need recommendation for backup software, please

Started Mar 26, 2011 | Discussions
geekyg2010 Regular Member • Posts: 314
need recommendation for backup software, please

So far I have used SyncToy 2.1 but for some reason it doesn't work right anymore, and I am tired of troubleshooting it (long story)

I have also tried Nero BackItUp 4, and Windows 7's backup utility. Nero would probably be OK but I am dealing with a dirty install (can't re-install it either because I cannot uninstall it completely and I don't want to format my HDD just for it), and W7's backup program only allows compressed backups which I don't like (I want to be able to check the backups visually, which is impossible to do because of the way W7 splits files in different zipped folders).

Can someone please recommend a reliable, reasonably-priced backup software that does not compress files? (or at least offers the option of uncompressed backups)?

Thanks,

GG

jcjacob Forum Member • Posts: 80
Re: need recommendation for backup software, please

I use Genie Timeline Professional. On a set time interval it backs up any/all files that are new or modified since the last backup. You can specify how many revisions of each file you want to keep in the backup.

They also have a free version which is very good. The limitations of the free version are that it does not provide full disaster recovery, and the minimum time interval for backups is every 30 minutes.

You can get more information on each of the versions of Timeline at the vendor website: http://www.genie9.com

-John

(unknown member) Forum Pro • Posts: 14,338
Re: need recommendation for backup software, please

geekyg2010 wrote:

So far I have used SyncToy 2.1 but for some reason it doesn't work right anymore, and I am tired of troubleshooting it (long story)

If you're looking for a synchronization package versus a more traditional backup tool:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/freefilesync/

Open source, free, and very robust. It supports VSS, and offers file comparison based on full checksums as well as date/time/size. The user interface is not as pretty as some but that just means it's not bloated. The guts are really solid.

NewsyL
NewsyL Veteran Member • Posts: 5,751
Re: need recommendation for backup software, please

I've used and use both of these.

SyncBack SE
http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/sbse.html

Beyond Compare

-30 day free trial; as in 30 separate days, not 30 days from date first installed
http://www.scootersoftware.com/index.php

Both of these will copy in native Windows file format to another location be it internal or external and will compare folders at source and backup.

I now use Beyond Compare mostly due the various features you can enable to speed up the folder comparison and because it caught some file differences that Syncback did not (date and time differences). With Syncback I had an automated backup setup but its' GUI is not as visual as BC's and it was this visual aspect that alerted me to the anomalies. BC works well for my small home office setup where a fresh backup might include 40G of legacy business documentation but over 300G of photos, video's and music - this would take a while to process. An incremental backup is very very quick.

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Zone8 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,276
Re: need recommendation for backup software, please

There is a fairly new one that I have tried and found very good - have also installed on a couple of colleagues computers.

CrashPlan is free if you backup to your own drive (internal or USB) and can be easily configured, works nicely in the background and individual files can be restored.

http://www.crashplan.com/consumer/details.html?gclid=CI_a-NKZ7acCFY0hfAodphr3bQ

All previous backup software has had some quirk or other - so was glad to find this one. The company offers online backup storage - at a fair price but as said, remember you can use it for free as long as in your own environment = own drives for the backing up. I only mention this as during the installation, it appears you have to pay - you don't if you conform to the conditions mentioned. Easy enough!

You can check what the free one offers (a decent spec I reckon) using this URL:

http://www.crashplan.com/consumer/compare.html

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OP geekyg2010 Regular Member • Posts: 314
Ladies and / or gents,

Thank you very much for your recommendations, this is VERY useful stuff. Hopefully from all these recommendations I'll be able to find a suitable replacement for SyncToy which has served me very well for three years now bu which, for reasons I am too tired to investigate any more, does not work as intended at the present time ...

JamesGeek Junior Member • Posts: 44
Re: need recommendation for backup software, please

I back up my photos, pictures and other important files with Handy Backup – automatic reliable backup software for Windows computers.
http://www.handybackup.net/photo-backup.shtml

carl english
carl english Veteran Member • Posts: 9,182
Re: need recommendation for backup software, please

I've used both Acronis and Genie, both work very well. I like trying something different so going to have a look at Crashplan.

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Leigh A. Wax Senior Member • Posts: 1,288
Backup & Sync.

Backup:

After using Acronis true Image size version 6, I had trouble with Ver. 2011 failing to restore, even with Validated archives, with Win 7 64bit.

I tried Paragon Backup & Recovery Home 10, and it has worked flawlessly.
$23 with coupon. http://www.paragon-software.com/home/brh/

Sync:

To sync from computer's hard drive to external hard drive, Goodsync also works flawlessly. http://www.goodsync.com/php/pums/rfprepay.php?lic=goodsync

Leigh

howarth Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: need recommendation for backup software, please

For syncing I second FreeFileSync, it is very fast and easy to use, and you can set it up in Windows Task Manager to run automatically if you want.

