Free Windows Backup Software – GFI Backup Home Edition Freeware

by Ramesh Natarajan on August 21, 2009

Question: I use Linux on my laptop and desktop. But my Mom uses Windows operating system for her laptop. She is constantly getting infected with Virus and lost some important files few times. But, she still wants to use Windows. I can at least help her by installing some reliable backup software on her Windows operating system.

How do I take a backup of my laptop / desktop that runs Windows operating system? Are there any Free Windows Backup Software that I can use?

Answer: There are lot of free Windows backup software available. GFI Backup Home Edition freeware came as a sweet surprise to me when I tested for Windows XP backup and Windows Vista Backup. This has tons of features that even some of commercial backup software don’t have it. Best of all it is FREE.

You can do following high level activities on GFI Backup Home Edition

  • Backup – You can backup windows folders, files, windows registries, outlook emails to various destination locations — local backup folder, backup folder on LAN, backup to USB, backup to remote FTP. Windows XP Backup becomes a very easy task with this option.
  • Restore – Restore files from previous backups to the same location or to different locations.
  • Sync – You can synchronize local files and folders between 2 locations on the same computer, or between different computers, or between your computer and external USB, or FTP. You can pretty much sync local computer between any other device you like.

In this article, I’ve shown some screenshots that will give you an idea on available backup features. You can use this for Windows XP backup, Windows Vista Backup, Windows 7 Backup.

1. Backup General Information

In this tab, you can provide basic backup task related information. For example, backup task name, archive file / folder name, description of the task, email address where the backup notification should be sent out as shown below.

Fig: Windows XP Backup General tab

Fig: Windows XP Backup General tab

2. Backup Source Information

Select one or more of the following backup sources. Do you want to do a full backup of your Windows Vista OS (or) select specific files, folders etc.,

  • Source Backup Files & Folders
  • Registry Keys
  • Emails (Both Outlook and/or Outlook express)
  • User Settings – Backup of various user settings, including Windows Live Messenger, Skype, Firefox / IE Browser etc.,
Fig: Backup Windows Vista - Select Source Directories

Fig: Backup Windows Vista - Select Source Directories

3. Backup Destination Information

Select one of the following backup destinations:

  • Local folder / External Hard Drive
  • Local Area Network ( LAN Folder )
  • Removable disk devices ( Floppy, USB stick, Memory Card )
  • CD / DVD
  • Remote location using FTP
Fig: Backup Windows 7 - Select the Destination Directory

Fig: Backup Windows 7 - Select the Destination Directory

4. Backup Options

Following options are available:

  • Compression Settings: No Compression, Use Zip compression
  • Encryption Settings: No encryption, Zip password protection, AES encryption
  • Backup Type: Full Backup, Incremental Backup, Differential Backup
Fig: Free Windows Backup Software - Options Tab

Fig: Free Windows Backup Software - Options Tab

5. Backup Scheduler Option

Select one of the following backup schedule

  • Run Manually
  • Rune one time only
  • On Windows Startup
  • On Windows Shutdown
  • Days of Week
  • Run every few days
  • Run every few hours

6. Backup Event Notifications

For all the following notifications, you have the option of displaying notification in pop-up window, or Play sound, or Send an email

  • Backup Error Notification
  • Backup Warning Notifications
  • Backup Summary Notification

Apart from these notifications, you also have the option to do the following:

  • Execute a Windows batch script before the backup starts and / or after the backup ends.
  • Verify the integrity of the backup.
  • Shutdown, Hibernate, log-off or standby after the backup is completed.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kate Walker September 10, 2009 at 8:36 am

Thanks for this :) I also use a Windows OS and I NEED to back up all my files, so I’ll definitely be using GFI Backup. especially since it’s free! :)

2 Sundar September 18, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Thanks for sharing the information about the backup tool., I was searching for a best backup tool for my laptop for last 6 months., Nothing suited well.,

I have downloaded the GFI Backup tool and It is working great…

Thanks againa..

3 Crazycat December 8, 2009 at 8:45 pm

GFI is the best back-up software I have ever used, including over 10 payed ones.

4 Diii June 28, 2010 at 6:15 am

This is so awesome. I use GFI backup and safecopy online backup coz bother of them are good.I have no complaint to make.And now i sleep like an angle knowing that all my data is safe.

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