Has there been a change in Primary and Secondary behaviour?

boreham's Avatar


07 Jun, 2024 08:50 AM

I recently set up four Macs all syncing MD and it is working well. I used Apple Migration Assistant for three of them, and noticed that the migrated install took on the same Primary/Secondary setting as the install it was being migrated from. So I ended up with two Primary and two Secondary.

What surprised me was that I have previously understood it is not possible to change the Sync settings on a Secondary machine, but that does not seem to be the case with these four. All of them allow Sync settings to be changed.

Because I understand there should only be one Primary I have demoted one of the Primaries using Toolbox so now have one Primary and three Secondary.


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  1. 31 Posted by boreham on 11 Jun, 2024 10:54 AM

    boreham's Avatar

    Thanks Stuart, Your comment about not using Migration Assistant links back to my earlier comment about MD not being compatible with Migration Assistant.

    Migration Assistant is a very common method for Mac users to commission a new Mac from another Mac and works very well. There is no manual element. If there is a significant risk for Moneydance I would suggest the Moneydance guidance should suggest that if using Migration Assistant the migrated data files should be manually deleted after migration and the File > New > Open Syn'd file method should be used.

    My own experience is that after using Migration Assistant and then resetting sync, everything has been fine. I have tested syncing in both directions and everything seems to be working perfectly and all data consistent.

    If my method had caused 'the new secondary will dump a new full size trunk file into the sync folder and that will replicate and most likely replace the main primary dataset’s trunk file' how would I know and is there a permanent flaw?

    If you think I should delete the data files from my Secondary and start again with the File > New method I will do it but at the moment I am not convinced I need to.

  2. 32 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 11 Jun, 2024 11:13 AM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    No. That’s not what I said.

    I said don’t use the MA to set up a new secondary sync relationship. If you had a working secondary computer and you migrated that using MA to a brand new machine, then that would be perfectly ok, and that new machine would be a properly setup secondary machine.

    But to set up a new secondary from scratch, use file/new/open sync copy.

  3. 33 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 11 Jun, 2024 11:13 AM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    To your last two questions. If everything looks fine then leave them alone now.

  4. 34 Posted by boreham on 11 Jun, 2024 11:15 AM

    boreham's Avatar

    Thanks for clarifying Stuart.

  5. 35 Posted by Homer712 on 11 Jun, 2024 02:27 PM

    Homer712's Avatar

    I read through all the posts here, and at first I became worried that my two Mac systems were not set up correctly. Then, in one of Maddy's posts there was this link (https://infinitekind.tenderapp.com/kb/syncing-and-sharing-data/syncing-with-other-computers), which put my mind at ease, as this is exactly the way my two systems are set up.

    How Syncing Works - By following these steps, each computer will have its own copy of your .moneydance data file, and also separate .moneydancearchive backup files (all stored locally). Any changes are shared with the other computer(s) using the sync files within the shared folder you picked. If you enter a test transaction on either computer, you'll see it appear on the other after a few moments.

    MacBook Pro
    /Users/“user name”/Documents/Financial Files/Financial Data.moneydance
    /Users/“user name”/Documents/Financial Files/Moneydance Backups/MacBook Pro Backups

    Mac Mini
    /Users/“user name”/Documents/Financial Files/Financial Data.moneydance
    /Users/“user name”/Documents/Financial Files/Moneydance Backups/Mac Mini Backups

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