP with i7; Acer with i5) but Cantabile + VSTs run very well on both. What ist the best way to setup the backup laptop from scratch and how can I manage synchronization in future? Is it e.g. possible to put all important files in one folder to be copied or is there another od a better way to keep the laptops synchronized?


#2

Hi Christoph,

I use DropBox. (I also use several other Cloud services, but DropBox works well for this.) DropBox seems to work best for what I want to do with Cantabile.

In DropBox, I create a folder called “\DropBox\Cantabile”. There are several miscellaneous folders in here where I keep crash dumps, screen shots, experiments, etc. Primarily, there is a folder called “\DropBox\Cantabile\Cantabile Working”. Inside Cantabile Working, there are all the folders Cantabile uses: Patches, Racks, Recordings, Resources, Settings, and Templates. There is also a folder for the two occasions I play live. One is for my band called “Yabanada”, and one for Church. I keep Song Files, Set Lists, and Live Mode PNG images for each gig type in each of those folders. I use the same Racks, Patches, etc. for church gig and my band.

So, the two key folders are:
DropBox\Cantabile\Cantabile Working\Yabanada\*
DropBox\Cantabile\Cantabile Working\Church\*

The whole thing syncs between my primary gig computer, my backup laptop, and my studio desktop. I’ve occasionally had an issue where DropBox is syncing a file and Cantabile (or more likely a VST) complains about something having its resources open. Almost always this is at startup and it clears up after a few seconds.

And, I don’t keep any VSTs or programs in the DropBox\Cantabile directory or any of its subdirectories. I do set up all my computers with an F:\ drive(directory) and all of my VSTs and other files are in F:\VST64 or C:\Program Files\* . But, they are always the same on every computer. Of course, most programs including Cantabile, also use C:\Users(your name)\AppData\Local\* . Most of the time, these are config files and it’s OK if they are different between machines. Microsoft (for example) is notorious for putting programs in these directories, so you may have to watch out. In the past, I used a program called GoodSync to keep them synchronized. Mostly, it was more trouble than it was worth. I find, when setting up a new computer, it’s easier just to zip the C:\Users(your name)\AppData\Local directory and copy appropriate subdirectories to the new machine as a starting place. The AppData folders are arranged by company name, not product name, so be aware of that. For example, Cantabile is in the …\Local\TopTen Software\Cantabile 3.0\* directory.

Also, I take advantage of Cantabile’s ability to have different configurations so that the correct Cantabile Working subdirectories are found.

Hope that helps. And, it’s easy to over-think this. Best is to do one time tasks manually and automate keeping the Songs and Set Lists synchronized.

Richard


#3

I have my own NAS, so I simply point my laptops (and studio PC) there. I have no need to do anything else, since everything stays in sync from that point forward - job done!

It’s like Dropbox/Box/MediaFire/OneDrive et al, but you have complete control over it, and as much space as you like.


#4

Maybe I don’t understand your setup completely. For me the reason for syncing two laptops is being safe if one laptop is corrupt or demaged. In this case there is the other laptop to take the place of the demaged one seamlessly. In your example your NAS holds all data and you’ll get a problem if your NAS is damaged. Isn’t that the same problem I want to solve on another (the NAS-) level?


#5

Hi Richard,
thanks for your adviec but what do you do in case of having no internet connection? It’s a pity but where I live there are still ‘blind spots’.


#6

My NAS is backed up and I can go back to any point in time in a matter of minutes. As to being on-line - I sync all my data to each laptop and the data is held locally, so no need to be on-line. The same goes for Dropbox.


#7

Thank you very much! Which app do you use for syncronization?


#8

Synology Drive. It comes with the NAS.


#9

Thank You!


#10

DropBox (and others) will “cache” your contents on the laptop’s drives. I do not ever count on the Internet working for the reasons you obviously realize. :grin: With DropBox, in the Preferences->Sync->Selective Sync, you put a check mark by the directories you want to reside on you hard drive. Then, DropBox syncs those directories to the cloud and to any other computer you have your DropBox account. BTW, for two computers on the same LAN, DropBox will (optionally) sync over your LAN.


#11

Thank You very much!


#12

Exactly the same procedure for me: I use Dropbox to keep the Cantabile content (songs, racks, patches, setlists, and some samples I use) in sync between my various Cantabile laptops/PCs. I keep my background rack in the “racks” folder, so any changes to it also get synchronized.

Configuration files folder (AppData\Local…) stays local and doesn’t get sync’d - easier to deal with different hardware configs between my various systems. And that configuration is usually a one-time job when I get a new PC to set up audio and MIDI ports for my configs, and then things stay pretty much stable.

The things that change frequently (songs, racks, setlists) all sit in my Dropbox and get synchronized across my PCs.

I have only one set of racks that I use across all my projects, but I have different songs folders for my bands. In case I play the same song in two bands, I make a copy to the other song folder, so I can make band-specific changes to the song files.

Cheers,

Torsten


#13

@Torsten Exactly!


#14

Thank You Torsten!