Category Archives: Backup Tools

Free Replicator – Automatically Backup Files, Folders, Even Entire Drives

imageRegular reader Chris A., was looking for a solution to a long standing problem. Chris had a need to “create a daily backup of an Access database and, to keep adding daily copies instead of overwriting the existing copy each time” – automatically, and in the background.

As it turns out, Chris and I were in the same boat. I have a need to copy/backup several selected files/folders (including Blog posts and drafts) to a secondary drive on a daily basis. Up to now, I’ve simply done a simple manual “copy to” – when I remember to do so, that is.

“When I remember to do so” is more than a little haphazard and, I’ve occasionally paid the price through one system misadventure or another. Always a major bummer, that.

As in all things tech, there is a free solution. A solution Chris has recommended to me (thanks Chris) – Karen’s Replicator – which, if you have a similar need to copy/backup selected files/folders on a manual or scheduled basis, might be a perfect fit for you.

I’m into simple solutions – and, Karen’s Replicator is just that – easy and straightforward. Copying or backing up a folder, including subfolders, scheduled or manual – or a bushel of files/folders if you like, is driven by a fairly simple GUI.

Launching the applications brings up the following window allowing you to enable or disable jobs, manually run a job, view the Replicator’s log file, or change the program’s settings.

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Since I’m most interested in scheduling the task of auto copying my Weblog Posts, in this test I set the application to start at 1:00 AM on July 8. I subsequently changed the time to 9:15 AM on July 7, and added an additional save location (not shown in this screen capture).

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Both jobs were completed successfully in 63 ms.

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A quick check to ensure that the relevant files have in fact been copied over.

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And, a further test to ensure that the copied files can be opened in Windows Live Writer.

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Scheduling a job, or series of jobs, can easily be accomplished from within the schedule window – illustrated below.

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You can easily adjust customized job and application settings from the “Edit Settings” window.

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In a short review, it’s rarely possible to cover all of the benefits of a particular application – and, this short review is no different. Karen’s Replicator has additional functionality other than the features I’ve highlighted here – which, you will no doubt discover should you add this super freebie to your utility toolbox.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 (tested on Win 8).

Download at: http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptreplicator.asp

Karen’s Power Tools web site has a wealth of additional free utilities that you might find useful.

9 Comments

Filed under Backup Tools, downloads, Freeware, Utilities

One More New Year’s Resolution – I Will Learn To Backup My PC

imageTHIS is one resolution you MUST keep. And, to make it a snap to stick with this resolution – featured elsewhere in this post, you’ll find an updated review of arguably the best free (and dead easy to run), backup app around – EASEUS Todo Backup 4.

Here’s why I’d like to push you in that direction. Let’s start with a quote from my good buddy Dave Brooks, an A+ certified professional computer technician, and a popular guest writer here on Tech Thoughts:

“You don’t need to know how a PC works to use it, just like your car, if you have problems you visit a mechanic, you don’t need to know how it does what it does.

One thing you DO need to know is – you MUST back up your computer if you have anything of even remote value to you on it.”

Dave knows what he’s talking about. After fifteen years in the industry, Dave knows, that at some point, your computer will suffer system, or hardware failure.

What are you going to do then – if you don’t have a current (and tested) backup of your critical data, system/device drivers (something many of us forget), and user operating system settings?

Most important of all – how are you going to recover your irreplaceable data; documents, digital photos, email messages, personal and business related work, and important private data?

So backups are important – critically important. Despite the critical importance of Hard Drive backups, most computer technicians (including Dave), will tell you; typically, computer users’ do not backup their irreplaceable data.

If you should suffer catastrophic Hard Drive failure and you are one of the few, out of the ordinary, computer users who regularly and faithfully backup, you will have work ahead of you, but you will recover. But without a plan, your data becomes a hostage to fortune. Your Hard Drive might be damaged by malware – it might not. Your Hard Drive might fail – it might not. But why take the risk?

If you don’t yet have a backup plan, it’s time you thought seriously about developing one. Make developing and implementing a backup strategy, a New Years resolution you intend to keep.

The effort involved in learning how to protect your data, by developing and implementing a backup plan in today’s computing age, is minimal. Much easier than it was, even as little as two or three years ago.

The best backup strategy includes imaging your Hard Drives and partitions, since that allows you to restore your important data, your complete operating system, as well as your installed applications, user settings, etc.

