Archive for the ‘Backup’ Category

Can XP Drivers Work On Vista?

January 9th, 2014 No comments

Driver files are highly specialized, with plenty of coding going in to each distinct version of a particular file. If you could open the drivers and examine them, you would find great differences in the files needed to make one device work with a Windows XP system and a MacBook Pro. While this does make it a little harder to get devices working when you can’t seem to locate a matching driver file, it is necessary to prevent a lot of communication errors between a printer or MP3 player and the computer.

The Trouble With Generic Drivers

There have been many attempts to create generic driver files over the years that have backfired or mostly failed. Since the various operating systems are so different in how they operate, it is hard to design a set of instructions that work on all of them. Executing an action on Windows XP requires different code than it would on Windows Vista. This means that a driver written for XP will do nothing on Vista – or possible create havoc by executing inappropriate actions when triggered by the device. Installing the wrong drivers can send the system into a complete reboot loop. Many users attempt to force trustworthy XP drivers to install through the Device Manager. The computer may warn you about the practice or complete it without complaint. If you aren’t sure that a file is designed for the version of Windows you’re using, get a fresh download rather than attempting to install it manually.

Generic Exceptions

This rule about driver complications is mainly true for complex devices like printers, MP3 players, scanners, external hard drivers, and similar accessories. Very simple items, including USB flash drivers and basic keyboards, communicate with all Windows operating systems just fine. These items are covered by generic drivers. You can tell if a certain accessory falls into the umbrella of generic coverage by looking for the Plug and Play designation on the packaging. Devices with this capability tend to work just fine with both XP and Vista without any concerns about downloading and installing new drivers. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to find devices more complicated than basic input or storage tools that can just start working with the computer without the download and installation of drivers.

Upgrading Your Operating System

Many people face a driver conundrum for the first time when they want to upgrade a computer with Windows XP to Vista or an even newer OS. Digging out the recovery or installation discs that came with the system will only provide you with a set of XP drivers if that is what was originally installed. Even if the system had an option to order with Vista pre-installed, the manufacturer was only allowed to send you discs for the OS you picked. Unless the system had a dual installation of the newer system, don’t expect recovery discs to be much help during an upgrade. You are going to have to go on the hunt for Vista appropriate drivers rather than relying on XP files.

The Generation Gap

It is perfectly possible for a computer running Windows XP to be incompatible for an upgrade despite being powerful enough to support it. Even if the processor and memory is sufficient, some older systems and components just don’t have support anymore. Check that the manufacturers decided to make Vista drivers for the computer and hardware you are trying to use. If they didn’t, there may be no safe and reliable way to force the newer operating system to work with the hardware. There is a generation gap between the two systems of quite a few years, so only expect the last few computers that shipped with XP to feature drivers and other forms of support for newer options.

Six Steps To Finding Vista Drivers

Always start by double checking that your computer can handle the higher demands of the newer operating system. Once you are sure it’s worth undertaking, you need to make a few preparations before popping the OS installation disc into the drive.

  1. Find a reliable driver program and save it. Look for a major installer that includes libraries for both XP and Vista drivers. If you run this program shortly after the fresh copy of Vista is in place, most to all of your drivers should be installed automatically.
  2. Make a list of all of the components inside the computer. You will likely need to hunt down drivers for each wireless card and graphics card separately, so use the Device Manager to examine what’s installed before attempting to make a switch.
  3. Check the manufacturer’s website for the computer and see if Vista drivers are available. If there are missing support files, head to the websites for the makers of each component. Use the exact model numbers reported by the Device Manager to make sure you are getting the right files.
  4. Don’t forget about 32 vs 64 bit system requirements. If you use 64 bit drivers for your XP installation, the same will be needed once Vista is the dominant OS.
  5. Load all of the drivers onto USB flash drives or burn them onto CDs. USB devices tend to be the best choice because the generic drivers that come along with the new version of the OS should mean that support is available after the initial Vista boot.
  6. Be prepared to roll back to your previous version of the system if there are unexpected incompatibilities. Having a second computer for driver and system file troubleshooting online is best when doing this kind of work. There can be issues with the installation itself, even if you have all of the right drivers and other files on hand.
Categories: Backup, Driver Tools, FAQs Tags:

When Should I Remove Drivers From My Computer?

