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How can I compare two hard disks so that I can determine the different files, if any, between the two?

4969 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: May 19, 2012 8:35 PM by softwater RSS
MlchaelLAX Level 4 Level 4 (1,550 points)
Currently Being Moderated
May 18, 2012 3:29 PM

Is there a program that will catalog the two and show me the differences?  I seem to remember such a program in the old classic days.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    Put the contents of both hard drives, each into their own folder, onto a third drive and then run Decloner ( on that third drive.


    It will take some time as it will check the files themselves for duplicates (not just the names of the files)


    Once all the duplicates are are removed, that will leave you two folders with just the differences.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    You can use TinkerTool to turn on invisible items.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    MlchaelLAX wrote:


    Wow: 14,157 files and there is no way to check them all at once for deletion!  I have to check them one at a time?


    Try holding the command or option key and clicking on the checkbox


    Try holding shift command or option key and click on the first, then click on the lower ones to see if it will do multiple selection


    Try click one and then do a command a for select all. Or use the Edit menu > Select all.



    My trial ran out, so I can't test it.

  • softwater Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)

    Nice find, though I'm boycotting macupdate on account of their continued promotion of a certain well-known notorious product .


    Decloner can be got directly from the developer here:


  • softwater Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)

    I've been playing around with Decloner, Michael, and none of the usual multi-selection options work.


    I think the reason why you can't 'select all' is because the scan includes every instance of the file, so if you could select all you'd delete not only the duplicates but also the originals.


    The only one that does seem to do it is selecting the little 'tick' box and choosing either 'select newest' or 'select oldest'. That will select all the duplicates accordingly.




  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    softwater wrote:


    Nice find, though I'm boycotting macupdate on account of their continued promotion of a certain well-known notorious product .


    Then you need to boycott Apple too, because that certain software is also on MAS under another name, using the emergency three digits + bundle.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    MlchaelLAX wrote:


    but I decided that since Tinkertool now allows the finder to copy hidden files, I need to start over anyway.


    Just have TinkerTool turn on invisible items and then run the Decloner scan again. No need to copy again, they were already copied the first time.


    Just because you don't see the invisible files in the folder doesn't mean they were not copied.


    For invisible files I don't know why you even want to bother, they are just used for the system etc., not for personal use.



    I'm trying to figure out what your trying to accomplish here, I thought you might have two storage drives with files and you needed to find out what's missing on each.



    When you mentioned invisible items, I though you needed to compare to OS X boot drives identically for forensic purposes or something, because Apple does hide stuff to protect it from users.



    The Finder is going to change the invisible items like .ds_store files according to what's in each folder automatically.


    The invisible items thing has got me baffled, it's just going to create more work for you and if you delete the invisible items, the Finder is going to barf on you and/or recreate them.


    You should turn off invisible items and go back to where you were at before if you are just trying to compare two storage drives of files.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    Ah, well, running SL in Lion is a violation of the software agreement and we can't discuss such things here on this forum, so later.

  • softwater Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)

    I'm aware of that. I don't use the App Store either, but not primarily for that reason.


    There's a limit to how much a boycott can do or what it can achieve. Mostly, it just makes me feel better.



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