FCompare — a File and Folder Compare Utility

This app is for Microsoft Windows users who are sensible enough to copy their data from one drive to another for backup/archiving purposes.

If you copy/backup data, how confident are you that the data that arrives on the target device is *exactly* the same as the data on the source device. Has some file corruption occurred? Has data been copied multiple times and some of the files are older than you expect? Perhaps some files are unexpectedly smaller than they should be!

FCompare enables you to compare two folder locations: one the source data, your main drive for example, let’s say Drive C: of your main PC; and the other the target drive or USB data stick that you copy data to for backup purposes. By specifying C:\ as the main location, then say drive T:\ as the target where your backup is held, FCompare will endeavour to compare all the files on both systems and report back as to whether they are identical.

There are many backup utilities available; and these usually compress data that is backed up. So there’s no point in trying FCompare on these types of files. A compressed file is certainly not the same size as the original. But if you keep files intact, copying like-for-like, then using FCompare to check the quality of the files is highly recommended.

You can also use FCompare to check if two files are, byte-for-byte, identical. This is especially useful for important data.

In the example above, my Dropbox folder is compared on both the source device, drive D: and the target device, drive R:, a USB stick. There is one file that is different and there are four files missing on the USB stick. Scrolling down the list reveals more info. The ticks on the left, for example, are provided if both files are identical. If there is any difference, the tick box is empty and a code is provided to explain:

0 means that both files are identical in date/time/size. And, if you have selected the ‘byte-for-byte’ option, then 0 means they are completely identical.

1 means that the files are different lengths.

2 means the file in the source folder, “File 1”, is older than the same named file in the target folder.

4 means the file in the target folder, “File 2”, is older than the same named file in the source folder.

– means that the file is found in one location only, either on the Source or the Target drive, depending on which column it is listed.

DIR shows the name of the folder the app will begin searching from. If the tick occurs against this folder, then all the files within are identical.