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I'm looking for a good replacement for Lazy Mirror, since it doesn't support Windows 7 well.

Pros: One of the things I really loved about Lazy Mirror is that it always maintains a "full" backup, but does so by only copying modified files. As each file was copied, the old version got archived (moved to an out-of-the-way location). So after mirroring ran, there'd be a complete copy of the file system, which could even be booted if necessary. At the same time, extra space on the backup media was used to store as many older versions of files as possible, without wasting space storing multiple copies of the same version. It seems that with Windows 7 backup, there'd be wasted space storing the same data in both the system image and file backup.

It was completely file-based, but also aware of the registry (it had a feature to dump the live registry to hive files in the correct format).

The backups were normal NTFS filesystems, no special tool was needed to read them.

It automatically cleaned out the oldest previous versions when space ran out (unlike Windows 7 backup which apparently simply starts failing when the backup media fills.)

It copied all file attributes including security.

Cons: It doesn't deal well with junction points, symbolic links, and hard links.

It didn't run as a service without lots of help from firesrv or srvany, and then you couldn't interact with the GUI. Running as a service was necessary to be able to mirror protected OS files.

It didn't have open file handling, except for registry hives.

I guess that the file-by-file archive and replacement could leave mismatched sets of files, if the mirror was interrupted. This would be the advantage of incremental backup techniques that require old full backup + all intermediate incremental backups to restore. But I don't see this as presenting much of a problem, you'd really only have a boot failure if you had a mixture of pre- and post-service pack files, and I can run a full image backup using another tool before applying a service pack.

Does anyone know of a tool that does both full-system backup and storage of old versions of files like Lazy Mirror did (without storing the same data multiple times), and also can run as a service in Windows 7? Free is best of course, but a reasonably priced paid program (e.g. <$100 for personal use) would be fine.

It would be absolutely awesome if it also triggered a backup/mirror pass when a particular external drive was plugged in and generated popup warnings if backups hadn't been run recently.

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2 Answers 2

I'm not sure if it'll do some of the stuff you're hoping, but GFI Backup Home Edition does backup to either zip archive, or just a simple file copy while also using reading/setting the backup file bit and does run as a service under windows 7.

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Try Cobian Backup, it does differential and incremental backups. Works in both 32 and 64 bits Windows. Latest version: 11.2.0.582

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