This is very likely a poor, stubborn and lazy mans (and quite likely not a sensible woman's) approach for backing up a windows laptop to an external hard drive once in a while so that you don't loose a lot of data that is far more valuable to you than the laptop.
1. Identify a handful of directories you want to back up occasionally
2. Organize your data into those directories
3. Say 5 root directories
4. Create 5 root directories in the target USB drive
5. Create a batch file in each of the directories on the USB drive
6. Each batch file copies the latest file using command line xcopy with right options. This allows you to copy only what changed and is fast.
7. Go to each sub directory and run this file as often as you want
You can use Google Drive as your target
More recently you can do this sort of thing on the google mapped drive or drop box or any cloud based drive.
Where to start
Identify your directories as
d1 d2 d3 d4 d5
Create the following directories on the target drive
some-root\backup\bin some-root\backup\d1 some-root\backup\d2 some-root\backup\d3 some-root\backup\d4 some-root\backup\d5
Then create the following batch files
some-root\backup\bin\backup-d1.cmd some-root\backup\bin\backup-d2.cmd some-root\backup\bin\backup-d3.cmd some-root\backup\bin\backup-d4.cmd some-root\backup\bin\backup-d5.cmd
Here is a typical batch file backup-d1.cmd
Copy the following text into a batch file
@echo off @rem this is a back up file @rem source: @rem xcopy c:\someroot\d1 ..\d1 /d /s /e /L if "%1" == "list" goto list if "%1" == "real" goto real if "%1" == "" goto nothing echo list selected :nothing echo You have to say list or real goto done :list echo Listing files that have changed xcopy c:\someroot\d1 ..\d1 /d /s /e /L echo listing files complete. goto done :real echo real selected echo I am going to copy the latest files from source to target echo this may take sometime depending on the size echo you can control-c anytime and restart if needed xcopy c:\someroot\d1 ..\d1 /d /s /e goto done :done echo done
Key windows directories you care about
c:\users\your-user-id\my documents c:\users\your-user-id\my pictures c:\users\your-user-id\my videos c:\users\your-user-id\my music c:\users\your-user-id\favorites c:\users\your-user-id\downloads c:\users\your-user-id\desktop (Be careful with this one!)
And hopefully your data is rooted in a couple of directories. If not move them to that type of structure and you can do this.
How to run the batch files
Go to the bin directory in using command line and run each batch file.
DO NOT DOUBLE CLICK ON THE BATCH FILE IN YOUR UI. Instead go to the command line and run it from there.
1. How to use XCOPY and its options