Backup files without using single file image or keeping older copies?


  1. Posts : 30
    Windows 10
       #1

    Backup files without using single file image or keeping older copies?


    I want to be able to backup files and folders onto an external drive without them being combined into some sort of Windows image file, like Backup and Restore Windows 7 feature does. The File History backup does what I want, but I don't want to keep previous versions of files. I just want them overwritten, if they change, and I want to be able to specify the backup schedule. There is a free backup program called Comodo, that does everything I want, and I used it on Windows 7, but unfortunately, it doesn't work on Windows 10. Does anyone know how to do this within Windows 10 or a program that will do it?

    Here are the features I want.

    Backup files and folders without combining them into some sort of image restore file.
    Schedule backup time.
    Overwrite existing files if changes are made to them.
    Delete files on the backup drive if they are deleted from the main drive. (optional)
    Run a task before and after backup. (optional)

    Comodo Backup really has all of these features and its free. I really wish it worked in Windows 10.
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  2. Posts : 38,723
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #2

    This software may perform some of the steps needed:
    FreeFileSync: Open Source File Synchronization & Backup Software
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  3. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 6,695
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #3

    Macrium Reflect Free backs up partitions you specify and you can recover individual files / folders. The paid for version gives more control over what you can backup.
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  4. Samuria's Avatar
    Posts : 6,281
    windows 10
       #4

    Built in robocopy does everything you want
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  5. ignatzatsonic's Avatar
    Posts : 2,492
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #5

    Shouldn't be a problem finding an app that will do all of that.

    I've used 4 or 5 different ones over the years. I used FreeFileSync mentioned above by zbook for several years.

    Can't recall exactly why I quit using it, but it worked well enough.

    I've been using SyncBackFree for 3 or 4 years and haven't ever had a problem.

    The best backup software for Windows - 20 million users

    I back up about 90,000 data files 2 or 3 times a day. Takes about 3 minutes. The first time will of course take a lot longer. After that first time, it just does a comparison and copies only what is new or has been modified.

    There are paid versions, but you probably wouldn't need to pay.

    Lots of features. Updated regularly. Full control over what, when, and where to.

    You make a "profile" and then run it.

    I have 3 profiles; all backup to a dedicated internal 3 TB hard drive.

    1: backs up all data. ALL DATA. Each and every data file. Uses the "mirror" switch, so destination will match source.
    2: backs up most critical data (no MP3s, no video, mostly jpgs and text files like Word and Excel); I copy this over to a 32 GB USB drive.
    3: backs up my MP3 collection only; I copy this over to a 256 GB USB drive.

    I run 1 several times a day and I run 2 and 3 perhaps monthly.

    Any backup program worth considering has a switch that lets you choose whether or not to delete a file from the destination if it is deleted from the source. Like you, I want my destination drive to be identical to my source drive after a backup, so I look for the "mirroring" switch.

    I never use scheduling because I want to keep my head in the game and be forced to remember, but any decent program should have that feature if you need it. I just checked: SyncBackFree includes scheduling and the help file includes several hundred words about how to use it.

    Robocopy likely will do what you need, but it is a VERY powerful tool that can lead to disaster if you don't know exactly how it works.
    Last edited by ignatzatsonic; 14 Aug 2018 at 06:44.
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  6. Posts : 30
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #6

    ignatzatsonic said:
    Shouldn't be a problem finding an app that will do all of that.

    I've used 4 or 5 different ones over the years. I used FreeFileSync mentioned above by zbook for several years.

    Can't recall exactly why I quit using it, but it worked well enough.

    I've been using SyncBackFree for 3 or 4 years and haven't ever had a problem.

    The best backup software for Windows - 20 million users

    I back up about 90,000 data files 2 or 3 times a day. Takes about 3 minutes. The first time will of course take a lot longer. After that first time, it just does a comparison and copies only what is new or has been modified.

    There are paid versions, but you probably wouldn't need to pay.

    Lots of features. Updated regularly. Full control over what, when, and where to.

    You make a "profile" and then run it.

    I have 3 profiles:

    1: backs up all data. ALL DATA. Each and every data file. Uses the "mirror" switch, so destination will match source.
    2: backs up most critical data (no MP3s, no video, mostly jpgs and text files like Word and Excel); I copy this over to a 32 GB USB drive.
    3: backs up my MP3 collection only; I copy this over to a 256 GB USB drive.

    I run 1 several times a day and I run 2 and 3 perhaps monthly.

    Any backup program worth considering has a switch that lets you choose whether or not to delete a file from the destination if it is deleted from the source. Like you, I want my destination drive to be identical to my source drive after a backup, so I look for the "mirroring" switch.

    I never use scheduling because I want to keep my head in the game and be forced to remember, but any decent program should have that feature if you need it. I just checked: SyncBackFree includes scheduling and the help file includes several hundred words about how to use it.

