How to Automagically Sync Minecraft Worlds Between Multiple Computers Online
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Kanosea's picture
Kanosea
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Hello friends,
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Would you like to easily and automatically back-up your Minecraft world saves to a secure online server you can access from anywhere? Or would you prefer to have your Minecraft worlds automatically sync between multiple computers?
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This is your answer.
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I have come to you with a simple, easy-to-do solution to the frustrating problem of Minecraft world saves being strictly localized on one computer. Instead of tediously backing Minecraft up manually to a USB and carrying it around (or waiting for Notch to make saves done server-side), you can both automate the process AND lose the USB stick by using a nifty and safe and free program called Dropbox (if you already use it, you will know how awesome it is). While I highly advocate using Dropbox for more than just Minecraft online backups and transfers, Dropbox does this job remarkably well.
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Note: If you are thinking to yourself, "But, Kano! I like manually backing files up to USB sticks!" or "I don't see why this is necessary because I save my stuff to a home server", then this may not be for you. The primary purpose of setting this up is for an easy and automatic synchronization between two (or more) distant computers which don't share a network and doesn't require tedious USB stick managing. 
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Here's How To Do It (Don't worry! It's not hard!):
1. First, sign up for a Dropbox account with just a name and an email address by clicking this referral link. Now, I want to point out that I'm not doing this for referral farming. The only reason I put the referral link instead of the normal Dropbox link is because if you sign up by a referral, you get an extra 250MB, which you would not get if you signed up without  a referral. If you don't want to get the extra 250MB for some reason, you may sign up without one by clicking here.
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2. Second, download the Dropbox client. This step is very important because it is the program which automagically syncs your computer files with the server without any effort on your part whatsoever. Place your Dropbox folder under "My Documents".
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NOTE: If you are using Windows XP, you must install Microsoft Server 2003 resource pack in order to enable symbolic links, which you will need for Step 5. You can download it here. Windows 7 users need not worry about this step.
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3. Third, locate your .minecraft folder. It is located in your AppData folder, which can be easily found with Windows search or by opening "Run" from the Start Menu and typing in "%AppData%" into the box that appears. Once you find it, copy the entire .minecraft folder to a safe place besides your Dropbox folder as a precaution (you can never be too safe).
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4. Fourth, open the Command Prompt window. This can be done by pressing Windows Button + R, then typing "CMD" or by finding Run in the Start Menu and typing "CMD". 
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5. Fifth, once in the Command Prompt, carefully type the following to create a symbolic link between the two files: 
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If using Windows 7
mklink /D "C:\Users\<YOUR USERNAME>\Documents\My Dropbox\Minecraft Backup" "C:\Users\<YOUR USERNAME>\AppData\Roaming\.minecraft\saves"
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If using Windows XP: (Make sure you installed Server 2003 first! See Step 2) 
linkd /d "C:\Documents and Settings\<YOUR USERNAME>\My Documents\My Dropbox\Minecraft" "C:\Documents and Settings\<YOUR USERNAME>\Local Settings\Application Data\.minecraft"
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(Note: Make sure that you replace <YOUR USERNAME> with whatever you named your computer, such as "Jim's Computer" without the brackets. Otherwise this will not work.)
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6. You're done! All you need to do is to wait for the little icon on your Dropbox button on the Start bar to stop spinning before you shut down your computer (this may take a long time at first, but don't worry: it is much faster after the first time). With this completed, any time you exit Minecraft, your save files will be automatically copied to your Dropbox folder, where they will be synced automatically. If you ever need to get your Save files, you can download them directly from Dropbox after logging in.
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7. OPTIONAL: If you wish for Minecraft to actively sync your world save files between two or more computers in addition to backing them up online, you do the following:
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First, install both Minecraft and the Dropbox client onto the computer you wish to sync with. (Make sure you log into the same account. Place the Dropbox folder under My Documents, and wait for your Minecraft saves to automatically download from the server.
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Second, delete (or move to another folder) the "saves" folder under the .minecraft folder (which, if you forgot, is located under your AppData folder).
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Next, open command prompt and carefully type the following depending on your operating system:
If using Windows 7
mklink /D  "C:\Users\<YOUR USERNAME>\AppData\Roaming\.minecraft\saves" "C:\Users\<YOUR USERNAME>\Documents\My Dropbox\Minecraft Backup"
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If using Windows XP: (Make sure you installed Server 2003 first! See Step 2) 
linkd /d "C:\Documents and Settings\<YOUR USERNAME>\Local Settings\Application Data\.minecraft" "C:\Documents and Settings\<YOUR USERNAME>\My Documents\My Dropbox\Minecraft"
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(Note: Make sure that you replace <YOUR USERNAME> with whatever you named your computer, such as "Jim's Computer" without the brackets. Otherwise this will not work.)
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Finally, load up Minecraft and enjoy the world you have saved on your other computer! You may repeat this process on as many computers as you feel like. Anytime you play Minecraft on one of them and exit, the world will be automagically updated on every other computer, so you can pick up playing wherever you left off.
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That's it! This method is excellent for both backing up your precious progress AND playing seamlessly between multiple computers. If you have any issues or questions, feel free to ask. I hope you enjoyed this guide, and feel free to share this with anyone you think could benefit from this!
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Cheers,
Kano


