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Asking for a program recommendation :)

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Hi guys :)

I don’t manage to find THE program for something I need, I thought I could ask here :D

I need to make regular backups of some of my folders on an USB external hard drive.
At the present time, I simply remove my previous backup copy, and copy again whole folders. It takes time.
I’d need a program to pick only the stuff that’s been modified, moved, changed, added – or removed, to remove it from the backup ! -, in order to save lots of time.

Some paying programs do it. Some free programs must do it.
But if there is an IDEAL program for this, I missed the info :lol:

Tech details ? Fat32 and NTFS hard drives, Sata-USB-Sata transfers, Windows7 64 bits as my OS, and, well, I’d love not to have to use a pirated copy when possible, freeware would be wonderful (I don’t say I never use pirated software, but when I can avoid to do so, I avoid it). I don’t need the program to monitor my disks 24/7 (the external drive is plugged only for backup time).

Would you recommend a precise program for this, maybe ? Thank you if you can share your knoweledge :)

Hello! This post is getting on years, so here's a friendly mention... If all the links are dead, you may try using
to grab the file you want. You can just pick the stuff you need, it's quick and easy :)

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40 Comments on "Asking for a program recommendation :)"

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Well, I do it your way because I just haven't looked up how to do it through the command line on Linux yet, but I looked around a bit and AceBackup might suit your needs.


You can do this with the tools windows provides, just use robocopy which is built into windows 7. Open a command prompt with admin rights, then just use this string replacing the source and destination with info. The set of options can be found by typing robocopy /?

robocopy C:source C:destination /s /zb /v /purge


I think there should be something like timemachine (os x) in windows 7. Anyway, rsync should do the trick but it's a command-line tool. Maybe there are some GUI for rsync out there..

Or you can try SVN, it contains version control as well.


Cobian Backup is pretty easy to use. Also, there is a comprehensive list available at wikipedia in the article List_of_backup_software


If you have at least one Seagate HDD, Seagate provides a "free" version of Acronis true image which clones disks, backups entire partitions or folders either in whole, differential or incremental forms (whole explains it by itself, differential excludes or erases old data and replaces it with the newest, incremental makes additional folders which contain the newer data). Or you if you have any WD external drives, some already come bundled with similar software. It doesn't matter if they are NTFS or FAT, as long as they're windows 'tis alright.


I would recommend SyncBack. I use it to backup my entire desktop. It does everything you need.


It’s funny that you mention your need for a program like this, as I just recently started following this site and I have been working on writing a program to do everything you are asking for (I have several terabytes of stuff that would be very hard to replace and only software RAID available). It will be free and open source and should be done in about a week. Email me if you are interested! :)


If you don’t need to sync many files, I think “AllwaySync” is your answer. It’s free to use if you don’t sync more than (not sure)30000 files. I use the portable version and put it in the external hdd.

Or you can check “Toucan” at too


Wikipedia is an extremely useful resource for that kind of thing:

Areca backup seems to do what you need.


too bad you're not running linux, otherwise rsync would be a great choice.


For windows, I use beyond compare.

For linux, I use rsync…


You can try Unison:

It's a free software with a simple GUI, which works with most OS. It is in fact a file synchronizer. Your backup directory is a mirror of the original and so can be used directly if needed.


I'm one to agree with Rift, in using robocopy it is equivalent to rsync on linux.

Though I use a different command

robocopy /MIR {source} {destination}
eg robocopy /MIR C:loadsofhentai d:ackupofloadsofhentai

only changes in files will go across so it will save a lot of time over what you have been doing.

I would recommend putting that command in a text file and changing the .txt extension to .bat this way you just need to double click the file and your backup starts. This should make things easier.

Thing to note is because this mirrors your stuff anything you accidentally deleted and hadn't realised will also get deleted from your backup. For this reason I would recommend a couple of USB drives that you rotate on alternate weeks, this way if you realise you are missing something you might have a chance of getting it back from a previous week. Not fool proof but better than nothing.


Using Areca backup myself. It does contain everything you have specified, even a little extra. I’m talking about version history. That is useful when you need version of your stuff restored to a state it was week ago, cuz then it became corrupted for some reason, so later backups contain messed up files. If you need that one i would recommend Areca backup. It has nice set of options regarding version history, but a little tricky to setup automatic backup mode.

If you don’t particularly care, and the most recent version of the stuff is always most correct, then i recommend Cobian since it’s easier to configure.


