I hated my backup program, so I decided to write one myself

I want a backup program that doesn’t give me headache

I used to use this backup program which I shall not name, and I wasn’t particularly happy with it. What’s the problem with the program? There are quite a few ...

One, it runs continuously in the background, I don’t find it necessary since I’m only backing up to an external hard drive not to the cloud — I don’t usually keep external hard drives permanently attached to the PC nor do I want to.

Problem number two; it doesn’t list out files that have to be backed up — so I don’t know what’s being backed up, what’s not being backed. Preferably, I want to see a list of new files, modified files and deleted files before backup is performed.

It won’t let me delete backup files — I may want to do that to clear up some space. Deleted files, and older versions can only be removed in batch during archive maintenance, that’s not great — plus there’s no information on what being removed.

But the main problem is, the files are stored in proprietary archive format and encrypted. The backup files can only be accessed from the program. So there’s no simple way to check the ‘health’ of the files, furthermore restore can only be perform using the program, can’t do it manually — if the program stops working for some reason(botched updates, vendor decides to stop supporting the program, etc) it is a major issue.

Backup is supposed to stop me from worrying about data loss, but this just adds another thing to worry about. Why not use a different program, you may ask. I’ve tried looking for ones that could satisfy my requirements, there was none — at least I couldn’t find one. Plus, the thing about backup is, when you’ve backed up with one program, it is a commitment, switching to a different program means repeating the whole backup process again from the start, that can take some time.

I want a simple backup program — I want to back up my files and not to worry about them. Here’s what I want,

I want an on demand backup, nothing running in the background — I like the idea of continuous backup, but I don’t really need it. The back up program will scan for changes when I ask it to and backup whatever that need to be backed up. But before that, it should show me lists of files created, modified, and deleted since the last back up, and — for new files, allow me to choose whether to back them up or not. I don’t want to back up junk files, temporary files etc., why fill up the backup media with unnecessary data?

Backup files should be stored as is, not packed in archives, not compressed, not encrypted. Granted it’s not the most best way to store files, but at least this way the files are readily accessible, all I need to do to access them is use Explorer. I’ll be able to open them, copy them, restore them — no need to use the backup program, restore should be fast since it only involves copying the files. I won’t have to worry much about data corruption, I won’t have to worry about losing encryption keys. The backup program should keep the files for as long as I want, no automatic ‘pruning’.

I want to be able to delete files that have been backed up, selectively. For example, if there’s a file called ‘file.ext’, and 30 versions of the file have been stored, and I want to delete the first 5 (just for this file), then I should be able to do that. I want to be able to do this with all files, current files, deleted files, files that are no longer being backed up (those that have been deselected from a ‘backup set’).

So, let’s recap — I want a backup program that scans for changes on demand, list out files to backup, allow me to select or deselect them, and then store the files as is. That’s about right, no funny business.

Since I couldn’t find one that could do this (maybe I didn’t try hard enough) I decided to write one myself. And here it is, I call it backUp_0, because it is supposed to be worry free backup program, and you can use it too for a small fee — ok, these are just screenshots, learn more here.

Main window
Catalog window — make selection here, select what to backup
Scan result — new, modified, and deleted files are listed
Restore window
Restore all window
Maintenance window

Learn more.

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