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Windows Backup software: OnChange Backup Strategy

How to take advantage of the On Change backup in Windows

Not many backup programs offer the OnChange backup facility.
This is a good addition that could save you a lot of time doing backups.
In essence the OnChange backup automatically saves your files as soon as you change them. This is a real-time backup feature.

Not only are changed files updated within minutes but new files are copied, and files are deleted when you delete them from the source folder.
Essentially this is a synchronous backup system that acts in real-time on your backup set so that you always have a backup copy of your files.

Of course, to be safe, you have to keep this backup set on a different drive, otherwise if you lose the same source/destination disk drive your backup is also gone with it.
For example, if you have your source files in D: then you must save them in E: or C: (or any other drive you have).

This way, if you accidentally lose D:, then you have a copy of your valuable files in E: or C:. Of course nothing prevents you from having multiple copies.


How does it works?

Let's take, for example, GRBackPro 10. In this case the OnChange backup doesn't take place immediately but after a few minutes (normally 2-3 minutes).
This delay is to avoid backup activities that take CPU time and might slow your work. With this software the best approach is to use the OnChange backup feature along with the History mode. If, for example, you have set the History mode to deep 3, you will also have 3 days worth of backup sets other than the OnChange backup set.

You can take full advantage by programming the Scheduler to have a backup time for these 3 sets.
You might program your backup to happen at lunch time so that the backup takes place when you are not working on your computer. When you come back you have a safe backup set for the day.
The OnChange backup will go to a different folder. For GRBackPro this folder is named HIST_XX, while the other folders are HIST_NN where NN is replaced by a number from 01 to 99. For example, you have HIST_04, HIST_05, HIST_06 and HIST_XX folders in your destination disk. These are 4 backup sets. The numbered ones are for the past days, while HIST_XX is the current OnChange backup always up to date.
The advantage of this backup strategy is that you can go back and get older files (up to 3 past days, but you can raise to 7 days for example).
Let's consider a common example: it may happen that you have made some changes to your work but you have not solved a certain problem. You decide that the previous version of some of your files was better. You can restore one or more files from a previous backup to restart from the previous solution.

How does it save you time?


Because the on change backup is always running in the background, you have access to a very recent backup rather than having to go back to whenever your regular backup was run. You have a copy of your work in real-time.
In case you lose your hard disk drive, then you have a copy of the day's work that you can easily restore on a new hard disk.
In case you need a document from yesterday then it's in the evening backup set (HIST_NN with the bigger NN number). So you can reverse today’s changes to yesterday ... or even more days if you have a deeper history.

If you are interested in evaluating GRBackPro, you can find an evaluation version here:

GRBackPro professional Windows backup software