Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Folder Clone

(This is not a paid endorsement.)

I want to tell you about a neat little program that I found, and I LOVE it.

It's called Folder Clone.

Right now, I have about 200GB of scanned slides, digital photos, scanned negatives, and music files.

I had no backup of most of this for over a year.

I got a second hard drive for the old computer a little over a year ago, and saved a copy of the most important stuff over there. But on that computer, that second hard drive operated so slow it was almost useless.

A few months ago I bought a 500GB external hard drive and bought an enclosure and turned that 160GB hard drive from an internal one to an external USB drive.

Then I also bought a newer, faster desktop to allow me to work on my photos and things better (and faster).

So, new computer with a 250GB internal hard drive, a 500GB external, and 160GB external hard drives.

But how was I to come up with a process for backing up all of my stuff?

I had one simple rule I wanted to follow: I wanted every image and every song file on at least two different hard drives at all times.

It would be quite a freak accident to lose all of the hard drives simultaneously.

Instead of trying to keep up with it all file by file, I searched the internet for a reasonably priced software program that would do the work for me.

After downloading and using the free trial period of a few clone programs, I finally bought a copy of Folder Clone for $29.95.

I'm good with computers, and have used them for years, and do not require the slickest looking programs. I just want them to work, be easy to use, and fast.

With Folder Clone, it took me literally five minutes to set up one scenario to backup my 35mm slide and negative scans, one scenario to back up all of my digital photos (digital originals and photoshop enhanced copies and stuff), and one scenario to back up all of my music files from all of my music CDs.

One example on how it works should let you see how easy and helpful it is.

This past Friday and Saturday I photographed a wedding rehearsal, the wedding, and the reception.

A total of almost 400 new photographs.

Saturday night when I got home from the wedding/reception I immediately downloaded the 329 photos to my computer. That took almost half an hour, because each photograph was saved as one RAW file as well as a matching JPEG file. 329 unique photographs, but 658 separate files totalling 2GB.

Once they were on the appropriate hard drive, I opened Folder Clone. I highlighted the one scenario (of the three I described above) that would back up all of my digital photos.

Folder Clone takes about one minute to compare the "original" folder to the "target" folder on another hard drive.

It produces a list of each and every difference between the two and asks if I want to make the two folders exactly the same.

In this case, when I clicked on yes (make the two folders exactly alike) it starts churning and you see the lights on the two separate hard drives flickering on and off as the program does this work.

It then shows that all tasks are complete and I then had these precious wedding photos copied onto two separate hard drives.

It took 30 minutes to download the 2GB of wedding photos from the camera to the hard drive, but it only took Folder Clone 3 minutes total to make complete copies of all 658 files onto a second hard drive.

I then went into each separate folder and confirmed visually that I did indeed have two separate copies of each file in two different places.

Then I erased the disk in my camera so that it was ready in case the dogs did something cute that I wanted to photograph, or whatever.

So Folder Clone can scan through tens of thousands of files on two hard drives in about one minute, comparing each and every file in the folders you have told it to compare. It will then, at your command, make the target folders exactly like your original folders.

It is so fast and easy to use, that when I'm through each night with doing whatever I've done on my computer, it only takes 2-3 minutes to make those exact changes on the second or target location.

Right now, all of the stuff that I care about and want to have backups for on my computer, are in two separate locations, exactly like one another.

As far as I'm concerned, this simple little program is worth more than $29.95 worth of effort to do it all myself.

If you have need of something similar to back up all of your photos or whatever files are important to you, Folder Clone is relatively cheap and does a tedious job very quickly and accurately.

When I'm through each night, I watch it go and I say "I love this program."

For the first time I have all of my photos and file backed up, and I sleep easier because of it.

(By the way, this isn't a Pay Per Post thingy. I don't care to do that. I'm just trying to hook y'all up with a simple, fast program if you need this kind of backing up for your files.)


Hammer said...

Thanks I really need that for all my photos and music.

I'm tired of losing everything.

Norma said...

How is it for people who aren't so great at computer things?

I just get light headed reading about all your GBs. I'm swooning.

JAM said...

Norma, for backing up your files, it doesn't get any easier than this.

If you have a computer with two hard drives or if you have an external hard drive connected to your computer, this is an easy way to go.

If you can find a file on your computer in whichever folder you saved it earlier, you can use this program. In mine, I have set up three separate tasks. I showed it one original folder (that has lots of subfolders in it) and then showed it where to copy that (on a separate hard drive), and named the task My Pictures, or My Slides, or My Music.

It leads you through setting up "tasks" for future use. Once you've done that, it's just a matter of highlighting which particular task you wish to run and click on the "run task" button. It does all of the work and tells you it's finished.

Anyway, if you get to the point you want something like this, I'd be more than happy to walk you through it via email or to call you and go through it on the phone if that would be more helpful.

isabella said...

Good timing, John! We are looking for an external back-up and Folder Clone would be a nice addition. Thanks!

BTW - before going to sleep, you are supposed to whisper "I love you" to you Lovely Wife, not software ;-)

Babystepper said...

Sounds great! I have a ton of pictures I ought to save. I know this is going to show my lack of computer savvy, but how would I go about backing up all of my blog posts? Would something like this help?

Julie said...

WOW! This sounds very slick. I'll share this info with my computer guru friends! Then I'll feel smart! As long as they don't already have it!

great gramma said...

Everything you said about FolderClon is true. I LOVE FolderClone! LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT! Ridiculously easy! I have been using it for years. God Bless Salty Brine Software!!!!