Backup software / recap

About eight years ago I thought I was building a really special PC with a Intel DG41RQ mainboard, Celeron E3300 CPU and 2 GB of RAM. The article series started here:

Unfortunately I outgrew that computer pretty quickly because it could only take 4 GB of RAM in total and therefore became pretty slow with later versions of Windows. However it would work fairly well under Linux. I often wondered why I bought a LGA775 system that was right at the end of that generation of CPU, and it looks like cost was an issue. The Celeron E3300 did support hardware virtualisation though (that was something that would have been useful if the computer had enough RAM, as 4 GB was barely enough just for Windows).
These days I try to do a better job but at times there can still be a price/performance tradeoff to consider, the main reason why I have a serverpc that only has 16 GB of RAM in it because the board only has two memory slots. Well we could put 16 GB DIMMs into the two slots but would have to throw away the existing RAM. Most of the time I try to buy something with four slots, and that’s why the computer this is being written on has 32 GB in it.
Now to focus on good free backup software for Windows. I may have written about this before but that particular post isn’t easy to find. I get asked this question from time to time so here is an answer. The two best free packages in my view are NCH FileFort and Cobian Backup. FileFort is a commercial package that has a free edition for home use, while Cobian is just free. I used to use Cobian to backup my systems when everything was running Windows, but of course now I don’t have a need for it.
FileFort is perhaps a little more user friendly than Cobian however whereas Cobian will simply stop reporting error messages if there are too many, FileFort’s problem is it will stop running if there are too many errors. This is annoying because you should be able to just check the errors later (they may happen for reasons like being in use as not all software packages can handle this well). Cobian also has the ability to use VSS which means it can copy in use files. So Cobian is probably the better of the two, however FileFort is probably more up to date (Cobian does work with Win10 so it’s OK for a few more years, anyhow).