Personal Backup

© 2001 − 2021, Dr. J. Rathlev



Personal Backup is distributed as an executable Windows setup file which can be used under all systems since Windows Vista (for older systems see below). The following versions are available:

32-bit version: pb-setup-6.x.yyzz.exe (x.yyzz represents the applicable version). You can install this version of the program under both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. The directory can be selected by the user, but strongly recommended is an installation to the system-dependent default location:
Windows 7/8/10 (32-bit): C:\Program Files\Personal Backup 6
If you are using a 64-bit Windows system, consider the different directory:
Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit): C:\Program Files (x86)\Personal Backup 6
64-bit version: pb-setup-x64-6.x.yyzz.exe (x.yyzz represents the applicable version). This version can only be installed under 64-bit systems. The directory can be selected by the user, but recommended is an installation to the default location:
Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit): C:\Program Files\Personal Backup 6.

To install the program, administrator rights are required.
In addition to the program itself, the distribution file also contains all available language modules, the relevant help files (*.chm), the libraries and certificates for secure FTP and mail transfer and some addons (PbRestore, PbPlaner, PbStarter, PbMon und TbBackup).
Optionally, the installation can automatically create file associations for task files (extensions: buj for backups, rsj for restore, cuj for cleanups and vfj for verifications), so that double-clicking one of these task files will start the program (see here for backups).
Additionally you can configure the program to send log entries to Windows Event Viewer during automatic backups. If selected, a restart of Windows is recommended because the event log will not be activated until then. The function of the backup program itself does not require an immediate restart.
For program removal, use the Programs and Features facility in Windows Control Panel or the Uninstall Personal Backup item via the Windows Start menu.

Notes for unattended installation:

Administrators who want to run an automatic unattended installation should use the following parameters in the command line (refer to InnoSetup documentation):

Example: pb-setup-6.x.yyzz.exe /SP- /verysilent /suppressmsgboxes /nocancel /norestart /norun

Installation under Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 or Windows Vista

Because the provided executable setup does not work anymore under these systems, the user must download the program package as zip file and then unpack it manually to the desired directory. It is recommended to use the default location:

Windows XP: C:\Program Files\Personal Backup 6


After installing the program you will find a corresponding entry in the Windows Start menu and, if so selected during installation, a desktop icon.
If the corresponding option (see above) was selected during installation, the program can also be started by double-clicking on a saved task file (extension: buj). If the autostart function with time schedule or backup on logoff was selected, you can launch the program by right-clicking the icon in the Windows notification area and selecting Personal Backup.

Manual update

To update to a new version, just download and execute the current installation file. It will automatically replace all old files in the Personal Backup installation directory with those of the new version.

Checking for updates

Click Check for update in the Help menu of the program to establish a secure connection to the download server and to check if an update is available. You can download and install it immediately.

Automatic updates


If this option is enabled (default), the program tries to establish a secure connection to the Personal Backup download server biweekly to check if an update is available. If so, the user will be asked whether this is to be downloaded:

The update to the new version will be downloaded to a selectable location. After this, the user will be prompted to install the update immediately. If so, Personal Backup will be terminated and the installation of the updates automatically started.
No further action will be undertaken other than at the next check, the user will be prompted again as to whether the update is to be installed.
No update to the given version will be made. The next update prompt will not occur until another, newer update becomes available.

More options

Note: The automatic update option can be disabled in the preferences dialog (Program start ⇒ Automatic program updates):

Specifics on updating from Version 5

Installing from the provided zip file

After downloading, unpack all files from the zip file into any directory. This may for instance also be located on a USB stick (refer to). The program can be started immediately by double-clicking the file PersBackup.exe. Keep in mind that no shortcuts on the desktop or in the Windows start menu will be created. This must be done manually by the user. It is recommended for inexperienced users to use the setup described above instead.
For updating the program, download the current zip file and unpack all files from it to the same directory by overwriting all older files. Due to the user account control since Windows 7 the rights of an administrator are required.

Starting the program from a USB flash drive

It is possible to configure Personal Backup in such a way that it can be started from a USB stick or drive without leaving traces on the host PC. Copy all files either from the zip file as described above or if the program has been installed in the normal way from the program directory (e.g. C:\Program Files\Personal Backup 6 to a directory on the USB drive (e.g. K:\PersBack). If you now were now to start the program PersBackup.exe from there, all program settings, backup tasks and log files would be saved in several subdirectories of the logged on user (see more). To avoid this, you should start the program using the command line option /portable. To do so, you can use a batch file or a shortcut containing this line
K:\PersBack\PersBackup.exe /portable
All program files now will be redirected to the directory on the USB stick from where the program was started.

For individual configurations you can use a batch file with some other command line options to start the program: /ini:[Filename], /taskdir:[Directory]and /logdir:[Directory]. Use a text editor to create such a batch file (e.g. startpb.cmd) in the root directory of the USB drive (e.g. K:\) with the following lines. Please note that when using placeholders the enclosing % signs must each be escaped by using a second %.

   @echo off
   echo Start Personal Backup from USB flash drive
   start PersBack\PersBackup.exe /i:%%progpath%%\pb.ini /t:%%progpath%%\tasks /logdir:%%progpath%%\logs"

After starting the program for the first time, configure and save your backup task. To use a backup target directory on the USB drive itself, omit the the drive letter from the destination path (e.g. \Backup) or use the volume name of the USB drive (see here). The latter will also work if the destination path is on another external drive. In doing so, you avoid problems arising from Windows assigning different drive letters.


Uninstalling the program

The best and easiest method of uninstalling the program is to use the Windows Start Menu - Personal Backup - Uninstall Personal Backup route. On doing this, you will be offered the option of deleting also all user-created backup tasks, saved program settings and log files prior to uninstalling the program. Removal of the program and the selected user files is then initiated by clicking the Uninstall button.
As an alternative method you can use Uninstall via the Windows Control Panel, but this method offers no way simultaneously to remove the user-created tasks and logs as described above.

Where to find the ini file (program settings) and the log files

All program settings including the configuration of automatic backup tasks are saved in an ini file (Persbackup.ini). This is a text file and can be read with any text editor. Editing this file is, however, not recommended.
The ini file and the standard log file (Persbackup.log) are located in the user's application data directory (except on starting from a USB stick - see above). You will find this at the following locations:

Note: By default this directory is hidden. To make it visible, change the Windows Explorer setting via Tools ⇒ Folder Options ⇒ View ⇒ Show hidden files and folders.

J. Rathlev, 24222 Schwentinental, Germany, April 2021