Sharing data between two PCs using the My Book Live


I’ve got two PCs at home, between which I want to share my personal documents, music, etc. Therefore, I bought a WD My Book Live. Now that I have installed the NAS, I’m wondering whether there are any good guidelines about how to setup such a sharing scenario - maybe even from Western Digital themselves? I’m using Windows 7 and Windows 8.

The setup I’m currently using is as follows: I’m using the My Book Live to act as the central storage for my data. On my two PCs, I’ve added the Book as a network location and included the respective folders in my Windows Libraries (Documents, Music, etc.). On each PC, I’ve setup the network locations to use offline files, so the Windows installations sync the data to the local disks, allowing indexed search and quick access to the data.

I’ve a few problems with this setup. First, I want to ensure that my data is backed regularly, so that I don’t lose any data if one of my devices has a hardware fault or if I inadvertently delete some files. Windows 8 contains a new feature called “File History”, which, based on the NTFS transaction log, backs up all the changed data at regular intervals. I’m not sure if this would work correctly with a network location; but even if it did, it would have to scan the whole network drive for every backup (since there is no transaction log there), which would be quite inefficient. AFAICS, the WD SmartWare software coming with the My Book Live doesn’t allow me to efficiently make incremental backups of the data on the NAS. So, in short: I don’t have a good backup strategy yet.

Then, there is the issue of the missing Recycle Bin: When I delete files from those parts of my document libraries that actually reside on the My Book Live, those files are not moved to a Recycle Bin, so I can’t undelete them. There is also that glitch that when deleting a file, I have to refresh Windows Explorer to actually see the file gone. And finally, there sometimes are false alarms coming from the offline files sync - while I’m editing a file, I’m sometimes warned about sync conflicts, although there aren’t any.

So, I’ve contemplated a second scenario, which would be much more “ordinary” on my Windows PCs, while still letting me access my data from both places: I could store all of my data on both of my PCs, and use the My Book Live to synchronize the data between those two locations. My own, personal cloud, so to speak, confined to my own network. Has anyone any experience with this kind of setup? I think that this can ony reliably work if the My Book Live provided some kind of log about what files have changed since the last sync - otherwise, the sync software would have to rescan the whole NAS all the time, which wouldn’t be a good solution. I’ve read in a thread on these forums[1] that WD is considering adding this to the SmartWare software. Is there any status on this? If not, has anybody got any experience with this kind of setup? Is there any software that can efficiently sync large amounts of data stored on a My Book Live?




You can use SmartWare to do incremental backup, once the first backup is completed, smartware will only backup the new files. Check the link below for more info.

But SmartWare can only backup files from one of the PCs to the MBL, right? As far as I understand, it cannot be used to incrementally backup data stored on the MBL, which I would need it: in my scenario #1, the MBL would be the central data store, so it would need to be backed up.

But actually, I’d prefer scenario #2, with the MBL acting as a personal cloud, helping to sync data between the two of my PCs. Is there any good advice on this?