As in the the question, when I turn on windows backup would it just copy files to the selected drive or would it create a restore file that can be only used by the windows backup?

I want to backup files from my User folder and I want to have all the files on both drives (backup drive and the drive that I use). At the moment I am doing it manually but it is a little hassle, it is hard to know which files were copied already and which weren't. So I was wondering would the Windows 7 backup do the job or should I look for some third party software.


The most user-friendly solution in Windows 7 is to use ROBOCOPY.

Microsoft Backup is best avoided. It has a bad reputation for being user-hostile, and for causing more problems than it solves. You generally won't even know that you don't have a valid backup until you have a problem, try to restore files, and find you can't.

Use ROBOCOPY instead. It is simple to use, easy to check the files copied, works reliably and fast, and comes as part of Windows 7. You can easily configure it to copy only those files which have changed since your last backup, which is a great timesaver.

Create a batch file COPY_WITH_ROBOCOPY.BAT as follows (this example doesn't include the option /PURGE but in practice that is the most useful option for doing a large-scale regular backup, as it deletes files from the destination that no longer exist on the source) -

::  Folder to back-up
SET source=C:\Users\%Username%

::  Destination for the copies
SET destination=D:\Backup\%Username%

::  Copy Files, including Subdirectories
ROBOCOPY "%source%" "%destination%" /E /B /COPY:DAT /DCOPY:T /XJ /SL /R:0 /W:0 /V

::  Examine screen output for any reports of UNCOPIABLE files
echo. & echo. & cmd /k


Syntax -

/COPY:copyflags : what to COPY for files (default is /COPY:DAT)

      Copyflags : D=Data, A=Attributes, T=Timestamps
      S=Security=NTFS ACLs, O=Owner info, U=aUditing info

/COPYALL : COPY ALL file info (equivalent to /COPY:DATSOU)

/S       : copy Subdirectories
/E       : copy subdirectories including Empty ones

/B       : Backup mode - override permission settings (ACLs)
           and copy the file anyway

/DCOPY:T : COPY Directory Timestamps

/CREATE  : CREATE directory tree and zero-length files only

/XJ      : eXclude all Junction points
/XJD     : eXclude Junction points for Directories only
/XJF     : eXclude Junction points for Files only

/SL      : copy Symbolic Link instead of the target

/MT      : faster MultiThreaded copying: default is 8 threads,
           but can specify any number, e.g. 6 [/MT:6]

Retry Options:

/R:n : number of Retries on failed copies: default 1 million
/W:n : Wait time between retries: default is 30 seconds [/W:30]

Logging Options:

/L : List only - don't copy any files
/V : produce Verbose output, showing skipped files

/LOG:file  : output status to LOG file (overwrite existing log)
/LOG+:file : output status to LOG file (append to existing log)
/TEE       : output to console window, as well as to the log file

Update Options:

/XO    : eXclude Older files
/FFT   : use FAT File Times (2-second granularity) (if copying to FAT32 USB)
/DST   : compensate for one-hour DST time difference (Daylight Savings Time)

/PURGE : Delete destination files/folders that no longer exist in the source directory

BEWARE OF 'PURGE' - That switch will delete any directory in the destination folder which is not in the source folder, even if command line excludes subdirectories from processing.

protected by Community Sep 18 '17 at 19:33

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