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Hi Here's what I want to do.

  1. I have 6 * 2TB drives connected to my motherboard for storing ONLY media files (music, video, etc.)
  2. I want to backup all my files as they grow to an external 2TB drive from these 6 drives.
  3. Once my data amounts to 2TB, I want to plug in another 2TB external drive to which new data is backed up to
  4. My old 2TB external drive will just get retired until it is needed.
  5. If I lose one of my internal 2TB drives, I want to rebuild it from the data stored from 1 or more of my external drives. I may have to perform the rebuild in stages as I might be only able to connect one external drive at a time.
  6. Backups should be incremental

Can Windows 7 do this? In fact, can anything do this?

I have a bad feeling that if I want simple backups of my data, I have to buy 6 external 2TB drives and connect them to my PC and keep a single 1:1 backup relationship between Master & Destination....

Someone tell me there is a better way!!

share|improve this question
To clarify: you have up to 12 TB of data that you want to back up to a 2 TB drive? The best you can hope for with backup compression is about 2:1, so if you plan to use more than 4 TB of your 12 TB potential, it's not going to work. Switching to an empty 2 TB external drive when the first one is full won't help, because a backup program figures out what to back up by looking at what's different between the source and the destination. If your external drive was a magical 6 or 8 TB, you could maybe make this work. Or possibly I entirely misunderstood. – boot13 Sep 16 '10 at 16:22
I would skip all that hassle and move to a more expensive Raid 5 enclosure, or sets of Raid 1 enclosures. – Moab Sep 16 '10 at 21:38

Microsoft's Robust File Copy tool ("robocopy") would be a good tool for syncing data with your backup drives. It is a command line tool, and you could create a batch file yourself for your backup needs, or you could use the RoboCopy GUI utility to create some batch files for you.

Example of use:

robocopy C:\data E:\data /MIR /Z

This command will initially copy ALL of the contents of c:\data to e:\data. After the first copy, it will only copy changes to files or new files - it essentially mirrors the drives. Keep in mind that using /MIR will delete files on the backup drive if they've been deleted on the source drive, so only use that command if you want deletes copied in addition to new files.

To automate this, create a batch file or set up a Scheduled Task in Windows and put the command in there. Make sure that the user you run the scheduled task under has permission to read all of the files you are backing up.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the edits. I was in a hurry :) – Joshua Sep 16 '10 at 23:06

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