In the past I've used svn for storing all previous versions of my source files. Now I'd like to use something similar for my whole Documents folder. I'm not choosing svn this time because:

  • It requires you to commit manually. I need something that continually monitors for file saves and makes commits, consequently.

  • I've experienced filebase corruption for no good reason.

Is there a software solution for Windows that will automatically keep track of my file versions? As far as I know, standard backup systems don't work like I need.

One option could be using Dropbox as my main folder, I know.

  • What version of Windows? – Synetech Jul 26 '11 at 2:29

If you’re using Windows 7, it has this function built-in under the name Previous Versions. If you bring up the Properties dialog for a file or folder, you can click the Previous Versions tab to see what old versions have been cached and access them from there.

  • Correct, and if I’m not mistaken, it existed in XP too, though I never saw or used it until 7. (I think it was only used for System Restore in XP, while in 7, it is for all files.) – Synetech Jul 26 '11 at 3:28
  • Probably want to put a disclaimer in here - the backups shown in Previous Versions are limited by the amount of space allocated to the shadow volume service and they might disappear at any time (depending on whether the copy service needs to free space for system restores etc) – ta.speot.is Jul 26 '11 at 4:44
  • True, in fact, I even watched to see when it would happen (I had to manually reduce the allocation to see it prune). Currently, I’ve got it disabled altogether, ie, no previous versions at all! – Synetech Jul 26 '11 at 6:19
  • Although it's a good call, Win VCS has some drawbacks. It handles blocks, not files. It saves files each 24 hours, and only their latest status within that range of time will be stored. – vemv Jul 26 '11 at 9:32

There seems to be a fairly good discussion on some Dropbox-esque solutions over here.

iqbox-svn seems pretty promising, albeit based on Subversion. DVCS-Autosync if you really don't want Subversion. SparkeShare gets a good writeup online.

Side Note: I've never experienced the corruption in Subversion you speak of, not in 1.6 onwards.

  • Cheers for the links! DVCS is linux-only though isn't it? In any case if you let me be honest, I'm not willing to use alpha software... – vemv Jul 26 '11 at 9:49

You may want to check out Syncback. Software to backup data and files on a Windows computer

  • It doesn't seem to support explicitly file versioning... – vemv Jul 3 '11 at 15:45

I tried AJC Active Backup which is nice, it works exactly like I had in mind. Still deciding whether I'm buying a license or not.

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