Author Topic: "Second Copy" Backup Software  (Read 5787 times)

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Offline Dan Clark

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"Second Copy" Backup Software
« on: February 20, 2008, 10:52 PM »
Hi.  I just got a tip from another site about some backup software called Second Copy.  I just downloaded it and am trying it out (they have an eval version). 

Unlike most of the complex, sophisticated software, this software is seems to be focused on simply copying changed files to a local backup drive or a FTP site.   It can copy the changed files as soon as they change or at regular intervals.  I.e. when a file changes or a new file gets created, it's gets flagged for copying to the backup folder.  It's got scheduled or instantaneous backups, backups to zip files, and a bunch of options.     

I'm still learning how to use it, but so far I like it a lot.   It helps take away that fear that a drive will go bad or I delete a file.     It's $30 for a single 'puter.   Here's the site: http://www.secondcopy.com/index.html.  Below is a screen shot of the main window.

Regards,

Dan.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 10:59 PM by Dan Clark »

Offline Dave Ronyak

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  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2008, 09:05 AM »
Thanks, Dan.  You're timing couldn't be much better for me.  I'm facing a changeout of my work PC because the lease is up, and the last time the IT pros changed it out there occurred many unexpected problems which resulted in a replacement PC with many of my files missing and some returned in encrypted form for which they never found the key.  As Murphy's Law would have it, just as they dumped the contents of my PC onto a network server, unanticipated problems occurred with the network and that server.  Also, I have never backed up my home PC.  Last week I took the first step by buying an external backup drive, but haven't removed it from the packaging yet.  Maybe this weekend.

Dave R.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline Daviddubya

  • Posts: 704
  • Arizona, USA
Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2008, 09:53 AM »
Backing up is a good thing.  For folks that run Windows and don't want to use backup software for some reason, there is an easy way.  Buy one of those inexpensive "thumb" (USB) drives.  Copy everything in My Documents to the thumb drive once a month, or more often if you have the discipline.  Just about everything you need backed up is in My Documents.  You can also use a writeable CD or DVD as alternate backup media.
David W. Falkenstein
in Cave Creek, AZ, USA

Offline David Gage

  • Posts: 13
Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2008, 10:53 AM »
I am not as familiar with Second Copy but there is also SyncBack (http://www.2brightsparks.com) of which there is a free version and a full featured $30 version.  Microsoft also has a free tool called SyncToy.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=E0FC1154-C975-4814-9649-CCE41AF06EB7&displaylang=en
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=c26efa36-98e0-4ee9-a7c5-98d0592d8c52&DisplayLang=en

Finally, if you want to look at something a little more full featured, especially for those of you with multiple computers in the house or a small business, I would strongly recommend a Windows Home Server.  http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/windowshomeserver/default.mspx
Windows Home Server handles backups automatically, ensures computers have up to date antivirus, shares files, etc.  I have been using it since it was in beta and it has been outstanding for my family and I.  It is not separate software, it is meant to be purchased from a company such as HP as a complete hardware/software solution.  And while it is called Windows Home Server, it has actually been well received in small businesses (software limits backup to 10 computers) by those that understand what it is truly capable of.

Disclosure: I work for Microsoft as a consultant.  My thoughts are that some of our products are very good and others not so much.  Windows Home Server is one of the best solutions I think Microsoft offers.  It does not try to be all things to all people but what it does it does very well.

David

Offline Dan Clark

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Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2008, 11:49 AM »
Backing up is a good thing.  For folks that run Windows and don't want to use backup software for some reason, there is an easy way.  Buy one of those inexpensive "thumb" (USB) drives.  Copy everything in My Documents to the thumb drive once a month, or more often if you have the discipline.  Just about everything you need backed up is in My Documents.  You can also use a writeable CD or DVD as alternate backup media.
If you are a good structured person, copying files to a thumb-drive will work well.   If you're a fuzzy-brained guy like me, well...  Fuggetaboutit!   It ain't gonna happen!

