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Automatic Hard Drive Back Up

Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,143
Thanks: 7
Fixes: 1
Registered: 15-04-2007

Automatic Hard Drive Back Up

Hi All
Ok as the name suggests I am wanting to automatically back up my Hard Drive weekly, with a Freeware program not a Shareware program. 
Watt I want it to do:

1) The program must be Free. No nags, no registration, just 100% free.
2) Back up all my files weekly.
3) The program must be easy to learn and use.
4) The program copies the data to a destination of my choice, where I can esaly access my backed up files any time I need to!
5) The program must only back up files if they were created or modified since the previous backup.
6) Built-in scheduler so that I can back up all my files weekly or daly.
7) The program must be able to work on Windows 98, ME, XP platforms.
Cool Full logging to a text document if possible.

I do not want:
A program that compresses all files into one file.

Please do not tell me to doo a search on Google, I am Dyslexic and getting my text reader to read all of the information to me is a chore.
13 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,311
Thanks: 972
Fixes: 57
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Automatic Hard Drive Back Up

Use SynchToy http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=E0FC1154-C975-4814-9649-CCE41AF06EB7&displa...
Unless you are using Vista 64 bit then the version 2.0 beta would probably be better
It doesn't include a built in scheduler but Task Manager does that for you.
You need to set it to contribute so that it only backs up one way.
Nick_Russell
Grafter
Posts: 553
Registered: 10-05-2007

Re: Automatic Hard Drive Back Up

I use MozyHome.  You get 2GB free and unlimited storage for $4.95 per month.
This does exactly what you are looking for. It's a great automatic backup system.
https://mozy.com/
It doesn't do exactly what you were looking for as it backs up over the internet onto Mozy's servers but it does all your other requirements.
Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,143
Thanks: 7
Fixes: 1
Registered: 15-04-2007

Re: Automatic Hard Drive Back Up

Quote from: Oldjim
[big snip] Use SynchToy

I don't like beta programs, they are buggy 9 times out of 10 plus the full version is for Windows Vista only.
Quote from: Nick
[big snip] I use MozyHome.  You get 2GB free and unlimited storage for $4.95 per month.

My last back up was last knite and the file size was 100 MB.
N/A

Re: Automatic Hard Drive Back Up

What about using xcopy or robocopy?
Both are built in command line tools on the more recent versions of Windows, or are downloadable from Microsoft.
You can easily code a script to copy the files you want to external storage, piping any errors into a log file so you can check whats happened.
Anything that gets missed, you can easily locate and discover/rectify the problem.
Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,143
Thanks: 7
Fixes: 1
Registered: 15-04-2007

Re: Automatic Hard Drive Back Up

James I said:
3) The program must be easy to learn and use.  Huh
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,450
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Automatic Hard Drive Back Up

I've been using synctoy 1.2 for a couple of years - that's not beta.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Community Veteran
Posts: 38,311
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Automatic Hard Drive Back Up

SyncToy 1.4 is for Vista and XP and is not beta - the beta version is for 64 bit Vista
Quote
System Requirements
    * Supported Operating Systems: Windows Vista; Windows XP
Microsoft .NET Framework v2.0
1GHz Intel P3 processor or equivalent
256MB RAM, 512MB RAM recommended
20MB free disk space
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Automatic Hard Drive Back Up

Quote from: Nick
This does exactly what you are looking for

Quote from: Nick
It doesn't do exactly what you were looking for

sorry (no offence I mean) but this just made me laugh ...
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,571
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Automatic Hard Drive Back Up

Acronis image 8 FREE with pcpro this month full version. will back up files or the whole partition as an image which can be mounted as a drive.
other than that you wont beat robocopy as suggested as once you have done the backup save it as a cmd file and it can mirror files back them up like a rocket and its free
all you need is something like
robocopy c:\  g:\backup *.* /e
backs up all c to g:\backup
N/A

Re: Automatic Hard Drive Back Up

Quote from: Midnight
James I said:
3) The program must be easy to learn and use.   Huh

It is easy to learn and use.
I understand you might not feel confident to dive in and have a go because of your dyslexia, but if you tell me what you want to back up, and where you want to back it up to, I can write the code for you and post it here for you to have a go.
An example of a script to copy your 'My Documents' folder to an external hard drive (assigned letter ESmiley would be;

xcopy "c:\Documents and Settings\Gary\My Documents" "E:\My Documents\" /E /V /C /I /Y >"C:\Documents and Settings\Gary\Desktop\Backup_Logfile.txt"

This would copy all files, and record a line in the log for each file that has been copied. If the script encountered an error, it would continue, but you'd have a line in the log file telling you of the error.
This particular script would overwrite the log file each time it ran.
All you'd need to do is create a batch file (I can help explain how to do this if you fancy giving this solution a try) then you add the batch file into scheduled tasks to run daily.
Not the prettiest solution, but it does do as you require. (For free, its a command thats been available since MS-DOS 6.0)
Nick_Russell
Grafter
Posts: 553
Registered: 10-05-2007

Re: Automatic Hard Drive Back Up

Won't SyncToy 1.4 do this much more easily?
N/A

Re: Automatic Hard Drive Back Up

IMO no, because you have to download it and install it - whereas you could use what you already have.
You'll get better performance by avoiding loading a gui into memory, you aren't subjecting your registry to having extra entries which need searching through any time your computer wants to do *anything*.
If you are more comfortable adding extra overheads to your machine, then yes, it could be that its more intuitive to use a GUI such as SyncToy, but you could very easily learn how to write your own script to acheive the same thing, in the same space of time it takes to download/install/learn the program.
I've dug out a handy link for the various parameters for xcopy, in case anybody is interested.
http://www.computerhope.com/xcopyhlp.htm
They also appear to have a fairly complete set of instructions and example code for many other command line tools for those who want to delve into the dark depths!
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,311
Thanks: 972
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Automatic Hard Drive Back Up

Come on James - the overheads on SynchToy are virtually non existent and the download is under 1MB.