Re-adding a node that's been out-of-sync for months

Have a cluster of 3 devices which are in sync. Everything ok experiencing lots of updates/deletions/additions on every device.

Have a fourth device who has been out-of-sync for months, has experienced deletions and additions on it’s side. This device has never been introduced to syncthing (it previously was on btsync, then didn’t upgrade like the others to syncthing).

I would like to re-add this device but I want to be very careful with the risks of spontaneous deletions or additions this new sync could create.

Any advice, how to be sure that this fourth device will only receive changes from the cluster on initial sync ?

Is this kind of solution still working : Startup initial sync with different files ?

Edit : Folder is 650+ Gb so I would be happy not having to redownload everything on fourth device, i.e. only grab changes which should account for ~30 Gb

Just presync it with rsync.

Thank for your fast answer, as I stated editing my conversation, presyncing it with rsync is my second choice as the cluster only has poor dsl connections.

If you use rsync it will only transfer the difference.

During the initial sync I would probably set one (all?) of the other devices as master.

OK thanks @AudriusButkevicius, @BlackEdder and @kluppy for both good solutions and precisions, will try one of these !

Third option:

On device four move the files to a new location.

Add them as a new share in syncthing but don’t share it with anything.

Once Syncthing has indexed the new share add the original location to the share with the other 3 devices.

Syncthing will reuse the blocks from the local share that match the ones on the other devices so they will not be transferred.

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Wow I like this one a lot ! Makes a wonderful use of the good design and spec choices in syncthing ! Thanks

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