The Lounge is rated PG. If you're about to post something you wouldn't want your
kid sister to read then don't post it. No flame wars, no abusive conduct, no programming
questions and please don't post ads.
I use NTI Shadow: http://www.nticorp.com/en/us/store/shadow_5_windows_estore.asp[^] - I have it set to a number of jobs onto my NAS, but it also works to USB drives (though I haven't tried it). You do have to set up some "rules" in the sense of type of backup, frequency, and so forth, but it's pretty easy to do. They do a trial which might be worth looking at - but the full version is currently pretty cheap.
If you get an email telling you that you can catch Swine Flu from tinned pork then just delete it. It's Spam.
Have a look at the BounceBack products from CMS[^]
 if clickty doesn't work try www.cmsproducts.com [/edit]
I think the concept is probably exactly what you're looking for: just plug in a USB drive and it does the backup.
In the spirit of full disclosure: I used one of their products years ago and found an obscure show stopper bug (in my specific circumstances) and their support was an email shrug of the shoulders. I expect they are well over that by now.
The opinions expressed in this post are not necessarily those of the author, especially if you find them impolite, inaccurate or inflammatory.
I use Time Machine on my Mac, but I doubt that's of much use to you. When I searched for "Time Machine Windows", I came across this... so as DaveAuld said, Windows File History looks like a good place to start.
Though, I can stand to lose most of my files. Anything really important I backup to DVD (though such files are rare).
i have a Retrospect job that backs up two PCs and a NAS to an external USB HD. once a month, i bring the HD home from work, plug it in, launch Retrospect, tell it to do the monthly job, go away for a while, take the HD back to work the next day.
it also does automatic, unattended, bi-weekly backups to the NAS.
Same here. There is a 500GB external hard drive in my desk at work right now with all the important stuff I would prefer not to lose. It's only there for off-site storage.
I use Acronis Trueimage Home. I've used it for years. They had some problems a couple of releases ago but the current 2013 version is great. You can do file backups, partition backups or disk backups. Everything is easy to set up. Just before a new version comes out, you can find people selling it with a rebate that results in an almost zero price.
The only thing I have against xcopy / robocopy is the resetting of file creation date. Plus xcopy has been known to exhaust memory if used from a recovery environment. (very long filenames - Windows Vista and up.)
I'd rather use Winrar and split into manageable parts, with the recovery record flag. More likely to recover corrupted files off DVD.
Q. Hey man! have you sorted out the finite soup machine?
I put pictures on Facebook and Google's Picasa, and a few important documents I upload to Google Drive. Everything else I only think are important, but are not really. When I've lost things in the past, I realized how indifferent I was to most of it. Work-related stuff stays at work. Home-related stuff is rarely more than pictures and a few documents. Let Facebook and Picasa save and tag them for me. When I need them again, I can either download them or pay $5 for a CD with all my information.
1. Put all project files, pictures, and music in a directory that is backed up by Dropbox or Skydrive.
2. Accept that if my computer melts it will take me a few hours to reload the software on a new machine and pull my useful files back from the cloud.
3. Have a drink.
That's not a bad approach. I have not tried Dropbox, but my Pictures folder alone currently takes up 50 GB, so it is not an option for me to back all that up to Skydrive. I know I can purchase extra storage, but I think I would rather go with something else.
"When you don't know what you're doing it's best to do it quickly" - Jase #DuckDynasty
Yeah, Skydrive is about $50 a year for a 100GB. Nice bonus there is you can browse all your photos online if you're away from the home machine. You can even email access to the photos to other people for sharing.
I like the cloud storage best because it is off site. If the computer gets hit by a bus or the house burns down I don't lose any of my content files. Hopefully the odds of either of those happening is pretty low.
I don't about anyone else here on Code Project, but I'm getting tired of sub-standard optical media not working across different CD/DVD burners.
I can't always keep files hanging around on external USB HD, so anything that's unlikely to change gets shoved onto a DVD/CD.
1. they've proved to be not so reliable as they're claimed to be.
2. a change of dvd hardware you discover the discs throw up CRC errors etc.
by the time you discover the problems, it's so long ago you can't remember when or where you bought them.
To date, I've lost far more files from bad DVD/CD than any other form of backup.
Q. Hey man! have you sorted out the finite soup machine?
Sounds like a good idea for a personal project. There are many free online 'cloud' solutions with probably more than enough space for personal stuff...assuming bandwidth is not a problem and you actually trust someone else to 'look after' your stuff. Otherwise buy an external USB HD and use that vendor's backup suite. I have the luxury of having a home/office server and use synchronized mapped drives for the important stuff. If the HD craps out on the server, my files are available on one of two systems that share those files. It's worked great for me.
Hard disk space is relatively cheap, so I buy big-ass drives and use a combination of:
1. Dropbox for working files, except media (movies and music). You can often put your home folder inside your Dropbox using simlinks.
2. System-native backup.
3. Third-party drive imaging or equivalent.
The scheduled robocopy runs are a good starting point. You can also use SyncToy. The problem I found with these is that, if they fail or the scheduled task gets borked (it does happen), you don't get any notification. So it pays to check occasionally and make sure the syncs are actually running.
On my Mac I use Dropbox, Time Machine, SuperDuper! (to a separate drive) and Crashplan for offsite backup (New Year's sale: $2.88 for a year-long family plan. Woot!).
On my Windows 7 box I use Dropbox, Windows Backup and Terabyte Image for Windows (again, to a separate drive). I could Crashplan this, too, but this box no longer contains any irreplaceable files.
I am not a fan of proprietary backup formats because they have corrupted in the past and screwed me over. Therefore, to the extent possible I have these set up to create mountable disk images or 1:1 file syncs. Not foolproof, but once set up it's hands off.
Once upon a time you could use Foldershare/Live Sync to remote, real-time file dup to another computer over the net. Sadly, no more...