I need a free software for Windows (with gui or command line) that does incremental backup copying all files and storing changed or deleted files in a directory named like last change date (or a progressive number).

To be more precise:
D:\ is my Data drive
E:\ is my Backupdrive.

If i want to backup all my data from D::
E:\d_lastbackup\ will contain a plain copy of all the files and folder content (no compression or archiving, same files attributes) of D
E:\d_20090822\ will contain all files (with their full path) that are changed or deleted in the last version (since the previous one)
E:\d_20090820\ will contain all files (with their full path) that are changed or deleted in the last version (since the previous one)
and so on...

I had a software working prefectly with an old USB harddsik by Maxtor, but it works only on that device.

Any suggestion?

8 Answers 8


Cobian backup does separate folders, uncompressed, and supports incremental/differential.


  • Looks good. It's incremental, easy to set up, and can run as a background service so it doesn't clutter up my system tray. Just what I was looking for. +1
    – Ajedi32
    Oct 22, 2013 at 20:15
  • 1
    Cobian backup seems to have become very popular, and can be found here now: cobiansoft.com/index.htm . The other link is dead.
    – GnP
    Feb 16, 2014 at 20:57

I use 7-zip for incremental compressed backups.
Here is a reference article: Powershell & 7Zip incremental backup solution.
That link has a ready-script for use.
But, you don't really need PowerShell -- the ability comes from 7z itself.

  • 1
    This is a spectacular answer. This coupled with WinSCP makes remote rsync'ing from a Windows box to anything dead simple. Thank you so much!
    – mrduclaw
    Dec 3, 2009 at 22:21
  • I like using 7z for differential because if you use -u it will make anti-items for those files that were deleted. That way all you need is the full backup and the diff to get back where you were. Jan 8, 2011 at 6:39
  • 6
    Your link is broken. :( Nov 28, 2014 at 15:47

DeltaCopy (basically a Windows version of rsync) and SyncBack (3 versions to choose from, one free) sound right up your alley.


I use rdiff-backup with some scripting I found on the 'net that adds VSS capability. Each prior version is stored compressed as a difference to the newer version. This allows backups with minimal storage, restores from newest version are fastest and I can delete very old backups without messing up newer version.

  • 2
    Would be really nice of you to tell where to get those scripts or even better if you could post them. ;)
    – Stecy
    May 27, 2011 at 17:18
  • I am now currently using vscsc.sourceforge.net Dec 10, 2013 at 15:19

If you get Robocpy and the Robocopy GUI you can fiddle with it to do what you want. I use this everyday for my backups.

  • I created a bat file with a few robocopy lines in it which backs up my stuff to external hard drives. Then added the bat file as a task which is run once a day. Works great =)
    – Svish
    Aug 26, 2009 at 16:07
  • Yep, that's how I do it.
    – Hondalex
    Aug 26, 2009 at 18:33

Crashplan from here http://www4.crashplan.com/landing/index.html gives some nice options. I'm not sure if it will back up to another internal drive but I can't see why it wouldn't.


Some backup devices (such as the Seagate Freeagent external drive) come with supplied backup software. However, I find to cover from building fire, it can be better to use a remote backup system such Squirrelsave, Mozy, Carbonite or Jungledisk. If you have a home network and want a machine to work as a backup machine, then R1Soft's CDP backup system supports Windows and Linux machines.

However, all these options are commercial - but how valuable is your data?


I wrote my own, as a Python script. It uses md5sum to detect changed files, and copies them to a standard backup subdirectory within each working directory. Each backed up file has the same file name, with a suffix, such as <filename>_1, <filename>_2, etc...

This was easier when I used VMS, which made backup versions of changed files automatically.

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