Common Questions | Tips and Tricks | Known Issues | 


Here are some tips and tricks to make your experience with Second Copy more enjoyable.

    Organizing your data files
    Quickly creating new profiles
    Viewing compressed files
    Excluding entire folders from a profile
    Restoring destination files back to the source
    Running Second Copy as a service
    Keeping Zip files manageable
    Creating different Zip files for different dates
    Creating a shortcut on the desktop to run profiles
    Watching which file is being copied
    Copying files from the root directory of a disk
    Understanding include/exclude specifications
    Copying files across FTP
    Backing up the profiles
    check out Backup basics
Organizing your data files
  Most of the time the files that you need to backup are your data files. If you lose the hard disk, you can install the program files and other software from the original CDs or diskettes but your data files are the most valuable and they need to be restored from your own backups or "Second Copies".

If you organize the data files properly, it will make the task of backing them up much easier. So here are a few tips on how to organize your data files.

Ideally, all your data files should be kept under a single folder (such as "My Documents" or ""Data") organized into sub folders by subject or type of application. This makes it easy to back up all the data with a single Second Copy profile.

By subject:
C:\My Documents
C:\My Documents\Projects
C:\My Documents\Projects\Drawings
C:\My Documents\Projects\Reports
C:\My Documents\Financial
C:\My Documents\Memos
C:\My Documents\Personal

By application:
C:\My Documents\Excel
C:\My Documents\Word
C:\My Documents\Access

Most applications allow you to change the default data folder. Once you decide on the file organization, change your application settings to automatically save files in the appropriate folder so that you don't have to change the folders every time you save a document.

It is not a good idea to mix your program files and data files in the same folder. So avoid saving your documents into folders such as "C:\Program Files\MSOffice".
 Tips and Tricks
Quickly creating new profiles
  To quickly create a new profile, open the source folder in Windows Explorer then drag and drop the desired files on to the Second Copy's main window. The profile wizard will pop-up with default settings. Check and adjust the settings and give the profile a new name.
 Tips and Tricks
Viewing compressed files
  Second Copy has a built in Zip file viewer. You can use this to view and extract files inside a compressed file. To use, simply right click on a compressed profile and select "Destination files...".
 Tips and Tricks
Excluding entire folders from a profile
  If you want to exclude certain sub folders from a profile. In the following example substitute SubFolder1 with the name of the folder you want to exclude.

1. Right click on the profile and select Properties.

2. Select Custom setup.

3. Click Next until you see the "Which files?" page.

4. In the edit box under "Exclude file specifications" enter \SubFolder1\

5. Click the Add button next to the edit box, then click Next, Next and Finish.

 Tips and Tricks
Restoring destination files back to the source

At times you may need to restore all of the files from the destination back to the source. Second Copy makes this easy for you. Mark the profile you want to restore and then select Restore from the Tools menu. This would copy the files from the destination folder back to the source folder.

If you want to restore the files somewhere else, then you can use Windows Explorer that you are already familiar with.

1. Select Right click on the profile and select "Source files...". This will open an
    Explorer Window with your source folder.

2. Right click on the profile again and select "Destination files...". This will open
    another Explorer Window with your destination folder.

3. Now you can simply select files from the destination folder that you want to
    restore and drag-and-drop them on the source folder.

4. If the files are compressed, instead of drag-and-drop use the Extract files

 Tips and Tricks
Running Second Copy as a service
  Second Copy can run as a service only on Windows XP/2003/Vista systems. This is helpful if you want to run Second Copy in the memory while the user is not logged in. Once Second Copy is set to run as a service, it will run the profiles automatically as scheduled.

First, uncheck the box "Start at log in" under Edit | Options | Startup tab.  Then right mouse click on the Second Copy icon in the system tray, and select Exit.

Before you can run Second Copy as a service you need to install it. Once it is installed, you can start Second Copy service from the Services component in the Administrative Tools.

1.   Click on Start

2.   Select Run

3.   Enter "cmd" in the Open box and click on OK. This will open another window
      with a command prompt.

4.   Change the directory to "\Program Files\Second Copy 8".

5.   Type "scsvc /install" without the quotes and hit Enter. This will install Second
      Copy to run as a service.

6.   Once you have installed Second Copy to run as a service, open the Services
      component from the Administrative Tools

7.   Select Second Copy Service from the list of installed services

8.   Click on the Action menu and select Properties

9. Click on the Log On tab

110. Check Allow service to interact with desktop

11. Click OK

13. Click on Start to start Second Copy as a service interactively

13. Create the desired profiles in Second Copy

14. From the Services component, Stop the service

15. Uncheck Allow service to interact with desktop

16. Start the service

For Windows Vista:

1. Set Run cmd to Run as a service as follows:

a. Click Start and type cmd ; in the Search box. This should produce a list
    consisting of one entry: the shortcut to the Windows Command Processor, cmd

b. Right-click the cmd shortcut and choose Pin to Start Menu

c. Click Start again. Right-click the Command Prompt shortcut you just added to
    the Start menu and choose Properties

d. Click the Advanced button and click to select the Run as administrator checkbox

e. Click OK to save your changes

2. From the command prompt, go to "\Program Files\Second Copy 8" folder and run
    Scsvc.exe /install

3. Enter Secpol.msc on the Run command to open Local Security Settings

4. Add the user under Log on as a service so that the user or the group will be
    able to login as a service

5. Start the service for Second Copy from the Services console

For more information, refer to the Help file under the section "Run as a service"

Note: The current version of Second Copy 8 and Second Copy 9 do not run as a service under Windows 7 and later versions of Windows.
 Tips and Tricks
Keeping Zip files manageable
  When you set a profile to compress files, Second Copy creates a single Zip file (or optionally individual zip files) in the destination folder that contains all the compressed source files. It is best to keep these Zip files smaller than 10MB in size.

