Is there a good free back up program?

buyorsell888October 11, 2012

I'm using an external hard drive to back up photos, music, documents and emails and Windows Explorer to do it and I keep getting duplicate back ups and it takes a long time too.

Wonder if there is a better way?

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I do similar to you. First I create a folder on the external drive - did it yesterday in fact and named it "Docs Oct10 2012". Still using Windows Explorer I highlight (My) Documents in the left pane then highlight all the folders and files listed on the right side and copy those to the new folder on external drive.

I tend to keep the last 2 of these folders, just in case and I also create a system backup. I rarely do incremental backups feeling safer doing a complete backup each time.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 1:36PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

If you want to do an image back up which is something I recommend every one do from time to time, there are several free programs available.
Macrium Reflect Free Information

EaseUS Todo Backup Free

Free Hard Disk and Partition Imaging and Backup Software
list various options.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 2:13PM
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I use SyncBack. It's flexible but very simple to use and understand. It got a 5 star CNET Editors rating (from several years ago).

Full backups can take awhile because of datapath speed limits, especially USB. The suggested approach is to do frequent incremental backups and then infrequent full ones to another location.

A backup isn't something you need to watch or sit and wait for. Set it and walk away - even huge data quantities can be transferred in an overnight session.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 2:23PM
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If just a few directories... windows own RoboCopy should be simple to make a few Scheduled Tasks.

Open a cmd window,
Robocopy /?

something like below .... is all you need

RoboCopy source destination /MIR

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 3:00PM
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If all you are worried about is crash and losing files... hard to beat dropBox for something like that.

Don't need to do anything,, its like magic. Files on your your hard drive folder,, with no effort there will be a copy in your online dropbox with same folder name automatically. Delete a file from your folder, it deletes from dropbox ... but.. you can view and restore deletes at dropbox for a few days.
Crash your hard drive completely, reinstall windows fresh and install the dropbox program.. the real magic quietly happens.. suddenly those folders and files all up to the minute/date in real time from when you crashed,,, reappear on your computer.
Any computer you install dropbox on will have the same files on it too... as long as you use the same account/login/password.

Here is a link that might be useful: DropBox (referal link = more free space)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 3:32PM
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I know you understand mikie but for the sake of others, there's no magic involved with Dropbox. It installs a program that runs in the background. Another unnecessary "something" to slow boot-up and slow down a PC's performance. Dropbox's website states clearly that their storage processes DO NOT meet various privacy and security standards.

The amount of storage they offer for free is paltry.

If your backup needs are small, you can buy SD cards or flash drives for cheap. Or, use an external drives if your needs are greater. Any of these can be as secure as you desire. Keep them in your safe deposit box if you want, or hide them in your favorite hidiing place. Much safer than transmitting over the internet.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 5:22PM
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Bit locker for my sensitive, not only for dropbox but for things sitting in my computer should somehow they get stolen by some badguy,, nobody is gonna read those unless they are reading them from my computer.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 5:42PM
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drop box probably slows boot time at start up as much as any plugged in usb drive might. Usb drive probably slows it down more when you have a sync program running too, that loading at start up. They aren't gonna do you a bit of good for current files if not attached and running full time.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 5:48PM
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OK backing up is a great idea. I totally support it.

My question is, why is the user doing it? If solely for protection from system failure the above is highly satisfactory.

My next line of thought is, what about fire? Theft? Surge? Lightening? These are just examples of every day occurrences that we hope don't ever happen to us. Which is exactly how victims felt before it happened to them.

I guess my point is a user should first figure out the cause and effect here. I have been pondering for a while the benefit of on-line storage of files not containing identity sensitive material. Nothing is full proof, but if it is worth doing it should be done right for the right reasons with only secondary thought to cost or ease-of-use.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 7:27PM
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I have Drop Box already, was using it for work, never thought of using it to back up.

Not sure how I would keep my personal photos/docs separate from work stuff? I don't need everyone to be able to see them.

I have an external hard drive already but perhaps I'm going about backing up using it the wrong way. Should I be deleting everything and then copying files over? Everything I want to keep safe is in My Documents. Except emails.

I'm not sure what doing an image that Raven mentions is....

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 7:29PM
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I use EASE US ToDo to do a full clone backup about once a month, shortly after all the MS updates and after I do my monthly maintenance. By doing this, I always have an up-to-date version of everything, including OS. I had a hard drive go bad, and by having a complete backup on an external drive, I was able to buy a new drive and restore everything to it ready to continue on my merry way. All updates, EVERYTHING!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 10:08PM
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EaseUS todo free is nice and simple.
You can browser the image it makes and restore single files or folders .. or the whole thing.

Plus it clones new hard drives. Does incrementals.. simple nice #of images if set automatic / and very few other non-complicated features.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 2:25AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

image-based backup

definition and explanation

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 1:38PM
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