Using Dos for backup?

  Housten 14:02 20 Apr 2011

Good afternoon, Everyone,

This is my second attempt at posting, so the site seems to be having some problems, again!

I am hoping someone will be able to tell me that what I am asking is either possible OR – as I think – impossible. I have been retired for just over 3 years now and am starting – it would appear - the early stages of Alzheimer’s. So please excuse me if I tend to wander a little. What I wish to do is to backup of my computer ( say ) once a month with a full backup and do incremental backups in between. I have been trying various programmes and have not had a lot of success. Then I remembered about Dos and how I used to use a few Batch files. I am fairly confident that I can do a full backup using ‘XCOPY’ – unless someone knows differently!! What I don’t know/can’t remember is if there is a DOS instruction that will copy additional/changed files and if someone can’t tell me whether or not there is such an instruction – and if there is, what it is – I would be very grateful. Many thanks in anticipation of any replies.

  Diemmess 15:11 20 Apr 2011

There's very little to be done in DOS these days that cant be done with suitable small programs.

Some time ago I asked here about batch files and the idea I picked up then was to use a neat freebie called EZBackitup. (There are others that do the same thing) This is the way I do what you might consider to keep everything backed up.

My Windows System files in fact the whole of C: drive is backed up using Acronis.

Not free, but very reliable and simple if you want a safe backup-restore system. If all data is kept away from drive C: then Acronis will accomplish the task more quickly.

EZBackitup will take care of the rest. When running it allows you to select exactly what you want to back up where it is saved. You can modify the behaviour - whether to overwrite delete or ignore older files and to save all this selection under a 'name.' When you want to use EZB, you open the application and click on the green tick. I backup data whenever I choose.

I try and remember to use Acronis about weekly, or sooner if I am making some significant change in the OS which might go sour, in which case the most recent Acronis file will have me safely out of the mess in about 15 minutes.

The destination could be anther HD internal or external or even a partition on your internal HD its a matter of your choice, just remember that if the Primary HD refuses to spin up one day, it is no use having your data backed up on a partiton of that disk.

Lastly though EZBackitup makes accessible copies, which can be read or copied at any time, Acronis when used to restore a crashed OS, would overwrite everything on the target, so that backup file must be saved on another drive and no the one that is being backed up.

  Housten 15:42 20 Apr 2011


Many thanks for your reply. Yes, I have a LaCie 500GB USB external HD, and this is what I use for my backups. You have provided me with something I had, simply, never thought of - using two different programmes!! I have been concentrating on only using the one programme and none of these have really worked out, but your use of EZBackitup has certainly made me sit up and I will definitely consider/investigate using it. My only query - at least at the moment - is : How do you decide what EZB should backup if Acronis has done the full backup? Do you get it to backup files after a certain date, or what??

Anyway, many, many thanks for your reply and any further information you may be able to supply me will be most warmly received.

  David4637 15:53 20 Apr 2011

YOU MUST USE ACRONIS, the only good way to backup of the OS. David

  Diemmess 16:29 20 Apr 2011

Being a trifle erratic I can only say what I do and leave the decisions to you. Acronis is a thorough way of system restore because reboots into its own language and windows is not active. Even on Backing up it somehow freezes Windows as if the system were at rest. (For normal use of a PC the system is dynamic and cut and paste methods of restoration are doomed to failure.) Personally I'm not at ease with some of its fancier facilities

EZB operates on a simpler level and once set up is very fast. If some of the data files are on C: there's no harm in copying these in spite of an existing Acronis file. I confess to feeling more at home with this, probably because of its Explorer type window and the possibility of setting it exactly how I want it to work

  robin_x 16:39 20 Apr 2011

Notes on backing up....

Backups usually mean your important files. Documents, photos, music, movies etc.

System Images (also referred to as System backups) contain everything on your disc. They are very useful since your computer can be rebuilt exactly, with Windows, boot files and all your data, if the hard drive fails or a virus corrupts your disc.

It is usual to make a System Image and keep it on your external drive, out of harms way.

Acronis can do this very well. But so can several other free programs such as Macrium Reflect Free and EASEUS Todo Backup. Paragon can do incremental (differential) backups but I don't like it so much.

I don't know EZB above but it sounds like a good recommendation as well.

Click here

But I always use Images and almost never backups. They usually take up to 60 mins for me and I prefer not to use them incrementally.

All these image programs allow you to make a boot CD so if your PC is corrupted you boot the CD and restore your image from the external drive.

If you only want a file or a folder restored, you 'Mount' an image and it appears in Explorer and you browse to what you want and make a fresh copy back to your main drive.

Note: If you have tens of thousands of photos or music tracks or many movies, System Images can be very big. You may have space problems on the external drive.

Try an image and see what size it wants to save as. Mine run at about 60-70GB (movies excluded) and I keep two full images on a 500GB drive neither more than a few days or a week old (when I remember)

  woodchip 17:07 20 Apr 2011

As well as the Above, there is no Dos in New Windows since XP. If you wanted Dos you would have to load it to a separate Partition, and dual boot it. Dos used very small programs and was a lot more efficient than today's programs

PS You would have to running Win98 or Win ME for to use Dos as Windows was built on the top of Dos

  Housten 16:37 21 Apr 2011

Good Afternoon, I would like to thank everyone who has posted on here. I did download Acronis True Home Image and have tried it. I have another post with regard to the horror show I had over last weekend, so after downloading and trying out ATHI I found my computer wouldn't shut down on Monday night!! I will delete my installation and re-try over this coming weekend, but if it is the same result I will definitely just bin it. I will also be trying EZB to see how that runs, because a problem I have had is that I instructed it to backup my Windows 7 partition, but in its infinite wisdom ATHI decided it would backup not only the Windows 7 partition but also the Vista partition!! This took a lot longer than I thought and, initially, I couldn't understand why. It was only on investigating my external HD that the explanation became obvious. As I said if ATHI doesn't work, I will see if EZB works as inferred. ALL I want is a main backup once a month and incrementals in between which is apparently far, far too much for some firms to get hold of. Heigh HO! Another weekend of hair pulling and other things, I hope not. To everyone - Have a very happy Easter.

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