I started using this tool from Microsoft a couple of days ago. I find it very useful in that it allows me to synchronize my files (specifically directories) from my laptop to my external hard disk. The neat thing about it is that it keeps track of changes made to files and synchronizes based on that information. To download this tool follow this link to Microsofts website. If you need any help with the program you can visit this photo forum which discusses the use of this tool.
"There are new sources of files coming from every direction: digital cameras, e-mail, cell phones, portable media players, camcorders, PDAs, and laptops. Increasingly, computer users are using different folders, drives, and even different computers (such as a laptop and a desktop) to store and retrieve files. Yet managing hundreds or thousands of files is still largely a manual operation. In some cases it is necessary to get copies of files from one place; in other cases there is a need to keep two storage locations exactly in sync. Some users manage files manually, dragging and dropping from one place to another and keeping a mental card catalog in their heads. Others use one or more applications to provide this functionality for them.
Now there is an easier way. SyncToy, a free PowerToy for Microsoft Windows XP, is an easy to use, highly customizable program that helps users to do the heavy lifting involved with the copying, moving, and synchronization of different directories. Most common operations can be performed with just a few clicks of the mouse, and additional customization is available without added complexity. SyncToy can manage multiple sets of folders at the same time; it can combine files from two folders in one case, and mimic renames and deletes in another. Unlike other applications, SyncToy actually keeps track of renames to files and will make sure those changes get carried over to the synchronized folder." Description Via Microsoft Website