Difference between mirroring, backing up, and synchronizing

By suzeb
Nov 30, 2015
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  1. I've recently downloaded and installed Syncbackfree as my Windows task scheduler will no longer run my weekly backup of my hard drive onto an external drive (I see a multitude of about 20 error windows saying that the task object version is either unsupported or invalid). The error occurred, I believe, when I upgraded to Windows 10 but went back to Windows 7 after only one week as I was finding it then too difficult to run. As it turned out I had a hardware problem (router) and our connection has since been changed to glass fibre optics instead of COAX cable. It was only then I discovered I my PC hadn't run its automatic backup for about 2 months!

    Syncbackfree was suggested by the person I use when I can't solve my own problems via Google or many of the computer forums.

    So far so good except I have been a bit lazy and just scheduled a straight forward weekly backup of all my data files which I keep on a separate drive to my programs (they are stored on C whilst my data is stored on I).

    I then went back to my source files and began a spring clean of double files and data (I had restored my last external backup via Windows thinking this would somehow mend my task scheduler but all it did was duplicate all my jpg's and music).

    To my horror I found that everything I had deleted had been returned from the destination folder (my external hard drive).

    So I had to go through the process once more and delete all the newly duplicated files or move others to different or new folders.

    Then I deleted my instructions in Syncbackfree and made a new backup of my data files.

    Again - so far so good....... except that I have since made the discovery that a deleted file in the source drive will not be deleted in the destination file.

    I have at present only used the regular backup button having quickly realised that the synchronize button will not do the job I want done. It only added new data stored but didn't overwrite folders in which changes were made between backups.

    The only button I have not yet tried out is 'mirror' as I can find little information about what it actually does.

    I suppose what I'm really asking is this....... which button in Syncbackfree will help me keep my backed up data EXACTLY the same on an external hard drive as the data stored in my PC?

    I seriously don't want to have to remember which files I deleted in my PC so I can repeat the process by hand in my external drive.

    And one other small question...... I read somewhere that some only used Syncbackfree for storing data which is irreplaceable. I was taught to back up EVERYTHING I had stored on my PC except perhaps programs and drivers which could be downloaded or re-installed from disc in the event of a crash.

    I've only ever experienced 2 crashes since I first sat behind a screen back in 1988 but both times lost all my emails. These are backed up manually every couple of days on a pst file in my data drive on my PC!

    And I would be eternally grateful if anyone can give me a clue as to how I can repair my Windows task scheduler without having to spend days formatting my PC and re-installing Windows 7 and then another day upgrading it to Windows 10.

    I have found various forums relating to this subject but its way above my head and pay-grade and I seriously can't follow the coding or keys.

    Thanks for spending the time to read this... hopefully there is someone willing and able to help me gain understanding about Syncbackfree and perhaps more important how I can get my Windows task scheduler to work again.
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,148   +597

    Backup, Mirror, Sync.

    1) Mirror is a RAID-1x option and used for fault tolerance on servers. IT IS NOT AN ALTERNATIVE TO BACKUPS, even Raid needs backups, but don't feel too bad, it's a common misconception.

    2) Sync is more typically used for our mobile devices and making data (contacts, pics, music) available when you are away from the computer. As it duplicates data to multiple devices/locations, this is a means to protect your data. However, you've also discovered a configuration issue where deletions may not occur (or they may too) universally.

    3) Backup is the Gold Standard to protect system data. There are multiple uses for, including system wide and user only data. Also there's Full, Differential and Incremental forms.

    Concept:- Keep multiple copies of precious data.
    The idea of have an original file on one device (eg pc hd) and a duplicate on another device (eg external hd) should lead you to the possibility of what is known a (4) Duplication as a technique.

    Issues with backups. The consume lots of time and media, and do provide a timestamp versioning of the data that none of the 1,2,4 above provide. This does add the ability to get the last version of file xyz prior to Dec 1, xxxx. This looks neat, but really only useful to database systems imo.

    Personally, I use tool ( Allway Sync ) designed for Sync and has lots of control. First, it allows for the backup technique of differential data, ie replicate only that which has been changed since the original copy was captured. Saves lots of time and connection bandwidth.

    Second, it allows one-way or two-way sync, and the latter will ensure both source and target locations are identical ( meaning deletes on one become deletes on the other). I use a one-way sync and let the target keep whatever.

    Third, you can create different 'sync jobs' to allow a unique target device and thus also unique files being sync'd (eg: sync only contacts to the cell phone).

    Caveat:- The target device must appear on the PC as a mapped drive, so file/print sharing must be available and the device mounted to the PC before the program is launched.
  3. suzeb

    suzeb TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for taking the time to impart all your knowledge jobeard. It's gratefully appreciated (*_*)

    I have a 'normal' backup of my data which obvisouly saves everything even if I've deleted files on my PC but I thought I'd try the 'mirror' option on some of the most used data files so have in fact created two backups now (just in case!!). I never bother backing up programs or drivers as these tend to change with updates during the course of time and can readily be found on line if they aren't too ancient.
    And I will take some time in the coming days to have a look at Allway sync to see if I can create just the one backup of my data in the way I would like to I.e. backing up all the data, changing data in the various files as and when and deleting those on the backup drive which I have deleted by hand on the PC drive.

    I don't think 'sync' is to my advantage if only that I don't and never will use my mobile as anything other than to make/receive telephone contact or send/receive the odd text message. My monthly subscription for this activity remains at €8,00 as I use my computer for Internet purposes and a 'old fashioned' TomTom to get me from A to B in my car. I closed off my Facebook account years ago and have never Tweeted in my life as I really can't see the point. My iPad is used only as a form of contact with my two daughters or for reading the NOS news headlines each morning. As it was a gift I don't feel in the least guilty that I have just 3 contacts and only a half page of apps!

    I remember years ago we always had 3 back-up discs on the go in my husband's wire production company but never really bothered to make more than one for my own less sensitive personal data although I do have a extra thumb drive with just photo images.

    And I have to own up to complete ignorance in trying to understand your first sentence.... RAID?? fault tolerance?? - way over my head I'm afraid as I have no idea what you mean.

    The music I have stored on my mp3 player is easily replicated if ever lost from my enormous CD collection and I can probably count the contacts in my mobile on 4 hands and anyway these too can be replicated from a hand-written address book if ever lost.

    I fear I am part of a lost generation or at least one which was certainly never bottle fed on gadgets and electronic devices. It's taken me the best part of two afternoons on and off to tweak my PC after downloading Windows 10 onto it for the second time this year. I had made one attempt a few months ago but due to router and connection problems couldn't get it working so kicked it off and went back to Windows 7. We must sometimes try to keep up with the times hence my recent decision to re-install it with, I might add, much better results this second time around.

    I still haven't found a solution to repair or replace the errors in my Task Scheduler but won't give up on that just yet although I'm always loath to tweak more that data files and fundimental settings as my computer and IT knowledge isn't good enough.... case in point - what is RAID? see what I mean?

    But thanks anyway for taking the time to answer my query (*_*)
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,148   +597

    RAID: Here's the wordy description; Wiki
    and this is the graphical representation.

    Short story is you DON'T need it :0

    Again, the Allway Sync makes replication easy and quick (after the first time) by only moving data that is changed. It's free, so give it a try.

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