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I have an external hard drive that I keep all of my work files on and transfer them back and forth between my Windows 7 box at work, and my Mac at home (I work from home frequently).

Can someone recommend a really good backup utility that I can use on that external drive, to back the files up to my work computer locally, or the other external drive on my machine at work?

I'm looking for preferably a free or open source software, and I'd prefer it to be cross system compatible, although I would also consider using a software that will only work on the Windows box.

Also, I will consider a software that has a price assuming it is a really good piece of software and the price is reasonable (like under $50 or so).

I checked out CrashPlan a bit, but not sure if that's gonna be really what I'm looking for. To reiterate I'm not looking for online backup solutions, just a piece of software that can back up my data to another drive locally. CrashPlan Free seems to offer this, but not sure how good it is (considering their goal is to get me to buy a pay for version).

*NOTE: I'm running Windows 7 in 64bit so I need a piece of software that will be compatible with 64bit OS. My previous software, PC Backup, is not. That's partly why I'm in this boat.

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How much data are you talking about? –  Nifle Aug 16 '10 at 15:20
    
Around 100 GB of data - for now. But the drive is 500 GB, and eventually I'll get there. I'm doing web and graphic design. –  Joel Glovier Aug 17 '10 at 13:50
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2 Answers

Rsync would definitely be the answer if you were using just Macs (or just *nix boxes). It does incremental copying of files - either locally (onto and off of your external hard drive) or directly from machine to machine if you have or can make one of the computers visible to the internet.

Rsync should already be installed on your Mac, but I'm not sure how easy it is to get set up on Windows - it may require installing Cygwin - although a quick Google seemed to bring up plenty of suggestions - cwrsync seems to most promising.

Depending on how large your files are, and how much you change at once, you may also be able to do this with something more online such as Dropbox which will essentially keep a designated folder in sync across multiple computers. It does up to 2GB free and more can be purchased.

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You could try using Subversion - it's free and there are clients for your operating systems. SVNTortoise for windows is pretty good.

You'd just need to back up the repository when you connect the disk to your computer - and it would need to map to the same drive letter, since the clients use a url to get to it.

This looks interesting as well. http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/

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I use SVN for our web development, but I'm talking about ordinary files and very large files, such as Photoshop Documents that are often over 500MB, and sometimes over 1GB. So as I said I'm looking for a local backup solution, not one where internet connection bandwidth has to come into play. But thanks for your suggestion. –  Joel Glovier Aug 17 '10 at 15:32
    
Some people use it for ordinary files - not sure if files that large would work though... –  Sam Aug 18 '10 at 23:22
    
Also, the SVN repository would be on your external drive, so you would not need the internet. From what I understand, that configuration should be possible since SVN is only a file structure. –  Sam Aug 18 '10 at 23:23
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