View Full Version : Freeware and Easy to use backup software recommendations?

March 1st, 2008, 07:58 AM
Hi All,

I'm using TRS 04 and want to back up my downloads folder. Usually, I just copy the folder (along with the maps folder) and paste it my external HD but my downloads folder is now over 20 gigs :eek: :hehe: and backing up takes a long long long long time to do (even to get the process going it takes over 5 minutes! @@ ). Plus, considering the size of the entire folder, the changes I make even on a monthly basis aren't that many so I wish there was an easier way to backup my files...

I was wondering if any of you would be so kind as to recommend a good, easy to use, freeware backup program.

Any input would be highly appreciated!


Gisa ^^

March 1st, 2008, 10:11 AM
If you have windows XP pro, then there is a program called ntbackup that will do the job for you. Basically, you can start off by backing up the whole folder to your external hard drive, and then next time you run the program, you can tell the program only to back up the files that have been changed. You can then restore all the files IF anything goes wrong, right up until the last backup time with no changes.

If you have XP home, then PM me your email address and I will send you a .txt file with where to get the program from.

March 1st, 2008, 01:14 PM
Hi Mr. Collins? :)

Thank you for your kind reply but unfortunately I am using windows 2000 for the time being (the next time I upgrade computers will probably be a year from now and then I will probably go with Vista [and hopefully they'll have all the bugs worked out by then ^^ ]).


Gisa ^^

March 1st, 2008, 02:46 PM
I use Bounceback. I think it was free, or at least cheap. I BU to a 160G seagate external USB drive. The good thing is that it backs up everything. The next time it just compares the files and backs up the changes.
A side benefit is that it basically clones your C drive so, files are executable from the BU drive. I've found that Trainz loads/runs much faster & better when run from the external Bu drive.
Hope this helps

I think there is a free version also...

March 1st, 2008, 02:50 PM
If you have a Seagate or Maxtor hard drive you might be able to use DiskWizard which is a free cut down version of Acronis True Image Backup.


March 1st, 2008, 03:36 PM
Thanks for the input guys!

I looked for "bounceback freeware download" on google and found nada (just a trial version) so that means I can't use that (although that type of program does sound neat). I've seen several freeware programs but I was hoping to find one that was intuitive, easy to use and that could do what I need it to do (and save me a days worth of downloading, testing, learning, etc...).

At the moment, I use Nero Ghost to backup my partitions, which is great (I just back up c: as that is the most important part for me). I have trains on my h: partition but the problem is, it's a 68 gig partition so to make a back up of that would require a lot more space than I currently have available, even if I were to use it on maximum compression settings.

More input is always appreciated! :)

Gisa ^^

March 1st, 2008, 03:58 PM
Sorry to double post gentlemen, but I think I've found what I need.


It's a very simple freeware backup program (you can get it at the link above). It's very intuitive and what's best is that you can set it to update only that which is new (which means backing up will be much easier and faster for me now :) ). It does not seem CPU intensive either so it's good for when you are multitasking or doing other things (and you can set it's priority to high or low depending on what you are doing at the time).

I will post this in the tips and tricks thread...

Again, thanks for your help, input and advice guys! :cool:


Gisa ^^

March 1st, 2008, 04:28 PM
I will probably go with Vista [and hopefully they'll have all the bugs worked out by then

Few people in the know in the industry think that Vista will have a particularly long life. Rather like Windows 2000, Vista is designed to earn revenue - the entry level versons of Vista (Home Basic, Home Premium etc.) are little more that XP with a pretty face (or, at least, a lot more makeup).

The workstation versions of Vista do include significant kernel restructure and security enhancements, and the retail price reflects this.

Those who jumped on the Vista bandwagon early are shipping out their old copies of XP and you should be able to pick up a copy quite cheaply. Do it now rather than later - Microsoft will withdraw support of XP quite soon, but third party and end-user support will continue and has always been superior anyway.

On the question of backup software - my experience is that (free or commercial) it is either unreliable, overfeatured or underfeatured. After 25 years playing with PCs, I'm still backing up manually :).

March 2nd, 2008, 02:36 AM
Glad to hear that you've got it sorted!

There's no need to call me Mr. Collins, it's actually collinsl (that's with an L), or Lloyd if you prefer.:)

March 2nd, 2008, 06:23 AM
Interesting viewpoint B9k9wiki. Still, I hear lots of grumbles and groans from people who use Vista. I'll consider upgrading to that when it comes time to rebuild/upgrade my current machine (as I'm only using a gig of memory anyhow). My fiancee and are thinking of getting a decent laptop (I'll be doing some travelling in the near future and need a laptop to do my studies) which will most likely have Vista, so I'll get a better sense of it there. I can't really complain about win2k at all but like all die hard trainzers, I'm trying to get the most out of what I have and make trainz run as fast as it can. :)

As for my backup, well it took well over half an hour (I guess that's not bad for 20 or so gigs) but I think subsequent backups will be quicker (long story short, I just copied from a to b at this point as I made a mistake copying it the first time around). Plus, I liked how it didn't seem to slow the computer down as much as the default cut and paste that windows does.

As this forum is renoun for being very friendly, how about I call you Lloyd and you call me Mark then? :)


Gisa ^^

March 2nd, 2008, 07:04 AM
Sounds great!
You are now officially the first person on my buddy list, Mark!

March 2nd, 2008, 07:22 AM
Another thought regarding backups - unless you've got an astronomical amount of data it might be worth considering using a rotating set of USB memory keys (also called flash drives).


March 2nd, 2008, 11:23 AM
I added you too Lloyd. :)


Gisa ^^

March 3rd, 2008, 09:56 AM

I PM'd you.


March 3rd, 2008, 10:50 AM
Mr. J,

I pm'd you back. :P :D

Gisa ^^

March 4th, 2008, 12:02 AM
.........I think I've found what I need.


Gisa ^^

Hey, you're right!

This program just does the bizness and doesn't confuse me! The ability to backup only stuff that has been added or changed will mean I can afford to backup after every new session at the DLS. Just what I need also. Thanks for the heads-up!


March 4th, 2008, 09:48 AM
Hi Dean!

I'm glad to hear my discovery has inspired someone else. :) I haven't tried backing up after the first original, but I honestly don't think it'd take as long as the original which for me, is a big deal at about 45 mins per backup. Any time saved there is worth it as far as I'm concerned.

Regardless, it has been my pleasure. :)


Gisa ^^

March 4th, 2008, 03:05 PM
Looks like it would be just the ticket, but I see that Vista isn't listed. Has anyone been brave enough to try?

March 5th, 2008, 04:29 AM

Even after the first backup, it still needs to run through and compare all files to see if any have changed, so this can take some time. But for me, the second run was only like 10 minutes compared to the original 45 minutes because there is far less file copying to do.


Vista compatibility was mentioned in the Help file as an issue that had been addressed in version 1.4 (BTW, I wonder what happened to version 1.2?)

Recent changes


Backing up a folder will now recreate that same folder name inside the destination folder.
(Users of previous versions may need to edit their backup destinations to account for this change)
See here (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Solway's%20Plain%20Backup/solplainbackup_help.html#folders) for more information.v1.4

Better support for Vista.
The backup settings file "backupdata.ini" is now stored in the user's application data folder. The exact location of this file is listed in the "About" dialog.v1.3

Added ability to automate via the command line.v1.1

First public release.

March 5th, 2008, 04:48 AM
I use Allway sync and a 500 gb extern backupdisk