I'm looking for a solid, image-based backup solution that can be used with rotating USB external hard drives. I need this for Windows 7 but I would also be interested in whether or not the a solution is available for XP as well.

The main point is that it needs to allow the user to switch out the USB hard drives whenever they choose and it needs to allow for the drive letters to change. There should be no user intervention required to maintain the backup other than reviewing backup reports and occasionally checking to make sure the backup is actually working.

The ability to do incremental and differential backups is not necessarily a requirement, though it could become a requirement as the data set grows.

If you post an answer I prefer that you have experience with the solution you're recommending and use it in the same manner which I've laid out. There are quite a few backup solutions that probably claim to do what I'm asking for but once you start using them you often find that there are bugs or caveats. For example, I used Acronis True Image Home in the past (probably 2 versions ago) but it would fill up the backup media because it didn't have the ability to delete old images. This is unacceptable. Maybe newer versions of Acronis do not have this problem - I don't know.

Are you familiar with a solution that will meet the requirements?


I think SyncBackPro suits your needs.

You can allow drives to be backed up from their name or even their unique ID, not only by the letter they're refered to in windows. Every time you want to backup (or every time you plug the external USB peripheral), SyncBack runs a diff between your files and the peripheral, and displays a report you can consult. You can choose to keep track of modifications on both sides or just keep one or the other as a reference.

Try it, there's a 30-day free trial.

EDIT/ Hummm, I might have skipped the "image-based" part. Sorry about that.

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  • Thanks anyway. A file-based backup solution might be considered an option if there is not satisfactory image-based backup solution. – HK1 Apr 26 '11 at 12:26

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