Software: Backing up file by file to another drive and not to an image


Jul 10, 2013
I have four hard drives on my computer.
C (fixed) - Windows 8.1 OS and programs
D (fixed) - Numerous pics and data files (no direct program installs)
G (removable) - backup of D drive
H (removable) - imaged backup of C drive via clonezilla

I have digital photos since 1998 and take a ton of sports photos for my kids. I would like to do a weekly file by file" backup from my D drive to my H drive but I don't want to do it via an "image". I want the flexibility to use the D drive on our network and allow editing by other family members. Thus, if something goes wrong, I can simply grab the file or directory from my G drive and replace it All of my photos are downloaded and modified on my D drive and then I want them to be backed up to the G drive (manually via differential backup)

I "image" my C Drive once every two weeks via clonezilla and the image makes perfect sense for C drive failure. Thus, if my D drive goes down (original pics), I want to be able to push it back to a new D drive from my G drive.

Is there a software that can do this so that when I actually look at my G drive, it looks like a file directory (same as D drive)?





I use both.
Macrium does a whole disk image, on schedule
SyncBackFree does a file/folder level copy to elsewhere, on a schedule.

All depends on what exactly you want it to do.
There are basically three different ways to backup.

A clone (or sector-by-sector copy) creates an exact duplicate of the drive or partition. I think this is what you are referring to as an "image".

The vast majority of backup programs do a file-by-file copy. That is, it reads every file on the drive (or in the areas you wish to backup), and writes them to the backup drive. It usually compresses and concatenates this into one backup file for performance and storage reasons. This single, large backup file is frequently called an "image", but unlike what you're describing you are able to access single files in the image without having to restore the entire image. If you wish to recover a specific file, the backup program can read the backup file and pick out just the single file you wish to restore.

This method is most popular because it is more flexible. It allows for incremental or differential backups, where you make a complete backup once a week (or once a month), and subsequent backups only backup new or changed files. This makes backups on subsequent days much quicker. It also allows you to save many days of backups in much less space.

The third method is the one you're saying you want - a sync. Usually you only synchronize drives if both are connected to live systems. So you may synchronize your laptop drive with your desktop drive to make sure both have the latest version of all your files. It's generally not used for backup purposes (except on remote systems) because it's possible to alter or delete a file on your "backup", which defeats the purpose of having a backup. (It's done out of necessity in remote backups because the slow file transfer speed means the connection may be interrupted before the entire backup image is created.)

Are you sure you want a sync? Instead of a non-clone image backup?


Jul 10, 2013
Most of the files are good to go from D to G after I edit, modify, and resize them because I always in each directory for the photos of the day/game, maintain a folder called "~Originals". Those files are never touched. G is just a catastrophic backup drive. It seems like a waste of space but I do go and clean out the ~originals ever year or so.
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