How to properly store data backups

Internal backup storage on the second disk is convenient for the PC, however, it causes difficulties when working on a laptop.

Often this device does not have space for a second carrier. In this case, the backup of files should be transferred to the home network.

As a remote station for a laptop, you can use Network Attached Storage or an old Windows-based PC. We will show both ways, starting with a network copy to another computer.

The rsync program has proven itself well here ( ). It combines as a connection protocol, so are the tools for synchronization and backup. Initially, rsync came out of the Unix world, but today it works on all possible platforms.

Under Windows rsync is integrated into the DeltaCopy program ( ), which offers a user interface, otherwise you will be able to use this utility under Windows only through the command line.

Configuring the server for backup

DeltaCopy consists of two parts - a server and a client. During installation, both of them are automatically loaded into the system, even if only one component is needed. First you need to install the server part on an old Windows computer, which will be used to back up files.

First register DeltaCopy as a system service. To do this, you will need access data to your own Windows account

To do this, immediately after the last stage of installation, run the program and click on ‘Register Windows Service’, to activate DeltaCopy as a Windows service.

Now enter the Windows account access details, with which you usually log into the operating system.

At the end, DeltaCopy will display a message about the successful completion of the process and will be started in the usual way via the ‘Start Server’.

If you suddenly received an error message ‘Could not start the service’, you will need to perform an intermediate action: go to the ‘Control Panel Administration’ Windows and there through ‘Services’ open the line ‘DeltaCopy Server’.

Now specify the target folder, to which DeltaCopy will subsequently copy files

On the ‘Login to the system’ select the option ‘With a system account’. Go back to DeltaCopy and click on ‘Start Server’ again. The traffic light in the DeltaCopy window will switch to green, the server will start working.

It remains to configure virtual folders on the corresponding tab ‘Virtual Directories’. The client will save files in them.

Double-click on ‘Add New Directory’ to create a new folder for backups, give her a suitable name, for example, ‘My photo’ without spaces. Use the ‘Browse’ button to specify the path to the backup folder.

Linking client and server

On a work computer, that is, a laptop, install DeltaCopy. The package contains including the client, which will then forward data to an old Windows PC with the server installed. To open it, double-click on the file ‘DeltaC.exe ‘ from the installation folder of the program.

For the client, create a profile with the IP address of the server and check the success of the connection

At the first stage, create a new profile via ‘Add New Profile’. Give it a name and enter the IP address of the old computer for the ‘Server IP/Host Name’ parameter. The easiest way to find it is from the corresponding menu of the network router. Windows can also provide this information. Eg, in Windows 10, go to ‘Options Network and Internet Ethernet’ and double-click open your network. After that, by clicking on the ‘Test Connection’ button, make sure, that the client has indeed set up a connection to the server.

There can be two reasons for the error message. To eliminate them, in the Network section of the Explorer, you need to ‘Enable network discovery and file sharing’, and then turn off the Windows Firewall as a rule, the router’s firewall already provides good security.

Then specify the folder, which the utility should copy and create a schedule in the Scheduler

If this option is not suitable for you, log in via the ‘Control Panel Windows Firewall’ in ‘Advanced Settings’ and create a rule for DeltaCopy. In the Wizard, specify the path to the file DeltaS.exe or DeltaC.exe for the DeltaCopy program, and then select ‘Allow Connection’.

After successful identification, select the target folder in the DeltaCopy client in the line ‘Virtual irectory Name’, previously created on the server, and give the profile a name. Complete the operation by clicking on the ‘Add Profile’ button.

After that, select the profile and configure it: via ‘File List Add Folder’ select folders, to be backed up. By clicking on the ‘Modify Schedule’ button Windows Scheduler will automatically open a new task.

In the Scheduler window, on the Schedule tab, you can create a new daily backup by default. To change the frequency, go to ‘Advanced’. So that the Scheduler can perform the action that has just been scheduled, the Windows account must be password protected, which is entered by clicking on the ‘Set password’ button.

After closing the Scheduler, the client is considered configured and will automatically make backups of data at a certain time.

Backup to network storage

If you don’t have a second old PC at home, the ideal solution would be a backup to a network drive. Modern NAS systems are relatively easy to configure and offer a range of tools for convenient file archiving. When connected via Gigabit Ethernet, information is stored just as quickly, as well as on the second disk in the PC.

To back up on your home network, you need to use a network storage with two hard drives. This solution offers a good combination of fair price and security, since the second disk will either serve as a mirror for the RAID-1 array, or to perform an internal backup from one disk to another. Thanks to this, the copied information will be protected even in case of failure of one of the carriers.

To back up files, it is enough to have a NAS on two disks without unnecessary ‘bells and whistles’, for example, like the devices we described below. It is better to invest money in a well-groomed operating system, which Qnap and Synology can boast of

1-Bay NAS systems cannot boast of this, and 4-Bay NAS are too expensive, without offering particularly noticeable advantages. Budget models for two disks from reputable manufacturers Qnap or Synology are distinguished by thoughtful software, however, they abandoned media centers and HDMI connections, which you won’t need to back up on your home network.

And yet, before buying, it is worth taking a look at the technical specifications, to find out, what exactly did the manufacturer save on. So, the maximum number of simultaneous data transfers must be at least 128, otherwise, the backup will occur with a significant delay.

Based on fairly mature software from Synology, we will explain, how to set up automatic backup of files.

Installing the server software

At one time, setting up network storage from Synology with a Linux-based OS was a confusing process. Today everything happens almost automatically.

You get access to the Installation Wizard via the IP address of the network storage in the browser, ideally on a computer, whose files you are going to archive. During the configuration process, the ‘Recommended Packages’ stage cannot be ignored, because the Cloud Station package will be automatically installed on it, required for subsequent data backup.

A shortcut for Cloud Station will be created on the network storage desktop

When finished, click on the ‘Main Menu’ icon in the upper left corner of the screen, and from there, go to the ‘Cloud Station’. Here you should see a green flag, reporting, that this server application is running. In the ‘Access Rights’ section, activate the user, configured during installation and confirm the selection by clicking on the ‘Save’ button.

In the Cloud Station package on the NAS, download a suitable client for a Windows PC in the main window via the corresponding button

Now go to the ‘Control Panel Share folder’ network storage and create a backup folder. In the next window for your user in the ‘Rights Settings’, check the box for the ‘Read/Write’ option.

On the network storage control panel, you need to configure the folder, into which the copied files will then fall, and share it

Go back to the ‘Settings’ of Cloud Station, select the folder you just created and enable sharing.

Network Storage Client Configuration

Now you need to configure the client on a Windows computer. In the ‘Overview’ window of the Cloud Station package, download it to your PC via ‘Download’. The installation is started by double-clicking. When you first start the client, the Wizard will guide you through the configuration process, where, in addition to the IP address of the network storage, you must specify the username and password of your account.

For the client on the PC, install, which folders on your computer will be analyzed and synchronized by Cloud Station

Click on ‘Advanced Setup’, to select a folder to sync on the computer and a previously created folder to backup to the NAS. After that, the client will automatically monitor the folders and synchronize them with the network storage.

As well, just like the backup service in Windows, the Cloud Station service also registers changes, entered in the file. You can then restore different versions of the saved file from the context menu of Windows Explorer via ‘Synology Cloud Station Review of previous versions (Browse previous versions)’.