This feature can be used when you have two or more computers to work on files, and when you need to frequently transfer files between computers by using a direct cable connection or a removable disk.
The Briefcase feature in Windows XP helps you keep your files updated by automatically synchronizing multiple copies of individual files and keeps track of the relationship between files on two or more computers.
For example: If you use a desktop computer at the office, and you use a portable computer when you are working far from your desktop, briefcase synchronizes and updates the files on your desktop computer to the modified versions when you reconnect your portable computer to the desktop computer.
Briefcase stores and displays the update status of files. It keeps track of whether a file is linked to the original file on your main computer, or whether it is an orphan file (a file stored in Briefcase that is not linked to another file).
You can use this information to keep your files organized and to keep track of the most recent versions of your files.
How to Create a New Briefcase
1. Click Start--> and then click My Computer.
2. Click the folder in which you want to create a new briefcase.
3. On the File menu--> click New--> and then click Briefcase. The new briefcase is created. To open the briefcase--> double-click it.
If you want to create a new briefcase on your desktop, right-click an empty area of your desktop, click New, and then click Briefcase.
How to Use Briefcase to Synchronize Files on Two Computers
1. Thinking that you use a desktop computer as your primary computer and a portable computer as your secondary computer.
(You can connect your computers either over a network or by using a direct cable connection).
3. Start Briefcase on your portable computer, and then drag the files or folders that you want to work with from your desktop computer to Briefcase.
Note: Before you copy folders and files from your desktop computer to Briefcase, the folders containing the files must be shared.
4. Start Briefcase, and then make the changes that you want to the files.
5. When you have finished working on the files, reconnect your portable computer to your desktop computer (if they were disconnected), and then start Briefcase on your portable computer.
6. Follow one of the steps below:
a. To update all files, click Update All on the Briefcase menu.
b. To update only some of the files, select the file or files that you want to update, and then click Update Selection on the Briefcase menu.
7. The Update dialog box is displayed. Confirm the update action on the files or folders that are displayed in the dialog box, and then click Update.