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Windows 7: Backup Terminology - and Synctoy

16 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Backup Terminology - and Synctoy

It might not matter much, but this needs saying in case somebody gets led astray.

Synctoy "synchronizes" or "mirrors" file folders.
It is not an incremental backup tool.

An incremental backup makes a copy of a changed file.
The old file is not overwritten, and is still available.
Incremental backup is a type of version control, and you can restore your data to a point in time.

Synctoy replaces the old file with the new file. The old file is gone forever.
Be very careful with this. "Synchronize" will copy or overwrite files from right to left. I recommend using only "Echo" or "Contribute" unless you have a specific need for "Synchronize." And until you're sure about how it works, always use "Preview."
Synctoy is a terrific backup tool. For making one folder match another.

Somewhere along the line saying Synctoy does "incremental" backups took hold.
Microsoft never said that.
It's really a simple "change only" copying tool, which fits the needs of most people.
But let's say a professional writer comes along and rightly thinks incremental backups will keep all versions of his novel-in-progress. Everybody says "Synctoy does that." Instead of saving different drafts of his novel under different names, he uses Synctoy, thinking he can go back to different versions, so it's not an issue if he deletes a couple chapters - and then "synchs."
Nope. Doesn't work that way.

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 Backup Terminology - and Synctoy

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