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Which one is the Best LIGHTWEIGHT backup software for Windows?


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#1 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:29 AM

Recently I'm in a need of backing up around 10GB of important data. The backup is to be stored on my portable,external HDD, not to any remote server. I tried with Windows Xp's built-in backup utility. But here peculiarities I observed:
  • Backing up an entire folder in FULL/NORMAL mode - perfectly OK
  • Add some contents to the folder & do an INCREMENTAL backup - Not a problem
  • Delete some files/folder from the root folder & perform an INCREMENTAL backup - Still not a problem
  • Now restore from the last INCREMENTAL by selecting the base FULL backup & previous INCREMENTAL backup - Restores the entire collection of data backed up till step 2. The deleted contents at step 3 are still there. I tried to restore only the INCREMENTAL backup at step 3, it restored only the folder structure, not a single file.
By googling I found a lot of commercial & free backup solutions. But my previous experience with Norton Ghost & Acronis says that, even if you do not opt for "continuous backup", they keeps a few process running in background eventually slowing dows my 512MB RAM system. So can anyone suggest me a backup software having the following criteria:


  • Only Windows version needed.
  • Reliable.
  • No need of remote support.
  • No need of "continuous backup".
  • Doesn't run background process. (A critical requirement)
  • Preferably supports compression.
  • Supports FULL & INCREMENTAL & DIFFERENTIAL backups at its very least.
  • Preferably free.


#2 pecd.net

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:36 AM

I definitely recommend drivesnapshot

http://drivesnapshot.de/en/index.htm

works perfect, is cheap and felxible, even for servers, but is not free...

#3 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 11:55 AM

I definitely recommend drivesnapshot

Which snapshots drives, strangely enough....:cheers:

@Holmes.Sherlock
That's EXACTLY the way Base+Incremental backups work.
It's called Incremental Backup (NOT "decremental") :blush:.

What you are looking for is not a Backup, but rather a "mirroring" utility.

You can use Robocopy or strarc to this effect.

A now discontinued freeware that used to work eccellently is/was SAMEDIR (courtesy of Wayback Machine):
http://web.archive.o...samedir.sbn.bz/
Downloads fully working :ph34r::
http://web.archive.o...ment/1102949608

But of course there are many such softwares of this kind.

:cheers:
Wonko

#4 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 12:26 PM

That's EXACTLY the way Base+Incremental backups work.
It's called Incremental Backup (NOT "decremental") :cheers:.

Well, I thought DECREMENT to be a -ve INCREMENT. If the deletion of contents doesn't get reflected in backups, is the CUMULATIVE restoration operation THAT meaningful? It's pretty clear that the process is not capturing the changes at any specific point of time.

#5 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 12:30 PM

Well, I thought DECREMENT to be a -ve INCREMENT. If the deletion of contents doesn't get reflected in backups, is the CUMULATIVE restoration operation THAT meaningful? It's pretty clear that the process is not capturing the changes at any specific point of time.

Well, no.
If you change contents of SAME named files, these will be reflected, but NOT if you remove files, until you make a new "base" backup of course.

:cheers:
Wonko

#6 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 12:33 PM

If you change contents of SAME named files, these will be reflected, but NOT if you remove files, until you make a new "base" backup of course.

Yeah, that's what I noticed.
But, alas all of your (& some fruitless efforts of mine, too Posted Image ) efforts of writing the batch has gone in vain.

#7 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 12:35 PM

If you change contents of SAME named files, these will be reflected, but NOT if you remove files, until you make a new "base" backup of course.

Well, to be more precise - SAME named files residing at the same location in filesystem hierarchy.

#8 dog

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 01:28 PM

You can use
robocopy /maxage
to copy files new or altered since a particular date, if you need to keep incrementals, and then
robocopy /mir
which will purge any deleted files from the backup location.
Robocopy wont back up locked files, but can be used with vshadow.exe for a free open files backup solution, on xp and above.

#9 ambralivio

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 06:38 PM

You can use
robocopy......


If you like, there's also Easy Robocopy, with a GUI interface.

Before using it, I'd recommend to make some experimentation/trials, though (making safe backups, before)......the program could give dangerous results, if not well used with all its options/switches.

Only recommended for experts.......because there's the high risk to lose important data ......

ambralivio

Edited by ambralivio, 27 June 2011 - 06:39 PM.


#10 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 10:52 AM

See if this fits:
http://www.karenware...treplicator.asp

:yahoo:
Wonko

#11 pscEx

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 01:33 PM

@Holmes.Sherlock!

I made similar experiences like you. I decided to drive two tracks.

