Posted 9th Feb 2023
Do you just plug your SSD in and copy over files?

If so when you want to backup the following month do you copy from beginning or is there a way the system detects to just copy newly added work?

Hope this makes sense, clearly a technofobe..I have a SanDisk SSD external device in case that makes a difference...many thanks
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  1. Avatar
    I suppose it depends on if you want to backup just a few files or the whole pc....or something in between.

    It maybe overkill for your requirements but maybe have a look at Macrium Reflect Free (the free version of commercial backup software). Ive been using it for about 8 years and I'd highly recommend it to anyone. I think they are withdrawing support for it eventually but its probably good for another couple of years at least. (Its got too many features in it that discourages you from buying the full product!)

    Macrium allows you to take image backups of whole pc's that you would save on your external SSD or a 2nd Hard drive. So that you can restore the whole pc if necessary or just a few selected files. You can either do a full backup or differential backups (changes since the last full backup). I just tend to do a full backup every time... You can also use the software to do hd to ssd moves / or disk replacements for larger sizes

    Each backup is a compressed version of your hard disk file size if you were using 200Gb space on your HD ....each backup would be 130Gb say...depending on the type of files you have...
  2. Avatar
    if you are talking windows then explore the built-in backup software and how to configure it to meet your needs. My personal regime means I only backup my files every month. But I backup to 3 different places. I store my files in MONTH folders. If a file should ever change from one month to the next then yes that file exists twice, say once in the JANUARY folder and once in the FEBRUARY folder if changed in FEBRUARY. And yes I simply copy from one location to another.(I have been let down too many times by built-in and commercial backup software)
    Remember, however you backup do test your restore procedure otherwise backing up will be pointless if restore fails.
  3. Avatar
    you haven't told us what Operating system you are using but lets assume it's Windows 10/11

    If so you want to be using Windows file History (Just click start and type file history)

    I prefer a nice Robocopy script myself with another copy of my data uploading to a couple of cloud services using Syncovery (but thats not free)
  4. Avatar
    Its Windows, but I think you're all a bit ahead of me already...I plug in this external SSD it's quite small, and then copy over the files I want to have a copy of. Kind of like a USB stick. But I don't want to copy over photos every month if nothing has changed...hence wondering if there's something I'm supposed to do to just copy the 'additions' over?
    as a simple option you could.....
    just select all the photos in an explorer window (CTRL+A), then Copy (CTRL+C)
    Paste into an explorer window for the external SSD (CTRL+V)
    and just choose No to All when it asks if you want to overwrite duplicates.

    A robocopy script would do it with more finesse but you'll have to do a little studying for that though ;-)
  5. Avatar
    Technically that's not a backup - that's just transferring data from one device to another.
    You can choose to do it manually - this is why it's not considered a backup up as you can over write files or accidently delete them. I'll assume you are using Windows. There are many tools (many free ones!) and there is even a backup solution built in to Windows that you can configure to automate the process. What solution you go for depends on how much you value your time and your data.
    There are plenty of cloud based solutions and this is a slightly better option than using an external hard drive. Why? Well hard drives can be lost, damaged, stolen, run out of storage, etc....
    Sadly for me DVDs no longer cut it and Blurays are too slow & expensive, I did use tapes, but again too slow and limited capacity. I use cloud storage for all my pictures and make multiple copies shared across my family's machines. I also have a few hard drives which reminds me I need to take them out of the bank as it costs me a small fortune now (it used to be £30/year for a safety deposit box, it's seems it's about £30/month now!)
    The way to approach your data backups is to ask yourself - how important is that data and if your house burnt down would you be able to recover your data?
    My mate laughed at me about that last one as he smugly told me all of pictures where in the cloud - he lost his phone and couldn't recall his passwords so he lost access to all his pictures, something worth remembering!
    Of course it is technically a backup as in having a copy of the data stored elsewhere. Your point of there being differing degrees and levels of resilience offered for different failures is valid but doesn't make it any more technically not a backup.

    @OP check this post as I chucked in a simple powershell script for someone wanting to dump files in a folder and then sort them into folders based on month automatically - you could do same thing and then two statements to 1) list of all files on target backupdrive and then 2) copy over any not already existing on target

    Quickly Sorting Photos in Windows? | hotukdeals

    If really important though am with ALV426 in that cloud services offer viable offsite solutions that cater for the worse extreme failures possible (edited)
  6. Avatar
    Anonymous User
    I used to use FreeFileSync - - which provides a GUI to select the source and destination folders. Once you run the backup process it will sync the files so only updates new files rather than trying to copy everything over. Multiple OS support to.

    I don't create many offline files any more, so just manually copy them nowadays. (Plus I stopped using Windows as my main machine a long time ago)
    Syncing makes a poor backup though, since any errors get copied across as soon as the sync happens and the good copies get deleted.

    I'm not familiar with that program so it may have good backup options as well, but generally I wouldn't recommend a sync function for backup purposes.
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