Win7 to Win7: Which Backup Program?

Hi all,

Just curious whats the best Backup program I could use on my Win 7 laptop.

I want to perform backups to my Win7 desktop (which acts as a NAS server). Ideally, the backup will be one complete backup, and then incremental backups, pretty much like Apple Time Capsule functionality.

Any ideas on what will work well in this scenario? Cheers for reading and answering.
 

Uridium

Distinguished Member
Are you talking file backups or an Image backup?

For an Image backup try the built in windows backup tool...

for file backups a Batch file using Robocopy works for me...


If you don't like the command line try MS Synctoy..free download from MS website....
 

hyperfish

Distinguished Member
I quite like Synctoy between my work XP desktop and W7 laptop.

Just a couple of clicks once set up.
 
I never thought if I need imaging or file based backup. Does.image based backup only restore the whole system?

The backup will be done over wireless network to my HP microserver...
 

Uridium

Distinguished Member
I never thought if I need imaging or file based backup. Does.image based backup only restore the whole system?

The backup will be done over wireless network to my HP microserver...

Yes an image based backup is a simple snapshot of the whole system (although some paid Imaging products will allow you to browse the image and selectively restore files)

A file back up is simple file/folder backup.

a common backup method is a One off (or occasional) image backup followed by regular file backups.

I tend to build a machine, install base software and configure to my liking then take a one-off image backup for quick restore if required. As all user data from my home PC's is stored directly on my NAS (redirected Libraries in Win7 point all user folders to the NAS) I then simply backup my NAS on a schedule to an External drive using a Robocopy script.

(I work in IT so I'm picky about my backups :laugh: )
 
Yes an image based backup is a simple snapshot of the whole system (although some paid Imaging products will allow you to browse the image and selectively restore files)

A file back up is simple file/folder backup.

a common backup method is a One off (or occasional) image backup followed by regular file backups.

I tend to build a machine, install base software and configure to my liking then take a one-off image backup for quick restore if required. As all user data from my home PC's is stored directly on my NAS (redirected Libraries in Win7 point all user folders to the NAS) I then simply backup my NAS on a schedule to an External drive using a Robocopy script.

(I work in IT so I'm picky about my backups :laugh: )

Paid or non-paid, which software could I look at for simplicity and best functionality? Also, how long would the backups take (initially and incremental) being on wifi ?
 

Uridium

Distinguished Member
Paid or non-paid, which software could I look at for simplicity and best functionality? Also, how long would the backups take (initially and incremental) being on wifi ?

Cheapest (free) and most functional is a Robocopy script....

Simplest and most functional paid i'd say is Acronis but will cost you around £20-£30.

If you don't want to pay ££ to be honest there isn't much you can't do with the built in Windows backup tool, MS Synctoy and Robocopy...

As for how long it will take then that's like asking how long a piece of string is. It depends how much data you are backing up and over what network speed.

However your first full backup may well take several hours if you are backing up 100's of GB's, subsequent differential's however should take no time at all though as you will only be backing up changed data.

As i mentioned i usually take a one off image backup using the Built in Win Backup tool (beauty of this also is you don't need other software to restore, it can be done with a Standard Windows boot disc.

I then take a full backup of my data using a Robocopy script, then just run a scheduled differential backup of my data once a week.

My Robocopy script is very simple....The /MIR switch is very useful as it essentially mirrors source to destination meaning deletes on my source are deleted on the destination when a backup is run. The other switches are simply for logging...

Robocopy \\sourcedrive\sourcefolder \\destinationdrive\destinationfolder /MIR /TEE /NP /Log:D:\Source\Scripts\Backuplog.txt
 
Cheapest (free) and most functional is a Robocopy script....

Simplest and most functional paid i'd say is Acronis but will cost you around £20-£30.

If you don't want to pay ££ to be honest there isn't much you can't do with the built in Windows backup tool, MS Synctoy and Robocopy...

As for how long it will take then that's like asking how long a piece of string is. It depends how much data you are backing up and over what network speed.

However your first full backup may well take several hours if you are backing up 100's of GB's, subsequent differential's however should take no time at all though as you will only be backing up changed data.

As i mentioned i usually take a one off image backup using the Built in Win Backup tool (beauty of this also is you don't need other software to restore, it can be done with a Standard Windows boot disc.

I then take a full backup of my data using a Robocopy script, then just run a scheduled differential backup of my data once a week.

My Robocopy script is very simple....The /MIR switch is very useful as it essentially mirrors source to destination meaning deletes on my source are deleted on the destination when a backup is run. The other switches are simply for logging...

Robocopy \\sourcedrive\sourcefolder \\destinationdrive\destinationfolder /MIR /TEE /NP /Log:D:\Source\Scripts\Backuplog.txt

Thanks for this. I will try to set this up, if I need some help, I will give you a shout. I also happen to have access to Acronis though work, so could use that too.
 
Running a backup tonight as a trial using the RichCopy (a Robocopy GUI), however, after multiple tries, Task Scheduler does not start it.

Uridium, how did you schedule your backups? I would like my backups from my laptop, when I am home to my always on NAS drive. I have found the relevant options in Task Scheduler, like Run only when user is logged on, Trigger being user logs in, specifying that only run the task if a specific (ie home) wifi connection is available.

Is there something missing ?
 
Robocopy \\sourcedrive\sourcefolder \\destinationdrive\destinationfolder /MIR /TEE /NP /Log:D:\Source\Scripts\Backuplog.txt

Uridium, what script will I need to copy a number of directories to a destination server.