Efficiency - If you have a profile that is compressing lots of files into a single Zip file, the Zip file will get quite big. This makes the future compression and decompression activities on this Zip file take longer. The length of time needed to update files inside a large Zip file grows exponentially with the size of the Zip file.

Safety - If one of the files inside the Zip file gets corrupted during update, there is a danger of the entire Zip file becoming unusable. Keeping the Zip files smaller, you will reduce the risk of losing other files.

Space - When updating files in the Zip, Second Copy makes a copy of the original Zip file into a temporary file and makes the updates to this file. On successful compression, it deletes the original Zip file and renames the temporary file to the Zip file. So you need enough space on the destination drive to hold the original Zip file and the temporary file. If you do not have enough free space on the destination drive, you can uncheck the option to "Use Destination folder for temporary Zip files", assuming that you have enough free space in your TEMP directory.

(If there is not enough space on the destination drive, you will get a XcdErrorWrite error in the Second Copy log. If you see a file named _Zaxxxxx in the destination folder, it a leftover temporary file that should have been deleted. You can delete it.)

If you don't have enough space on the destination drive (such as an IOmega Zip disk) you can configure Second Copy to use the Windows Temp directory for the temporary Zip file instead of the destination drive. This may slow down the process since the temporary file has to be copied to and from the drive. To set this option:

1. Right click the profile and select Properties

2. Go to the How tab

3. Click the Advanced Properties button

4. Click the Compress tab

5. Select "Do not use destination folder for temporary Zip files"

 Tips and Tricks
Creating different Zip files for different dates
  The directory macro expansion feature can be used to create different Zip files for different dates. For instance, if you create a compressed profile named: "Daily Reports - $DATE$" (without the quotes), Second Copy will create different Zip files in the destination folder for each day it runs. For example, the following files would be created if the profile was run on July 15, 16, and 17, 2010.

Daily Report - 20100715.Zip
Daily Report - 20100716.Zip
Daily Report - 20100717.Zip

The same technique can be used to create other Zip files using appropriate directory macro expansions like $month$, $DayOfWeek$ etc.
 Tips and Tricks
Creating a shortcut on the desktop to run profiles
  Right mouse click on the profile you want to create a desktop shortcut for and select "Create Desktop Shortcut."
 Tips and Tricks
Watching which file is being copied
  To see which file is being copied, simply hold the mouse over the progress bar. You will see the name of the file being copied as a pop-up hint. It will also appear in the status bar.
 Tips and Tricks
Copying files from the root directory of a disk
  Second Copy treats the root directory of a drive in a special way. You can copy files from the root directory of a drive to another drive as long as you don't select a folder also. If you do, the files will not be copied. There are two ways of working around this.

1. Use UNC name to address the drive instead of the drive letter and a colon. e.g.
    Use \\computername\sharename instead of C:\

2. Create two separate profiles, one for the root directory files only and another
    for the folders.

 Tips and Tricks
Understanding include/exclude specifications
  There are two types of include/exclude specifications: Folder specifications and file specifications.

Folder specifications

These must start with a slash and must end with a slash. No drive letter, colon or special characters such as * or ? are allowed. You don't have to specify all folder levels only the ones that are unique. For instance, if the full path of a folder is C:\Data\Personal\Letters\Saved\ you can specify \Data\Personal\, \Letters\, \Letters\Saved\, \Saved\ or any other parts of the path between two slashes.

File specifications

These do not have any slashes and they can contain wildcards such as * or ?. (Example: *.doc)

Selection process


1. Second Copy first selects only those folders which match with the include folder

2. Then within those folders it only considers files that match the file specification.

3. Then it uses exclude specifications to eliminate any files are folders from

4. Now the remaining files are candidates for the copy process.

Copy Process

Second Copy uses the above method to select files from the source and the destination and then compares their date/time stamps to decide which files need to be copied.
 Tips and Tricks
Copying files across FTP
  Second Copy can copy files using FTP. This is helpful if you want to copy files to a remote computer that offers File Transfer Protocol (FTP) service. From the File menu select New FTP Profile to define the profile to copy files to/from the FTP site.
 Tips and Tricks
Backing up the profiles
  There is an easy way to back up the profiles. Select "Create Second Copy Setup Folder..." from the Tools menu.

Second Copy 7 and 8 store their profiles and settings information in a hidden file called "profiles.dat" under "\Documents and Settings\Username\Local Settings\Application Data\Centered Systems\Second Copy" folder. (where, <Username> is the currently logged in username.)

In Windows Vista/7/2008, the profiles.dat file is stored under "\Users\<Username>\AppData\Local\Centered Systems\Second Copy" folder.

Second Copy 2000 stores its profiles and settings information in a hidden file called "profiles.dat" under "\Program Files\SecCopy" folder.

You can also import the profiles into Second Copy by selecting "Import" from the "File" menu.
 Tips and Tricks