Syncing between W10 PC's impossible.

Peter Deen's Avatar

Peter Deen

29 Jun, 2020 12:34 PM

For days I am trying to get Moneydance (V 2019.3,1880) to sync between my Windows10 Desktop and Windows10 Laptop. File --> Syncing... shows "Sync Method: Don't Sync". This is frozen, i.e. I can't change the Sync Method, let alone setup the syncing process. See the screenshot attached. I cannot find anything helpful on the web. Obviously as long as I cannot get this sync problem resolved, syncing with the Moneydance App on my Android tablet is also out of the question (one of the reason I bought Moneydance).
Please help.

  1. 1 Posted by derekkent23 on 29 Jun, 2020 03:25 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff just a user.
    Hi Peter

    You first want to sync between two Windows 10 computers, but you say you see under File --> Syncing "Sync Method: Don't Sync". Do you see this on both computers or just one?

    Then you want to add an Android Phone.

    To illustrate that it should work I am syncing between 3 Windows 10 computers, a Linux Mint computer and two Android phones.

    What sync method are you trying you use, Dropbox Folder or Dropbox Connection?

    Whilst your posting an answer to these questions perhaps an overview of Moneydance syncing would be useful.

    You need to have at least a free Dropbox account. With Dropbox Folder, the most flexible and easiest to set up of the two, you need to install Dropbox client on all your computers, but not no your mobile devices.

    With Dropbox Connection Moneydance uses the Dropbox API to talk to the Dropbox service directly. So, you don't need to have Dropbox client actually installed on your computer, but you do need to be online when Moneydance is running in order for changes to be synced. Data will be synced once you go back on line when Moneydance is open. With Drobox Folder Moneydance will just read and write files to your Dropbox folder on your computer, which means that you need to have Dropbox client installed and running, but you don't need to be online in order for Moneydance to read and write the changes.” Syncing will occur when you go online, Moneydance does not need to be open.

    You can also use either of these syncing methods Dropbox Folder and Dropbox Connection to sync with mobile device (phones etc.) that have the Moneydance APP installed. The Moneydance mobile APP has Dropbox API embedded.

    When syncing you have one primary and as many secondary computers as you require. The data set is stored in the default location on the hard drive of your primary computer. See under HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER. Your data set is a folder not a file. It contains other folders and files. The data set folder is named yourdatasetname.moneydance. DON’T STORE YOUR DATA SET IN DROPBOX or any other shared drive or cloud server as it could become corrupted due to how Moneydance reads/writes small files.

    When you start the syncing process, FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) - SYNCING, a syncing folder “.moneydancesync” is automatically created in Dropbox or your Shared folder. If you have more than one data set you can set up syncing for each. The “.moneydancesync” folder in turn has an alphanumeric folder created, one for each data set you sync.

    Your secondary computers, set up using FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – NEW – OPEN SYNCED FILE, do not have the same data set as the primary computer. There data sets are automatically created from data synced via the folder “.moneydancsync” / alphanumeric folder, created automatically by the primary computer. See under HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER. Although the data sets have the same name the main difference between a primary and secondary data set is you can’t change the sync method when running a secondary data set.

    Once set up you can say add a transaction on one computer and within 60 seconds see it appear on your other computers or mobile device e.g. phone.

    In normal operation Moneydance on your devices reads and writes to the folder “.moneydancsync” / alphanumeric in the Dropbox folder, creating small transaction files (mdtxn files) in such a way that there should never be any conflicts (at least not to any important files). Filenames are unique and the data is end to end encrypted using your sync key (“Encryption Passphrase”) only held on your devices, not in the cloud. All changes are recorded in this folder and if any of the changes cause conflicts then they are resolved by checking Unix Time stamp that are internal to the file (i.e. not the file modification date). At interval these transaction files are rolled up in to a truck file to reduce the number of small transaction files. The alphanumeric folder also contains other support folders and files.

    All this is transparent to the user.

    Hope this helps.

  2. 2 Posted by Peter Deen on 30 Jun, 2020 12:25 PM

    Peter Deen's Avatar

    Hi derekkent23,
    I really appreciate your extensive reply, as I now much better understand the Moneydance syncing process and has helped solving the problems partly. However, the problem is not entirely resolved. Also some additional info has come to light which may help solving my problem.
    I use two different Document Folders (Data Sets) called Super and Personal Finances.
    1. Super: The Data Set is now perfectly well syncing between my W10 Desktop PC (the Primary Computer) and my W10 Laptop (the Secondary Computer), using the Dropbox Folder.
    2. Personal Finances: Clicking File, then Syncing shows in the dialog box: "Sync Method: Don't Sync" and there are no other options and thus "Don't Sync" cannot be changed to "Sync Method: Dropbox Folder or Dropbox Connection". Obviously syncing of the relevant Data Set does not happen. The folder must be corrupted one way or the other and I can't figure out how to resolve the issue.
    I hope someone can help!!

  3. 3 Posted by derekkent23 on 30 Jun, 2020 02:55 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.
    Hi Peter

    Syncing a second data set is completely separate from syncing your first data set. A new alphanumeric folder is set up automatically under “.moneydancesync” in the Dropbox folder.

    To set up syncing for a second data set open that data set in your primary computer.

    If you now click FILE – SYNCING you should be able to change the syncing method.
    If its fixed at Don’t Sync let me know and I will post a process for turning a secondary data set into a primary data set.

    Assuming you can set Dropbox Folder do so and start syncing.

    Once Dropbox is up to date on your primary computer wait for it to be up to date on your secondary computer.

    Then click FILE – NEW – OPEN SYNCED FILE to start the syncing process.

    Hope this helps.

  4. 4 Posted by Peter Deen on 01 Jul, 2020 02:23 AM

    Peter Deen's Avatar

    Hi Derekkent23,
    Thanks again for your prompt reply, but I need further help please.

    If I now click FILE – SYNCING I am not able to change the syncing method.
    It is fixed at Don’t Sync.
    Please post a process for turning a secondary data set into a primary data set.
    Looking forward to your response!

  5. 5 Posted by derekkent23 on 01 Jul, 2020 07:09 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.
    Hi Peter

    First do an EXPORT - BACKUP in case something goes Wrong.

    To convert a secondary data set to a primary data set you need to run the attached script md_convert_secondary_to_primary_data_set.py in Moneydance 2019/2020.
    With your data set open click WINDOW - SHOW MONEYBOT CONSOLE use OPEN SCRIPT to select the script and click RUN. Wait for the script to complete its run, it can take a minute.

    Close and reopen Moneydance. You should now be able to change the syncing method.

    Hope this helps

  6. 6 Posted by Peter Deen on 02 Jul, 2020 02:07 AM

    Peter Deen's Avatar

    Hi Derekkent23,
    Hooray, it worked!!
    Thanks for your help,
    Peter.

  7. 7 Posted by derekkent23 on 02 Jul, 2020 07:37 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.
    Hi Peter

    Glad I was able to help.

    Have Fun, Stay Safe.

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