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Backup copy of data to external hard drive

I have just installed an external hard drive and want to know how to first make a copy of all my data and then twice a day copy any new or modified files. I don't want to backup everything to one file, I want that if my computer goes down I can plug the hard drive into another computer and instantly access the files.
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nisupport
Asked:
nisupport
4 Solutions
 
JamesTX10Commented:
Hi nisupport,
Check out http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/prophoto/synctoy.mspx

It is a free tool that can be scheduled to run when you want it too with task scheduler

JamesTX10
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Download SyncBack from http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/ and set up a profile to copy "My Documents" to a folder on the external drive.   If you have more than one folder you need to backup, create additional profiles for the other folders ... and then make a "Group" profile that includes all of the individual profiles you need to run.   Then simply schedule that profile to run as frequently as you want (daily, hourly, etc.).   Works beautifully ... and it's free !!   [although the paid version "Syncback SE" does have one nice advantage:  it will copy locked files (free version can't), so, for example, if your e-mail client is open when the backup is made the SE version will back it up; the free version won't.]
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jimbecherCommented:
I like this one http://www.tgrmn.com/ ...
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YurayCommented:
i think it's more handly to use backup software, but only those that allow to browse the image file and restore needed files. i'd sugget to make once a week a full backup, and make incremental backups everyday, in such case you gain a possiblity to access files of different versions. among backup software i'd prefer true image:
http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/

also you can get version 7 for free here:

http://www.acronis.com/mag/vnu-ati7
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JamesTX10Commented:
http://www.cobian.se/

Is a backup program that stores each file rather then all files in one. It is also free
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MetropolitenCommented:
One more vote for  True Image backup software that has just released (the one Yuray has mentioned)
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ckumar42Commented:
If you want to stick to basics, use Robocopy.

It has been around for years. I just finished a data copy of 1.17 TB of files and folders today for eg for a project I am involved in using Robocopy.

You can configure it to copy files/folders across with the same permissions/time stamps etc. It can also be set to work in "backup" mode which will copy across open files. It has a restartable switch to allow you to continue in case of an interruption. It has the option to allow you only to copy across files that are newer/modified since the last time it was run. It is very powerful and configurable.

the basic syntac is robocopy <source> <destination> (note that the <> are not required, so robocopy c:\data d:\data is a basic example)
Some of the switches you want to add would be
/XO  (this one will only copy across newer/modified files only)
/E (copies across all subfolders including empty ones)
/R:3 (retry 3 times - up to you what setting)
/W:5 (how many seconds to wait for next retry)
/ZB (/Z is restartable mode and /B is in backup mode - can use them together)

There are also switches to Mirror the source (ie you delete a file and it is also deleted in the backup HD)

Spend a few minutes with it and you'll nevery look back. The latest version can be downloaded in the latest Windows 2003 Resource Kit tool @ http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&familyid=9D467A69-57FF-4AE7-96EE-B18C4790CFFD

Alternatively, it can be found in most software repositories as well - do a google search to download robocopy
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