    Robocopy likely will do what you need, but it is a VERY powerful tool that can lead to disaster if you don't know exactly how it works.
    This looks like what I need. But I read on their site that only the paid versions have incremental backups. Does this mean if I use the free version and I schedule a mirror backup, that it will copy all of the files from the source folder to the destination folder, even if the files haven't changed since the last backup? Because I obviously only want files copied from the source to destination that have changed or been added since the last mirror backup. I don't want every single file copied every time.

    FreeFileSync also looks like a great solution, but SyncBackFree has more features.
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  7. ignatzatsonic's Avatar
    Posts : 2,492
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #7

    22878 said:
    Does this mean if I use the free version and I schedule a mirror backup, that it will copy all of the files from the source folder to the destination folder, even if the files haven't changed since the last backup? Because I obviously only want files copied from the source to destination that have changed or been added since the last mirror backup. I don't want every single file copied every time.
    I'm frankly not sure what they mean by "incremental" in that context.

    But I can describe what happens with the free version.

    Suppose you have 10,000 files on the source.

    You run the backup profile for the first time.

    Then delete file A, modify file B, and make a new file C on the source.

    Then run the profile again.

    File A will NOT be on the destination. The modified file B and the new file C will be on the destination.

    The destination will contain 10000 files (10,000 minus file A plus file C).

    Your recycle bin will not have changed, so the deleted A and the original unmodified B are NOT sent to the recycle bin when you re-ran the profile. The 10,000 files you originally backed up are not in the recycle bin either.

    While the backup is running the second time, you will hear drive activity during the "scanning source" period. It's just reading the source files. In my case this takes maybe 2 minutes for 90k files.

    You do NOT hear drive activity during the "scanning destination" period.

    Right at the very end, there is a "copying and deleting files" period, during which you hear drive activity again. This is when the newly created, newly modified, or recently deleted files are handled. In my case, this usually takes 2 or 3 seconds. If I had recently made a huge new file that needed to be backed up, this portion might take a minute or more--if it were like a 10 GB file.

    I take all of the above to mean that an unchanged file is NOT re-copied on the second pass. You hear source reading in the beginning, then silence as the source is presumably being compared to a database of the destination, then brief writing of new/modified files at the end for typically a second or two.

    I'm not sure what "incremental" might mean for say a modified Word file, but it sounds like something I'd want to avoid. I deliberately avoid "incremental" when I make image files as they are just a complication I don't need to introduce. Maybe "incrementals" would save space or speed up the process if you were backing up 3 million files?
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  8. Posts : 30
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #8

    ignatzatsonic said:
    I'm frankly not sure what they mean by "incremental" in that context.

    But I can describe what happens with the free version.

    Suppose you have 10,000 files on the source.

    You run the backup profile for the first time.

    Then delete file A, modify file B, and make a new file C on the source.

    Then run the profile again.

    File A will NOT be on the destination. The modified file B and the new file C will be on the destination.

    The destination will contain 10000 files (10,000 minus file A plus file C).

    Your recycle bin will not have changed, so the deleted A and the original unmodified B are NOT sent to the recycle bin when you re-ran the profile. The 10,000 files you originally backed up are not in the recycle bin either.

    While the backup is running the second time, you will hear drive activity during the "scanning source" period. It's just reading the source files. In my case this takes maybe 2 minutes for 90k files.

    You do NOT hear drive activity during the "scanning destination" period.

    Right at the very end, there is a "copying and deleting files" period, during which you hear drive activity again. This is when the newly created, newly modified, or recently deleted files are handled. In my case, this usually takes 2 or 3 seconds. If I had recently made a huge new file that needed to be backed up, this portion might take a minute or more--if it were like a 10 GB file.

    I take all of the above to mean that an unchanged file is NOT re-copied on the second pass. You hear source reading in the beginning, then silence as the source is presumably being compared to a database of the destination, then brief writing of new/modified files at the end for typically a second or two.

    I'm not sure what "incremental" might mean for say a modified Word file, but it sounds like something I'd want to avoid. I deliberately avoid "incremental" when I make image files as they are just a complication I don't need to introduce. Maybe "incrementals" would save space or speed up the process if you were backing up 3 million files?
    Great! It sounds like we have a winner. I will mark this thread as solved. Thanks!
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  9. ignatzatsonic's Avatar
    Posts : 2,492
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #9

    Just checked.

    The free version help files has a long description of incremental backups even though it's available only in paid versions. Sounds like some sort of speed advantage.

    Here's the top portion of the help file for the term "incremental":



    Easy Mode/Expert Mode: Using Fast Backup

    The Fast Backup feature is only available in SyncBackSE and SyncBackPro.

    SyncBack can make backing up even faster if you choose the Fast Backup option. Read this help page carefully before you continue as there are some important considerations to make when choosing this option. You'll also find some Frequently Asked Questions about Fast Backup below along with some examples.

    'Fast Backup' option is displayed when you create or modify a profile and select the option from the tree
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