January 3rd, 2014 No comments

Since drivers are such crucial system files, it is best to handle them very carefully. Overzealous removal of files that seem unneeded or outdated could cripple your system and leave your hardware on the fritz. Most users should leave their drivers alone, but problems popping up may require you to do a little selective trimming of the archives. It takes a few steps to fully remove driver files. However, virus infections and incompatibilities often call for the deletion of device drivers before brand new copies can be installed. Learning when and how to remove driver files is important if you don’t have a computer service department to fall back on for repairs.

Arguments Against Removal

It is a good practice to uninstall software and games when you’re done with them to keep your hard drive from getting cluttered. However, driver files are small and won’t take up significant room. There are far more benefits to keeping older version of drivers around than there are risks associated with them. If you keep your files, you can:

  • Easily rollback to a previous working version when an update causes all sorts of issues. Many new releases come with unexpected bugs, so rollback is one of the most powerful driver tools you can use on Windows XP.
  • Use System Recovery to reset your entire computer back to a point before a virus or bug took hold. If the drivers have been deleted since the last good working point, recovery will likely fail in at least one way.
  • Keep generic drivers from being installed for hardware you use every day. Removing a driver still in use often triggers an automatic installation that leaves you with limited to no use of the equipment.
  • Registry files are left behind after many types of incomplete driver uninstalling processes. Leaving these listings could mean that new items are incorrectly recognized as the old equipment. New sound cards or printers with no response are often linked to driver confusions.

Corruption And Malware

One situation that calls for uninstalling the older set of drivers is when malware or viruses strike. Many high level viral threats attack the system files to make it much harder for you to remove the infection. Being forced to delete your graphics card driver may cause the system to act up, but it could be your only option for eliminating the threat. Your anti virus software may ask to quarantine the file before deleting it, which will require a reboot. Make sure you follow the uninstallation process after quarantine, then clear the system with your anti virus program, before you attempt to install a new copy.

Driver Errors

You may also need to initiate a full removal of scanner drivers or similar files if you find that error codes keep popping up every time you start your computer. This is often the only indication that you are dealing with file problems at all. Keep an eye out for:

  • Code 18 – The driver is in need of reinstallation before the device can work properly again.
  • Code 38 – There are issues loading the driver files because existing instances are already open.
  • Code 45 – The hardware is not connected.
  • Code 49 – Too many devices have been installed into the registry. This is the code most linked to the need for immediate deletion of old and unneeded drivers.

New Equipment

When you want to replace a stock piece of hardware or an outdated accessory, you may need to completely remove old drivers along with the unwanted equipment. Leaving files in place often means a new video card or sound card is simply recognized as the previous version. This prevents the hardware manager from following the process for adding the right driver files for your upgrade. Again, deleting the physical drivers won’t take away the corresponding registry listings, so follow a full uninstallation if your new equipment recommends it. It’s smart to follow the process even if it isn’t recommended when installing anything attaching to the motherboard.

It is also recommended that you prune out some outdated drivers if you reconfigure your hardware and remove things that aren’t replaced. Leaving too many drivers behind will use up precious system resources and slow down the start up process. Each driver file has to be loaded during the boot phase, so excess listings can lead to slightly slower loads. This is barely noticeable on a modern system, but an older XP computer with limited memory and processing power could struggle greatly if it gets too bogged down. You may find a streamlined start after a careful survey of driver files that are no longer needed.

How To Remove Drivers In Full

A quick process is all it takes to remove driver files and the registry listings associated with them. You won’t be able to see the files for missing or disconnected hardware unless you take the right steps to unlock them says Tech Republic.

  1. Open your Start Menu by clicking the circular icon in the left hand lower corner.
  2. Select the Run option near the bottom.
  3. Enter the word “cmd”, without the quotes, into the Run box that appears. Use lower cased letters.
  4. When the Command Prompt window opens, type in “set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1” without the quotes. Press enter after to execute the command. Nothing will appear to happen, but the setting will change as soon as you see the blinking cursor move to the next line.
  5. On the next line, enter “devmgmt.msc” with no quotes. Again, press enter. At this point you will see the Device Manager opening – without you having to go through the Start Menu again.
  6. Open the View menu at the top of the Manager screen. Click on the Show Hidden Devices option.
  7. Check the updated listing on the screen. You should see any inactive or unused drivers as grayed out icons and text. Double check every device and listing before making any changes. When you find something you can verify needs removal, right click and select Uninstall to complete the process.

