March 1, 2011 9:53 AM   Subscribe

File backup question for my husband - looking for an easy way to back up a set of files in windows, preferably to a network drive.

His question to me was as follows: "I want to setup an automated backup of some files. Can you see if there is a semi easy way to make windows do it? If not then maybe find some software that does it."

So, hivemind, any ideas how to go about this? We'd like it if we could automate the backups to upload to a network drive, and preferably do so as unobtrusively as possible.

Bonus points if you know a way to get this to upload to a networked OSX server.
posted by strixus to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: How big are the files? Dropbox will do 2gb for free, and it super easy to use and sync between computers - and will sync over the LAN as well. Just save the files in the Dropbox folder, and they get backed up to the cloud and to any other computers that sync with the account.
posted by backwards guitar at 9:58 AM on March 1, 2011

Best answer: With a free dropbox account, all you need to do is choose the folder with up to 2GB of files you want automatically backed. Then, just do the opposite on the Mac Server.

Dropbox is free for 2GB, cross platform, and easily upgradeable and configurable.
posted by now i'm piste at 9:59 AM on March 1, 2011

Or, if the Mac server & the PC are on the same LAN you could rig up an Automator script. On the PC side of things, a simple batch or perl script wouldn't be too hard to create.

If any of this makes your eyes glaze over, a web-based resource like Dropbox, Mozy, or Carbonite makes a heck of a lot of sense.
posted by now i'm piste at 10:05 AM on March 1, 2011

I use Acronis True image 2011 for my primary laptop and another netbook and it has worked well for me. I have it scheduled to back up my computers every other day to one of two Nas that are on the home network. For my wife's mac I use Time Machine, which while not as comprehensive as the Acronis/Windows 7 option suits our needs well enough. In the past when more of our computers were macs I have successfully used Retrospect, but I have heard many poor reviews of the more recent versions of it, so YMMV. Good luck.
posted by chosemerveilleux at 10:09 AM on March 1, 2011

Like chosemerveilleux I previously used Retrospect and switched to True Image. They are both more suited for a full backup scheme where you want to backup a large drive or otherwise do more than what you can with a simple app or script. As long as you set up the network drive as a standard network drive in Windows it should work (right now I'm having True Image backup to an Ubuntu server samba drive).

If you don't need something that heavy-duty, you could try the free SyncToy app from Microsoft.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:13 AM on March 1, 2011

Goodsync is a very good, very inexpensive way to synchronize files between two locations, including to a network drive. It can be set to run automatically every so often, and it will just copy the files that have been changed to your backup location.

It can also keep copies of files it overwrites, so you can do neat things like have several previous versions of a file stored in your backup location as well which can be nice if you screw something up.
posted by Diplodocus at 10:18 AM on March 1, 2011

After using MS SyncToy for a long time, it started to do wonky things to me on Windows 7. I switched to the free tool SyncBack

I backup 2 1 terrabyte drives a night to a network drive. It works great, I've had no issues.
posted by patrad at 10:24 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

No need for third-party solutions. Windows has a built in backup agent in Windows7. Just type backup into the search box and run through the wizard. Its not very difficult, assuming you have your network or external drive already setup.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:00 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

I use CrashPlan.
posted by cmm at 11:01 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Karens Replicator meets all your requirements and is free, simple & reliable.
posted by dirm at 8:05 PM on March 1, 2011

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