windows - Cobian Backup - Incremental or Differential Backup?

  • Don't Forget to Upvote

    I am using Cobian Backup. I want to keep a partition in an internal drive in sync with another partition in an external drive.

    What should I choose? Incremental or Differential?

  • Answers
  • DiegoDD

    Since you only want to have your partition synched, i recommend to use the incremental option, but also having the "create separated backup using timestamps" option turned OFF. that is found under the task properties, in "general". that way, you will only copy new and modified files without having to deal with different versions or separated backups.

    Also, even if you already have some of the files in the target partition, the first time cobian makes a backup, by default it will try to make a FULL backup (despite setting it to incremental) and it will in fact overwrite files because it being the "first time" backup. To avoid that, go to Options > Engine, and be sure to turn off "First backup always full". That is always recommended if you are just "updating" a previous backup made from just copying files manually.

    Another thing, if you manually copy files after a backup to the new partition, and you don't want to "waste time" copying (in fact overwriting) them because of Cobian thinks they 'been copied from the source, be sure to turn off the "use file attribute logic" option OFF, under General options in the task properties. That is because by default, cobian "knows" that a file is backed up by an attribute called "archived", and not by seeing the file itself already there. Since you only want to copy new and updated files, and you probably already have some files there, turning off that option means that it will not re-copy files that are already there (unless they are newer)

    Since you are not creating separated backups, every time you backup, you will only have ONE backup version of everything, besides you will not have additional folders with several dates and versions of some files, which is what you want. That is, you will have a copy of the same files and folders structure from your source partition.

    with that settings, the backup will actually only make a copy of new and modified files from the source partition into the target partition, but it will NOT delete files from the target partition if you delete them from the source one.

    If you DO want to have an exact copy of A into B, meaning you will also delete files from the target if you delete them from the source, you then would need to also turn on the option "Mirror Task", under Advanced, in the same task properties dialog.

    Additional notes: some other backup programs by default create more folders when creating backups, e.g. D:\someFolderCreatedByBackupSW[..someDate..]myActualData[...] instead of just: D:\myActualData[...]

    even if those folders contain you data, they don't "respect" the exact same top level folder structure you have, besides, if you want to restore such backups, you still need the same backup program to get everything back (Areca works that way, afaik).

    You also may want to keep compression and encryption OFF by default, because otherwise, the files will not be available directly from outside cobian or without having to uncompress them. with that off, you always have the last data, as an exact copy of the source, and readable just as any other media.

    Hope that helps! be sure to ask further if i gave you more doubts =P

  • Related Question

    windows - Incremental backup and sync software
  • martjno

    I need a free software for Windows (with gui or command line) that does incremental backup copying all files and storing changed or deleted files in a directory named like last change date (or a progressive number).

    To be more precise:
    D:\ is my Data drive
    E:\ is my Backupdrive.

    If i want to backup all my data from D:\:
    E:\d_lastbackup\ will contain a plain copy of all the files and folder content (no compression or archiving, same files attributes) of D
    E:\d_20090822\ will contain all files (with their full path) that are changed or deleted in the last version (since the previous one)
    E:\d_20090820\ will contain all files (with their full path) that are changed or deleted in the last version (since the previous one)
    and so on...

    I had a software working prefectly with an old USB harddsik by Maxtor, but it works only on that device.

    Any suggestion?

  • Related Answers
  • user8095

    Cobian backup does separate folders, uncompressed, and supports incremental/differential.

  • nik

    I use 7-zip for incremental compressed backups.
    Here is a reference article: Powershell & 7Zip incremental backup solution.
    That link has a ready-script for use.
    But, you don't really need PowerShell -- the ability comes from 7z itself.

  • tnorthcutt

    DeltaCopy (basically a Windows version of rsync) and SyncBack (3 versions to choose from, one free) sound right up your alley.

  • rschuler

    I use rdiff-backup with some scripting I found on the 'net that adds VSS capability. Each prior version is stored compressed as a difference to the newer version. This allows backups with minimal storage, restores from newest version are fastest and I can delete very old backups without messing up newer version.

  • Hondalex

    If you get Robocpy and the Robocopy GUI you can fiddle with it to do what you want. I use this everyday for my backups.

  • Col

    Crashplan from here gives some nice options. I'm not sure if it will back up to another internal drive but I can't see why it wouldn't.

  • Richy B.

    Some backup devices (such as the Seagate Freeagent external drive) come with supplied backup software. However, I find to cover from building fire, it can be better to use a remote backup system such Squirrelsave, Mozy, Carbonite or Jungledisk. If you have a home network and want a machine to work as a backup machine, then R1Soft's CDP backup system supports Windows and Linux machines.

    However, all these options are commercial - but how valuable is your data?

  • mkClark

    I wrote my own, as a Python script. It uses md5sum to detect changed files, and copies them to a standard backup subdirectory within each working directory. Each backed up file has the same file name, with a suffix, such as <filename>_1, <filename>_2, etc...

    This was easier when I used VMS, which made backup versions of changed files automatically.