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Uses Robocopy For Mirroring Backup On USB Hard Disk

One-way file synchronization or mirroring is a process to backup new or changed files from source to destination and delete those files that no longer exist in the source. The closer analogy would be thinking of file sync as an offline RAID-1 disk mirroring.

The mirroring backup provides simple and efficient strategy, especially to most home users who don’t run computer with RAID-1 disk configuration, to easily create a duplicate set of data files on PC / laptop to the portable USB hard disk for safe keeping.

Features:
  • As only the new or changed files are copied from PC / laptop to USB drive, mirroring backup is fast and efficient;
     
  • Files that are no longer exist in the PC / laptop are deleted from the USB drive, so the backup destination will always sync to the backup source (theoretically is 100% identical if there are no changes on the source from start to end of the mirroring backup process). And thus, there is very little wastage of backup storage space.

That is my preferable way to backup data on laptop and PC to the USB hard disk drives on daily basis. In Windows 7, I kinda like the robust, bundled robocopy program, the Windows command-line mirroring software (as mentioned in my earlier post).

For example, this sample allows me to sync files in C:\WBkp (laptop) to G:\WalkerBkp (Seagate FreeAgent Go portable drive) using the /MIR option switch:
robocopy C:\WBkp G:\WalkerBkp /MIR /EFSRAW /ZB /R:3 /V /FP /LOG:D:\sync.log /TEE

The /EFSRAW instructs robocopy to copy all encrypted files in EFS RAW mode (if you do use Encrypting File System to secure data).

Although robocopy available in some earlier Windows releases, the Windows 7 version of robocopy supports multi-threaded copy option if using /MT switch without specifying /EFSRAW or /IPG.

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  1. Michael 25-09-10@22:48

    Kind of what I’m doing for my external drive, but I go a step further.
    See http://www.heardnothing.com/windows-backup-strategy/

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