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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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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 40427218
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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Author Comment

by:yodasbrother
ID: 40428483
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
ID: 40428504
Are you looking for file backup solution or for a complete backup?
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Author Comment

by:yodasbrother
ID: 40428553
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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Accepted Solution

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noxcho earned 1200 total points
ID: 40428608
See this tool. Simple and nice interface: http://www.fbackup.com/
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Author Comment

by:yodasbrother
ID: 40428867
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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Assisted Solution

by:Mike Sun
Mike Sun earned 800 total points
ID: 40429138
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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Author Comment

by:yodasbrother
ID: 40429242
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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Expert Comment

by:Mike Sun
ID: 40429258
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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Author Closing Comment

by:yodasbrother
ID: 40460552
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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