There are loads of free applications out in the wild blue that, used properly and regularly, will speed to the rescue. One of the best free program, that I have no difficulty recommending, is EASEUS Todo Backup.

Free EASEUS Todo Backup 4 – Easy Backup For The Rest Of Us

This is a brilliant application that will allow you to backup, recover your backups, image your Hard Drives, clone your Hard Drives, and a host of additional features. All of this, in a “follow the bouncing ball” simple, user interface. If there’s an easier way to backup critical data, I have yet to find it.

The user interface has been designed so that a user with minimum computing experience, should have no difficulty.

image

The following screen captures illustrate the simple process of backing up a particular folder.

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In this case, I choose the task name, selected the folder to be backed up, selected the backup media/location, and …..

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Done!

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Recovery, is point and click simple.

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Additional functions and features are available under the “Tools” menu.

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For example – you’ll have the option of creating a system boot disk. You should do so.

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Fast facts:

System Backup and Recovery – One-click system backup. Backs up entire system state including the operating system and installed applications on-the-fly without interrupting your work to get the system up in time after crash.

Restore System to Dissimilar Hardware – The feature of “recover to dissimilar hardware” can simplify system migration with restoring system to dissimilar hardware configuration for hardware replacement under WinPE recovery environment.

File and Folder Backup – Backs up specified files, network shared files, files in use, folders or file types in case of virus attack, hard disk failure, or deletion by accident, etc.

Disk & partition Backup – Full backup disk(s)/partition(s), dynamic volume(s), or GPT disk(s)/volume(s) to image. It ensures PC security and instant data recovery in case of any data loss.

Incremental/Differential Backup – Provide alternatives to perform full backups each time by offering incremental backup and differential backup. To capture changes with saving time & disk space.

Backup Schedule – To run backup automatically at a predefined time. By scheduling a backup task, your system and important data can be backed up now, daily, weekly, monthly.

Network Data Protection – Easy way to full backup network data, including network shared files on NAS and Windows, with full backup, incremental backup, differential backup and schedule backup, etc.

Disk Clone Tool – Clone or transfer all the data on a hard disk to another. Clone disk is especially useful to upgrade your hard drive to a new one without reinstalling operating systems and applications.

Full list of features here.

System requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Win 7 (32 and 64 bit).

Download at: EASEUS

If you’re looking for a free application to handle all of your backup needs, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in EASEUS Todo Backup. Give it a try.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

10 Comments

Filed under Backup Tools, downloads, Freeware, Hard Drive Cloning, Hard Drive Imaging, Windows Tips and Tools

Free EASEUS Todo Backup 2.5.1

imageIf you don’t yet have a backup plan, it’s time you thought seriously about developing one. The effort involved in learning how to protect your data, by developing and implementing a backup plan in today’s computing age, is minimal. Much easier than it was, even as little as two or three years ago.

The best backup strategy includes imaging your Hard Drives and partitions, since that allows you to restore your important data, your complete operating system, as well as your installed applications, user settings, etc.

There are loads of free applications out in the wild blue that, used properly and regularly, will speed to the rescue. One of the best free program, that I have no difficulty recommending, is EASEUS Todo Backup 2.5.1.

This is a brilliant application that will allow you to backup, recover your backups, image your Hard Drives, clone your Hard Drives, and a host of additional features. All of this, in a “follow the bouncing ball” simple, user interface. If there’s an easier way to backup critical data, I have yet to find it.

Following installation, a restart is required.

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The user interface has been designed so that a user with minimum computing experience, should have no difficulty.

image

The following screen captures illustrate the simple process of backing up a particular folder.

image

In this case, I choose the task name, selected the folder to be backed up, selected the backup media/location, and ….. Done!

image

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Recovery, is point and click simple.

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Additional functions and features are available under the “Tools” menu.

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Fast facts:

Backup Management – By Managing backup tasks and plans, you can change a backup task or plan and execute the changes immediately, delete image files, and even convert a disk image.

Mount and Unmount – Mount a disk and partition image to a virtual partition (working as ordinary, logical drives) to explore or copy files in it.

Image Splitting – Split an image file into several files of specified size to fit different storage devices. This feature is helpful to burn the backup file to CD/DVD.

Image Compression – Compress a backup image to save disk space. The higher compression level, the smaller image is.

Check Image – Check the integrate of backup image. You can validate whether you will be able to recover from the backup image.

