SOLVED Robocopy for backup


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Hi all,

I want to use robocopy (or perhaps xcopy) to create an automated backup system. I have been trying robocopy but I have run into a problem. I want my backup to keep any files which have changed, but I want to keep all previous versions of the file in my destination folder. I can't find a switch which allows this - at the moment new versions of a file copied to the destination folder overwrite the existing file.

Does robocopy allow me to do this? (How about xcopy?)

Cheers

Robert
 
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Ian

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Hi Robert,

I can't see a way for Robocopy to do versioning (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/administration/windows-commands/robocopy).

For a backup like this, I'd either use a proper 3rd party backup tool (there are lots of free ones and I can give recommendations if you let me know what sort of thing you're after). Or, I'd perhaps make a PowerShell script to use robocopy to implement basic versioning by backing up files to individual folders named by date - this would only really be suitable for small files or a handful of versions.
 
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Hi Ian,

Thanks.

I’m looking for backup software which:

  • Saves the files in their original format. I don’t want to have to rely on the backup software in order to restore them. I want to be able to use them “as is”.
  • Only saves files which have changed since the last backup. I don’t want a full backup each time..
  • Does not overwrite the already saved files but saves each new backup in a way which lets me identify the different versions.
  • Can be scheduled to run at a particular time( or day). However if this is not a feature of the software itself I presume that I could use the Windows Task Scheduler to achieve this.
  • Preferably is free, but this is not essential if all my other boxes are ticked.

I’d appreciate any advice you can provide.

Cheers

Robert
 

Ian

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It's the 1st bullet point that may cause some difficulty, as most backup software that has versioning capability will store files in its own backup/image format. I think the only way you can get differential versioning (i.e. copy only changed data, keep multiple versions).

I wonder if Windows 10 built-in file history is close enough to what you are after, as that will avoid using 3rd party software and fulfils most of those requirements:


I'm not aware of software that can do all of what you are after without relying on backup software to restore files, but I'm sure it'll exist. Hopefully someone else here is aware of an app they can recommend.
 
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Hi Ian,

Thanks again.

I initially tried File History because it sounded like just what I wanted. But I had a problem with it.

It seems that by default it backs up everything in Libraries, Desktop, Contacts and Favourites. I couldn’t find a way to configure it to save files in other folders. My laptop has a relatively small C: drive and a considerably larger D: drive (actually partitions). So most of my data is on D: and I couldn’t see how to include that in the backup.

If someone can show me how to include my D: folders in the File History then I think my problem will be solved.

Cheers

Robert
 

Ian

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If you go to Setting > Update and Security > Backup > More Options, you should be able to add additional folders that you want to include in the backup :).
 
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