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Kanosea's picture
Kanosea
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Harmless bump. :)

Harmless bump. :)

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satanslandlady
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Attempting

I've been trying out this method having used Dropbox for other reasons. I've managed to link my laptop running windows 7 to dropbox and have that save sync.

I haven't been successful in getting my desktop (windows xp) to link my dropbox folder (Minecraft Backup) and my minecraft save file.

I can include a screenshot and I did download and install Microsoft Server 2003. http://twitpic.com/35f615/full

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Directory Junction alternative

I figured someone out there would be using this setup too. What you're making is a directory junction from the Minecraft folders to Dropbox; from Minecraft's point of view, it's files are all still in AppData, and Windows intercepts its calls to that folder and sends them to the Dropbox folder.

mklink can be very intimidating if you aren't certain what to put in the file paths, much less its various options. There's a free utility called Link Shell Extension (http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/linkshellextension.html) that adds an entry to the right-click menu on all files and folders, enabling you to set up directory junctions, symbolic links, and hard links without having to touch the command line.

All you have to do is move .minecraft from AppData into the Dropbox, then right click it there and choose "Pick link source". Then go back to AppData, right click, Drop Here, Directory Junction. And voila, same process, no command prompt, no guessing at file paths. Minecraft believes its files are in the same place as always, and in reality they'll sync across any computer connected to the Dropbox. Another advantage to this system over standard mklink junctions is LSE will add an overlay icon of a link over directory junctions, so you can clearly see which folder is the "original" and which is the junction pointing at it.

The download is about a meg, installs cleanly, and doesn't run anything in the background (just adds the shortcuts to Explorer's menus). Whether you're uncomfortable in Windows' command prompts or just want a faster way to junction them together, I'd heartily recommend Link Shell Extension to make this process of syncing easier.

Link Shell Extension: http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/linkshellextension.html

http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/pickjunction.png
http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/dragjunctionfolder.png

(This concludes Kami's shameless plug for a fantastic little app)


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Thanks. I think that's

Thanks. I think that's working. The sync though is kind of slow since there are a lot of files. I think my next project is tackling the single save file mod.

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An excellent addition, Kami!

An excellent addition, Kami! Thank you for sharing. :D

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Kanosea
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An interesting possibility..

It seems that one of Dropbox's primary competitors has just increased the amount of free space granted to 10GB. While I still prefer Dropbox's usability, I can't help but think they will add additional free space because of this new competition.

I will keep you guys posted!

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A small update

A small update:

If you are a student or a teacher who has (or at least has access to) a .edu email address, you can easily double the amount of space Dropbox grants you for referrals. I simply wished to throw this out there for those Minecraft-obsessed students like myself! ;)

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A small fix

I noticed a few embarrassing grammatical errors in there. Shame on me! :x

*Fixt*

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Versionthirteen2
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Hi guys,In my .minecraft

Hi guys,
In my .minecraft folder and under saves file there is nothing in there
Is this for the beta server?
If so, is there anyway i can share multiple hosts on a CLASSIC server where they sync together?

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Not working

I know this post is very old but I tried doing this using Google Drive. I can see my saved game when opening Minecraft but my entire world has been reset. All I have is what was in my inventory when I saved and quite on another computer. I tried doing this manually (the USB way) and got the same result. Is it possible the latest version of Minecraft doesn't save world data to the 'saves' folder? 

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This thread belongs in a

This thread belongs in a museum

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