FROM:
"E:\Softwares;E:\S-Box Disk Image;E:\Logitech Harmony Icons;E:\General Images;E:\Backups;C:\Users\Babar\Desktop"

TO:
"\\HP-Server\Shared\Backup\Automated Backup"

After I have done my initial full backup (running atm), how can I use this script to only backup changed or new files to the server, everytime I login (I believe I need to create a batch file and perhaps run it everytime I login my account). I would like to keep an old copy of the changed files, and also retained deleted files for sometime (perhaps for 30 days), is this possible automatically?

Ideally this script should run in non-verbose mode and append a log file on the server.

Am I asking too much ? :D Thanks in advance.

Tried using this as a test:
Robocopy "C:\Update" "\\HP-Server\Shared\Backup\Automated Backup" /MIR /TEE /NP /Log+:file:"\\HP-Server\Shared\Backup\Automated Backup\Logs\report.log"

But this started deleting files on server (due to /MIR). The log file is also an invalid switch.
 
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spyder viewer

Well-known Member
I've been using Cobian for years. Full backups, incremental backups, keep as many backups as you wish, can send an email with backup results if wished.

Cobian Backup
 

Berties

Banned
Would like to create a restore image, but how do you restore it? If you need to install windows then run the install util, kinda defeats the point. Can you not boot off from a disc (usb or DVD) which opens a dos like util which'll restore the image?
 

Uridium

Distinguished Member
Would like to create a restore image, but how do you restore it? If you need to install windows then run the install util, kinda defeats the point. Can you not boot off from a disc (usb or DVD) which opens a dos like util which'll restore the image?

Boot from the windows DVD and choose the Repair computer option, then point it to your image. no need to install Windows first.
 

Berties

Banned
When you restore, can the image to on a NAS? Or does it have to be stored locally?

Also if I get a SSD would it be best to do a fresh install, does Windows install detect it's a SSD and use a different method? And use settings ie trim?
 

Uridium

Distinguished Member
Uridium, what script will I need to copy a number of directories to a destination server.


FROM:
"E:\Softwares;E:\S-Box Disk Image;E:\Logitech Harmony Icons;E:\General Images;E:\Backups;C:\Users\Babar\Desktop"

TO:
"\\HP-Server\Shared\Backup\Automated Backup"

After I have done my initial full backup (running atm), how can I use this script to only backup changed or new files to the server, everytime I login (I believe I need to create a batch file and perhaps run it everytime I login my account). I would like to keep an old copy of the changed files, and also retained deleted files for sometime (perhaps for 30 days), is this possible automatically?

Ideally this script should run in non-verbose mode and append a log file on the server.

Am I asking too much ? :D Thanks in advance.

Tried using this as a test:


But this started deleting files on server (due to /MIR). The log file is also an invalid switch.


Just add extra lines to the script..the cmd processor will process one line at a time. as an example here is a copy of a script i use to backup my work laptop to an external USB drive

Robocopy "c:\users\%username%\My Documents" d:\Backup\Documents /MIR /TEE /NP /Log:d:\Backup\Log\Backuplog.txt
Robocopy "c:\users\%username%\favorites" d:\Backup\favorites /MIR /TEE /NP /Log+:d:\Backup\Log\Backuplog.txt
Robocopy "c:\users\%username%\Pictures" d:\Backup\Pictures /MIR /TEE /NP /Log+:d:\Backup\Log\Backuplog.txt
Robocopy "c:\users\%username%\desktop" d:\Backup\desktop /MIR /TEE /NP /Log+:d:\Backup\Log\Backuplog.txt
Robocopy "c:\Email Archives" "d:\Backup\Email Archives" /MIR /TEE /NP /Log+:d:\Backup\Log\Backuplog.txt

From that you should also see where your issue was with the logging command in your test....as Log+ appends an already existing logfile I'm guessing it complained because there was not a logfile already ther; hence the reason my first line simply uses 'log' (to create the logfile) and the other lines use log+ to append it.

regarding the /MIR switch deleting files then yes if the destination path isn't empty it will delete stuff the first time you run it..still a useful switch though if you can use an empty destination path for your first run as it will create an exact mirror copy of your source path at the destination and in doing so it will automatically take care of not only backing up just changed files but also removing files you have deleted on the source from the backup saving manual tidy up.

this may not work for some usage scenarios and obviously has the risk of the backup not containing the files you want to restore if a backup has just ran. I only backup weekly as i also have a level of hardware redundancy in place so it suits me as i'm really just looking for a secondary copy of my live data in case of hardware failure on my NAS.

If you want to keep permanent copies of everything from the source then iirc you would need to drop /MIR and use /E and adding the /A switch i believe will tell it to only backup files with the Archive bit set (so only changed files)

(Please check those switches though as that was from memory....)

I run my script via Task scheduler, as i'm simply using a desktop PC to backup one mapped drive to another then i don't use any of the 'clever' options in the scheduler (i just make a point of sceduling the backup for a time when i know the PC will be on :))
 

Uridium

Distinguished Member
When you restore, can the image to on a NAS? Or does it have to be stored locally?

Also if I get a SSD would it be best to do a fresh install, does Windows install detect it's a SSD and use a different method? And use settings ie trim?

Boot from the DVD and take a look, can't break anything simply by booting from the DVD and taking a look.
Completely from memory here though i seem to recall it needs to be on a local partition/disk or USB device...which would make sense as windows PE wouldn't have any network drivers loaded at this point....

As for the SSD I'm afraid i don't use them so can't help you there
 
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