Personal Backup Version 6.0

© 2001 − 2019, Dr. J. Rathlev

Tutorials for special issues


Configuring individual alternating schedules

The program supports saving data in accordance with a daily alternating schedule, i.e. one full and several differential or incremental backups (for more information refer to Wikipedia). To do this, you can use either the internal automatic backup or the additional program PbPlaner together with Windows Task Scheduler.

In addition, it is possible to use Windows Task Scheduler with its manifold options for starting an application to realize almost any alternating schedule. How to do so, is explained below using an example.

Example for an alternating schedule with several backups per day

On every day of the week, a full backup shall be performed at 08:00 and then at 11:00, 14:00 and 17:00 in each case these being differential backups. No backups shall be overwritten before the following week. The destination is a hard disk with the volume name Backup.

  1. Configure a task for a full backup with the following settings:
    Destination: :Backup:\Bu-%dow%\Full
    Directories to backed up: Select as required
    Settings for backup destination: Single files and Separate directories for drives (recommended)
    Compress files: yes (recommended)
    Backup mode: Either Full or Update (with the Archive bit options Use and Reset checked)
    In the case of Full, all files in the destination directory will be deleted and then all files copied from the source anew. This may take an appreciable length of time. In the case of Update, only new and changed files will be copied, which will take less time. On the other hand, all files deleted from the source directory will be retained in the target directory. To avoid this, it is recommended also to use Synchronization.
    If you wish, you can in addition select other features, e.g. to encrypt files or send a mail notification. Finally the configured task will be saved as file using a suitable name (e.g. Bu-Full).
  2. Create a differential backup using the same settings as above with the following exceptions:
    Destination: :Backup:\Bu-%dow%\D-%hour%
    Backup mode: Differential
    Then save this task (e.g. as Bu-Diff).
  3. Insert the full backup into Windows Task Scheduler:
    Open the full task (Bu-Full) and insert it into Windows Task Scheduler by clicking the button New backup .. (in the upper right of the program window): Daily start at 08:00.
  4. Insert the differential backup into Windows Task Scheduler:
    Open the differential task (Bu-Diff) and insert it into Windows Task Scheduler as described above: Daily start at 11:00 and using Advanced settings set Repeat task to every 3 hours and duration to 10 hours.

On the destination drive the following directory structure will be created:
Seven directories Bu-Mon, Bu-Tue, Bu-Wed, ..., Bu-Sun in each of which appear the subdirectories Full (for the full backup) and D-11,D-14 and D-17 (for the differential backups).

Version-6 backups using Volume Shadow Copies (VSS)

For the first time Personal Backup Version 5.6 offers the possibility of using Volume Shadow Copies available since Windows XP under NTFS to back up even locked files directly. In difference to version 5.7 that has this feature included, a separate utility program is needed:
either Volume Shadow Copy Simple Client (Windows XP, 7 and 8) or Vs-Toolkit (Windows 7 and 8).


  1. Download vscsc or VS-Toolkit as zip file
  2. Extract the desired version (32 or 64 bit, Windows XP or Windows 7) into a suitable directory, e.g. E:\Programs\Vss.
  3. Create a backup task (e.g. BuAppData.buj) to back up one or more directories all located on the same drive, e.g. C:\Users\<Name>\AppData
  4. Create a batch file (BuAppData.bat) to be used by the program vscsc to start the backup:
      @echo off
      call "%ProgramFiles%\Personal Backup 5\Release\Win32\Persbackup.exe" /f BuAppData.buj /repl:C=%1
  5. Create a batch file (StartBuAppData.bat) to start the backup process using a volume shadow copy:
      @echo off
      e:\Programs\Vss\vscsc.exe -exec=BuAppData.bat C:
      @echo off
      e:\Programs\Vss\vstoolkit.exe -exec=BuAppData.bat C:


StartBuAppData.bat can be started either directly from the Windows Explorer or using a suitable desktop shortcut. In both cases this must be done via right-clicking and the option Run as administrator even if you are logged on as a user with administrative rights.

vscsc or vstoolkit will at first create a snapshot of the specified volume (in this case C:) which will correspond with an internal virtual volume name, e.g. \\?\GLOBALROOT\Device\HarddiskVolumeShadowCopyxx.

This name will be transferred to the batch file BuAppData.bat and substituted for %1 in the command line to start Personal Backup. By dint of the option /repl:C=.., before copying files from all source directories Personal Backup will substitute the newly-created name for the snapshot for drive letter C:. In this way even locked files can be backed up without invoking errors.

After backing up is completed, the snapshot will be deleted by vscsc automatically.

J. Rathlev, 24222 Schwentinental, Germany, January 2019