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Best Windows/7 Business Backup for Local and Shared folders

Posted on 2014-11-16
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Last Modified: 2014-12-08
Hi - I have a new client who is currently using XCOPY for backup. This is a very small shop (2 workstations and a Buffalo File Share.)  I am looking for a commercial product, like BackupAssist (i don't know if it will work on Windows/7 or if it is overkill.)  Ideally the product would backup user data as well as the shared data on the Buffalo, provide e-mail status after each run and backup to an external hard drive.  A definite plus would be if it could also backup to Dropbox.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Question by:webentpr
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Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 500 total points
ID: 40446601
I've been using SyncBack from 2BrightSparks for many years:
http://www.2brightsparks.com/

I started with their SE version and then moved to their Pro version. They also have a Free version. Here's a comparison table for all three versions:
http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/compare.html

I think they all can do what you're looking for (maybe even the Free one) — backup user data, backup to or from the Buffalo NAS, and backup to or from an external hard drive. I use the Pro version to do all of this. It can email the log file after a backup profile has run. In terms of Dropbox, you would use SyncBack to copy the files to the local Dropbox folder(s) and then let the Dropbox sync mechanism take it to the Dropbox cloud.

SyncBack utilizes the Windows Task Scheduler to schedule backups. I run numerous backup profiles during the day...every hour of every day...and other backups daily during the wee hours. It allows you to specify the number of versions of a file to keep, which has saved me many times. The Free version may meet your needs, but even the SE and Pro versions are reasonably priced. This is extraordinarily good software...I would not be without it!

As a disclaimer, I want to emphasize that I have no affiliation with this company and no financial interest in it whatsoever. I am simply a happy user/customer. Regards, Joe
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by:webentpr
ID: 40448401
Thank you Joe - I really appreciate your input and since this is 1/10th the cost of backup assist - I think we will get the trial and see how it goes.  Thank you so much for the recommendations and I am sorry you are not getting a commission - you are a hell of a salesperson.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40448423
You're welcome. Please post back here to let me know how the trial goes for you. It's important to hear that a product which works well for me also works well for others (also important to know if it doesn't). Yes, sadly, no commission here. :)
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by:webentpr
ID: 40448455
I certainly will.  Because of scheduling issues I will not install until tomorrow.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40448829
Sounds good. Looking forward to hearing how it goes for you. I've had a lot of experience creating and modifying SyncBack backup profiles, and can probably help you through issues that you run into, if any. My first suggestion is to click the "Click For Options" button when the backup profile opens and select Expert, not Easy. When you do that, you'll see all of the options, like this:

profile options
You'll then be able to run down the list setting up each option (and sub-options) as you'd like. When you click on an option, it shows you the sub-options. For example, here's what it looks like when the "When" option is expanded:

When expanded
Regards, Joe
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by:webentpr
ID: 40448840
Thank you - very helpful and really appreciated.
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by:webentpr
ID: 40453063
I don't want you to think I did not write to you after installing the backup - the truth is I haven't installed yet because I have  been so busy resolving the Crypto Wall problem at a different client.  I did make a local backup however.  I am scheduling the installation for the weekend when no one is in.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40453098
No rush here. Take your time. Do it whenever it's convenient for you. I don't mind helping in the evenings and during weekends. Good luck with the Crypto virus — there are numerous flavors of them...all ugly!
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by:webentpr
ID: 40459809
Hi Joe,
I setup the backup today and i do have a few questions if you don't mind:
1.  I am backing up to DropBox and it will take a few hours - and that is OK.  Does the next backup do an incremental or is it a full backup each time?
2.  When i setup the backup it asked the source - i really wanted to select the user's account along with some networked folders.  How do i do that?
I can't tell you how much i appreciate your help on this.

thanks - have a wonderful thanksgiving.
Rich
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40460091
Hi Rich,

1. Well, I'm still on V6, which had direct cloud support for only Amazon S3, Google Storage, and MS Azure. However, I see at the website that V7 (which I'm sure is what you're trying), says, in addition to those three, that it supports Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. Since it says that you can "Backup and synchronize your files via cloud storage services", I'm pretty sure it will do an incremental, i.e., it should detect the date/time stamps on the files in the cloud and not copy ones that haven't changed — that's an essential ingredient, imo, of being integrated with a cloud service. But that's just a hunch — I can't say with certainty. You'll know the answer before I do. :)  And please let me know what the answer is. We learn from each other on interesting threads like this one!