The Importance Of Official And Original Drivers

December 17th, 2013 No comments

With thousands of websites offering you seemingly endless ways to solve your driver problems, it can be tempting to just start downloading everything available. Unfortunately, many miraculous claims made by software makers are exaggerated. In the worst cases, supposed drivers turn out to act as little more than spyware that mines your personal data without your knowledge. Keeping your system safe and operating as it should be requires you to pick out the original and official drivers from the fake files and third party offerings. Separating the wheat from the chaff is the best way to keep viruses off of your home or work computer.

Software From The Manufacturer


The best source for drivers is nearly always the company that built the company or the piece of equipment. Turning to companies like Dell, Samsung, Sony, or AMD means that you are receiving the files originally intended to be distributed with the hardware. Seeking out software from the manufacturer has numerous benefits:

  • Gives you the best chance at getting updated versions of the drivers that solve important security hazards or glitches.
  • Prevents unwanted code from hijacking your system or damaging your driver files.
  • Offers a simple installation process because most manufacturers provide executable programs that guide you through the process.

Viruses And Spyware

There is another reason to stick to trustworthy sources when trying to replace drivers for common devices like scanners and printers. Some third party or fake files contain viruses or deliver spyware that compromise your safety. When you get a keylogger or hijacker file, it can take days or weeks of hard work to move it. The hidden files send your credit card numbers or other sensitive data to the thieves. You don’t want to deal with identify theft or fraud while trying to find an authentic version of your drivers to solve an error.


When To Turn To Third Parties

In some rare cases, you just can’t find a driver directly from the manufacturer. Companies go out of business each year, leaving you with no website to download drivers on. Many of the biggest producers also drop support for older devices usually found on Windows XP computers. If you have discovered that your manufacturer is no longer providing the files you need, you may be forced to turn to a third party to resolve your driver woes. This is only risky if you don’t stick to reliable third parties, like XPDrivers. Sources that report scanning from verifiers will help you avoid driver download websites that accidentally or purposefully spread malware and spyware.


How To Test The Safety Of Unknown Drivers

When you are pushed into choosing a driver file that comes from a third party, it is best to do a little testing and preparation before attempting to pick the right one. Installing some protection will ensure that your experiments don’t go awry if you accidentally download an infected one.

  1. Start with a good anti-virus program. You can find dozens of top rated options for free, including AVG, Avast, and Webroots. Install it before downloading a single driver file, even if you are using a trustworthy website.
  2. Run a complete virus and malware scan. There’s no point in trying to fix a driver problem when a piece of malware is running wild on your hard drive.
  3. Create a folder on your desktop and set it as your download folder for your browser. This process varies based on the anti-virus program you have chosen.
  4. Run a scan on all supposed driver files before executing them or unzipping archives. If the anti-virus or malware scanning software detects a problem, delete the file and look for an alternative.
  5. Install the drivers if there are no warning signs. Run the scan again after installation to make sure nothing slipped in with the other files.

The Power Of Collections

When trying to access original drivers that are no longer listed on the manufacturer’s website, it often helps to find complete collections of files for specific devices. A general mix of network drivers all packaged together in one set gives you a good shot at finding something that works. Stick to groupings of genuine content gleaned from the installation discs and websites rather than third party materials created later. You may gain access to rare or unusual files that would be impossible to find otherwise.


System Recovery Processes

There is one more simple trick for locating trusted drivers when the original maker is out of business. If you can find your original system discs or a system recovery CD created later, you may be able to restore the right files in just a few minutes. Using the XP System Restore process also helps. When driver files are removed or changed, the system can make a restore point prior to the event that allows you to rollback to a previous version later. Keeping System Restore enabled is the best way to reverse driver damage if you catch it as soon as it occurs. Follow these steps to check and see if you have this valuable service enabled.

  1. Open the Start Menu by clicking on its icon on your task bar. Look for the My Computer listing and right click on. Select and click on Properties.
  2. Select the System Restore tab. There will be two checkboxes – if they are checked, the automatic restore point process has been turned off. The boxes need to be clear to allow the establishments of regular check points.
  3. Click on OK after making any changes to commit them.

