3.5 out of 5 with 4 ratings

Araxis Merge Reviews

You can use Merge to synchronize a domain-connected work laptop to your home PC, without using external USB

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Extremely powerful software and can be dangerously powerful if you're not careful to pay attention to what you're copying or deleting. I've used Araxis Merge since about 2006 to synchronize all of my files and folders on my main computer with my USB backup drives. I also use it to synchronize my work laptop with a work folder on my home laptop, so that when my work laptop crashes (which it has, half a dozen times already), I still have all of my work-related files safely stashed away.

The 2007 version was working great for close to 9 years until I bought one of those Western Digital RJ45 ethernet-connected media server hard drives, and until I started using 3 tools from Cool Utils called Total Mail Converter, Total Outlook Converter, and Total Thunderbird Converter. These tools allow you to export all of your emails as PDFs and can results in super-long filenames. The combination of these two changes caused Merge 2007 to no longer be able to synchronize all of my files. There were always a few stragglers that Merge could not copy. Sometimes Merge would fail catastrophically and simply vanish from the screen while attempting to compare two folders.

Upon closer examination, the reason seemed to be three-fold:

(1) The Western Digital ethernet-connected hard drive was running Linux internally, and Linux has a couple of time stamp bugs well documented in the Android world. Essentially, Linux and Android sometimes will not preserve file time stamps, instead re-stamping copied files with the current time, and sometimes will stay stuck several hours behind or ahead of the actual time zone.

(2) I had the Cool Utils products set up to export my emails as extremely long file names using the subject, sender, date, and email "nn" code. Merge, or possibly Windows itself, was having trouble handling these super-long file names. (I have since dialed back the settings to not produce file names so long.)

(3) When deleting these super-long file names, the files would go into Recycle Bin but could not be deleted once and for all. They became stuck in a kind of Recycle Bin limbo, where I couldn't restore them, but couldn't completely delete them, either. This seems to have been the reason for Merge 2007 failing catastrophically. To delete the zombie files, I had to go into Command Console in administrative mode, cd to $RECYCLE.BIN, attrib -h -r -s -a . /S /D, cd to the previously-hidden system folder contained within $RECYCLE.BIN starting with S-1-5-21, del . /S, cd .., rd $RECYCLE.BIN, and temporarily create a dummy file called $RECYCLE.BIN using copy con F6 so that Windows couldn't recreate the Recycle Bin right away. Then I ran Merge 2007 and it ran without crashing... ...but still had several stragglers that it couldn't copy.

So I upgraded to Merge 2016, and thankfully, it was able to handle the super-long file names from the Cool Utils products and the inconsistent time stamps from the WD hard drive. There were still a few files that it couldn't copy! I looked closer at them and discovered that two of them had their year set as decades in the future. I opened and re-saved them as year 2016 and Merge 2016 successfully copied them. The final straggler was a Word document from an engineer in my company that didn't seem to have any clear reason for not copying. (Maybe some kind of internal security feature?) I opened it and resaved it in the same exact format, and Merge was able to copy the new copy, and my drives are fully synchronized. After weeks of anguish, I finally see 0 inserted, 0 removed, 0 changed.

One final note if you're still reading this long diatribe. You can backup your corporate, domain-connected work laptop to a folder on your home laptop without needing to use an external USB hard drive, and without needing to install a clean install of Windows on a separate partition to be off the domain. Here is how:

Set static IPs for your home and work laptop's RJ45 port, one off from each other. For example, home laptop, work laptop Here I'm assuming that you connect your work laptop to the domain using wireless and never use the LAN card for anything.

Connect both of them with a switch such as an inexpensive Linksys 4-port Ethernet switch.

Share your work folder on your home laptop. Right-click on the folder, Properties, Sharing. Name the shared folder.

On the work laptop, click on Start, go to Run (or open a Command Console) and enter in a command like this:

net use W: \\share password /user:username

where share is the shared folder, password is your login password, and username is your user login on the home laptop.

Then open Araxis Merge 2016, browse to Computer (not Network), and find the W: drive.

Finally, synchronize your work laptop's hard drive against your W: drive = the work folder on your home PC.

You can do all of this without messing up the domain settings on your work laptop.


Very powerful tool.

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Most Powerful tool for solving conflicts and working with diff's, patches, and tracking changes, finding bugs, fixing issues, etc.
I have tried a lot of different tools mentioned here at alternativeto like meld, kdiff, winmerge, etc tools. But araxis one this most powerful ever tool what i have ever seen before. The speed of application and user friendly interface is just amazing. I can't express you how many hours / days this tool saved for me, how many neurvous and how many money this tools saved for me. I really loving this tool, and can't imagine my software development without this tool.
Strongly recommend to use this tool.


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They do not allow you to download older versions and require you to fill an endless form in order to give you a download link for the version you already payed for for. So, think twice before buying something from them.


I keep on coming back to Araxis Merge.

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I have almost all the other popular alternatives but keep on coming back to Araxis Merge.

Their support is superb and it is worth the heavier price tag.