View Full Version : Easy to use back up program ?

Deaf Cat
2006-08-03, 00:45

Not exactly brill with computers, and have been copying files across to my external drive, but it is getting a bit confusing what with the laptop also carrying Slimserver and it would be good to know a reliable back up program is checking that various folders all have the same information in them.

I guess there is such a program, but I'm afraid I have not really got a clue where to start looking for one, very much look forward to hearing any pointers if you have any ideas.

Thank you :)

(Oh I'm on win XP)

2006-08-03, 00:56
> Not exactly brill with computers, and have been copying files across to
> my external drive, but it is getting a bit confusing what with the
> laptop also carrying Slimserver and it would be good to know a reliable
> back up program is checking that various folders all have the same
> information in them.

robocopy is a tool by MS. It's been recommended here before. Search the
forums for robocopy and you'll find a few discussions about it and similar



Help translate SlimServer by using the
SlimString Translation Helper (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

Mark Lanctot
2006-08-03, 06:17
Yes, I was going to recommend Robocopy as well.

It looks a bit dense at first because it's a command-line tool working off switches, but once you make a batch file (just write the command with the switches and save it as <something>.bat) you never have to mess with it again.

There are lots of examples of which switches to use once you find the thread.

I'm using:

robocopy k:\ m:\ /mir /xd "System Volume Information" "Recycler" /log:"C:\Documents and Settings\Mark\Desktop\Music Backup.log" /np /tee

in my batch file. This says "backup K:\ to M:\, mirror, ignore the "System Volume Information" and "Recycler" directories, write a log to "C:\Documents and Settings\Mark\Desktop\Music Backup.log", don't show progress bars, show progress in console window.

Mirror deletes files if they are deleted in the source directory so that the backup is a perfect copy. I ignore the System Volume Information directory because Windows can't read it and crashes when it tries to copy it. I don't show progress bars because that takes forever.

2006-08-03, 06:35
If you are on Windows 2000/XP then there is a new Microsoft program called Synctoy. This allows you to synchronize/echo files from one location to another very easily. You can search Microsoft's download site for it.

2006-08-03, 06:54
I like Ice Mirror (freeware) which lets you compare directories and before copying or appending.

You can even compare byte for byte if you're paranoid



Pale Blue Ego
2006-08-03, 08:24
I use a command-line program called xxcopy, similar to xcopy but more powerful. It has a /clone switch that does a perfect mirror.


It is also similar to Robocopy. Here is a detailed comparison of the 2 programs:


2006-08-03, 08:55
Cobian Backup is an excellent free backup solution as well. I have been very impressed with it.

Deaf Cat
2006-08-03, 15:09
Cheers All !
Thanks for all the information, going to have a quick go of them all :)

Cheers Mark for the example :)

I did not realise how potentially dangerous backing up could be will test first.

Cheers again for all the useful recommendations :D

2006-08-03, 19:11
I use Backup Exec to backup all my systems, except for audio and video files. For video and audio I use Delta Copy which is a gui and scheduler front-end to the rsync command-line program. Delta Copy is free and runs on Windows. rsync is unix based and comes with Linux, so you have cross platform compatiability.

In my environment the mp3 library is on Linux, but Samba shared to my Windows machine. So, I use Delta Copy to sync a copy to my Windows system for backup. I also sync another copy to a removeable USB hard drive, which is kept offline.


Deaf Cat
2006-08-04, 01:42
Cheers for another recommendation :)

Just having a little play with the Robocopy, seems a nice simple thing but it does not seem to like spaces in the folder/dir names - is this normal?

If I make up names of dir/folders with no spaces it works fine but with the names already in place on the system it comes back Error.....

Please, any suggestions, (apart form rename all folders)

Gregory Hamilton
2006-08-04, 05:57
In windows you have to quoto the directory path to get it work.


robocopy "D:\My Music" "E:\My Music" /mir

2006-08-04, 07:25

Great program I've been using for a while.

2006-08-04, 08:36
Another vote for robocopy. I tend to like very simple software that works. robocopy gets the job done.

2006-08-05, 00:49
I've been using the Microsoft "Backup Utility" that comes with Windows to backup my music and other files. I do a weekly full backup and daily incremental backups. I have scheduled the backups to run automatically early in the morning by using the Scheduled Tasks feature in Windows. I have also set the BIOS to power up my PC just before the backup is due to start. This means that the backup is finished before I need to use my PC. (The PC can be a bit sluggish while the backup is being performed.) This can be done completely automatically, without logging in because the backup program can run as a service in the background.

The only downsides I have experienced are the previously-mentioned sluggishness while the backup is performed and the fact that the once-a-week backup takes around a couple of hours.

There may be better ways of achieving this, but for me, this method, once set up is a total no-brainer.


2006-08-05, 01:01
I use Microsoft's free Synctoy - fairly straightforward.

2006-08-06, 16:19
A warning to those using robocopy, and a solution. If, like, me, you're backing up from one removable drive to another, you might worry about the following. If robocopy is set up to copy, say, the e: drive to the f: drive, what if you plug in what you want to be the destination drive for the backup first, and it gets assigned drive letter e:, and then you plug in what you want to be the source drive, which gets assigned drive letter f:? Windows XP, at least, seems not to remember drive letters; it usually just assigns the first unused one. If you go ahead and execute robocopy, you could wipe out your source data.

Note that you can (and I have) set XP up in such a way that drive letters are *supposed* to be remembered. Supposedly doing "Change Drive Letter" in Disk Management under Computer Managment under Administrative Tools is supposed to make the drive letter you select permanent. But I guess I'm a bit paranoid. And there's at least one person who claims that XP forgot this setting.

Anyway, if your source and destination drives have different *names*, then you don't have to rely on the drive letters being correct. My source drive is called "data"; my backup drive "data backup". The following script checks to make sure that the destination drive contains the phrase "data backup". If it doesn't, it returns an error code; if it does, it goes ahead and does the robocopy.

@echo off
vol z:|find "data backup">nul
if not errorlevel 1 goto dobackup
if errorlevel 1 goto wrongdest

robocopy y:\ z:\ /mir /xd Recycled Recycler "System Volume Information" /log:"C:\Documents and Settings\username\Desktop\databackup.log" /np /tee
goto finish

echo Wrong destination drive!
goto finish


Deaf Cat
2006-08-08, 05:52
Wonderfull Stuff !!
Thanks everso for the help!

Going to have a little play with robocopy 1st and then maybe try the others if I run into too much trouble,

Thanks again for all the suggestions, and tips!!