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SBF does not recognise profile name change on import

SyncBackFree is the freeware version of SyncBack. It is *not* an evaluation version of SyncBackPro/SE.
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Clairvaux
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SBF does not recognise profile name change on import

Post by Clairvaux »

Hi,

I have a single profile. I export it, change its name in Windows Explorer, then try to import it.

SBF does not recognise the name change, tells me I'm trying to import a profile with the same name than the one I already have, and asks me if I want to replace the latter.

How is that even possible ?
cliffhanger
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Re: SBF does not recognise profile name change on import

Post by cliffhanger »

The result of your Export (the profile-name.SPS) is a single container (like a multi-file Zip) with multiple profile-components inside. This 'wrapping' is done for easy copy/paste, etc., and also to make sure all parts enclosed are present / none are missing. Many of these components' names are partially profile-name-based, partially named to reflect their purpose, such as

[profilename]_RHistory.ini

while other components may have wholly-generic names such as 1.SBS.The components that will be included vary depending on the type of profile and various other optional settings.

It is the 'internal' profile-name(s) - of the components, where applicable - that govern under which name the SBS contents are Imported, hence the 'already exists' message you got in the circumstances you described. You cannot change the names of the internal components by changing the SPS name via Explorer (nor by saving it under a different name during Export in the first place). I do not recommend trying to manually edit the component-names 'internally', as I believe some components also have internal references to each other - you may break it.

There is an easy way to make a new copy of a profile with a different name - just right-click the profile you want to copy (in SBF main UI) and select the Copy option from pop-up menu (or, select profile > Profiles menu > Copy; or, select profile > Ctrl-C). You will be prompted for the new (must be different) name for the new copy of the profile. You can then edit (or, Export) the result, repeat the process, etc.
cliffhanger
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Re: SBF does not recognise profile name change on import

Post by cliffhanger »

Better/more-complete phrasing would be
...
You will be prompted for the new (must be different) name for the new copy of the profile. The new copy profile (under that alternate name) will then appear in the main UI. You can then edit (or, Export) the [copy], repeat the process, etc.
Clairvaux
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Re: SBF does not recognise profile name change on import

Post by Clairvaux »

Thank you, Cliffhanger, for that fascinating and erudite response. I certainly could not have figured that by myself ! (And I did not find it in the online help.)

I experimented a little following your advice.
  • Under Sync Back GUI, create a copy of the original Profile-Name 1 with a new name, Profile-Name 2.
  • Export Profile-Name 2.
  • View Profile-Name 2 under Windows Explorer, and change its name again into Profile-Name 3 (which you have just warned against).
  • Change its .sps extension into .zip, click into the file, and... yes ! it's apparently a .zip file, since it opens to reveal the 4 following files contained in the archive, which have retained the old name :
    Profile-Name 2_audit.db
    Profile-Name 2_DSettings.ini
    Profile-Name 2_sel.db
    Profile-Name 2_Settings.ini
Those are the same 4 files that bear my profiles' name in their original place (%AppData\Local%), so I suppose this 4-file set is the actual profile.

In another experiment, I exported a copy of the profile then re-imported it, without any name change. I then poked around in it. It seems to have retained all the settings, except for the Schedule, which was lost in the process. Can you confirm this ? Could anything else be lost ?

The reason why I attempted this in the first place was to backup not the profile itself, but its settings, in order to reuse them as a starting point in the future for another, different profile. Because setting up everything from scratch takes ages.

The existing functions which are meant for that are spectacularly inappropriate to the task : going to Profile Setup / Easy or Expert / Click for Options, the commands Save as Defaults, Load Defaults and Copy Settings from Another Profile apply only to the current settings page. Since there is a huge number of such pages, you have to repeat the action for each one, which sorts of defeats the purpose.

[Suggestion to developers : at that point, maybe display a list with all settings pages checked by default, with the option to uncheck the unwanted ones.]

Furthermore, the online help tells you that some settings pages cannot be saved nor restored in such a way, and hints at a few of them, but does not give you the comprehensive list of what can or cannot be saved.

So what do you think ? Is the above method an appropriate way to save a rough starting base of settings for one's next profiles, or are there other hidden risks ?

By that, I mean : copying under Sync Back a profile you're satisfied with (obviously changing its name in the process), exporting it, then re-importing it when you want to register a new profile, making the necessary changes.

As an aside, may I respectfully submit the idea, to the friendly Sync Back developers possibly reading that thread, that unless I'm missing something, this highly unusual and unsettling behaviour of .sps files belongs to the feature-as-a-bug department ? I have now to remember not to change the name of passive, offline .sps files I've stored somewhere, going against the rules of Windows which allow precisely that. Sync Back is but one of hundreds of applications I use... If each one of those applications devised such specific, hidden rules for their files, computers would become unusable.
Clairvaux
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Re: SBF does not recognise profile name change on import

Post by Clairvaux »

Added experiment :

Just clicking on the exported .sps profile under Windows Explorer apparently triggers Sync Back's import itself, with a message "You already have a profile called [Name of profile]. Are you sure you want to replace your existing profile ?".

Similar behaviour to some exported registry files. In my opinion, it's outrageous enough that we have to put up with such quirks in Regedit... Microsoft gets away with that, but then, it's Microsoft...
Swapna
2BrightSparks Staff
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Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:22 am

Re: SBF does not recognise profile name change on import

Post by Swapna »

Hi,

Sorry, but you cannot create a new profile by simply renaming the .SPS file, as it does not rename the components embedded within that file. Also we don’t support manually renaming the component files (.ini files), because they might have internal references and may lead to unknown issues (as already explained by Cliffhanger). We can't offer any advice for manual manipulation of such containers as it is beyond the scope of our support - please refrain from doing so.

Therefore, if you want to create a new copy of a profile, simply select the profile from SyncBackFree main-interface > right click > select ‘Copy’ from the popup menu > enter the new name for the profile when prompted.

Regarding your other question,
“In another experiment, I exported a copy of the profile then re-imported it, without any name change. I then poked around in it. It seems to have retained all the settings, except for the Schedule, which was lost in the process. Can you confirm this? Could anything else be lost?”
When you export a profile, SyncBack exports all the related profile files (.ini files, .db files, schedule task etc.,) into a single zip container (.sps file). But, sometimes you might experience problems when importing a schedule task from the exported profiles. The possible reasons are the schedule task is not compatible with the version of Windows you are using, credentials set etc., In such situations, we recommend you to delete the schedule task before exporting and re-create it after importing the profile.

Please read this KB article for the important points to consider when exporting or importing your profiles:
http://support.2brightsparks.com/knowle ... to-another

Thank you.
Clairvaux
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Re: SBF does not recognise profile name change on import

Post by Clairvaux »

Thank you for your confirmation, Swapna.

Actually, in my tests (and I'm just in the first stages of experimenting with Sync Back), the Schedule disappears after export-import of a profile. That's on the same, single-user PC. Maybe it's related to user access issues, which seem to prevent my profile to run on a schedule anymway. I'll open a new thread for help on this.

May I suggest that this very important warning, about not changing the name of a profile once it's outside of Synck Back, be included in the help file/manual during a future revision ? -- or brought forward, if it's already there, despite my not finding it.
Swapna
2BrightSparks Staff
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Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:22 am

Re: SBF does not recognise profile name change on import

Post by Swapna »

Hi,

I will pass your request to the relevant department for their consideration.

Thank you.
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