For the daily work I use the Ice-Aged app Disk2Disk (I spent much money for it at that time ...) . It makes a daily incremental backup of my dynamic data, and once a week a copy of them. (In addition, it backups my keypass database every two hours).
As second track I use Macrium Reflect to backup complete partitions manually.

I agree that restore something from the Disk2Disk backup, is sometimes a hard way with walking through incrementals and copies ...

Peter

#12 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 04:09 PM

See if this fits:
http://www.karenware...treplicator.asp

I'll test it & let you know. BTW, the software which you mentioned earlier has a very user-UNfriendly interface. I couldn't get it to work after trying 15 mins. Due to lack of time, I couldn't spend much time after it that time. I'll give it another try his weekend.

#13 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 04:19 PM

For the daily work I use the Ice-Aged app Disk2Disk (I spent much money for it at that time ...) . It makes a daily incremental backup of my dynamic data, and once a week a copy of them.

If you run an INCREMENTAL backup daily, so why do you run a COPY (I guess, it's a FULL backup) backup again? Isn't it redundant?

(In addition, it backups my keypass database every two hours).

Do you also use KeyPass? It's a nice program,specially the "Obfuscation" feature.

#14 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 04:25 PM

Isn't there any backup software which keeps deletion information also & treats DECREMENTS as negative INCREMENTS? What I understand about mirroring utilities is, they mirrors the entire source time & again. That redundancy will waste my disk space for no good reason. Again, running a COMPLETE/FULL backup each & every small DELETION is also a wastage. What I basically need is to snapshot states after every small ADDITION/DELETION/MODIFICATION without wasting storage space unnecessarily.

#15 pscEx

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 05:19 PM

If you run an INCREMENTAL backup daily, so why do you run a COPY (I guess, it's a FULL backup) backup again? Isn't it redundant?

My idea was: The software I use is not able to perform an "Intelligent incremental restore" (Just what you also miss, if I understand your first post correctly)
And therefore I decided to make the full copy once a week. And if I need something special, I only have to search throug 6 "incrementals"

Peter

#16 pscEx

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 05:19 PM

Sorry, Forums Software issue!
This post has no usable contents
I was not able to delete the double entry, therefore this text

Peter

#17 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 06:02 PM

My idea was: The software I use is not able to perform an "Intelligent incremental restore" (Just what you also miss, if I understand your first post correctly)
And therefore I decided to make the full copy once a week. And if I need something special, I only have to search throug 6 "incrementals"

Okk, I got it.

#18 dog

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 12:42 PM

Isn't there any backup software which keeps deletion information

Robocopy /mir will delete the files that you have deleted from your source, from your (full) backup.

What I understand about mirroring utilities is, they mirrors the entire source time & again. That redundancy will waste my disk space for no good reason.

If you have just one backup location, and you always use /mir, you'll have just one backup copy. Robocopy skips the existing files which have not changed, so the operation is fairly quick. I have about 200gb backed up to usb2 hard drives, and if no files have changed the backup takes 3 minutes.
Having just one backup copy is perhaps not ideal though, so you could use robocopy /maxage first to make a separate backup of new or altered files to a separate location, and keep a few of these incremental copies.
In a previous employment I used backup exec and arcserve, but a couple of usb hard drives and a robocopy script ended up being far more useful.

#19 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 06:23 PM

Robocopy wont back up locked files, but can be used with vshadow.exe for a free open files backup solution, on xp and above.

Are you talking about this?

#20 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 03:31 AM

Robocopy /mir will delete the files that you have deleted from your source, from your (full) backup.

If you have just one backup location, and you always use /mir, you'll have just one backup copy. Robocopy skips the existing files which have not changed, so the operation is fairly quick.

I've used

robocopy <source> <destination> /MIR

It's mirroring the <source> folder to the <destination> folder as it is. Can't robocopy create a backup archive like traditional software with features like compression,verification etc.?

#21 dog

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 06:44 PM

You could use ntfs compression.
Run it a second time for verification?
That's the vshadow, yes.

#22 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 11:01 AM

That's the vshadow, yes.

Means?

#23 dog

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 12:27 PM

Means yes, that's the vshadow.exe I was talking about.

#24 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 01:00 PM

Is robocopy safe as a mirroring utility/backup software? It's a small piece of software as I can see. How robust it actually is?

Isn't there any standard backup software which keeps deletion information also?

#25 wimb

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 01:34 PM

FreeCommander Portable app (only 3.7 MB) has menu Folder > Synchronize ... which is quite convenient for your purpose.
Also the button KB is handy to get Size information of drives - folders and files.

Download and extract FreeCommander 2009 ZIP and use e.g. PStart menu to launch the portable app.
http://www.freecomma...om/fc_u3_en.htm

:cheers:
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