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Windows 7: Manually moving files or using backup softwares?

30 Aug 2015   #1
angelbeats96

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Manually moving files or using backup softwares?

This might be a stupid question but when it comes to backing up your personal files, is there any difference between manually copying the files to another location or using backup software?

I've been backing up terabytes of video and music files manually (i.e copying the files directly to the drive) from my internal HDD to external HDD however, I've been told that such method is not recommended. Instead using dedicated backup software is a lot more "safer and reliable" which I'm not sure how such method differs from just copying and pasting the files.

Ultimately I haven't been paying attention to various ways of backing up the data such as using cloud services, raids etc as I always manually copied and pasted the files to another location. I'm not sure such practices is dangerous or not though I was wondering if I should start using backup software to back up my files.

Thank you and I appreciate your help.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Aug 2015   #2
paul1149

Linux Lite 2.8 x64 (full-featured, fast, rock-solid)
 
 

Backup, or even sync, software is better because you can save jobs and then do everything with one click. You get a log which details any failures. You can do mirror backups which delete unwanted files on the receiving end. And they usually can use the volume shadow service to back up open files. You also get compression options, should you want to use them, and encryption options for privacy, and you can schedule the jobs to run automatically.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #3
angelbeats96

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by paul1149 View Post
Backup, or even sync, software is better because you can save jobs and then do everything with one click. You get a log which details any failures. You can do mirror backups which delete unwanted files on the receiving end. And they usually can use the volume shadow service to back up open files. You also get compression options, should you want to use them, and encryption options for privacy, and you can schedule the jobs to run automatically.
Thank you for the reply.

Does software also "remember" the last files you've saved and thus, next time when you backup it will just save the new data and not overwriting the existing one? Sorry I can't explain it well but basically can it automatically save new contents each time without needing me to manually remember the last saves and such?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Aug 2015   #4
paul1149

Linux Lite 2.8 x64 (full-featured, fast, rock-solid)
 
 

Yes, you can set it that way, usually. It's called incremental backup. Some sophisticated software even does it at the "block level", so that only the changed parts of files have to be copied, which saves on bandwidth big time.

Or you can do a mirror backup using a sync program, which will only copy changed files and will also delete existing destination files no longer in the source.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #5
angelbeats96

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hmm, if that's the case then which paid backup software is recommended as of right now? For backing up personal files and whole drive/partition?

It looks like Second Copy by Centered Systems is being recommended from the other thread for a beginner though if possible, I'd like an affirmation or other suggestions before I pull the trigger on one of these back up softwares.

More so, should I also look into imaging/cloning as well? Or is this specifically for backing up the whole system instead of personal files?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #6
paul1149

Linux Lite 2.8 x64 (full-featured, fast, rock-solid)
 
 

I always keep both a drive image and file backups. This way I'm covered no matter what. For imaging I use Aomei's Backupper. The free version does both image and file backups, and does incrementals, but does not manage the backup files. The paid version does. A lot of people here like Macrium free, but I don't like the interface. For file sync I use either SyncBack free or FreeFileSync
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #7
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by angelbeats96 View Post
Hmm, if that's the case then which paid backup software is recommended as of right now? For backing up personal files and whole drive/partition?

It looks like Second Copy by Centered Systems is being recommended from the other thread for a beginner though if possible, I'd like an affirmation or other suggestions before I pull the trigger on one of these back up softwares.

More so, should I also look into imaging/cloning as well? Or is this specifically for backing up the whole system instead of personal files?
Second Copy is an excellent program. As far as I know, it's about $30, with a 30 day free trial. I can't think of a better paid program.

BUT: it is not an imaging program. It just backs up files. You can include or exclude by file name, file extension, or folder. It will not back up your Windows installation in any form that could later be restored.

The best known imaging programs include Macrium, Aomei, Acronis, Paragon, and Easeus. Most have several versions, some of which would include a file backup capability as well as imaging. Some versions are free and some are paid.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2015   #8
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

I recommend Macrium Reflect Free (here is a good tutorial on how to use Macrium Reflect) for backing up System files (OS and Programs) and FreeFileSync for backing up data. I have my System installed on its own drive (a SSD) and my data on their own HDDs. If one has only one drive, the System should be installed on its own partitions (normally, the C: and System Reserved) and the data on its own partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2015   #9
angelbeats96

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks for the replies guys.

Last question: if I want to just backup one specific drive for one time only (replacing internal HDD), will both freesynchfile and second copy does the job of just backing up everything in that drive to my external HDD? Without setting up automatic backup and such?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2015   #10
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

They both will assuming you configure them properly, but............................

Why bother installing anything or taking the time to learn about the program?

If it's a one time deal, just drag and drop without installing anything. That's effectively what FFS and SC would do.

Unless there's something you haven't mentioned, I can't imagine why you'd install an app for a one-time backup.
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 Manually moving files or using backup softwares?




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