I've been searching the internet for a backup solution for Windows, free or paid, with no luck. I'm considering whether to invest my free time to code such a program. I want the following characteristics:
- file based: imaging is too radical and space consuming for my needs. I care personal data, not system settings. Possibility to include or exclude files or directories.
- block based: I could have duplicates in my data
- versioning: I want to be able to extract a file or folder from a selection of versions, ranging from very old copies to very recent ones, in a non-linear fashion (for example: 2 months ago, 1 month ago, 2 weeks ago, 1 week ago, 3 days, 1 day, 12 hours, 6 hours, 3 hours) using an hanoi backup scheme
- automatic space management: I give the software a free external disk and it has to fill it. When the disk is full it gives me options about file priority, with automatic versions deletion, keeping a minimum number of versions for every file, but considering file dimensions and variability in time
- VSS support: backups must be online (with apps running)
- stupid simple: few things but done very well. Reliable. Gives alarms when there are real problems. No nagging with updates or advertising.
- offline: works when the phone line is down
How it should work: I setup some directories with data I care. I give the program an external drive with at least five times the space occupied by the directories, to make room for different versions. The program runs silently and I forget it's running (like my fridge or my dishwasher) until I delete/overwrite/mess some files and I need a previous version.
I considered Cobian backup, but it doesn't have a functional restore. For me it's a bloated ROBOCOPY script.
I currently use Windows 7 backup, but it doesn't have options, it doesn't fill the external drive, it keeps versions linearly. I like the interface very much. I don't want to switch to Windows 8 only for the much better backup solution (which uses libraries, by the way, which I don't understand).
Any solutions you know?