This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows Vista.
Understanding Windows Vista Sync Center
The Windows Vista Sync Center tool assists in keeping two or more versions of the same file, stored in different locations, identical (synchronized) to each other. For example, if there is an addition or deletion, or any change in a file in one location, once the files are synchronized with Sync Center, the same file in the second location matches the file in the first location.
Sync Center allows you to keep information synchronized between a PC and:
- another PC, such as between a desktop PC and a notebook PC.
- a mobile device, such as a digital camera, mobile phone, or a portable music player.
- files that are stored on network servers (this option is not available in Windows Vista Starter, Windows Vista Home Basic, or Windows Vista Home Premium).
Each time you synchronize files between two locations, Sync Center compares the files for changes or discrepancies. If the files differ, Sync Center copies the updated version to the other location, overwriting the old file. If the files are identical, Sync Center does nothing. If Sync Center finds a new file in one location, the new file is copied over to the second location. For example, if Sync Center finds a new photo in your digital camera, the new photo is copied over to the second location, such as your notebook PC. If you deleted a file from one location, Sync Center also deletes the file from the other location.
Prerequisites and compatibility
To synchronize files between two PCs, both PCs must be running Windows Vista. Vista Sync Center does not synchronize files between Windows Vista and Windows XP. If you are synchronizing files through a network, both PCs must be connected to the network, and both must be logged on to the same account.
Many kinds of mobile devices work with Sync Center. To find out if a device is compatible, open the Sync Center and plug the device into the PC. It may prompt you to install software and drivers for the device. If the device can be used to synchronize files, the name of the device will appear in the list of new sync partnerships in Sync Center.
Set up a Sync Center partnership
To use Windows Vista Sync Center, follow the steps below.
- Make sure that the two folder locations are ready and that the devices holding the folders are on and/or connected. If one of the locations is a mobile device, turn the device on and plug it into the PC.For wireless devices, make sure a connection is established between the device and the PC.
- Click Start , type sync in the search field, and then click Sync Center when it becomes available to open Sync Center.
- In the left pane of the Sync Center, click Set up new sync partnerships .A sync partnership describes the set of rules that tells Sync Center which files and folders to synchronize for each device (or partnership), and when.
- In the list of available sync partnerships, select the device, and then click Set up from the toolbar.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to set up the partnership.
- After the sync partnership has been established, click View sync partnerships . Choose whether to synchronize immediately, or to browse the files on the device.Alternately, click Offline files , and then click Schedule to choose when the synchronization will take place.You can also synchronize files and folders in a partnership immediately by right-clicking the device and selecting Sync <device name> .
Using the offline synchronization feature
The offline files feature in Sync Center allows you to access saved versions of files that permanently reside on a network location. It ensures that the latest version of the file is accessible. For example, you may have an important file saved in a network folder but you need to revise it while you are traveling. Using the offline files feature, you can save a copy of the file to your notebook hard drive before disconnecting from the network. Then, you can access and work on the file when the network is unavailable.
When you return from traveling and regain access to the network, Sync Center synchronizes the revised file that you saved on the hard drive with the file saved on the network. The network file is now updated with the changes that you made. This ensures the latest version is always available.
Set up an Offline synchronization
To set up offline files for synchronization, follow the steps below.
- Locate the folder on the PC that contains the files that you want to synchronize.
- Right-click the folder (or individual files), and select Always available offline .A sync partnership is set up with the selected folder or files.
- Click View sync partnerships .
- Click Sync All to synchronize all files immediately, or click Offline files and then click Schedule to choose when the synchronization will take place.Choose either to sync at a scheduled time (such as every Friday at 3 pm), or choose to sync at an event, like every time you log onto the computer.
- Once offline synchronization takes place, a progress bar shows the percentage of synchronization that is complete, and that the files being synchronized are offline files.
Troubleshooting synchronization problems
The following are solutions to synchronization problems.
A synchronization conflict occurs when there is a difference between the files in the two locations that cannot be resolved with a standard rule. For instance, if a file has been changed in both locations since the last time they were synchronized, the Sync Center prompts you to decide which file to use as the most updated.
NOTE:Synchronize your files before you start working on them in the second location to prevent most synchronization conflicts where the files have changed in both locations since the last time they were synchronized.
To troubleshoot synchronization conflicts, follow the steps below.
- Once synchronization occurs, an on-screen notification appears if there is a conflict.
- In the left pane, click View sync conflicts .
- Select the appropriate conflict (or conflicts).
- Click Resolve and follow the instructions to resolve the conflict.
A synchronization error occurs when there is a problem with either the device or the PC, or a folder that you are trying to synchronize. For instance, a device is not turned on when you are trying to synchronize it, or there is a lost wireless connection. A synchronization error normally prevents a synchronization from finishing.
To view synchronization errors, follow the steps below.
- Once you start synchronization, if the Sync Center detects an error, a conflict icon appears, with a synchronization error notification.
- Click View sync results in the left pane.
- View the synchronization results for a report of what is wrong with the synchronization, and why it could not complete.
- Fix the error, and to synchronize again.
Synchronization warnings do not prevent synchronization from completing, so these do not need to be addressed immediately, but to be sure there are not problems that would affect synchronization in the future, occasionally review the synchronization warnings.
To review the synchronization warnings, follow the steps below.
- After synchronization is completed, click the View sync results screen in the left pane.
- Note the reasons for the warnings, and resolve the problem.
Mobile device not listed in Sync Center
If a mobile device does not appear in the list of available sync partnerships, it might not be compatible with Vista Sync Center.
To determine if the device is compatible with Sync Center, follow the steps below.
- Make sure that the device is turned on and plugged in to the PC.
- If it is a wireless device, make sure the connection is established.
- Install any software that came with the device.
- If the device is still not appearing in Sync Center, connect it to the PC again, and turn it off and on.
- Click the Refresh button in Sync Center.
- Check if Windows Vista detects the device (follow the next procedure).
To determine if the device is recognized by Windows, follow the steps below.
- Make sure that you are logged on as an administrator.
- Click Start , type device in the search field, and then click Device Manager when it becomes available.
- Enter an administrator password or confirmation, if prompted.
- Identify the appropriate hardware category, and then look for the device. If it is not listed, look in Other Devices .If it is not listed, the device is probably not compatible with Windows Vista.
File deleted during synchronization
If a file was deleted during the synchronization, the Sync Center detects that the same file was deleted from one of the synchronization locations, so it is deleted from the other location as well. This is the only time Sync Center deletes a file. To avoid this from happening, either do not delete a file from one location, or do not synchronize with the folder where you delete files.
Some files did not synchronize
Some synchronization conflicts and synchronization errors prevent them from completing. To determine why certain files did not synchronize, follow the steps below.
- Click View sync conflicts , view any conflicts, and resolve them.
- Click View sync results to view synchronization errors and resolve them.