For disk imaging I've used Macrium Reflect Free version for years now and it works very well.

Irwin Senior Member • Posts: 1,844
Smartsync

I like Smartsync. Not free but good. No compression. It'll sync folders/files as they are.
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OP geekyg2010 Regular Member • Posts: 314
So many choices ...

... I had no idea.

Thanks again,

GG

Pierce_Henry New Member • Posts: 17
Re: need recommendation for backup software, please

look into Carbonite, unlimited cloud based storage with a low yearly rate. I use it to backup all my data and I love how simple it is!
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Zone8 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,276
Re: need recommendation for backup software, please

Pierce_Henry wrote:

look into Carbonite, unlimited cloud based storage with a low yearly rate. I use it to backup all my data and I love how simple it is!

Problem (or at least potential problem) with online storage is whether it will remain accessible - several have used same, only to suddenly find the provider has disappeared - along with their backups or whatever (in some cases, the only files).

In any event, far better to use a far speedier USB external HDD which can be put into a fireproof own-storage when computer is switched off. Uploading to an online backup or storage service is way, way slower. I would not personally like to trust any such service for important storage or backups.

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(unknown member) Forum Pro • Posts: 14,338
Re: need recommendation for backup software, please

Zone8 wrote:

In any event, far better to use a far speedier USB external HDD which can be put into a fireproof own-storage when computer is switched off. Uploading to an online backup or storage service is way, way slower. I would not personally like to trust any such service for important storage or backups.

I share your concerns about the cloud providers and for how long you can trust or depend upon them. Bandwidth is a very really issue too especially for photographers and others with a lot of images/video. Most residential Internet connections have very limited bandwidth on the uplink, even if the downlink is pretty fast.

However, I have almost zero faith in fireproof storage. Some of the consumer products on the market are total crapola. Even the better and more expensive products provide very little protection in a real serious fire.

For most folks, a major fire represents the greatest threat to their data. And if you examine the actual performance of fireproof storage systems, they frankly just don't cut it. Get at least one set of full backups completely off-site. That will provide effective protection. With good planning, one can often mitigate the slight inconvenience.

Few if any fireproof storage systems are actually "fire proof". They merely offer very limited fire resistance.

Rye Barcott
Rye Barcott New Member • Posts: 15
Re: need recommendation for backup software, please

I use Praetorian Guard. It compresses the files, but when you decide to uncompress them they remain as they are. I pay about $6 per month for 1 computer.

http://www.praetorianguard.net/Server-PC-Backups.aspx

SantaFeBill Veteran Member • Posts: 3,106
Re:Recommendation - Shadow Protect Desktop

It will do unattended scheduled backups to external hard disks, and one of the options is to do uncompressed ones.

I just had to use mine to recover back to the XP environment on my system drive from a failed upgrade to Win7 using the LapLink Win7 Upgrade Assistant. It worked w.o. a problem. W.o. SP, I'd been in deep trouble.

You do need to pay attention to the details - it's not the easiest program to use - but It's the best protection I've found. That said, I'm using it in an XP environment, and so can't comment in how well it works under Win7.

BTW, even though it's creating image files of your disks, you can still restore individual files/folders if you want.

As for syncing, I use Powerdesk Pro 8 as an alternative to Windows Explorer, and it has syncing as one of its capabilities.

jpzundel Regular Member • Posts: 171
Re:Recommendation - Shadow Protect Desktop

I use "Allway Sync" which has either free or Pro ($19.95).

I use it to keep an exact syn'cd uncompressed copy of folders and files on a external drive ( USB).
I use three different "jobs":

  • one for Documents

  • one for Music

  • one for Photos

Using an external USB drive has proven invaluable to transfer to a new Windows 7 PC.

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pcunite Senior Member • Posts: 1,398
Re: need recommendation for backup software, please

geekyg2010 wrote:

Can someone please recommend a reliable, reasonably-priced backup software that does not compress files? (or at least offers the option of uncompressed backups)?

I'm using FileBackupEX ... I sync everything to my CF cards and also copy around movies on my HTPC with it. It's currenly BETA so free at the moment. I like it, try it and see if you do. I found the GUI easy to use.

FileBackupEX
http://goffconcepts.com/products/filebackupex/

Chris Noble
Chris Noble Veteran Member • Posts: 3,763
Built-in Windows backup does everything you need and is free

W7's backup program only allows compressed backups which I don't like (I want to be able to check the backups visually, which is impossible to do because of the way W7 splits files in different zipped folders).

Right-click on the folder or file, select Properties, then Previous Versions. You can look at the previous timestamped versions, and restore them if you want.

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