Look For Signing

Working with signed drivers is a good way to avoid fakes and forgeries. When you try to install a file or executable, Windows may warn you that the component is missing its signing. This should give you pause and redirect your plans to install the drivers. Signing allows the computer to tell when a file has been altered since its original authoring, according to Microsoft.

Categories: Backup, Driver FAQ, XP Drivers Tags:

Rolling Back To A Previous Driver

September 3rd, 2013 No comments

Computer owners that are trying to keep a new system running smoothly from day one are often told by well-meaning friends and experts to always check for driver updates. In nearly all cases, this is perfectly good advice. Installing the latest versions of the software offered by the manufacturer is a good way to keep the devices communicating clearly with the rest of the system. Most driver updates get rid of bugs or improve security, but it is always possible that an update causes a problem rather than fixing one. If unwanted or unexpected errors have been popping up since you installed a specific file, you may need to rollback to a previous driver.


Why Do Drivers Need To Be Rolled Back?


In a perfect world, every software update is complete and only remedies issues with the corresponding hardware. Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world. Many Windows XP drivers are released and cause serious issues before the manufacturer realizes there is a problem. A specific piece of coding could lead to all sorts of problems that didn’t arise during the testing phase. It is almost impossible to test for every system and setup before the files are released. In far rarer cases, drivers may be damaged or infected during the downloading process.


Rolling Drivers Back The Easy Way


Your computer should be able to restore the previous version of the device driver fairly quickly. Windows XP stores the last version before any updates in case something goes wrong. Complete the process by:


  1. Clicking on the Start menu button to open it. Click on the Control Panel listing to the right, then double-click. This should open the Control Panel folder.
  2. Find the icon labeled System, then double-click it. At the top of the screen, click on the tab labeled Hardware. Locate the Device Manager button and give it a click.
  3. Pick through the list of installed hardware until you find the device experiencing driver issues. It may be highlighted with a yellow caution icon or appear completely normal. Double-click on the listing for the corresponding hardware.
  4. Select the tab at the top of the screen labeled Driver. There will be a button entitled Roll Back Driver near the bottom of this window. Clicking it begins the process, which should take only a few seconds.
  5. Follow any on-screen prompts to restart your system or disconnect and reconnect the device.


Try this process first when driver updates seem to cause issues. When the process succeeds but the problem doesn’t go away, you may have an issue with the hardware itself. Reinstalling the driver won’t help if your printer is malfunctioning or out of ink.


Going Further Back


This automatic process will only restore the last driver version installed before your most recent update. For some errors, it may be necessary to go back two or three versions. This must be done manually. Most users will find that the Roll Back Driver button becomes grayed out and unusable after one roll back. The process only records copies of one former installation. If the system can’t find proper files, the process will fail. A pop-up will appear stating that no backup files were found. In both cases, you will need to manually uninstall the latest driver update and do a clean installation of your preferred driver version.


Manual Removal Of Misbehaving Drivers


When Windows XP doesn’t have any options for rolling back your drivers, you can always uninstall the problem files and start fresh.


  1. Open the Device Manager again by using the above instructions. Locate your problem device in the list.
  2. Right-click on the device’s listing and select the Uninstall option. Windows will ask if you are sure about your decision – only select Yes if you have the replacement driver files ready to install and the hardware is not essential to the functioning of the computer. Uninstalling files for hard drives or commonly used ports should only be handled professionals.
  3. Disconnect the device from the computer. Start your installation process from the beginning with your preferred driver files.


You may also have better luck by uninstalling the drivers through a software package from the manufacturer. Checking your Add or Remove Programs window could help you quickly wipe out unwanted updates.


  1. Open the Control Panel from the Start Menu. Double-click on the Add or Remove Programs icon.
  2. Check the list for a software package provided by the device’s manufacturer. Most video and sound cards now come with these programs to make installation easier and more thorough.
  3. Select the right list item and double-click on it to begin the automatic uninstallation process. Pay careful attention and note the locations of any files not removed, which may include drivers. You can go in and manually remove them when the program is completed.


Don’t Always Uninstall

When some computer owners learn about the uninstallation process for drivers, they decide to remove older versions before each update. However, this defeats the purpose of having a backup for rolling back. If you discover an issue with the newest version, you must go through the lengthy manual work rather than just hitting a button. Leaving older driver files intact ensures that Windows XP can quickly restore order to your system when unexpected errors start to pop up for a specific component.


