Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to copy just what I want from a folder when backing up

  1. #1


    Greece
    Posts : 341
    Win8.1 64bit, Windows 10 TP on VMWare Player

    How to copy just what I want from a folder when backing up


    I want to copy 2 drives as part of a regular backup schedule. One of these has my data files, the other has a VM.

    I already use System Image to copy my C drive. I want to copy these drives separately as this uses less space and is quicker.

    Most of the files that are in the drives do not change between backups. Others are updated, newly created or have been deleted since the last time I did a backup.

    After the first full copy, is there a way I can make an incremental backup of just the changes?

    When I've tried using copy & paste to do this I've been prompted to say if I want to replace a file that already exists (and is exactly the same), but I've also found that if a folder already had a file, and I've since deleted it, it doesn't get deleted when I re-copy the folder the next time.

    From what I've read about File History, I'm not sure if it would recognise that some files have been deleted. A lot of the deleted files are videos and photos so they take up a lot of space. I have them saved elsewhere and don't need (or want) multiple copies.

    Also when I used File History before I had regular problems where it wouldn't recognise the external drive. Frankly it was a pain and I would prefer a solution that doesn't use it.

    I feel sure there is a simple solution, something I'm not doing quite right...

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    For data files you may want to look for a file manager with Folder Sync capability or a dedicated Sync program. For example Total Commander has a folder sync feature. But I don't think there is a way to avoid doing individual deletions. A dedicated sync program may have rules where you can automatically delete files in one folder that don't exist in the other.

    For the system partitions an imaging program with incremental backup saves a lot of time. I use Macrium Reflect Server 6. I have about 75GB used on my C: partition and of course with GPT it has to save the hidden partitions that support it. The first image may take about 45 minutes to produce. After that depending on the changes, the incremental may take from 5 to 20 minutes.

    I would look on the big freeware download sites for a dedicated folder sync. Some may be automatic where they watch the source folder and copy over any changed files or deletions.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    For what you are trying to do. This would be perfect and it's free:
    FreeFileSync | Free backup software to synchronize files and synchronize folders on Windows

    Go to this site and they have examples how to set it up.

    If you have any further question. Please don't hesitate to ask.

    Good luck !!!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Greece
    Posts : 341
    Win8.1 64bit, Windows 10 TP on VMWare Player


    Thank you for your suggestions, @MilesAhead and @topgundcp.

    I will look into these.

    Sorry for taking so long to respond - I haven't been on the site for a few days.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Yes that would also be a File or folder back up most back up programs will do this Macrium Reflect, Acronis others. I also use a program called goodsync put out by the same people that have RoboForm for passwords. I don't use It for backup but just to Sync my notebook to one of my desktops. I have a dataset that I keep updated after trips to the field.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    Quote Originally Posted by Clintlgm View Post
    Yes that would also be a File or folder back up most back up programs will do this Macrium Reflect, Acronis others. I also use a program called goodsync put out by the same people that have RoboForm for passwords. I don't use It for backup but just to Sync my notebook to one of my desktops. I have a dataset that I keep updated after trips to the field.
    I also use goodsync. Freesync would do the same except it's free and have less features than goodsync but for what he's doing, Freesync is good enough
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Another one to try would be EverySync, it is made just for the purpose of synching files.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1 (64-bit)


    I have learn a lot from this community and finally I see a thread where I can contribute!! I have been using SyncBack (Freeware) for the longest possible time. As I see from responses above FreeFileSync has similar functionalities so I will be investigating that s/w as well but till then this little baby has powerful enough features and a less daunting UI than FreeFileSync.

    What I love most about SyncBack is that
    (i) you can seamlessly switch between simple & advanced UI
    (ii) make groups of the jobs and have them run in "unattended mode" or "user supervised" mode (the latter is the default mode)
    (iii) define backup v/s mirror jobs
    (iv) define exclusions by file and/or folder
    (v) restore from a backup when required (e.g. restoring/reformatting your machine)

    EDIT/UPDATE: Found this comparison on GHacks which seems pretty recent and neutral. Other options also mentioned, but what caught my attention was that FreeFileSync is the only sync utility which comes loaded with Adware!
    Last edited by ThakurFamily; 30 May 2015 at 10:45. Reason: Adding a comparison link
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    FreeFileSync is the only sync utility which comes loaded with Adware!
    Not if you pay close attention to each step in the installation and decline all the offers.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Greece
    Posts : 341
    Win8.1 64bit, Windows 10 TP on VMWare Player


    Quote Originally Posted by topgundcp View Post
    FreeFileSync is the only sync utility which comes loaded with Adware!
    Not if you pay close attention to each step in the installation and decline all the offers.
    I have been trying to install FreeFileSync using the link you gave me in a previous post and unfortunately the screen where you are supposed to be able to decline the offer flashes past so fast you can't do anything on it. So while the information says you can decline the offer, in practice I was unable to do this.

    I decided to go ahead with the install, and the PUP was detected by my antimalware program but it also quarantined FreeFileSync. I've now got them to unblock FreeFileSync but still have the issue with not being able to decline the PUP offer .
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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