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Best PC backup software

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psiman  10551 forum posts Wales
27 Jul 2011 - 4:37 PM

Hi Folks,

I'm getting a little frustrated trying to find decent (hopefully affordable Wink ) back up software for our PC's. They both have 2 external HDD and what I'm looking for is software that does incremental backups (daily or weekly) from the PC's HDD (C: drive) to one of the external HDD's. I want the backup files to be uncompressed copies of the originals and the problem is the software I've tried so far either creates compressed backups that have to be restored to access them or else instead of just copying any new or updated files creates multiple copies of files, quickly filling up the HDD.

Can anyone suggest any suitable packages?

Many thanks,


Last Modified By psiman at 27 Jul 2011 - 4:37 PM
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27 Jul 2011 - 4:37 PM

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darranl  5318 forum posts England
27 Jul 2011 - 4:41 PM

I use Synctoy from Microsoft - a free download and I can configure it to just echo selected folders on my PC to the external hard drive.

simont  102248 forum posts England4 Constructive Critique Points
27 Jul 2011 - 4:43 PM

You could try Goodsync

darranl  5318 forum posts England
27 Jul 2011 - 4:48 PM

Also you should consider why you are making these backups in the first place, if just for the inconvenience of hard drive failure then fine leaving them connected but if this is also to protect the data for loss due to things like theft or fire you should really consider some way to store the data offsite. Also leaving them connected to your PC if your PC was infected by a virus that wiped the PC the same virus could also wipe the hard drives.

TimJ  10482 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
27 Jul 2011 - 5:01 PM

I agree with comments about offsite back up. I can also relate to your preference for uncompressed back ups.

I use FBackup, which will do what you want.

I also use Crashplan, which covers offsite back up but the backup file is compressed.

Hope this helps


27 Jul 2011 - 5:13 PM

Try Acronis, it has everything you're looking for and is not too expensive, I use it and am very happy with it.

Just Jas
Just Jas  1225752 forum posts England1 Constructive Critique Points
27 Jul 2011 - 5:49 PM

Karen's Replicator - works excellently for our 4 computers. And it's free too! Daily/Weekly/ scheduled BUs - or On Demand - whatever you want.


justin c
justin c  104537 forum posts England36 Constructive Critique Points
27 Jul 2011 - 6:52 PM

EZBackItUp is one option and it's free.

28 Jul 2011 - 8:03 AM


digicammad  1121988 forum posts United Kingdom37 Constructive Critique Points
28 Jul 2011 - 8:33 AM

I use 2 different methods for my backups.

For the system partition I use Acronis. You can do full and incremental backups and (providing you create a rescue disk) if your system partition crashes you can easily restore it. It has saved me on a couple of occasions, once when my system drive crashed and burned and the other when I installed an application that screwed up my machine. The backups are scheduled and write to a separate internal drive, which itself gets backed up periodically to an external drive.

For data archiving I use 'Allway Sync' to an external 1tb drive. I have it set to 'add and update' so that the external drive contains a superset of anything that has ever been on my internal data drive.


28 Jul 2011 - 9:09 AM

Why does it matter that your backup is compressed? If you need to restore something it may take a fraction longer but you get much more stuff backed up into the same space.

digicammad  1121988 forum posts United Kingdom37 Constructive Critique Points
28 Jul 2011 - 9:17 AM

I suppose Tim thinks that compressing a backup is another level of risk. The reason I backup my data files individually is that they can then be used direct from the archive without any special software needed.

TimJ  10482 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
28 Jul 2011 - 9:28 AM

Ditto - it's convenience rather than anything else. My primary back up is compressed and then I have an uncompressed secondary for those odd occasions when you want to browse through back up files.

28 Jul 2011 - 10:38 AM

That's a shame because it rules out a lot of perfectly good incremental back-up systems. The compression is lossless and it's usually simple zip (which many operating systems can decompress, even on-the-fly, without special software).

I'm very happy with the incremental backup in Windows 7. Right click a file and find back up copies and previous versions


darranl  5318 forum posts England
28 Jul 2011 - 10:48 AM

For the incremental backups how easy is it for you to restore the data onto a new disk so it matches the dead/stolen PC or hard drive?

When I have worked with incremental backups in the past I found them very good for large organisations with large amounts of data where they needed to save space and only backup the files actually changed that day but the one problem I always had was that they didn't accurately reflect file deletes or moves which for some files is as important as their contents.

Echoing to an external drive gives you a mirror image you can copy straight back - of course you do have the different problem of if you backup a delete then the file will be gone from both locations.

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