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How to copy documents folder to network folder automatically as backup?

Posted on 2016-10-29
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Last Modified: 2016-11-07
Hi Expert
How to setup PC to copy documents folder in C drive to network folder automatically as backup? My PC is win 7.
Thank you
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Question by:eemoon
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 125 total points
ID: 41865279
I use Sync Back Pro do to this.

You can set it to a schedule and back up at a certain time.
You could run it as a task in Task Scheduler to backup upon startup.
You might also be able to kick it off as a logoff script, but I have not tried that.

I just run it whenever I change a bunch of files and last thing before shutting down my ThinkPad.
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 41865280
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, which I've installed for many users (it works well, as long as you don't need any SE or Pro capabilities). Here's a comparison table for all three versions:
http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/compare.html

They all can do what you're looking for (even the Free one). I use it the same way you're looking to use it, i.e., backing up my W7 computers automatically to a network folder (on a local NAS). I also use it to back up to SD and CF cards, external USB and firewire drives, as well as to FTP to an offsite NAS. It utilizes the Windows Task Scheduler to schedule the automatic 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! Regards, Joe

P.S. I added Storage Software as a Topic to attract more of the right experts for your question.
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Author Comment

by:eemoon
ID: 41865294
Thank you for your fast reply. I like John's idea. I want to keep two copies in network folder. once the pc create new copy, it will delete older one from two copies automatically. can i do that?
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41865302
The backup method we proposed will not delete alternative backups. You could set up 2 backups and sync to both using separate profiles. I have done something similar to keep backups on two different drives.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 41865323
Rather than saving the data locally, you should do that on the server in the first place, and then backup your server. That's what a server is for after all. You store everything centrally on the server and only need to backup one machine.
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Assisted Solution

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 125 total points
ID: 41865343
> I want to keep two copies in network folder. once the pc create new copy, it will delete older one from two copies automatically. can i do that?

Yes! You may keep as many copies as you want. As I mentioned in my first post, SyncBack has a feature called Versioning. However, that feature is not in the Free version — it's in only SE and Pro. It allows you to specify the number of copies of a file that it will keep. When it reaches that limit, in will delete the oldest one. Here's a screenshot of one of my backup profiles with Versioning configured to keep 20 copies for zero days (which means forever):

SyncBack SE-Pro Versioning
Regards, Joe
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by:NVIT
NVIT earned 250 total points
ID: 41865368
Using a built-in method, i.e. no 3rd party programs, use robocopy or xcopy, and 2 scheduled task triggers to run it.

Task action 1:
robocopy /e /r:1 /w:1 /dcopy:t "c:\users\username\documents" "\\serverne\sharename\backups\copy1"

Open in new window

Task action2:
robocopy /e /r:1 /w:1 /dcopy:t "c:\users\username\documents" "\\serverne\sharename\backups\copy2"

Open in new window

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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 41865375
Adding to my previous post, if you want to keep two (or more) copies of the same file in different folders (or even on different devices), it can also do that. In other words, not just Versioning of a file, but multiple copies of it. I do that, too, as you can see in the list of some of my profiles:

SyncBack copy to multiple locations
The "J" drive is my data drive and it gets backed up to many different devices/folders, both onsite and offsite, all throughout the day and night. Regards, Joe
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41865378
I know there is a built in command line, but I prefer the east flexibility of the GUI available in Sync Back Pro.
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 41865438
Putting a +1 on John's comment about the GUI. It is excellent, providing a flexible, robust, easy-to-use interface for a product that has a large number of options. Here's what the GUI looks like with one of the options expanded (Copy/Delete>Advanced):

SyncBack GUI
However, using the GUI ultimately results in a command line that is called in Task Scheduler, such as this one from one of my actual backup profiles — in fact, the one shown above (this is from the Actions tab in Task Scheduler):

C:\Program Files (x86)\2BrightSparks\SyncBackPro\SyncBackPro.exe -m "Backup J to M"

Open in new window

Regards, Joe
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Author Comment

by:eemoon
ID: 41867513
Thank you so much for your reply. I would like to use application from windows7. So the below commands need to perform. how can i do that? type it into text file and then put it into Action of Task Scheduler? If windows 7 has GUI to do that, it would be great


Task action 1:
 robocopy /e /r:1 /w:1 /dcopy:t "c:\users\username\documents" "\\serverne\sharename\backups\copy1"

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Open in new window
Task action2:
 robocopy /e /r:1 /w:1 /dcopy:t "c:\users\username\documents" "\\serverne\sharename\backups\copy2"
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41867527
Robocoy does not have a GUI interface. Sync Toy might, but I do not trust Sync Toy and will not use it.
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LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 41867539
> how can i do that? type it into text file and then put it into Action of Task Scheduler? If windows 7 has GUI to do that, it would be great

Yes, you can do it in Task Scheduler, which has a very nice GUI in W7 for creating tasks (and you are right about putting the calls to Robocopy in the Action tab). This 5-minute EE video Micro Tutorial explains how to do it:
How to use the Windows Task Scheduler - An Introduction

Regards, Joe
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Accepted Solution

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NVIT earned 250 total points
ID: 41867569
@eemoon

- Pick the Windows Start button.
- Type Task Scheduler. The icon should appear. Pick it to start Task Scheduler
- On menu, pick Action. Pick Create Basic Task.
- Give the task a Name and Description. Backup 1 should be good. Pick Next.
- Set desired Trigger. In your case, pick Daily. Pick Next.
- Enter desired Start date and time. Pick Next.
- For Action, choose "Start a program". Pick Next.
- In the Program/Script field, type robocopy
- In the Add Argument field, paste the rest of the robocopy line, i.e. /e /r:1 /w:1 /dcopy:t "c:\users\username\documents" "\\serverne\sharename\backups\copy1"
- Pick Next.
- On the Finish page, pick Finish.

Repeat above for the second robocopy copy. Of course, it will have a different Argument values based on your 2nd robocopy: /e /r:1 /w:1 /dcopy:t "c:\users\username\documents" "\\serverne\sharename\backups\copy2"

Also, be sure the Trigger date and times differ from the first robocopy, so that they run at different times.

Regarding your desire to "...delete older one from two copies automatically", you need to add the /mir switch, i.e. /mir /e /r:1 /w:1 /dcopy:t "c:\users\username\documents" "\\serverne\sharename\backups\copy1". This way, you will always have 2 backup copies.
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Author Comment

by:eemoon
ID: 41878150
Thank you NVIT and others.
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