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Windows Backup and Incremental

I want to back up my data in a folder.  Whatever data changes after that needs to be backed up incremently

Does the Windows Backup Utility do this?
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al4629740
Asked:
al4629740
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2 Solutions
 
Hedley PhillipsCommented:
Yes,

NTBACKUP does incremental backups.

It is part of the setup of a job or you can script it from the command line:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/814583
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al4629740Author Commented:
Can I do this in Windows XP?
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r-kCommented:
Yes, NTBackup is included in XP

(Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Backup)

You may want consider another option, Xcopy.

Xcopy let's you make a backup of your files or folders to another disk or folder rather simply, i.e. destination folder looks just like the original, and you can view it with Windows Explorer, etc. NTBackup on the other hand uses a special format so you can only view/recover with NTBackup. Both Xcopy and NTbackup can do full or incremental backups.

There are pros and cons to each, so let us know some more details, such as which version of XP (Pro or Home), where is the destination folder (another disk, computer, external disk etc.) and what types of files are you planning to backup. I can send you more details for either method.
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al4629740Author Commented:
I am using XP Pro.  I want to save to a external disk.  They are important files for my dentist.  How do you do this with Xcopy?
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r-kCommented:
Sorry, I somehow missed your last question. Here is how you can use xcopy with an external drive:

(1) Connect your external drive and note its drive letter (e.g. E:). For extra stability I suggest you go into Control Panel -> Admin Tools -> Computer Management -> Disk management and right-click on the external drive and change it's drive letter to something in the middle of the alphabet, e.g. drive S:
This way it is less likely that the drive letter will change if you add other devices.

(2) Create a file on your c: drive and name it backit.bat, and put the following in that file (use Notepad):

Rem       /s  means all subdirectories also
Rem       /e  means empty folders also
Rem       /c  means ignore errors
Rem       /f  means full display in console window
Rem       /h  means hidden files also copied
Rem       /d  means copy only those files that have changed
Rem       /y  means do not prompt for overwriting existing files
Rem       /o  means retain file ownership and acl info
xcopy c:\my-folder\*.*   /s/e   s:\my-folder-backup\   /c/f/h/d/y/o

(change "my-folder" to the actual folder you want to back up)

If you prefer you can create a shortcut to this backit.bat file on the desktop.

All the user has to do is to connect the ext. drive and double-click on the shortcut and it will copy any files that changed since the last backup. Test it, of course.

In case you needed to backup two folders, just add a second xcopy command to the same bat file.

If you want to backup the entire c: drive, leaving out program files etc. do post back and I'll send you a different command file, which is better in some ways because the users don't always have their files in one or two well-defined folders.



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al4629740Author Commented:
This is very much appreciated.  Thank You.

Could you also show me how to backup the entire C: Drive?
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r-kCommented:
To backup the entire c: drive:

In this case create two files with Notepad.

(1) Name the first one backit.bat and for it's contents use the following:

Rem Copy all files on c: modified since last backup to another disk (s:)
Rem       /s  means all subdirectories also
Rem       /e  means empty folders also
Rem       /c  means ignore errors
Rem       /f  means full display in console window
Rem       /h  means hidden files also copied
Rem       /d  means copy only those files that have changed
Rem       /y  means do not prompt for overwriting existing files
Rem       /o  means retain file ownership and acl info
xcopy  c:\*.*  /s/e  s:\ /c/f/h/d/y/o   /EXCLUDE:exclude.txt

(2) Name the second file exclude.txt and put in the same folder as backit.bat, with the following contents:

\Temporary Internet Files\
\Windows\
Recycler
\System Volume Information\
\Program Files\
\Temp\
pagefile.sys
hiberfil.sys
Cookies
ntuser.dat
\office\recent\
user.dmp
\i386\
\dell\
\quarantine\

As you can imagine, the exclude files contains items you don't want backed up, so feel free to change it. The names with \...\ are folder names, the ones without are file names.

Finally, xcopy does not copy files that are currently open, so exit programs before running the backup. If you think that files might be open, e.g. Outlook, while the backup has to be run, then use NTbackup instead.
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al4629740Author Commented:
So NTBackup handles open files and xcopy does not?
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r-kCommented:
Yes, that is correct. If you're backing up system files (e.g. Registry) then the only safe option is NTBackup. If you're backing up user files then xcopy will work so long as user exists all open programs.
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r-kCommented:
I meant to say "... so long as user exits all open programs"

I mentioned Outlook specifically because that is a program that is often left running all the time, plus Outlook stores everything in one big file. Normally to backup my own files I use the xcopy command similar to the above, plus I include an NTbackup command in the same batch file to backup my outlook folder only. That way I am covered in case Outlook is open during backups.
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Hedley PhillipsCommented:
Do have a play with NTBackup, it is all GUI based and easy to schedule. Not that I don't like the command line!

You can have a scheduled backup running within 5 minutes and if you need to restore you can drill downt he directory structure and find the directory or even individual file you wish to restore.

Highly recommended.
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al4629740Author Commented:
I like the method r-k gives.  I never knew about it and it is simple for a user that wants it done at a select times.  Its great even to put on scheduled tasks.
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