Disaster Recovery – Restore important files from backed up image and perform disaster recovery just by simple clicks. It ensures quick recovery from system crash, a personal error, hardware or software failure, virus attack or hacker’s intrusive destruction, etc.

Disk and Partition Clone – Migrate or copy all the data on a hard disk or partition to another.

Wipe Data – With this feature, you can erase all the sensitive data on a disk or partition to protect your privacy.

Bootable Media – Run EASEUS Todo Backup from an emergency disk to perform recovery in case of system crash, etc. USB drive, CD or DVD Bootable media can be created.

System requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Win 7 (32 and 64 bit).

Download at: Download.com

If you’re looking for a free application to handle all of your backup needs, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in EASEUS Todo Backup. Give it a try.

Note: EASEUS Todo Backup 3.0 is scheduled for release in Mid- August 2011. In the meantime, if you’re the experimental type you can download the Beta release – here.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

2 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Backup Applications, Backup Tools, downloads, Free Backup Applications, Freeware, Hard Drive Cloning, Hard Drive Imaging, New Computer User Software Tools, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Paragon System Backup – Free For 3 Days Only (Save $29.99)

Paragon  System Backup (3 user license), is available for free until April, 22 9:00am (EST). To take advantage of this offer you will need to visit the Paragon Facebook page and click the “like” button. You will need a Facebook account in order to do this.

From Paragon:

System Backup – Simple, smart and secure technology – plus premium backup options!

System Backup is easy to use and highly automated: out-of-the-box automation for scheduled background protection of your complete system and data. Plus, customizable backup strategy options for specialized individual needs. Choose instant automation or customize each backup detail, System Backup does both with maximum levels of protection and power.

Key Features and Benefits of System Backup:

Software and Hardware Support
Windows 7 support

Accomplish any operation under Windows 7.

update Improved support of 64-bit platforms

There’s no more need for bootable media when modifying system partitions, even with Windows 64-bit operating systems. The program automatically reboots in the Windows native mode to complete operations without any additional commands.

New New Linux kernel

The latest Linux kernel provides support of wider range of hardware.

Automatization Features

update Automated Backup Strategy

Choose between the built-in backup strategy or create your own and the program will keep automatically backing up the system and data on a regular basis. This “Set & Forget” approach provides a new level of flexibility and minimizes user involvement by focusing only on the most relevant options.

New Advanced Backup Strategy

The program has advanced features for configuring backup strategy:

  • Scheduling: fuzzy or precise
  • Snapshot type: auto selected, full or differential
  • Retention policy: number of archives to keep
  • Volumes to backup: all or user selected
  • Exclude masks: exclude unnecessary data from backup image

update Precise Scheduling

Automate the exact time to run backups and lighten your workload.

Backup Features

New Space Saving Options

You can decide storage space saving options for defining whether to create differential snapshots automatically according to the program’s sophisticated algorithm, or to create full snapshots after a defined number of differential snapshots, or to not create differential snapshots at all.

New Backup Object Selection

Define what volumes to protect using backup strategy (every object, or user-defined) to secure really important data.

NewAdjust Backup Process Priority

Backup process priority can be raised or lowered automatically by the program giving you more or less hardware resources available for other running programs and tasks. Available only for automated backups.

update Exclude files and folders

Exclude files or folders from a backup image according to defined masks. Reduce the size of backup images and minimize backup time by excluding unnecessary files such as music, movies, etc.

Smart backup engine

The Smart backup engine distributes resources to other applications when backing up in the automatic mode so that simultaneously running applications don’t take a performance hit.

Backup on-the-fly

System Backup saves your PC on-the-fly without interrupting your current activity. You don’t need to close any of your applications or restart the computer during the process.

Restore Features

Easy restore to a previous state

System Backup restores a snapshot of your PC to the point where it last ran smoothly.

Fast recovery after system failure

Start the recovery process simply by clicking F6 key.

Selective restore

Easily extract files and folders from a snapshot without needing to restore the whole PC.

New WinPE 3.0 Recovery CD

The latest version of Windows Pre-installation Environment provides a wider range of hardware configurations.

User Interface Features

Intuitive user interface

Simple and convenient with contextual help for all user controls.

Advanced notification system

Color indicators in the system tray inform you about the level of danger your system is in and prompt you with ways to repair it.

From the Facebook page:

Simple, smart and secure technology – plus premium backup options!

