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OT: Any good, recommended backup software?

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  • OT: Any good, recommended backup software?

    Quite a while ago, Evan recommended "SyncToy" to me, and I have been using it ever since.

    Big problem is that it does not work with Win 10 (same issue as most existing programs).

    The really good feature of SyncToy is that it does NOT make both the systems "the same", at least it can be set not to. It has a "contribute only" mode, in which anything present on the source and NOT on the destination is copied over, but NOTHING is removed from the destination.

    Until I realized that such a program behavior existed, I lost several files, due to them not being on the source, and the backup program I was using would make the destination "the same as" the source. Anything NOT on the source was deleted from the destination.

    I have not been able to find a decent easy backup program that states it will do that type of backups. I like to do backups daily or after significant work, to a thumb drive, and like that to be done easily and fairly quickly, ONLY adding material, NOT taking any away from the backup.

    Once SyncToy was set up, it was easy, just put in the backup thumb drive, and start. All the options were preset from the first backup of that set, source, destination, backup type, etc. No fuss no muss, no bother.

    All SyncToy backups are "full", resulting in a file structure identical to the source, but the ACTION is incremental, doing only what has changed, so they are pretty fast, and they miss nothing. There is only one file for a backup, and it is added to by the "contribute", so at any time a "restore" is wanted, the entire directory can simply be caopied back. I keep ALL actual data under one master data directory, in subdirectories and sub-sub-directories, etc, so I can easily just point the program at that directory and know it gets everything.

    That's the action I prefer.

    The "contribute only" action is an absolute requirement for me. And it should be settable as "permanent" setting, not one that must be re-selected every time a backup is done.

    No cloud backup systems need apply. I cannot do cloud backups, because some of my work is very much "not for publication".

    Any recommendations from personal experience?

    Please do NOT bother explaining how unreliable thumb drives are.... I do disk image backups to terabyte drives as a "real" backup, the thumb drive is for short term backup of data files only.
    Last edited by J Tiers; 01-18-2020, 06:17 PM.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  • #2
    Have a look at "mini tool partition wizard", it has a free version and might be useful. I have used it to clone discs.

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    • #3
      I've been using SyncBack for ten years or more on my win7 machine. Lots and lots of options. Of course, the new versions work on win10 also.

      Check out the options it offers, I suspect you can get just what you want.

      -js
      There are no stupid questions. But there are lots of stupid answers. This is the internet.

      Location: SF Bay Area

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      • #4
        Best I saw looking around was Cobian, but I am not clear if it treats every session as creating a new file, or if it can add incrementally. Best of all is it is free. (so was SyncToy, free from Microsoft)
        1601

        Keep eye on ball.
        Hashim Khan

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        • #5
          Have you tried to install SyncToy under Win10? Some people think it works: https://windowsreport.com/synctoy-windows-10/

          I use a similar program, FreeFileSync: https://freefilesync.org/ where it has both Mirror and Update modes. I use this with 3 thumb drives so if a backup goes awry I have two fairly recent fall backs. So far I haven't needed the fall backs but I have in the past restored a couple files from the most recent backup following a brain fart.

          For system backups consider Macrium Free: https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree I use this with a USB hard disk.
          Location: Newtown, CT USA

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          • #6
            One may purchase (pardon the profanity) a 4 terabyte external hard drive for less then $100.00, if you have a machine that has more then 4TB of data you are probably asking the wrong forum for help.

            I backup a 1 TB desktop and a 1 TB laptop using this Seagate 2 TB drive that I bought (shudder) 2 years ago for $59.00.
            I do not have anywhere near that much data to backup.

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            • #7
              You might look at FolderMatch. I used to use it to keep my desktop and my laptop synched before and after field trips.

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              • #8
                I'm still using Cobian Backup version 11 (Gravity) on my Win 10 laptop. It has a bit of a learning curve, but is very flexible and can be set up for various types of backups. I have it set up to do daily incremental backups.
                http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                USA Maryland 21030

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                • #9
                  Cobian is the one that looked the best. And it is also compatible with earlier OS', a good thing. Thanks for the user report.

                  SyncToy originally did not want to install, I may need to try it again.

                  Bented:
                  Check above, I already do image backups to a multi-terabyte drive. This is about simple easy daily data backup.
                  1601

                  Keep eye on ball.
                  Hashim Khan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                    I have not been able to find a decent easy backup program that states it will do that type of backups...
                    What you are looking for is normally marketed as a synchronization program and not a backup program. They overlap to some extent, and syncing is a form of backup, but it's not a backup in the traditional sense.

                    +1 for SyncBack, but it's got a bit of a learning curve due to the large number of options.

                    I'd be surprised if you cannot get SyncToy working with a bit of fiddling about.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pinstripe View Post

                      What you are looking for is normally marketed as a synchronization program and not a backup program. They overlap to some extent, and syncing is a form of backup, but it's not a backup in the traditional sense.

                      +1 for SyncBack, but it's got a bit of a learning curve due to the large number of options.

                      I'd be surprised if you cannot get SyncToy working with a bit of fiddling about.
                      Thank you for clarifying that; we old fogies sometimes need help with the jargon. I guess I need a synchronization program, too. I hate doing backups with the Windows 7 Backup program; I have gobs of data and it takes eons to do a back-up because it copies all the content, regardless; in reality only a couple of gigs might be new stuff.
                      So many projects. So little time.

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                      • #12
                        I've used Syncback for years now. And it works on Win10 just fine too.

                        It does have a lot of options but I only used it fairly basically. I scheduled three "jobs" about an hour apart to cover three directories. This is performed daily to cover the three directories where all my perishable stuff is located. I check it now and then when I think to but it's always done the job just fine. It's covered my butt over the years for a couple of hard drive failures and two motherboard failures.

                        Of course it only works if it has a chance. For a long time I insisted on two physical hard drives in the desktop so a hard drive failure didn't wipe me out. About a year and a half ago at my last HD failure I switched to using a USB memory stick for my backup/synch destination.
                        Last edited by BCRider; 01-19-2020, 12:47 PM.
                        Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                        • #13
                          Watch out with the "synchronization". Some define that as making the two the same", and those will add , update , OR DELETE, to make the destination be the same as the source.... if you deleted from the source, you delete from the destination.

                          That is the opposite of what I want.... direct opposite. The Cobian guy got asked to add that, and in the FAQ he said he would NEVER add it, and not to ask, since it is a great way to lose data. He is perfectly correct.

                          Anyhow.....

                          After a bit of fiddling, yes I DID get SyncToy to work on Win 10, which is an excellent thing.

                          Gadgetbuilder gets the "really good advice/info" prize for the week.
                          1601

                          Keep eye on ball.
                          Hashim Khan

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                          • #14
                            I use Cobian. Very simple with a nice log file.
                            I do incremental on several important folders and
                            send them to a different drive.
                            John Titor, when are you.

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                            • #15
                              I installed SyncToy and like what I see; however, either the program should grab hold of the Windows sleep function and turn it off; or, warn that the computer will go to sleep while the program is at work. I came back an hour later and hardly anything had been accomplished. I'll know better, next time. My bad.
                              So many projects. So little time.

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