Automated sync FROM Gdrive TO External Hard Drive


I successfully set up rclone with my Google Drive account (I precise that because I don't know anything almost about code, I'm an absolute novice).

I looked everywhere but didn't find anyone who had solved my problem. I am using my Google Drive as a storage for my work (I'm a photographer) and it saves everything automatically to my server (Synology). BUT I want another copy on my external hard drive for backup and also access to my files if I don't have internet.

That's why I'd like to have the same process with my external hard drive when I plug it into my Macbook, I would like my Google Drive to sync automatically in one direction (Google Drive -> External Hard Drive) when I plug my Hard Drive.

Is there a way to automate it?


welcome to the forum,

if the files are already on the NAS, then just do a simple copy from local storage to external drive.
no need for rclone. use the synology built-in usb copy feature.

if you want to re-download all the files again, gdrive to external drive, then try something like
rclone copy gdrive: /volumeUSB1/usbshare1-1

use the built-in usb copy feature or check synology docs and forum.

Hi, thank you!

I mention my NAS but it's not part of the problem. The NAS automatically copies what I add to my Google Drive.

What I need is rclone to automate the copy of my files from Google Drive to my External Hard Drive when I plug it in and then keep downloading again when I plug it in back another day.
So I understand that :

rclone copy gdrive: /volumeUSB1/usbshare1-1

will re-download all the files, but is it going to not copy what's already on the External Hard Drive? Because I already have a big part copied in this hard drive.

  • the purpose is to make it automatic when I plug the Hard Drive. Is this even possible?


yes, it is possble,
might run rclone mount on your synbox and use synology built-in usb-copy feature to download from the mount to your usb drive.
that could work.

beyond that, if you want to run a script when you plug in a usb drive, read the synology documentation and post in their forum.

The thing is that my NAS has nothing to do with it it's not part of the problem I don't want to touch anything with it. It's just between my Google Drive and my external Hard Drive when plugged in.

You could automate it very easily, check:

From there you just want to run a rclone copy or sync (depending on your preference and needs) from GDrive to the external drive.

Basically you can use copy if you want to download new stuff but do not delete anything already in your external drive if it's not in your GDrive. Sync would make the external drive look exactly as GDrive, removing any files you removed from GDrive as well.

Now, you need to understand the sync command might take some time to run, specially if you have slow internet etc. And you should not remove the drive until the sync is completed. It might be starter to do the sync manually and just run the script when you need the files to be synced and you know you will be online for a while with reliable internet and allowing you to connect and disconnect the drive to work as needed without having a script potentially overwriting your files.

Also consider that any changes you do to the files in the external hard drive will be lost when you resync with the items on GDrive as you are talking about a one way sync.

Hope this helps!

ok, you mentioned that NAS and the files were already stored on it.
so i made my suggestion to have that be the source. but if want to redownload all the file again, try jcastill idea

for backups using rclone sync, and want to keep older versions of files, might try something like

rclone sync grive: /path/to/usbdrive/current --backup-dir=/path/to/usbdrive/archive/`date +%Y%m%d.%I%M%S`

Thanks for guiding me there, I set up the script rclone copy and it worked well. Then I was trying to follow what you showed me, it looked like everything was working. I wanted to restart the Macbook and plug it in to check if it's working correctly, but now the Hard Drive is not recognized by the Finder :sweat_smile:

It's kinda weird, when I write on the terminal "disk list" it doesn't show me anything as long as the external hard drive is plugged in, then when I unplug it, the internal disk of my Macbook appears...

Don't know what to do now :smiling_face_with_tear:

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