Comparing same folder-structure on two drives for differences

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by macstatic, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. macstatic, Feb 10, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015

    macstatic macrumors 65816


    Oct 21, 2005
    I'm looking for a way to compare two identical folder structures in order to identify any differences.

    Let me explain.....
    I was organizing lots of files and folders on my main drive when I all of a sudden realized that I had been working on my backup drive instead for a while, and not my main drive! I don't know for how long and which folders are affectd, but I worry that (even after manually comparing as many folders as I can) the backup might still contain files/folders the original doesn't (and this will eventually be overwritten the next time I do a backup) :eek:

    I have Path Finder 6 which I was hoping would be good for this sort of thing (opening up a dual-browser window with the original drive on one side, the backup on the other side and both of them showing the same file structure).
    I was hoping I could somehow quickly scroll through the folder structure on the main drive and the backup drive's browser window would "sync", moving around in the same place and alerting me if the contents weren't the same. Is this possible, in Path Finder or using some other software?
    I'm using OSX 10.6.8 (I believe Path Finder 7 has some sort of compare feature, but alas it won't run on Snow Leopard. I will be updating my OSX version soon, but right now I just need to get this issue out of the way on my current system).

    PS: since this can happen again, is there a way to hide my backup disk but still let OSX access it for backing up? I've managed to make the desktop icon invisible but it's still available in the Finder sidebar.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    There is deltawalker It will do a compare (and synchronize) your folders

    There's also Beyond Compare which is the best compare utility - at least for Windows. They also have an OSX version
  3. rhett7660 macrumors G5


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    I use Chronosync. It allows you to do a sync test and will show you the differences and then you can choose how you want to proceed with the sync.

    I have not used the program you are referring to though, sorry.
  4. aitche macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2012
  5. macstatic thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 21, 2005
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I ended up using Deltawalker in demo mode which did the job. The free "Compare folders" from the Mac App store looks good (judging from the screenshots) but alas only works with OX 10.7 and up. I'll give it a try after upgrading OSX.

    @ rhett7660: funny you should mention Chronosync because I use it every day for automated backups but never thought of it as a tool for comparing files in sync test mode! I'll look into this.

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4 February 10, 2015