I have a thumb drive, four disk drives on this computer, and all of my computers are networked.  All of my computers have a DVD writer, and my server has two CDs AND a DVD writer.  I.e., there is NOTHING to prevent me from copying files.  It's extremely easy. 

Sadly, I'm always too busy and always have other things going on.   That's what is nice about backup software - it does its thing and I don't have to worry about it.

Besides my laziness, another limitation of consistently copying files to a backup drive (I do it all the time) is that you need to copy ALL the files to ensure you get the ones that have changed.   If you have a few files in a single folder, it's easy to copy the ones you've changed.  If you have thousands of files in multiple sub-folders (my situation), it's too much hassle to figure out which ones you've changed.   

What's nice about this backup software is that it copies only the changed files.  I don't have to worry about that.

I thought about this more since last night.   I set up a dual-layer backup copy system:

Intraday Backup - The intraday backup runs every 2 hours and checks for changed files.  It then copies the changed files to the backup drive on my workstation.   

Daily Emergency Backup - The daily "emergency" backup runs runs each day at 4:00 am and copies changed files from my workstation backup folders to my emergency backup folders on my server.   

It took me about 10 minutes to set up the software and configure my first intraday backup.   And about 5 more minutes to set up the other two (I have a total of three backups copying files from three locations to a single backup location).   This morning, I modified the intraday backups and added the daily emergency backup in about 10 minutes total.   

Since there are 49,624 files (10.2 Gb) in my workstation document and important file folders, the initial copy from the workstation backup folders to the server emergency backup folders took about 20 minutes.   

As a test, I created a new file and copied it to "My Documents".  Then I manually ran the intraday backup and the daily emergency backup.   Each took less than 5 seconds.     

One hint - There is a "Preview" option that allows you to preview files before they are copied to the backup folder.  For copy jobs that are run automatically, do NOT select this option.

This sums up my "review" of Second Copy.  I can't compare it to other software.   However, IMO, it is MUCH better and safer than copying files manually.  I LIKE it and am spending the princely sum of $30 to buy it.   

Regards,

Dan.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2008, 11:52 AM by Dan Clark »

Offline Daviddubya

  • Posts: 704
  • Arizona, USA
Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2008, 12:18 PM »
Dan - Automatic is better.  And $30 is reasonable, especially for Festool folks.  I use Roxio Easy Media Creator which has a Backup feature that works like Second Copy for periodic or scheduled backups.
David W. Falkenstein
in Cave Creek, AZ, USA

Offline Matthew Schenker

  • Posts: 2619
Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2008, 02:11 PM »
Dan,
I searched for a long time to find a good backup utlity, and I settled on a great little application called "Cobian."  It's got an easy interface for setting the specific folders you want to back up, where to back them up, and how often to do the backups.

Even better -- it's free, part of the amazing open-source community.  It's loosely associated with Mozilla developers.

Here's a link for those who are interested: http://www.educ.umu.se/~cobian/cobianbackup.htm

Matthew
« Last Edit: February 21, 2008, 02:11 PM by Matthew Schenker »
FOG Designer and Creator

Offline Eli

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  • A Yankee in Kangaroo Court
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Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2008, 03:16 PM »
How about the Mac people? Anybody use Sync to update an online Mac account or some other solution? I've never bothered, but we now have so many irreplaceable photos.....
Do nothing, stay ahead.

Offline Timmy C

  • Posts: 462
Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2008, 03:21 PM »
Backing Up The Back Up:

Dan,

I am backing up the portable "My Book" ... aka...backing up the back up.  The "book" is FAT32.  Will the Second Copy software back-up FAT32 formatted information?  I took a look at the site, and the software looks pretty slick...I may have to jump on the bandwagon there.

Timmy

Offline Dave Rudy

  • Posts: 771
  • Coloroda Front Range, in the lee of Pikes Peak
Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2008, 04:40 PM »
How about the Mac people? Anybody use Sync to update an online Mac account or some other solution? I've never bothered, but we now have so many irreplaceable photos.....