Removing All Driver Files


While the manual uninstall process through the Device Manager won’t wipe out every driver file, it does remove the associations that make it hard to install an older driver version. It is rarely necessary to completely eradicate all .dll or .inf files associated with a specific device. If a virus infects the drivers for your system, your antivirus software should quarantine them before deleting. This allows you to copy down the file names and find replacements before you actually approve their full removal. Installing replacements as quickly as possible eliminates the chances of data loss or other serious problems that occur when system files are damaged.

How to install ToDo Backup?

October 21st, 2011 No comments

1. First, download ToDo Backup installer from EaseUS here and save it to a suitable folder on your hard drive, for example in C:\Downloads. The download file size is about 80 MB in size, so it could take a while to download it.

2. Once the download is complete, double-click the tb_free.exe file to install ToDo Backup, from the location you just saved it in the above step.


3. You’d see the following screen welcoming you. Click the button titled ‘Next’.


4. Accept the license agreement by selecting the appropriate radio button and then click ‘Next’.


5. Some documentation is shown about ToDo Backup. Just click on ‘Next’ to continue the installation.


6. Click ‘Next’ to accept the default installation folder and continue.


7. Once again, click ‘Next’ to continue installation.


8. Setup will start installing all the necessary files and it may take some time. Sit back and relax while it does its work.

ToDo_Setup6     ToDo_Setup7

9. After setup is finished installing, you’d see the following window asking you some details, but you can skip typing in anything and just click ‘Finish’.


10. This would start ToDo Backup and you may want to backup your system or other important drives / partitions. Please view this post if you want to know how to image your drives / partitions.











Categories: Backup Tags:

How to image a disk or partition for free, using EaseUS ToDo Backup?

October 6th, 2011 No comments


This post helps you create a disk image of a drive or partition using the free ToDo Backup. To view the post on how to install ToDo Backup, click here.

1. Start ToDo Backup from the Windows Start Menu or from the ToDo Backup icon created on the Desktop. The following window would be displayed.


2. Select or click the Backup tab and then click the ‘Disk and partition backup’.


3. The following window appears with a default name and description of the backup task, you’re about to perform. Change the name and description of the task so that it would help you remember what you backed up and what are the contents etc., as shown below, and then click ‘Next’.


4. ToDo Backup asks you to select one or more drives or partitions to backup. Select the ones you wish to backup and click ‘Next’.


5. ToDo Backup asks you to select the destination drive or partition where you want to save your backup. Select it from the list of available drives and partitions and click ‘Next’.

ToDo_Backup_Image_5   ToDo_Backup_Image_6

6. You see the below shown window, showing the schedule settings. Click ‘Next’ to accept the default setting for backing up now.


7. ToDo Backup shows the summary of the backup task it’s about to perform. Click the button labeled ‘Proceed’.


 8. You can see the backup task progress. When it’s finished, click ‘Finish’. The time it takes for the backup depends on the size of the drive or partition and the type of backup, i.e., full, incremental, differential, etc. To know more about what these backup types are and what are the differences between them, view this post.

ToDo_Backup_Image_9 ToDo_Backup_Image_10

 9. When the backup is done, just click ‘Finish’. That’s all. You’ve backed up your disk partition. Now, you can take incremental or differential backups of the same drive or partition, whenever you want or you can schedule ToDo Backup to backup automatically after the time you specify.

You’ve just saved yourself a lot of headache and time it could take if your operating system got corrupted, or your hard drive went bad or your system got infected with a deadly virus or you had to reinstall Windows and software programs for any reason.

Now, whenever you want to restore the backup, it’s a simple click and go process which would only take minutes, compared to many hours and days it could take to installing Windows, software programs and doing all the configuration and personalization for all of them.

An overview of disk imaging programs

September 27th, 2011 No comments

You may never have used or even heard about any disk imaging programs, but does that mean you shouldn’t know about it? Probably not. Knowing how to use one could save you lots of time. Also, you may never need to re-install Windows and software programs, tweak/configure your program settings, and also restore your data, if you use such a program.

Even if a catastrophe doesn’t strike, there may be some kind of hardware failure like hard drive failure or the system not booting due to some human error. Whatever it is, you don’t want to spend days to reinstall Windows, software and then configuring them, do you? This is why you need a drive-imaging program that backs up your complete system—including all your data and applications—and can restore it all in minutes.

