Incremental back up of HDD

I don’t subscribe to any service but have 2500 plus CDs ripped to FALC on a remote Win10 PC.

I probably add 20 discs a month and then have 3 copies made - 1 being the internal HDD on the PC, 2nd being a WD portable and the 3rd is the powered USB drive connected to the ATOM.

Is there a quick way in Windows to incrementally back up? At the moment it takes a few hours to erase and recopy the folder with all the music in…any guidance appreciated.


I use qnap Netbak replicator, to back up my W10 to Nas and Seagate USB drive. You don’t need a qnap device, it’s loaded onto the W10 PC.

I use instant backup, very quick and easy to use.

Download link

You remided me to do a backup. :innocent:

Took under 7 min to check 435 GB and copy 237 files.

Thank you, I’ll take a look!

There is a built in windows command called “Robocopy.exe” which will mirror a drive and just copy over changes. Just check you get the syntax the correct way around by testing of a different folder first


I use robocopy. Copying about 800 GB takes maybe 2 hours, to an oldish HDD in an external caddy connected via USB. An internal HDD would generally be faster. Doing a complete copy of the backup on the HDD to the cloud (OneDrive in my case, via ethernet) takes 1-2 days or maybe more.

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Freefilesync dot org
That will backup any changes, plus other options.

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If you are adding music that often you must be constantly removing the USB drive from the Atom, adding new files, then waiting for the Atom to rescan the whole library which takes quite a while. You might find it easier to use a NAS as to store your primary music library and run a UPnP server on that so that it’s always available for adding music and editing as well as playback.
Any entry level NAS from Synology, QNAP or Netgear would be fine, no need for anything fancy. There are very simple incremental backups you can do from here to other network or USB storage.

The Atom finds all the folders within seconds…it’s the transfer from HDD to another HDD that takes hours…

+1; Robocopy or rsync can do the same, but may be more for the command-line-style people.
(And there’s likely many more programs out there.)

NAS is of course convenient and can offer a lot more services (depending on NAS size, model, use cases, and number of people living in the same household).
But it’s always powered on, needs firmware updates, and I recently read seemingly weekly, that there’s some security whole to patch in some vendors system. (Which is likely not a real issue, as long as it is used only locally, i.e. not exposed to usage “from internet”.)
If the current setup works for you, keep it. If you’re interested, look into this.

Strange, many people seem to find that it takes a long time.

Is that just in USB mode though?

Good point, it’s when you view the files in the server input that it takes some time to scan, but if you don’t do that you get a pretty cumbersome way of browsing a large library.

Carbon Copy Cloner for people witrh Macs

For convenience, I would recommend to store the music on a NAS with mirrored disks or a RAID system to survive a single disk failure and stream with UPNP.

If you are afraid about RansomWare attacks you might additionally copy the music incrementally to a separate USB Disk from time to time, but ensure that this disk is disconnected afterwards.

As a preparation for any disasters like fire, burglary, etc. you may store that disk in another location (house, city, country, continent :wink:).

Or just Apple‘s TimeMachine backup service.

A reminder to all that the OP is using a Windows operating system, and not OSX.

@Pauljdh in case you are interested in trying the command line option (which is free and will already be there on your PC), below is an example command line that you might use to mirror C:\MUSIC across to D:\MUSIC (obviously change these to match your setup). It will just copy over the changes, and gives you a good summary report at the end on how well it did

ROBOCOPY C:\MUSIC "D:\MUSIC" /MIR /R:2 /W:5 /XF Desktop.ini

The /MIR is the main switch, which means to mirror. The other options are optional, but are around timeouts and finally excluding a typical hidden file.

For full details of the command, you can lookup the link below

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I wouldn’t mirror a drive to back it up. If files are accidently deleted or corrupted, I assume the backup would also end up with deleted files and corrupted files. :thinking:

Well it would but so would any backup. Probably the only way around that is to have multiple full backups to different media, done at different times, but even then if you have a corruption, how do you know when it occurred. I personally always like the idea of keeping a full back on a drive at your parents or Childs house, and change annually.

Of course I’d say it’s less important in this case as we are talking about CD Rips, so you always have the original