Free backup software for rotating external hard drives?

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Mike
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I have a customer who has two external hard drives they'd like to use for backing up, connecting one at a time to rotate them off-site. I know I've used paid software for this in the past and it's built-in for Windows Server, but was wondering if there was a free option these days for workstations. Thanks!
 

etaf

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i have not seen few versions for making more than 1 drive - but a little out of date myself - A lot of the free software I tried for clients (when i had them years ago) only supported 1 drive and then you had to pay to do more drives
Second copy has been my main goto for automated data backups - but not free, as well as idrive for online, again not free
Although I'm sure more software is following apple timemachine now, which is free and can be used on a number of different drives
 

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Thanks for the reply! How about I change my requirement from "free" to "affordable"? ;)
 

etaf

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i like secondcopy as it was automated , incremental , and reasonably easy to setup , using a profile - BUT its only the data that is backed up not the operating system, you may want image copy software if in a commercial setting - mine was all home users
 

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Mike
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Does Second Copy support having multiple rotated drives? I don't see that on their page, but maybe they call it something different.
 

etaf

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you can setup a profile for each dataset and drive - so i tend to suggest one drive is kept in the PC or put in regularly and then less frequesntly change the 2nd drive over an allow to update , then remove and store away from home
but do remember , i'm dealing with the home user.
That way , they can have a rotation of say once a week and only risk losing a weeks data

I set the drive ID to "P" and "S" usually - no reason and then also set the settings to use the Name Label of the drive

sort of emulating apple timemachine (or also use windows filehistory - but rumers are they are removing that ) for 1 hour copy and then a weekly backup

It then works automatically and picks the drive up when connected - although does report an error when one of the drive is not installed.
 

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Being a home user, no commercial aspects, if I understand what you want correctly, I give the same drive letter to two external drives. They are never attached at the same time.
I use 2BrightSparks 'SyncBack (Free in my case)' and set it to automatically backup data to drive 'x' on a schedule.

https://www.2brightsparks.com/

This paid version might be what you're looking for if I understand your need.

https://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/sbpro.html


Is that the idea you're looking for?
 
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I have used backup software, but you are relying on the program to make successful backups and recovering. Backup software will store all the data in one file which is a proprietary format. I only use the copy command for backups because I have been burnt in the past using backup software. Windows 7 has robocopy that makes copying files efficient. It only copies the file that is different than the destination. It's a Windows program of rsync. I wrote a batch script that backups the valuable directories on my C drive to another drive to my secondary drive or M. Then my secondary drive gets back up using robocopy to another drive that is an alternative drive or backup drive that is mounted on some directory on the C drive. I can put the drive in any computer and I will have access to the data. The only software that I have to rely on is the operating system that supports NTFS. There is Windows 7 and up and Linux that supports NTFS. I run the batch script every morning, I'm not changing drive failure of either SSD or HDD. I call this hot backup method.

I'm a home user, so I don't require what business need like revisions. I make my own revisions of my files when necessary.

This may seem like a refresher. I suggest try out any backup software for a year before recommending any to your customer. If you don't feel comfortable putting your name on any backup software, don't recommend it. I recommend writing a batch script to do the backup with robocopy.
 

etaf

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I have used backup software, but you are relying on the program to make successful backups and recovering. Backup software will store all the data in one file which is a proprietary format.
i have also had issued when versions of the software have changed with a single file encapsulated backup, thats why i use secondcopy , s it just copies the files .
you can also set the profile to keep versions of the files - so upto 10 versions I think

you get a free 30days i think with second copy to try out the full version
 
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