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Windows 7: How often to backup

11 Nov 2009   #1

Windows 7 Professional
How often to backup

Is it viable to do an hourly backup using the built-in Windows Backup software?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Depends, how much stuff do you have that really changes and how big of a loss would it be if you no longer had it?

Personally, I only backup my "data" files about once per week. If I lost everything that happened in 1 week...I'd be able to find a way to get by. I simply use the robocopy command to sync my file server share with 2 external hard drives and I keep 1 drive offsite.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2009   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

I back up text file data daily. I back up mp3s, pictures, and video every couple of days. I back up email maybe weekly. It's purely personal preference and how much you would be damaged by infrequent backups if a drive fails.

I'd find hourly excessive, but I can certainly imagine situations where it would be appropriate.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Nov 2009   #4

Windows 7 Professional

I never use Windows backup for large picture files. Those kinds of files I immediately archive in two locations (internal and external 1.5TB hard drive) when I first download them from the camera. If I edit a picture into a "final product", the final version gets archived as well. Interim versions would get backedup, and then deleted. Downloaded files that I want to save also get archived immediately. I never backup or archive music files...they're not that precious since I did not create them myself. Some programs (such as Lightroom) have a built-in backup function which I use instead of Windows backup.

I use Windows backup only for documents I or other users are working on whether they be email, Word documents, graphic designs, or other "interim" files.

When I do a fresh backup, it's only about 2GB. Incremental backups are much smaller. So it just occurred to me, I have a 500GB external drive that's just for backups (not archives, which go on the separate 1.5TB drive). So why not play it safe and backup more frequently? Some of the files--the graphics design and some emails--are mission critical.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2009   #5

Win 7 Pro 64 Bit

Well, I guess that depends on what your motivations are...but depending on those motivations, you may be better served by a version/revision control system like subversion. From what you describe above, I think that's what you need.

If you truly do need an hourly backup, any number of software packages can do one...but I suspect that there are many others that would be far more efficient than the built-in backup program. I would look for something that supports "differential" backups.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2009   #6

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Cluent,

Not unless you are going to be making a lot of changes each hour. I would base it on how often and how much you save data, make changes, install files or programs, etc... If you do a lot in one day, then maybe backup daily. It just depends on your usage for how often you should or need to backup.

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2009   #7

Windows 7 Professional

It seems that Windows Backup is not able to automatically back up more than once a day.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How often to backup

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