System Backup is easy to use and highly automated: out-of-the-box automation for scheduled background protection of your complete system and data. Plus, customizable backup strategy options for specialized individual needs. Choose instant automation or customize each backup detail, System Backup does both with maximum levels of protection and power.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

8 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Backup Applications, Backup Tools, downloads, Free Full Versions, Giveaways, Software, Software Giveaways, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Gmail Backup 0.107 – Now, More Than Ever, A Necessity

imageWith an uptime of 99.984 percent in 2010, it would be hard to argue with Gmail’s reliability. Unless of course, you happened to be one of the unlucky few who had to suffer through Google’s recent outage (caused by a software bug update), which included e-mail messages, and other data, disappearing.

Ben Treynor, Google vice president of engineering and site reliability, explained the snafu this way – “Some copies of mail were deleted, and we’ve been hard at work …….. getting it back for the people affected by this issue.”

I was amused by the bevy of tech journalist who underplayed the significance of this occurrence – sort of like “What’s the big deal. In the end, all was recovered – back to normal.” But, it is a “big deal.”

Cloud computing, and Gmail fits the definition of a “cloud computing” service – is not without its share of risks. It seems to me, that an absolute reliance on the unquestionable ability of any online storage service to recover from a potential disaster, is foolhardy.

If you’re undaunted by the possibility that Google is not immune from permanently losing your email correspondence, then you’ll see no need to backup your Gmail account.

But, if you’re like me, and you subscribe to a “never say never” point of view, then it would be prudent to backup your Gmail account locally to ensure you’ll have access to important emails – no matter the circumstances. And, Gmail Backup – a free minimalist Gmail backup application will help you do just that, efficiently.

Gmail Backup (which migrated from a commercial application to open source, in September 2010),  is definitely without any bells and whistles, but it does what it says it will do, without any fuss or bother.

The application is designed to backup your Gmail account to a folder on your Hard Drive, and as an added bonus, you can restore back to Gmail.

Prior to using the application, it’s necessary to enable IMAP by clicking “Settings” – “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” in Gmail.

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The application interface is simple and basic, as the following screen capture indicates.

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For this test run, I downloaded 47,142 emails totaling 1.03 GB (that’s 6 years or so of emails), which took  about 8 hours.  The average download speed was an unimpressive 50 KB/s – sloooooow! But, that’s not related to the application – that’s a Google issue.

The application transferred this huge number of emails perfectly. I selected one at random for this test, as indicated by the arrow in the following screen shot.

image

Then, I opened that particular email in Thunderbird, to ensure the contents, and the attachments, were accessible.

Gmail Backup Test

Note: You don’t have to backup your entire Gmail account, as I did for this test. You have the option of choosing specific “from”, and “before” dates.

Gmail Backup is certainly not the most exciting application I’ve taken for a spin recently, but it’s basic functionality was impressive.

Not everyone has a need to backup their Gmail account (or agrees that it’s necessary), but if you do, then Gmail Backup is a free solution that’s worth taking a look at.

Note: As with all backups, the local folder should be copied to portable media – just in case.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, and a Gmail account of course.

Download at: Download.com

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

4 Comments

Filed under Backup Applications, Backup Tools, downloads, Email, Freeware, Gmail, Google, Open Source, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Free EASEUS Todo Backup – Easy Backup For The Rest Of Us

imageHere’s a quote from Dave Brooks, an A+ certified professional computer technician, and a popular guest writer here on Tech Thoughts:

“You don’t need to know how a PC works to use it, just like your car, if you have problems you visit a mechanic, you don’t need to know how it does what it does.

One thing you DO need to know is – you MUST back up your computer if you have anything of even remote value to you on it.”

Dave Brooks knows what he’s talking about. After fifteen years in the industry, Dave knows, that at some point, your computer will suffer system, or hardware failure.

What are you going to do then – if you don’t have a current backup of your critical data, system/device drivers (something many of us forget), and user operating system settings?

How are you going to recover your irreplaceable data; documents, digital photos, email messages, personal and business related work, and important private data?

So backups are important – critically important. Despite the critical importance of Hard Drive backups, most computer technicians (including Dave), will tell you; typically, computer users’ do not backup their irreplaceable data.

If you should suffer catastrophic Hard Drive failure and you are one of the few, out of the ordinary, computer users who regularly and faithfully backup, you will have work ahead of you, but you will recover. But without a plan, your data becomes a hostage to fortune. Your Hard Drive might be damaged by malware – it might not. Your Hard Drive might fail – it might not. But why take the risk?

