Differential file copy tool

nessinnessin Registered User regular
Is there an easy way in Windows 7 to perform a basic copy operation like a differential backup? I've got a "backup" (just a copy and paste) of a folder that I'd like to update without having to delete the entire contents and recopy the couple terabytes of data I've already got in it just to get a few deletions and new files out of the way. One of the few times I've found something pathetically easy to do in Linux that seems damn near impossible to do in Windows (easy if you've got a backup tool who tracked the original backup, but not so much in my case).

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  • ZxerolZxerol bat tail beaver /w a measuring tape Registered User regular
    You can try the built-in robocopy utility with the /mir option for a simple solution if you don't mind command-line (which I can't imagine you would if you work with Linux).

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    nessin wrote: »
    Is there an easy way in Windows 7 to perform a basic copy operation like a differential backup? I've got a "backup" (just a copy and paste) of a folder that I'd like to update without having to delete the entire contents and recopy the couple terabytes of data I've already got in it just to get a few deletions and new files out of the way. One of the few times I've found something pathetically easy to do in Linux that seems damn near impossible to do in Windows (easy if you've got a backup tool who tracked the original backup, but not so much in my case).

    Windows to Windows apparently does differential copying automatically. Why not just install Cygwin? Gives you Win32 versions of all the GNU tools you'd use on Linux, including rsync.

  • nessinnessin Registered User regular
    nessin wrote: »
    Is there an easy way in Windows 7 to perform a basic copy operation like a differential backup? I've got a "backup" (just a copy and paste) of a folder that I'd like to update without having to delete the entire contents and recopy the couple terabytes of data I've already got in it just to get a few deletions and new files out of the way. One of the few times I've found something pathetically easy to do in Linux that seems damn near impossible to do in Windows (easy if you've got a backup tool who tracked the original backup, but not so much in my case).

    Windows to Windows apparently does differential copying automatically. Why not just install Cygwin? Gives you Win32 versions of all the GNU tools you'd use on Linux, including rsync.

    For really stupid and insane reasons I can't install anything on this machine, only run independent/portable style applications or pre-existing stuff.
    You can try the built-in robocopy utility with the /mir option for a simple solution if you don't mind command-line (which I can't imagine you would if you work with Linux).

    Thanks, that is working perfectly for me.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    I believe Cygwin can install without administrative rights in just a user account.

  • BigityBigity Lubbock, TXRegistered User regular
    Robocopy is the bomb yo.

    I have (had) some pretty complex bat scripts for migrating from a 10 year old Dell EMC san to a NetApp. I could come in after hours, spend 5 minutes editing it for the next CIFS, double-click and go play Mass Effect 2 while I was getting overtime.

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  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    So... why do you want to keep a backup? I ask because there are different ways to deal with the problem, depending upon why you want the backup.

    1. Protection against hard drive failure. The easiest solution for this problem is raid 1 (ie, mirrored raid), using the Windows 7 built in raid software that comes with the OS. It merely requires two data drives of the same size, as long as the hard drives in question are meant to be used in a raid setup. Look for TLER (time lapse error recovery), a type of error recovery only seen for raid drives, like the Western Digital Red series of hard drives.

    2. Protection against accidental deletion or accidental overwrites. The easiest solution for this problem is to turn on "previous versions" (used to be called "shadow copy") for your hard drive, another built in Windows 7 feature. This causes Windows 7 to take periodic snapshots of a file or folder, whenever it notices that a change happened. You'll normally have 3 snapshots saved: a day old, a week old, and a month old.

    3. Protection against disasters, like theft or fire. Your best bet for this is something like SkyDrive, a free Microsoft product that syncs files with one of Microsoft's cloud server. Or periodically write your files to a blue-ray disc. Or use robocopy within a batch script.

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