The usual backup programs just backup files and folders, but drive imaging programs do a lot more than that – they backup everything on your drive partition as it is, so that when you restore the whole partition, it’s also able to boot normally (in case of the system or Windows’ partition). And all of this is done in minutes. An ordinary backup program makes copies of your files. On the other hand, a drive imaging program makes a byte-by-byte duplicate copy of your whole hard drive (or one or more partitions, depending on your hard drive structure and the partitions you choose to backup), maintaining the identical data structure.

Even if your drive fails physically, if you have an image backup, you can just put in another hard drive and restore to that drive or partition from your backups. In a matter of minutes, you’d have your system up and running like as if nothing had happened! You can also restore in situations like when your system becomes unstable due to some software program or malware that you installed. It’s much better in cases where Windows System Restore fails to restore the system.

Of course, you could achieve the same result by reinstalling Windows and all your drivers and applications—if you can find them again. And then you could use a conventional backup program to restore your data. But that process would likely take a day or two, if you’re lucky, and your system still won’t have all the tweaks and customizations that make it your own.

It’s useful to have a drive imaging program even if your hard drive never failed. You could also use the program to clone a single system to multiple computers. Some programs even allow you to transfer the image of your current system to other computers having different hardware, without installing Windows – something that’s not possible when you upgrade to a new system.

Many imaging programs of today can run in the back, and you can keep running your other programs and working normally. They can even create incremental and differential backups, which just store the changed files. This speeds up the time it takes to do the daily backup to a great extent.

If your system or the hard drive fails, you can even boot the system using a previously created emergency disc to restore it from the backup image.

Even if your system is running fine, such programs can help you by getting back an older version of any file. You can just mount the backup image, which looks like a drive letter in Windows explorer, and then extract the file you want.

To know how to install and configure the free great backup program from EaseUS, read this post.

How to Restore from a Backup made by Cobian Backup?

December 4th, 2010 No comments

In the other posts, you saw how to install, configure and backup your files using Cobian Backup. Here, you’ll see how to restore the already backed up files, whenever you need them.

1. If you don’t remember the destination or target folder on your backup device, open Cobian backup by double-clicking its icon in the system tray. Then, click the “Files” settings in the left-hand pane. Whatever destination you selected when you configured Cobian for the first time, can be seen under the Destination heading.


2. Now, open up My Computer or Windows Explorer and go to this folder. You may have to connect your backup device to the computer if it’s not already connected. You may see something like the following screen. There’s a list of all the backed up files in zip format. Some of the backups are Full and others are Differential as mentioned in parenthesis along with each backup.


3. Since we backed up using the Differential type of backup, when restoring, we’ll have to restore the last Full backup plus the last Differential backup. Since the backup names above include the date and time of backup, we can easily select the two backup files needed for restoring the latest backup. You may copy these two files to a temporary folder on your hard drive.


4. Now, extract or unzip both the zip files. You can do this one by one, so you’d know which folders were extracted by which zip file.


5. In this case, My Documents was extracted from the Full Backup and the other three folders were extracted from the Differential Backup zip file.


6. Now, you have to move the folders created by the differential backup, into the folder created by the full backup. Cut the last three folders.


7. Then, paste them into the My Documents folder.


8. Since we are overwriting some of the files of the Full Backup, with the ones in the Differential Backup, it’s okay to say Yes or Yes to all, when Windows asks if you want to replace the existing files.


9. Now, the My Documents folder contains the latest restored files. Remember that this is within a temporary folder, so you should move all these files and folders to the folder you want them in.


10. That’s it. You are done with the restore. This is simpler than it seems because of all these steps. Once you try it, the next time you can do it much faster, without much thinking.


If you want to know all about backups, click here.

If you want help in installing Cobian Backup, click here.

If you want to know how to configure Cobian for local backup, click here.

If you want to know how to configure Cobian for online / FTP backup, click here.

Configuring Cobian for Online / FTP Backup

November 24th, 2010 1 comment

1. First, install Cobian Backup as shown here.

2. After installation of Cobian Backup is complete, configure it as shown here.

3. The third step is to create an FTP account with a free or paid ftp server service. There were many free ftp servers in the past but almost all have started charging for their service. Only drivehq is the one known at this time, which doesn’t charge for ftp. Free FTP space is also available with free website hosting services, but they may not let you upload files for backing up. Even if they allow, they may delete the content if its not according to their terms and conditions.

