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Is there a better way to back up a computer to an external hard drive than with  Windows 8.1 File History or Storage Spaces?

Posted on 2014-11-06
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
Accountant has approx 50 gb of Quickbooks Company files and Tax Return files on a Windows 8.1 computer. We are using Carbonite online backup for an offsite backup but was wondering about setting up a scheduled backup to an external usb drive as well.  I see that Windows 8.1 has "File History" and "Storage Spaces" built in to it but I don't know too much about them yet. Is Windows File History any good or is there something out there that is more reliable? For example, am I just better off with a scheduled robocopy script?
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Question by:yodasbrother
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by:noxcho
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Robocopy script is always better and reliable but not as user friendly as real backup software.
Have you thought about full backup software such as Paragon Hard Disk Manager 15 Pro?
http://www.paragon-software.com/home/hdm-professional/
There is also a Suite version which provides full range of backup tools.
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by:yodasbrother
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Paragon looks like a very complete backup solution for a pc but they probably would not go for that. I do thank you for taking time to post!
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by:noxcho
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Are you looking for file backup solution or for a complete backup?
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by:yodasbrother
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File backup is enough, full computer backup would be great if you can still recover single files. They would be  syncing to the same external plugged in drive, that is why I was considering the built in File History. Mainly want to keep it reliable and  low maintenance for the end user. We have deployed Acronis Workstation backup with other customers and I really like that software as we have had no issues with it, but I don't think they would go for that either.
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noxcho earned 300 total points
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See this tool. Simple and nice interface: http://www.fbackup.com/
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by:yodasbrother
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I will check it out and get back. Looks easy though and that is a big plus. Not to mention free.
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by:Mike Sun
Mike Sun earned 200 total points
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Also worth considering is Freefilesync - it only looks for changes between source and destination which make the process much faster once the initial backup is done,

http://sourceforge.net/projects/freefilesync/
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by:yodasbrother
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Thanks Mike. Freefilesync does not use any proprietary format or anything like that, does it. In other words, if the source computer becomes non bootable, will I be able to see the Freefilesync files by just plugging the external drive in to another pc and then copy them off?
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by:Mike Sun
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Yes, the backup copy is just a file structure identical to the source and can be browsed with Windows Explorer . It can either mirror or perform a 2-way synchronisation between any source and any target.
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by:yodasbrother
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I ended up using Fbackup on the computer in question. It was more intuitive to schedule a backup job, however I am using freefilesync also in a different situation.
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