Good thought but since Macs never crash, we don't have to think about quite as much.  :D :D ;)

Offline Dan Clark

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Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2008, 05:18 PM »
Dan,
I searched for a long time to find a good backup utlity, and I settled on a great little application called "Cobian."  It's got an easy interface for setting the specific folders you want to back up, where to back them up, and how often to do the backups.

Even better -- it's free, part of the amazing open-source community.  It's loosely associated with Mozilla developers.

Here's a link for those who are interested: http://www.educ.umu.se/~cobian/cobianbackup.htm

Matthew
Matthew,

I look a look at Cobian.  It looks like it's nice app. And it looks like Cobian and Second Copy have similar features.  It would be very difficult to compare them unless you spent a lot of time delving into each to know its benefits and limitations.   

There is one set of features that Second Copy has the Cobian does not.  Or at least according to the developer.   In the Cobian docs is says:
Quote
Well, let me tell you: A BACKUP PROGRAM IS NOT A MIRRORING PROGRAM, and mirroring is a very dangerous feature in a backup program.
It looks like the developer has some strong opinions about that.   

Second Copy has several modes that seem pretty flexible:
- Simple copy to backup
- Exact copy to backup (delete obsolete files in backup)
- Move files to backup (then delete source files)
- Synchronze Source and backup.   (Two-way sychronization - Mirroring.)

I'm not sure if I'll use any of these modes, but it's nice to have them available.   

Regards,

Dan.

Offline Dan Clark

  • Posts: 545
    • talkFestool
Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2008, 05:20 PM »
Backing Up The Back Up:

Dan,

I am backing up the portable "My Book" ... aka...backing up the back up.  The "book" is FAT32.  Will the Second Copy software back-up FAT32 formatted information?  I took a look at the site, and the software looks pretty slick...I may have to jump on the bandwagon there.

Timmy
Timmy,

I'm don't know about that, but I've worked with NTFS, Fat32 and Fat16.   I've never had problems copying files from one to the other.   

The best way to answer that is to download the 30-day eval copy.   Hey, that's a novel idea.   A 30 day return policy.   You guys ought to consider adopting that!   ;D

Dan.

Offline Dan Clark

  • Posts: 545
    • talkFestool
Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2008, 05:46 PM »
Dan - Automatic is better.  And $30 is reasonable, especially for Festool folks.  I use Roxio Easy Media Creator which has a Backup feature that works like Second Copy for periodic or scheduled backups.
David,

I have a copy of that Roxio software filed some place, but not installed on my new workstation.  I'll take a look. 

Thanks,

Dan.

Offline Scott W.

  • Posts: 333
Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2008, 06:16 PM »
How about the Mac people? Anybody use Sync to update an online Mac account or some other solution? I've never bothered, but we now have so many irreplaceable photos.....

Eli,

Mac OS X 10.5 has an automatic backup system built in it's called Time Machine & it is slick!  I have over 2 TB of data on a Mac network & it works flawlessly.
TimeMachine

They also have a wireless drive that works with it (not big enough for my purposes) that allows Time Machine to back up all the Mac's on the wireless network


Scott W.
PA, USA

Offline TomCrawford

  • Posts: 47
Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2008, 10:29 PM »
I agree with Scott, Time Machine is an excellent back up option for MAC users.   I've used several back up systems over the years - my first "PC" was an Apple II - for both for MAC and Microsoft OS's.  I think Time Machine is about the best I've seen.  I've not looked at the current version of Second Copy but I did use versions 1 & 2 and thought it they were very good.
Tom Crawford
Selma, Oregon

Offline Dave Ronyak

  • Posts: 2234
  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2008, 11:17 PM »
Dan - Automatic is better.  And $30 is reasonable, especially for Festool folks.  I use Roxio Easy Media Creator which has a Backup feature that works like Second Copy for periodic or scheduled backups.