4. Signup with drivehq. It’s a one-step, free signup and a very reliable service. You’ll get 1GB of free FTP space. Click here for the list of features.

5. If you don’t want to go with a free ftp service, you have two options – you can get a cheap, paid FTP service at cheapftpspace or you can get 1GB FTP space free at transferum, for a one time activation fee of USD $15. Transferum used to charge just US $1 for the activation, a few months ago but recently they increased the price. Please read the details on this page at transferum.

6. After paying the 15 USD fee, just send an email to with your desired username and email address. You’d be notified, once the account is created. The password would be sent in the email.

7. Now, back to configuring Cobain Backup. In the Files setting, where you add the source and destination, click on FTP for destination.


8. This example assumes that you have an FTP account with transferum. Replace the settings according to your FTP server documentation. Configure the FTP settings as shown. Use your FTP account username and password. Leave the working directory blank and check the checkbox that says Passive transfers. This is all you have to do. Leave the other settings as they are. You can now click the “Test” button to test the connection. A test file will be created in your ftp account and a status message would be shown. Now, click OK to save the settings.


9. Configure the rest of Cobian Backup, as shown on the Cobian Local Backup configuration page.

If you want help in installing Cobian Backup, click here.

If you want to know all about backups, click here.

If you want to know how to restore data from a backup made by Cobian backup, click here.


Configuring Cobian for Local Backup

November 24th, 2010 2 comments

1. If you haven’t already installed Cobian Backup, install it first. View this page on how to install it.

2. Double click the Cobian Backup tray icon or right-click it and click Open. You’ll see the following screen. There are no default backup tasks. You’ll have to create a task, the first time you open Cobian Backup.


3. Click the Task menu and then click New Task.


4. On the next screen, give this task any name of your choice. For example, My Backup 1. In the backup type, select one of Full, Incremental or Differential. Even if you select Incremental or Differential, the first backup is always a full backup. Click here to know more about the different backup types.

You can select the number of full backup copies to keep and after how many incremental or differential backups, a full backup should be made. 10 is a good number, but if your backup device has low disk space, you can change these numbers accordingly.


5. Now, on the left hand side, click the “Files” setting. Here, you add the source files or directories and the destination, where you want to save these backups. You can add individual files or you can add directories and sub-directories. You can also drag and drop files and folders into the source and destination and the paths would be saved.

 Configuring_Cobian4 Configuring_Cobian5

6. After you have added the source and destination, the paths to those files and directories would be shown as seen below.


7. Now, click the “Schedule” setting on the left hand pane. On the right hand pane, in the Schedule type drop-down list, select one of the schedules, how often you want your backup task to run. A daily or weekly backup, as per your need.


8. If you want your backup to be more frequent, you can click the Schedule type named Timer. Then, specify a number in the Timer box. It is in minutes, so 60 means run the backup task every hour, 120 means every two hours, and so on. Hourly is a good choice for people who create or save lots of data every hour and don’t want to lose it.


9. Now, on the left side pane, select the “Exclusions” setting. On the right side pane, you can add files and directories to include in the backup or exclude from the backup. You can also include a mask like *.zip to include or exclude all .zip files from the backup task. The exclusions are important here. Note that if you use inclusions, the backup will contain only the files that you include here. Every other file would be excluded. So, don’t touch inclusions.


10. The following screen shows a list of exclusions added as masks. These files won’t be backed up, even if they were in the source folder (My Documents, in the above case).


11. You’re done with all the settings and can click on OK. The following screen shows the details or properties of the backup task you just created.


12. You can right-click the task in the left pane and click ‘Run selected tasks”, to run the backup immediately. The first time, a full backup will be made, so it can take some time to backup all the files and folders you selected in the source.


13. This screen shows the backup task running, that we just created. You can see the status messages in the right pane, the files being backed up and two progress bars at the bottom. After the backup is done, you can close this window. The next time, it will run silently and you don’t have to run it manually. Whenever Cobian runs the backup task as per the schedule, it’s icon in the system tray will be animated, so you can know that Cobian is running the backup task (unless the icon is hidden).


If you want to know all about backups, click here.

If you want help in installing Cobian Backup, click here.

If you want to know how to configure Cobian for online / FTP backup, click here.

If you want to know how to restore data from a backup made by Cobian backup, click here.