Briefcase RRS feed

  • Question

  • We are using Briefcase to build a synchronised set of files between two systems running Vista Business.  We have also used Briefcase on an older XP Home PC to synchronise the same files, the source being one of the Vista systems.  The files amount to 13Gb.


    The XP system takes seconds to open the resulting briefcase when off-line and allow access to the embedded folders and files.  It also takes seconds to update and synchronise selected files within the briefcase.  This system is protected by Norton Internet Security 2005.  The Norton firewall is enabled, the Windows firewall is disabled.


    The "remote" Vista system takes five minutes to open the off-line briefcase and more excessive time to access folders within it.  Updating is also very much slower than the equivalent operation updating the XP system from the source Vista system.  This system (and the "source" Vista system) is protected by McAfee Personal Security.  The McAfee firewall is enabled and the Windows firewall is disabled on both Vista systems.


    Please can anyone explain the reason for the excessively slow performance in Vista and what steps can be taken to resolve the issue?


    Colin Hill



    Wednesday, May 16, 2007 4:29 PM

All replies

  • I am experiencing the same speed problems with a Vista briefcase that is trying to sync to files on an XP machine.  I have another XP machine and its briefcase is fine.  I am running standard Windows firewalls only on all machines.  I have not been able to get any information from Microsoft and haven't seen anything else out on the web.  Hopefully someone will be able to help.  I will check back later.


    Wednesday, July 18, 2007 4:31 AM
  • I too am experiencing the same problem with breifcases sync'd with XP machine.  I am using McAfee on the Vista laptop and Norton of ht desktop.   I sure hope we can find a resolution to this soon...the wait times to open the breifcase folders are unbearable.


    Saturday, August 4, 2007 3:47 PM

    Ditto to the first message in May.  Doesn't look as though anyone is fixing this problem.  I just recently bought laptop with Vista and have just tried setting up a briefcase.  The time it takes to open and update is unbearable.  I too am trying to sync to an XP computer over our network.  Where to now?


    Saturday, November 10, 2007 7:01 AM
  • Same problem.  I just purchased a Dell XPS m1330 and using McAfee on both computers with Vista OS on the laptop, XP OS on the desktop.  Just opening the briefcase (on the laptop) takes in excess of five minutes, and updating can take 20+. 


    In the past, I have kept my briefcase on a flash drive and when working on another XP system, it's lightning fast.  When I put the same flashdrive in a Vista system, it's MUCH slower, but still MUCH faster than if I keep it on my Vista laptop.


    This difficulty makes briefcase virtually unuseable.


    Sunday, November 25, 2007 1:08 AM
  • It's not a McAfee, Norton or firewall problem. I just bought a Toshiba Satellite that should be lighting fast, and I'm having the same issues exactly. If Microsoft doesn't have a solution for this I'm returning the Vista Laptop and finding a way...refurbished if get a Laptop with old faithful XP. I NEED My Briefcase to work, it's VERY important for what I do.


    Thank you all for posting...I thought I was the only one and going crazy.

    Friday, November 30, 2007 1:27 AM
  • I'm the guy (an IT Support contractor!) who posted this following a customer's problems.  I'm amazed and disappointed that Microsft haven't responded on this matter themselves.


    My customer who first encountered the problem has now resolved it and advised me as follows:

    "The Vista networking arrangements (his words!) are so good you simply switch both machines on and with two clicks you can transfer anything you want using the Network sharing centre."

    If that doesn't help, Microsoft are prepared on certain versions of Vista to allow you to downgrade to XP.  You need to speak to whoever sold you the computer, then you have to apply to Microsoft.


    You may also have a come-back on the company which sold you the computer.  Microsoft have always said Vista needed a minimum of 512Mb memory and that's after the graphics have been allocated.  If you have a laptop with 512Mb memory, the chances are that 16 Mb, 32Mb or even 64Mb of that are used by the graphics, leaving you with less than 500Mb available to Windows.  Check by selecting System from the Control Panel and see what memory is available.  If it's less than 512Mb, you've been mis-sold.  Yes, even top brands like Toshiba are guilty.  Microsoft have recently actually increased this minimum requirement.  Unless you have at least 1Mb memory, expect problems with Vista performance.