David,

My Dell PC came with Roxio.  The only person who ever used it was my daughter who downloaded songs from iTunes then created some CDs to use in teaching a music class.  After she did that, that Dell PC had some problems.  So I have stayed away from Roxio.  Of course, anyone who knows me, knows also that my mere presence can mess up nearly any PC.  Dan C. already knows that, and I thank him for his efforts to help me.  The backup package I purchased is SimpleTech's Portable Hard Drive, 160 GB, USB 2.0 or 1.1 port, and allegedly compatible with with Windows Me/2000/XP/Vista and Mac OSX and includes the needed utility with complete or selective backup, restore and synchonization, up to 256 bit encryption, file compression and storage/synch of up to 20 copies of any file.  I hope to try it this weekend.

Does anyone have a recommendation on transferring (transcribing?) files that were created using Microsoft's Outlook?  I have many emails, including many from FOG members on my company PC that I need to move off before my company replaces that machine with  new one.  These files are not currently backed up anywhere.  They currenly carry MS's .pst extensions.  I asked one of the IT staff at my company for a recommendation, and all he could think of was to open and copy each one into a different format and save it as a different file.  He said that if I backed up a collection of Outlook emails without taking this step, I would end up with a single file, e.g. html with the content of all of those emails.  He said that only Microsoft's Outlook software could keep them partitioned as individual emails.  Surely there must be a better solution than buying a copy of Outlook to do this.  I also have captured a lot of emails and other threads from the original FOG posts when it was hosted on Yahoo.  I know I did not move over any of my old posts, and wonder how many others have.  I'd like to be able to browse through them later and hopefully update / consolidate those I have posted on this forum.

Dave R.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline David Gage

  • Posts: 13
Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2008, 10:44 PM »
Quote
Does anyone have a recommendation on transferring (transcribing?) files that were created using Microsoft's Outlook? 

I recently downloaded MessageSave and am currently testing it.  This should take care of what you are trying to do.
http://www.techhit.com/messagesave/

David

Offline Ned

  • Posts: 1147
Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2008, 11:31 PM »
,,,
Does anyone have a recommendation on transferring (transcribing?) files that were created using Microsoft's Outlook? 

Maybe this will help.

First, there are two MS Outlooks--the business-oriented one and the personal Outlook Express.  I assume you've got the business one.

It's not clear to me whether you just want to pull the messages off, or move to a different email client.

Eudora, formerly a commercial product now headed for open-source, claims to be able to import Outlook messages.  See Eudora Import Tutorial.  I used Eudora for years and was pleased with it.  A sponsored mode Eudora is still available for free download.  Even if you don't use it as an email client, a successful import will get your messages out of the clutches of Microsoft while still in a machine-readable form.

My email client, The Bat!, can import Outlook Express messages.  For Outlook, they recommend
Quote
To import from Microsoft Outlook, first export the messages to Outlook Express format. You can then import from there using the import wizard. If the format you want to import from isn't covered by the Wizard then it is possible that you can export from the other system into standard UNIX format, which is one of The Bat!'s standard import formats.

I'm sure there's some way to get individual messages out.

Ned



Offline Dave Ronyak

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  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2008, 11:40 PM »
Ned,

Your assumption is correct, the PC provided by my employer has the full MS Office professional suite including Outlook.   I just want to pull the Outlook email messages off and save them for later review and use on my personal PC.  When my employer swaps out my work PC, those messages will not be loaded onto the replacement PC.

My home PC (running Vista Home Premium Edition OS has no version of any email program).  On it I use Earthlink's web mail if I need email.  I can also use a web-based version of my company's Outlook email, but that software does not have the full features of regular Outlink.

Thanks for your help.

Dave R.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline The Woodentop

  • Posts: 238
  • Buxton, England
Re: "Second Copy" Backup Software
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2008, 03:58 AM »
Just for the record....I've been reading this thread and it's motivated me to start a regime of automatic incremental backups of my 'data' drive using Ghost. I've been meaning to do this for ages and I thank you all for giving me the final kick in the butt to make me do it!

Larry

PS

I have Macs and PC's and use Linux, Mac OS and Windows. There's nothing worthy of comment between them. Linux is for grown-ups, Macs cost more and are 'kiddy proof' and Windows (XP not Vista.....haven't bothered with that yet) is so easy and bomb-proof these days you can see why it's the market leader..........that about sums it up.
Never assume you know....only know you know