2. I've never used it to backup an "account" — just folders. I'm not aware of a way to select an "account" to backup. I do use it all the time to backup networked folders. You may specify either a mapped drive or a UNC path. It has a preference for UNC paths, and if you give it a mapped drive, it will recommend that you let it change it to a UNC path. But both work fine, as long as the mapped drive, of course, still remains mapped to the right networked folders.

If we don't communicate before then, you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, too! Regards, Joe
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Author Comment

by:webentpr
ID: 40460181
Hi Joe,
I am so sorry - i feel as if i am pestering you.  i am sure it is my inexperience with this product - what I trying to do is backup the users files (under users/michele) and i also want to backup a number of network folders at the same time.  When I tried to setup the backup i did not see how to select multiple folders in one backup.  The way i got around it (for the time being) is i setup two backups - one for the user data and one for one of the shared folders.  

thanks again for everything
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40460223
Hi Rich,

You're not pestering — you're collaborating! :)

OK, I thought you meant something special by "account", but now I understand that you mean the user folders, such as <C:\Users\Michele>. In a single backup profile, you may backup a root folder and any or all of its subfolders — to any depth. You may select/deselect folders, and even individual files. But you may not have more than one root (i.e., different trees) in the same profile.

So you already hit on the solution — multiple backup profiles. Nothing wrong with that! In fact, it's necessary. All of my machines with SyncBack have multiple backup profiles defined — one of them has 10 profiles! Some run in the wee hours, others run all day.

> i did not see how to select multiple folders in one backup.

To be clear, you can do that, but they must be in the same folder tree, i.e., folders/subfolders of a single root.

> The way i got around it (for the time being) is i setup two backups - one for the user data and one for one of the shared folders.

Exactly the right thing to do! And it's not a work-around for the time being — it's the way things are with SyncBack for different roots. I've never viewed this as much of a problem — do you? Regards, Joe
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Author Comment

by:webentpr
ID: 40460272
Thank you Joe - I really appreciate it and enjoy the Turkey - Great collaborating with you.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40460282
Same here!
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Author Comment

by:webentpr
ID: 40485889
i keep getting e-mails form Expert Exchange asking if this was closed - i say yes and a few weeks later they ask again.  As an aside, i sent the SyncBack tech support the question about backing up from two different sources.  Here is how they responded -
The most straight forward method would be to set up a New profile and point your Source to use SyncBack Touch (each SBPro install comes with 2 Touch connections, more Touch licenses can be separately purchased).

Next, click on Choose sub-directories and files under Modify > Simple, which will display all the connected drives (C: D: E:, etc) for you to cherry pick the files you want to back up from them (if your SyncBack Touch is set up as Source correctly).


We were backing up to Dropbox and the response was terrible so we changed it to external drives that the user takes home each weekend.

thanks
rich
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40486141
> i keep getting e-mails form Expert Exchange asking if this was closed - i say yes and a few weeks later they ask again.

Rich, you have to close it yourself by accepting one or more posts as the solution(s). Here's an article that explains how to do it:
http://support.experts-exchange.com/customer/portal/articles/608621-how-do-i-accept-a-comment-as-my-solution-

And here's another article that explains the grading system:
http://support.experts-exchange.com/customer/portal/articles/481419

> The most straight forward method would be to set up a New profile and point your Source to use SyncBack Touch

I've never used SyncBack Touch. I'll look into it — thanks for posting. But it's incredibly easy to set up multiple profiles. I have dozens defined across several machines.

> external drives

That's what I do — plus one off-site backup via FTP. Regards, Joe
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by:webentpr
ID: 40486667
Very Helpful - Thank you
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40487079
Rich,
You're welcome. And thanks to you for closing it and assigning the points. Best of luck with the product! Regards, Joe
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