Problem with shared xls file. Could it be blamed on rsync?

JamesDR james at
Thu Mar 15 14:33:18 GMT 2007

syncro wrote:
> Hi all!
> I recently had a problem with a shared excel file which was rsynced from the
> file- to the backupserver. The backups of this file went wrong and I can't
> figure out why. The whole rsync and dump to tapes works like charm for a few
> month now.
> The situation was as followed. That xls lived (and was backuped) happily for
> 5 days. Then the users startet to share this file among 4 or 5 people. Means
> they made changes the whole day with several ppl. Everything ok on the
> fileserver so far. But not on the backup as I had to discover later on. This
> file was deleted (overwritten) accidently. Not a big surprise and no problem
> - normaly. I do an rsync script every minute thus the backup was identicaly.
> Rsync works ;) I fetched my tape backups. I have one for every day for this
> server. All of them had either the overwritten (ok, backup too new) or the
> version before they started to share.
> Now my question. Who is the suspect? Could it be that rsync just can't
> handle such files or that excel does some bullshit? I hope the later is to
> blame ;)
> Thanks in advance for help or hints!
> Regards,
> syncro

I've seen this happen before -- the XLS file was being written to at the
time of the sync... Not much you can do about it. If you are using
Windows 2003 as the file server you could use volume shadow copies and
create a shadow copy of the partition which houses your data. This has
resolved a couple of other issues for me as well as the XLS issue you
describe. If you aren't, I'm not sure there is something similar in nix
that can do this for you. I'm thinking that the file is locked and Rsync
can't read it so it isn't sync'd. Just a wild guess.


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