In my previous post, I described Oops!Backup’s CDP features and its advantages over conventional backup tools. Today, I will give you an overview of the tool’s so-called ReverseDelta technology and how you can use the tool for notebook backups.
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Oops!Backup’s ReverseDelta stores file changes in so-called delta files. These delta files contain changes at the byte level. There is some overhead if only a few bytes are changed, but this can save a lot disk space on your backup drive if you have to secure large files as they are common with database systems. For instance, a conventional backup system will store a full 10GB database if only one record has been changed, but Oops’Backup would only require a few MBs of additional space. The tool allows you to configure the file size on which ReverseDelta is invoked, and you can also specify the number of versions after which a full copy of a file is preserved.
The latest backup will always contain the full copy of all files. This allows you to use Windows Explorer for restores. The delta files are only needed if you want to go back to an earlier point in time. In this case, you have to use the tool’s user interface to restore the file. My only complaint here is that the navigation pane on the left side is missing, which makes it difficult sometimes to locate a file if you are unsure in which folder it is in. In Oops!Backup’s defense it ought to be said that you can also search for files. What I like about the search function is that it displays all file versions with their backup time.
Oops!Backup supports Volume Shadow Copy (VSS) backups. Hence, in theory, it should also be possible to backup open files. I tried to backup a TrueCrypt file of a mounted volume, but Oops!Backup didn’t detect the changes. However, this is a problem specific to TrueCrypt. It is interesting to note that Oops!Backup detected the changes whenever I unmounted a volume. The fact that it uses the Windows File System Events to detect file changes made this possible. Actually, most backup tools I tried so far weren’t able to detect changes in TrueCrypt files at all because TrueCrypt neither changes the “modified Date attribute” nor does it set the archive bit. By the way, the size of my TrueCrypt test file was 1GB, but thanks to the ReverseDelta technology Oops!Backup only needed 1,8MB to save the changed file.
Oops!Backup has another important advantage over conventional backup tools when it comes to securing the data on laptops. Usually, on mobile computers an external drive is used to store the backup. The problem is that conventional backups have to be scheduled. So you have to make sure that the backup device is connected during the backup time. I have been travelling a lot lately and even though I always carried my external disk, I found it very difficult to make sure that my external disk was always connected at the right time. As a result, I was often without backup for several days.
As with other CDP tools, Oops!Backup doesn’t require schedules. You only have to configure the time interval when the tool checks whether new data is available and when old file versions will be purged . If the backup device is not connected, then Oops!Backup will just log the changes. If you hover over its Systray icon, you will be informed about the number of files that have to be saved. Oops!Backup will detect whenever you connect the backup drive and then start the backup automatically. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about backup schedules when you are travelling with your laptop. Just plug in the external drive whenever it is convenient and your backup will be up to date.
The tool’s dashboard and the history will inform you at what times backups have been performed. If you double click on a backup job, you will get information about the files that have been secured and the files that have been removed from the latest backup because they have been deleted by the user. The dashboard also tells you how much space the backup occupies and how much space is still available on the backup device.
My overall impression of Oops!Backup is very positive. I have been testing countless backup tools in my career as an IT pro. Oops!Backup has a unique combination of ease-of-use and effectiveness. Prices range between $16 and $37, depending on the number of licenses you buy. Please note that Oops!Backup is not a system backup tool. You can only use it to secure data files.
If you’d like to have the chance to win one of the 15 Oops!Backup licenses, please send an email to
with the subject line
The deadline for entering this contest is March 7, 2010.
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