For Windows i use robocopy with faRoboGUI


nice video guide on Areca btw


Funny to see you asking this, as I was about to ask the same question in one of your posts the next days, I just wasn't sure where to do so.
Anyways, I've found SyncToy, from the looks of it, it seems quite nice as it can completely mirror (i.e. delete old files) or just transfer new files.
But I got a problem when trying it out, after a while of scanning my external HDD just "disconnects" dunno how to describe it otherwise and the program hangs.The same happens when I try to copy my whole hentai folder as well. (~70gb 200k+ files) Anyone got a clue why this is happening? Maybe because it's a 2,5" one and it's missing an external power supply, hence the usb power being to low?


http:// /34/66-areca-free- backup-recovery-program.html

Areca guide

link got truncated, hope this one will go through… just delete the spaces for it to work


I see no one has suggested the open source program WinMerge, try


I'd say that
rsync or just plain cygwin)
is what you need.


Here's a useful article in Lifehacker –

I personally use SyncToy for exactly the same situation as you.


Try File-Sync software. Set a folder on your machine, another on your USB. So whenever you want to back-up, just sync the files from your machine to your usb. You’ll save time writing the older files


I also recommend SyncToy (I use it for the exact same reason), it's quite straightforward but it has a fair amount of options.


I use RoboCopy at work for every copy that I need to make. It’s like rsync but for Windows. Also because you are using Windows 7 this program is going to run 8 copies at the same time to speed everything up. If you are looking for a good GUI option I would look at the Microsoft SyncToy. This one also has some nice options for running the copies on a schedule.


Cobian Backup


Acronis true Image will get the job done its a great backup program. its THE BEST program out there by far. If you own a Western Digital hdd you can get a copy for free.


As you copy all those folders to the same path, you should just say "no to all" on the "Overwrite existing files?" prompt. This way you won't have to transfer everything everytime.
But other people here on the comments sure have made better suggestions with nice and more advanced apps


differential backups would be the ideal solution.. but Win7 backup actually does what you want.. sort of..

Win7 backup .. the first backup is Always a Full backup.. and then any other ones after that..they are incremental backups that just pick the files that have changed.. and back them up.

stupid thing is that MS didnt put any sort of notification or option within backup to let you know whats going on or to let you select what kind of backup you want like WinXP did.


If you want a proper backup (maintains file history, as opposed to just a synchronizer), I recommend rdiff-backup. It's reverse incremental backup, so the latest version is always kept in the original form and the previous versions are stored as differentials. If you want to restore from the latest version, you can just copy paste. It does everything a syncrhonizer does, plus you can restore to a previous version (but you'd have to go through rdiff-backup to do that).


For saving a lot of time on backups, use rsync. rsync is awesome in that instead of copying entire modified files/folders, it only copies the modified parts (deltas) of the files/folders, greatly increasing backup speed.

There's another wrapper app for it on Windows called DeltaCopy which is completely free. Used it for about a year now and I can't be happier with its performance/reliability.

The same people also released Syncrify, which is probably better than DeltaCopy (I haven't tried it). Free for single user use.


I recommend alongside others, Microsoft Synctoy (free download on their website). It does everything you want AND for free


I’m using synctoy for backup. It can do every thing you mentioned. But I suggest you replace the external disk with a network storage which supports RAID1 or RAID5.


I used Microsoft SyncToy for a while, but ran into numerous problems with it (which I dont recall, since its been a few years, I just remember they were bad enough for me to quit using it). I went with a program called Allwaysync. It has (had) a freeware version if your usage was low (ie, you only back up once a week). Since I use it everyday, I just paid for it, which wasnt much, $40US maybe. Ive been super happy with it.

Fulvio Carmelo

Hey, I do not use Windows at home, but I saw this backup program that also runs in Windows and it is free. You can backup in your own hard drive, or another computer for free, it supports incremental backups and can run without your intervention after you set it up. Optionally, if you want you can also backup in the 'cloud' (internet backup server) for a fee. They say that if data is important a second backup offsite should be had.


Here you go, i wrote an app for you. It will remember your source and destinations, rescan, delete all prior to backing up, and what options to look at and compare.

Sorry it took me a while to make the app… been a bit busy.


PureSync does everything you want plus you can set it so that every time you plug in the backup drive it will automatically add/remove/update all the files and folders in the backup.


late with this comment but you can try FastCopy from Hirens Boot CD it’s got all the options you could need as for backing up data or just copying it to a new location, it’s ignore all errors and put them into a little window so if there was a problem with a single file it doesnt just stop copying other than that the “CD” has plenty of other tools that are useful


I'm using cobian backup for my daily needs for my win7x64..
(free, you can set up various task and launch them at said time or manualy, does incremental copy, launch itself when windows starts…)
not too sure how he would work with removable medias though.

Guest is way better than allwaysync. does exactly what you want.