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How to sync data on two hard drives?

I'm looking for programs to sync two hard disk. For example I want to make backup every month from internal hard disk to external one, but not full backup which mean if I create a folder on drive D and I connect the external disk immediately just sync the new folder without to re-backup everything. In other words the program knows what are the new files or files modified from last backup to transfer it to external one I hope I explained well Any advice would be appreciated

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migrated from Aug 9 '11 at 14:35

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Nifle, Mehper C. Palavuzlar, Breakthrough, 8088 Aug 10 '11 at 15:58

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Do you want to do the whole Hard drive or just some folders? – Alan Aug 9 '11 at 14:21
There is a Microsoft program designed justly for that. I forgot the name... I'll try to find it and post here. – kokbira Aug 10 '11 at 12:27

You can always go old school as well with Robocopy.

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SyncBack SE is a powerful tool. It will automatically detect the insertion of certain USB drives and launch a backup, which is great for convenience.

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There are a ton of options for backup software out there. To get started, you might take a look at the built-in NTBackup software bundled with Windows. Here's a link to the guide on using this feature on Windows Server 2003:

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This is indeed correct. There's literally thousands of programs already for various ways of doing backups, there's no point doing it manually, or using some program not meant explicitly for backupping. – Zds Aug 10 '11 at 12:44

I am using Create Synchronicity. It's scriptable, creates mirrors/incrementals/etc and is also free.

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Do you know I can restore a backup? I was using it, find I need to restore and have a few full & many incremental backups and I can't see any way to restore from within the program :-( – Mawg Mar 2 '15 at 12:46

DeltaCopy is another good one.

I have also had great success with Unison, as it's scriptable.

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I have this setup right now on my computer, actually. I have an external USB 3.0 1 TB disk and it daily, at shutdown, backs up my internal HDD incrementally.

To do this, I purchased Acronis TrueImage. You can configure it to do many different types of backups. Two of the types are incremental and differential. Incremental (the one that I use) does an initial full backup and then for all subsequent backups, only saves the changes since the last backup. Differential is similar, but it always backs up the changes since the last full backup. You can also set different disk consolidation methods, and frequencies at which you do a new full backup.

It also has various automation and scheduling options. Mine is to back up once a day, at the first shutdown. This way a backup takes only about 15 minutes (over USB 3.0) and only occurs when I shut down for the day.

I think this is what you're looking for.

By the way, I do a disk image when I back up, but you can also back up individual files and folders. Either way works, but the benefit for me with a disk image is that to recover, I just have to boot with a recovery DVD, select a backup and destination, and it rebuilds my disk partitions and everything. When I switched from a single IDE HDD to a RAID0 setup with two disks, I was able to use TrueImage to image my computer, configure RAID, and then restore my Windows installation completely and instantly boot back into my computer relatively painlessly. It's very powerful software.

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I use Microsoft's SyncToy for that purpose. I have some disk pairs to synchronize from time to time, and SyncToy deals with them without any problems. It's a free and flexible program.


For selecting the correct method and scheduling it as a task, see this tutorial.

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I'm using Crashplan. Which is free for local backups

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Most external drives from companies like Western Digital, Seagate and Maxtor ship with a software app that will sync to the external when a file changes. WD SmartWare is one I have used. Would this type of application meet your requirements? It has worked well and is seamless for me. And you can quickly see what is in the backup. This is an example of one Western Digital MyBook that would do this. USB 3.0 is available as well.

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