Other backup options

Click the Other options tab to configure the advanced settings for your backup task:

  Options Synchronize More options External programs Security backups Security copies - synchronization Sending mails Directories Settings

Synchronizing the backup directory


If one of the Synchronize options is selected (only available in Update mode), source and destination (including all subdirectories) are compared and all files and directories that do not exist (or no longer exist) at the source will be deleted from the backup directory. This ensures that you will have an identical copy of the source at the backup destination.
Synchronizing will not work with zip files at the destination, nor with the option One directory without full path if more than one source directory is selected for backing up.

No files will be deleted from the destination directory or directories.
All files
All files that no longer exist at the source will be deleted from the destination. Any folders and files excluded from the backup will be also deleted.
Selected files, retain other
Only the files and directories that were selected for backup (see selection of subdirectories, files and types) will be synchronized. All files which are not from this selection will remain untouched.
Selected files, delete other
Only the files and directories that were selected for backup (see selection of subdirectories, files and types) will be synchronized. All files which are not from this selection will be deleted (irrespective of their existence at source).

The synchronization can be done alternatively before or after backing up the files. The second option is recommended because in this case the synchronization will not be started if the backup was canceled.

Important note: Bear in mind that if synchronizing is selected, all files deleted from the source in error by the user will also be removed from the destination on next backing up. To avoid this, you can select one of the following options:

Mail delivery after backup


For monitoring the backup process on a remote computer, the administrator can arrange for a report to be sent by mail. The backup log can be attached (optionally as a zip file). If errors occurred during backup, the mail priority will be set to high (normal otherwise).

Mail settings Required settings:


Security copies

Security copies

When backing up, older file versions at the destination can be preserved if one of the following settings is selected:

When synchronizing, the backups of files that no longer exist on the source side can be preserved:

During Backup

If this box is checked, previous file versions at the destination will not be overwritten but renamed and optionally moved into a separate directors. but with a modified name. This name will be the original name with a suffix added in front of the final extension. Depending on the backup destination selection (Windows directory, FTP or Zip archive), some options described below may not be available.

Location for older file versions

The security copies can be archived at different places:

Rename older file versions

The new name is derived from the original name by adding a suffix left from the file extension. The following examples will explain this. The options marked with * are only available if the maximum number is set to zero.

Maximum age of older versions

Additionally, you can select how long the security copies shall be preserved. Older files will be deleted automatically during backup. If the number of weeks is set to 0, all security copies will be retained irrespective to their age.

Note: When synchronizing is enabled, previous versions will be retained only for files still present at the source.

Settings Settings


During synchronization

If this option is enabled, during synchronization all files and directories that no longer exist at the source will either be renamed and/or moved to another directory instead of being deleted from the destination. It will then be be possible to restore files that were deleted from the source in error even after a backup with synchronization.

Location for files and directories to be deleted

The security copies can be archived at different places:

Rename directories to be deleted

The suffix may remain blank, may have a fixed value or may additionally contain placeholders for the timestamp of the directory (not available with FTP), the backup date and/or the backup time (refer to Security copies at Backup).

Rename files to be deleted
  1. The suffix will be inserted into the filename in front of the final extension (<filename>.<suffix>.<ext>[.gz|.enc]) such that Windows file type association will remain unaffected.
    Example: Using the suffix "sync" will change MyText.doc into MyText.sync.doc
  2. Prefixing the suffix by + sign will cause the suffix to be inserted after the filename extension (<filename>.<ext>.<suffix>[.gz|.enc]). Be aware that the Windows file type associations will no longer work in this case.
    Example: Using the suffix "sync" will change MyText.doc into MyText.doc.sync

On Restore, Verify and Cleanup, there are special functions to handle files and directories marked in this way.

Executing an external program before and/or after backup

External programs

An external program, a batch file, a script or a shortcut can be executed before and/or after each backup. This facility makes it possible during a backup to stop a currently-running service or program that locks its files against access by other applications and then to restart this afterwards (see this sample script for backing up Outlook files), but many other operations may also be realized in a similar way, such as waking up a server (WakeOnLan).


Clicking the Settings button will open a dialog box (see screenshot on right) where you can edit the required command lines.
Particular notes on executing scripts: Running batch files (.cmd and .bat), VB scripts (.vbs) or PowerShell scripts (.ps1), will only require the script file to be specified. Personal Backup will automatically start the associated application. If the full path is not specified, the script file must be located in the same directory as the backup tasks.
To activate the execution of an external program, first of all check the associated box at the left. Clicking the Select program button will open a dialog to select a program, a script or a batch file and insert its path into the command line. By clicking the Placeholders button one of the following placeholders can be inserted into the command line:

When starting the external program, the placeholders are replaced by the current values. Bear in mind that with automatic backups, the command prompt will be displayed after starting a batch file only when the option for the status window is set to Wait for prompt or Wait only on error.

Important notes: The application or script to be executed must be specified with its full path (or the appropriate placeholder). If there are spaces within its path, the path must without fail be enclosed between quotation marks.

Other settings for external programs:

Note: If you want to insert a pause after starting an external application, for example to wait for an external drive to start up, you will need to use a small batch script to call the program Wait from the program utility package.

Examples: (<path> refers to the path of the specific program or script)

1. To check whether an external drive (e.g. a USB drive) is available and, if applicable, powered up:
Insert <path>\CheckDrive.exe %dest% /p into then field "Execute before backup". (download the program CheckDrive).
2. To eject the disk after writing to a CD/DVD in drive D::
Insert <path>\eject.exe D: into the field Execute after backup (download the program the program EJECT by WebGeek, Inc. -
3. To delete a temporary folder before or after backup:
Insert cmd.exe /c <path>\deldir.cmd <folder> into the field. The batch file deldir.cmd should contain a line such as del C:\temp.
4. To delete certain files before or after backup:
Insert cmd.exe /c <path>\delfile.cmd <folder>\<mask> into the field. The batch file delfile.cmd should contain a line such as del C:\Temp\*.tmp.
5. To start a VB script after backup:
Insert %sysdir%\cscript.exe <script.vbs> into the field.

