Of all the freeware backup programs I've checked out, the most frequent backup I could do automatically was every hour :( Is there any freeware that can backup my data every minute or so?

I'm talking about a few mega bytes of VERY important data... Preferably over the LAN backup too.

10 Answers 10


Another couple of options you could take a look at:

File Hamster DocShield

There are free versions of both.

One other option for continuous backup would be Comodo Time Machine

However, some users have had problems with the software, so I'd suggest taking a look at the forums before you install this:

Comodo Time Machine - CTM

  • Thanx a lot. I believe these two software provides exactly the functionality i require :) – Ranhiru Jude Cooray May 24 '10 at 17:29

I'm not aware of any freeware to do real-time or CDP. If the data is that important, you might have to pony up for some software.

You could try scheduling software like Robocopy, rdiff-backup, or something else to run every minute or so. If the files you want to back up are going to be held open, you'll need to handle that somehow. For Windows, you'll need to use Shadow Copies (VSS). Adi Oltean's Blog has several posts on mounting VSS snapshots to make them easy to copy from, if you're using software that's not VSS-aware. HoboCopy may also be useful.

  • Thank you. I checked out Hobocopy. Looks like there is a much more cooler version called RichCopy – Ranhiru Jude Cooray May 23 '10 at 15:29
  • -1. I would never trust "very important data" in visual source safe. – Earlz May 23 '10 at 20:45
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    The nice thing about HoboCopy is that it can use VSS to copy locked files all by itself. No messing about required. @Earlz: VSS stands for Volume Snapshot Service, not Visual SourceSafe. – afrazier May 24 '10 at 1:23
  • @afra ah ok. The first acronym I think of for VSS is source safe. Maybe clarify that(which would edit your answer so I can undo the downvvote :) ) – Earlz May 24 '10 at 7:12
  • Hobocopy should do the trick for this one. Thanks for the link! – Isxek May 24 '10 at 9:24

What about Dropbox? Set your editor to save it every minute and Dropbox will save it every minute. Also you can revert to previous versions on the Dropbox website. (There is a policy about overuse but I guess you won't edit it 0-24.)

  • The problem with Dropbox is that it cannot sync open (locked) documents :( – Ranhiru Jude Cooray May 23 '10 at 15:23
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    Yes but what kind of file are you working on? Well. Combine the method with Afrazier. Copy out the file into dropbox every .45 min? – Apache May 23 '10 at 15:48

I always use cron and rsync for backups. Make a script like:


rsync -a -q --partial --size-only $src/ $host:$dst/

and make a file:

# cron needs PATH variable set
# run this script EVERY 2 MIN
*/2    *    *    *    *    /home/ranhiru/bin/backup.sh


chmod u+x /home/ranhiru/bin/backup.sh

and finally,

crontab /home/ranhiru/.crontab
  • Using windows! why haven't you switched yet ;) I think ppl here will assume GNU/Linux unless posted otherwise. Good luck – Felipe Alvarez May 24 '10 at 6:30

Have you taken a look at SyncToy and scheduled tasks in Windows?



If you store your files on ZFS, either locally with [Open]Solaris or FreeBSD, or remotely if you run any other OS, you might do a snapshot every interval you like and then do a differential incremental send to your backup platform.


On a Unix system, you could roll your own Bash script for doing this. You could use rsync to backup any and all changes in one or more directories to an external drive, or to an external machine (if you have SSH connectivity).

You could also do this in Windows, by installing Cygwin and making sure you include rsync (it may be part of the default Cygwin, but I'm not sure). Your script could do a loop, sleeping for one minute between backups. You could also have the script just do a single backup and schedule it via cron (in Unix systems at least) once per minute. To backup up directory /foo/bar from your localhost to /backups/mymachine/foo/bar in a remote host, you could do:

$ rsync -zave ssh /foo/bar/ remotehost:/backups/mymachine/foo/bar

  • Thank you Marnix but i forgot to mention it was a Windows system :) – Ranhiru Jude Cooray May 23 '10 at 15:26
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    There are several reliable builds of rsync for Windows. There is a full cygwin suit (cygwin.com), cwrsync which is the cygwin port pulled out so you don;t need a larger install if all you need is rsync (itefix.no/i2/cwrsync) and a few other common builds. – David Spillett May 23 '10 at 16:57

I have been pleased with a program call SyncBack. A free version is availabe (truely free, not just free to try) that uses the Windows Task Scheduler to schedule the backup jobs.

  • syncback is not free 30 days try – Geomorillo Aug 23 '20 at 15:53

Just get another harddrive to mirror your primary drive. That way everything written to one is written to the other... live. RAID 0 compliant.

This really sounds like you probably could use a RAID solution. Is this data already hardware-level protected? If it's just on a PC, you can probably add a RAID controller card to it for the extra drives to be setup. If it's on a server, it probably has RAID capability on it. You don't mention what the PC it is, other than windows. What version of windows? What sort of hardware (PC? Server class?)

  • 1
    +1 if the question is about protecting from hardware failures. But if one needs protection from software or human failures as well, then RAID will also delete the file from the other if it gets deleted from one... – Arjan May 24 '10 at 11:29

Shamless promotion: I suggest www.FolderTrack.com.

It does a backup up of every save, delete, rename, or file change. It does not have an online backup component, but it does have the fine detailed backup that you want. The software is free using the discount code bos.

  • Thanx a lot mate :) This sounds really really cool :) – Ranhiru Jude Cooray Jul 22 '10 at 3:43
  • Please let me know your thoughts on it. Thanks – Nick Jul 22 '10 at 14:20
  • buy.foldertrack.com gives the godaddy 404 – CloudMeta Sep 14 '12 at 19:42
  • dead vaporware? – Geomorillo Aug 23 '20 at 15:53
  • dead but it did work. I plan to throw it on Github one day – Nick Sep 1 '20 at 0:08

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