    Colin Hill

    Friday, November 30, 2007 9:41 AM
  • I have found a solution! 


    I am an avid user of Roboform (from Siber Systems, Inc), and recently added it to my new laptop.  I knew that you could sync Roboform between two computers on a network using their Goodsync program, and so I did the free download and it works great. 


    Using Goodsync, you can setup any number of "jobs" that you want, which are the same as adding folders to the MS Briefcase.  Not only does it work smoothly and effortlessly between my laptop and desktop, but it's much faster than the briefcase as well...  Try it!



    David Hibschman


    Sunday, December 2, 2007 11:47 PM
  • Has anyone having briefcase problems tried Windows Vista SP1 RC? SP1 includes fixes for copying files. Here is some info on SP1:




    -Tony Mann


    Sunday, January 6, 2008 6:35 AM
  • For whatever it's worth.... here's my two cents on this issue.

    I was having major problems trying to sync (via briefcase) my files on XP pro (desktop) to Vista Home Premium (laptop), so I downloaded everything to the VHP (laptop), and attempted to begin syncing VHP with an external hard drive- syncing has been the best and easiest way I've found to backup my much needed files since I realized how briefcase works. 

    But now that I'm trying to sync with VHP, I'm realizing that this issue is not with XP to Vista....  this is a briefcase problem with Vista, regardless of what I'm using!  It is taking me over 10 minutes (in the process as I type this) to sync my files when with XP it took less than a minute (about 10gb).

    When I tried to sync, the box that shows which files are older/newer/needs replaced was outlined by the window border, but nothing in the window!  After I shut off the transparency option (Personalize, window color and appearance, uncheck "enable transparency"), I was able to view the older/newer/replace files in the window.  This is clearly a Vista issue.

    This is a normal, every day function and frankly I'm very disappointed with microsoft, as they have shown nowhere online that they are even concerned with the problem.  I think I've browsed at least 5 different microsoft forums with people having the same issue, but the best any IT tech has offered as a solution is "try a third party syncing software."  No, I paid for my VHP and I expect all the functions to work as advertised!  If not, then my next laptop will be a macpro...  which to be honest, if I would have had the money, I would have done it anyway.

    Vista seems to be a generally good OS, but they need to get this obvious bugs worked out quickly!  If anyone hears how to solve this briefcase problem (other than going back to XP which is not an option for me- no drivers for my hardware that I've found), enlighten me!

    It appears to me that the bugs I have encountered have been with the software allowing a prettier screen.  I'm all about looking sharp and clean, but not at the expense of functionality and reliability.

    By the way, I've been typing this for about twenty minutes, and the syncing is still working.... almost 20% finished.  C'mon microsoft....  throw us a bone here.

    OK I've said enough.  There's my two cents.

    EDIT....   over an hour later...  50%...    my advice.... don't sync with vista yet...   if I don't finish this, then I might lose all my information....  that would be VERY bad....  
    Monday, January 7, 2008 3:05 AM
  • This link is not working....


    Monday, March 3, 2008 12:29 AM
  • For what it's worth:


    I also experienced very sluggish response trying to sync my XP Pro laptop to my Vista HP desktop and stumbled upon a procedure that seems to work:


    1) make sure both machines can "see" each other's shared folders.  If they are in the same workgroup this should not be a problem.


    2) place all the initial Briefcase files on the Vista machine in a shared folder 


    3) On the XP Pro machine - create the Briefcase and check its properties.  If the new folder is marked "read only" uncheck that designation.


    4) On the XP Pro machine, drag the (shared) folders from the Vista HP machine and drop them in the newly created Briefcase


    5) Update the Briefcase on the XP Pro machine.


    Hope this works as well for you as it did for me.






    Wednesday, April 23, 2008 12:23 AM