Miscellaneous options

Select the option from the list in the left window. The right-hand window displays the corresponding input screen. Changes must be confirmed by clicking the Apply changes button.

Description for task

Description Security

Selecting this option, you can insert multiple lines of description for the backup task. In the main window, this description is displayed as a tooltip when the mouse cursor is placed over the task name. The description is also shown in the start dialog.

Task security

Here, you can protect your backup settings from unauthorized overwrites by specifying a password that must be entered before saving a task. Simply delete this password if you wish to cancel the protection. Before changing or deleting a password, the current password must be entered for corroboration.

Log file

Log file Log settings

You can select whether the default log file or a specific file is to be used for the currently-opened task.

Location of the log file: At the bottom the currently selected log directory is displayed for your information. This directory can be selected in the dialog called from Preferences ⇒ Directories ... in the main menu. By default the AppData\Roaming\PersBackup6 directory of the user is used (see more).

Log settings

You can adjust the log file settings individually (screenshot above on right) for this backup task (more details).

Processing of filenames

Filenames Junctions

File and directory names can be changed during copying (screenshot above on left):

Junction points

Using the NTFS file system, since Windows Vista it has been possible to insert hard links (junctions) to other directories into the file system. To create such a junction, use the console command MKLINK. During backup there are four ways to take junctions of subdirectories into account. Refer to the screenshot above on right:

Note: With junctions, there is the inherent danger of endless recursions, for example when linking to a higher-level directory. The program will recognize and ignore such recursions if possible.

Copy settings

Copy buffer Timeout

The program uses an internal buffer for copying and/or compressing files. The size of this buffer can be set in multiples of 1 KiB (= 1024 Byte). When using external drives (e.g. USB) you can speed up the copy process by changing the buffer size (screenshot above on left). The default values are 4096 KiB for Windows and 256 KiB for FTP transfers, but experimentation can be worthwhile.
In addition Windows cache (system transfer buffer) can optionally be disabled. All files will then be written directly to the storage medium. Using this option the user may have the impression that file copying is slowed down. But in fact copying via the cache is no faster because the system is processing data transfers in the background which is hardly perceptible to the user. However, immunity from system errors will be increased by writing directly to the storage medium.
During backup, all file and directory attributes will be copied by default (more info). However, some NAS systems do not support the Windows specific file attributes. In this case you can disable this function.

Timeout on copying files

To prevent the program from hanging during file copying, for example when the destination is no longer available (as can happen on network connections), timeout monitoring is implemented. The default setting is 60 s, meaning that the backup process of the current file will be terminated if copying a block (see Copy buffer) takes longer than this. You can increase this time as required (image at top right). To turn timeout monitoring off, set the time to zero (screenshot above on right).
In addition, you can set the number of timeouts to be allowed after which the backup will be aborted outright (Default: 5).

Copy priority

Process priority Copy speed

You can adjust the priority of the file copying processes with respect to other applications (screenshot above on left): if you select "Very low", other running processes will decelerated less than with the "Normal" setting. If you select "High", the file copying processes will be given a higher priority, possibly causing other applications to run more slowly.
Note: This setting only has an effect if there are other processes running with high CPU usage.
In addition you can select whether Personal Backup has to reduce its CPU usage to provide more CPU time for other processes. For maximum copy speed, this option must be switched off (default setting).

Transfer speed

Sometimes, for example when backing up data via a network connection on a server, it is expedient to limit the data transmission rate. Other accesses to network resources are thereby affected less severely. The value can be specified as maximum transfer speed in kByte/s (screenshot above on right).

Timestamp file

Timestamps Skip directories

If this option (screenshot above on left) is selected, after every backup a file named $timestamp will be written to the root directory of the destination. It contains an information about the start time of the most recent backup. So looking at this file, the user can recognize when this was performed. If this option is not selected, the timestamp file will only be created with alternating schedules and the modes differential or incremental to recognize if there were multiple backups on the same day.

Skip unavailable directories

When backing up a directory located on a removable medium or on a network resource, it can happen that this is unavailable during backup, e.g. if a USB stick is not plugged in. If the backup was started manually or automatically using one of the modes Wait for prompt or Wait only on error, the user will prompted to insert the medium.
Select this option (screenshot above on right) if you wish always to skip backing up such a directory. In this case only an appropriate note will be added to the log.

Scan directories

Scan directories Status display

If this option (screenshot above on left) is selected, all directories to be backed up will be scanned every time before the backup is started. Thereby all selected files are counted and their volume volume is recalculated. This ensures an absolute reliable display of the total progress bar during the following backup. To spare time this option is by default disabled. In this case the progress bar will use the result from the last preceding backup.

Status display

Before starting a backup, the program will by default send a message to the Windows system not to go into idle mode and not to switch off the display until the backup has been finished. Thus, the status display always remains visible during a backup. By checking this option (screenshot above on right), Windows will be permitted to switch off the display during longer backups.
You can also select whether errors that occur during the backup are displayed in addition to the status window in the form of a list.

Removable media

Removable media

If you want to back up files from a removable drive (e.g. a USB stick) you cannot be certain that the same drive letter will always be assigned. To prevent this, the program normally checks the volume name of the storage medium (see here). If you do not wish the program to act in this way, you can select this option to force the drive letters to be used every time. In this way you can configure a task to backup the files from any storage medium using a given drive letter, e.g. drive K:, registered by the system on connection.

J. Rathlev, 24222 Schwentinental, Germany, September 2023