If you don’t yet have a backup plan, it’s time you thought seriously about developing one. Make developing and implementing a backup strategy, a New Years resolution you intend to keep.

The effort involved in learning how to protect your data, by developing and implementing a backup plan in today’s computing age, is minimal. Much easier than it was, even as little as two or three years ago.

The best backup strategy includes imaging your Hard Drives and partitions, since that allows you to restore your important data, your complete operating system, as well as your installed applications, user settings, etc.

There are loads of free applications out in the wild blue that, used properly and regularly, will speed to the rescue. One of the best free program, that I have no difficulty recommending, is EASEUS Todo Backup.

This is a brilliant application that will allow you to backup, recover your backups, image your Hard Drives, clone your Hard Drives, and a host of additional features. All of this, in a “follow the bouncing ball” simple, user interface. If there’s an easier way to backup critical data, I have yet to find it.

The application requires installation of driver software so just say “yes”. Following installation, a restart is required.

image

The user interface has been designed so that a user with minimum computing experience, should have no difficulty.

image

The following screen captures illustrate the simple process of backing up a particular folder.

image

In this case, I choose the task name, selected the folder to be backed up, selected the backup media/location, and ….. Done!

image

Recovery, is point and click simple.

image

Additional functions and features are available under the “Tools” menu.

image

Fast facts:

Backup Management – By Managing backup tasks and plans, you can change a backup task or plan and execute the changes immediately, delete image files, and even convert a disk image.

Mount and Unmount – Mount a disk and partition image to a virtual partition (working as ordinary, logical drives) to explore or copy files in it.

Image Splitting – Split an image file into several files of specified size to fit different storage devices. This feature is helpful to burn the backup file to CD/DVD.

Image Compression – Compress a backup image to save disk space. The higher compression level, the smaller image is.

Check Image – Check the integrate of backup image. You can validate whether you will be able to recover from the backup image.

Disaster Recovery – Restore important files from backed up image and perform disaster recovery just by simple clicks. It ensures quick recovery from system crash, a personal error, hardware or software failure, virus attack or hacker’s intrusive destruction, etc.

Disk and Partition Clone – Migrate or copy all the data on a hard disk or partition to another.

Wipe Data – With this feature, you can erase all the sensitive data on a disk or partition to protect your privacy.

Bootable Media – Run EASEUS Todo Backup from an emergency disk to perform recovery in case of system crash, etc. USB drive, CD or DVD Bootable media can be created.

System requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Win 7 (32 and 64 bit).

Download at: EASEUS

If you’re looking for a free application to handle all of your backup needs, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in EASEUS Todo Backup. Give it a try.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

11 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Backup Applications, Backup Tools, Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, Hard Drive Cloning, Hard Drive Imaging, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Gmail Backup – A Free Minimalist Gmail Backup App

imageGmail Backup (which migrated from a commercial application to open source, in September 2010),  is definitely without any bells and whistles, but it does what it says it will do, without any fuss or bother.

The application is designed to backup your Gmail account to a folder on your Hard Drive, and as an added bonus, you can restore back to Gmail.

Prior to using the application, it’s necessary to enable IMAP by clicking “Settings” – “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” in Gmail.

image

The application interface is simple and basic, as the following screen capture indicates.

image

For this test run, I downloaded 47,142 emails totaling 1.03 GB (that’s 6 years or so of emails), which took  about 8 hours.  The average download speed was an unimpressive 50 KB/s – sloooooow! But, that’s not related to the application – that’s a Google issue.

The application transferred this huge number of emails perfectly. I selected one at random for this test, as indicated by the arrow in the following screen shot.

image

Then, I opened that particular email in Thunderbird, to ensure the contents, and the attachments, were accessible.

Gmail Backup Test

Note: You don’t have to backup your entire Gmail account, as I did for this test. You have the option of choosing specific “from”, and “before” dates.

Gmail Backup is certainly not the most exciting application I’ve taken for a spin recently, but it’s basic functionality was impressive.

Not everyone has a need to backup their Gmail account but if you do, then Gmail Backup is a free solution that’s worth taking a look at.

Note: As with all backups, the local folder should be copied to portable media.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 and a Gmail account of course.

Download at: Download.com

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

4 Comments

Filed under Backup Tools, downloads, Email, Freeware, Gmail, Google, Open Source, Software