Windows Backup Software?

Volume 7, Issue 187; 18 Oct 2004; last modified 08 Oct 2010

Anyone want to recommend a free Windows backup tool?

Deb’s XP laptop needs regular backing up. I’m doing a pretty slapdash job of it with xcopy onto a ZIP drive.

Anyone want to recommend a free Windows backup tool? I tried Abakt, but it crashes partway through the process.

Suggestions solicited.


You can try Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Backup. It is not the best backuping software on planet, but it can do backup. When you will start it it would complain about missing tape devices, but you can skip this message and you will get chance to backup any device that is connected to your computer and have its own drive letter -- be it network dribe or some USB storage, e.g.

—Posted by Jirka Kosek on 18 Oct 2004 @ 03:54 UTC #

You might want to take a look at Jonathan Schultz's Dirvish ( It's nothing more than a bunch of perl scripts that uses rsync. What's nice about it is that it is, for want of a better term, pull-based. That is, you run it on a server that pulls backups off of client machines.

I note in looking at their site that Jonathan died this summer. Unfortunate.

—Posted by stand on 18 Oct 2004 @ 05:30 UTC #

I use unison to backup/synchronise files between a Windows XP machine and two linux boxes. Back them up with your tool of choice from the linux box.

Unison File Synchronizer
Version 2.9.1

   Unison is a file-synchronization tool for Unix and Windows. It allows
   two replicas of a collection of files and directories to be stored on
   different hosts (or different disks on the same host), modified
   separately, and then brought up to date by propagating the changes in
   each replica to the other.
—Posted by Adrian Tritschler on 19 Oct 2004 @ 12:25 UTC #

I use Not free, but low cost. Its compiled Python. Scheduled, picks up about 6 directories, creates up to n copies of the backup. Its incremental, I have it writing to CD-RW on my wifes machine. Flat backup, no compression, nice and simple. Just works. Script controlled, I use separate scripts in each directory. Includes and excludes etc etc. HTH DaveP

—Posted by Dave Pawson on 20 Oct 2004 @ 11:40 UTC #

check the tools at

It's all freeware

—Posted by Tsu Dho Nimh on 20 Oct 2004 @ 09:58 UTC #

from nonags I found the free SyncBack v3.2.5. I have tried many programs. This one is rounded, powerful, and easy to use. does ftp backups, too.

—Posted by Dave on 07 Dec 2004 @ 07:20 UTC #

I use ViceVersa. Not free. But very effective.

—Posted by John on 18 Dec 2004 @ 11:32 UTC #

The best free backup utility has to be SyncBack from With many great options this program is perfect for the novice and the expert alike. When a backup is scheduled this utility does a simulation run letting you know if your job will be successful.

—Posted by Jakub Brewinski on 19 Jul 2005 @ 06:09 UTC #

I use Intuitive Backup on Also not free.

—Posted by Ted Fyfield on 13 Sep 2005 @ 03:46 UTC #

BTW, there is also a free version of ViceVersa at

—Posted by Paul on 10 Oct 2005 @ 11:12 UTC #

Thanks to Jakub Brewinski for pointing me to syncback. This is really a neat program..

Martin Olesen

—Posted by Martin on 28 Aug 2006 @ 07:24 UTC #

Synctoy from Microsoft works well, it might be of use to some.

—Posted by Luis on 29 Feb 2008 @ 03:01 UTC #

I have used the PeerSync software in the past for backup of my files and folders. They have a free version of the software that you can download and test. I found this software very good, especially since it provides TRUE real-time continuous backup of files and it is unobtrusive, so I can continue working without even knowing that the software is doing its job :) It made me a very happy camper ;)

Windows Backup and Sync Software - PeerSync

Also I have used the Save-n-Sync software from them as well in the past.. also very good and cheaper (although with less features) File Sync Software - Save-N-Sync

I hope this helps :)

—Posted by Daniela on 17 Jul 2008 @ 03:31 UTC #