Options on this page affect the way a particular backup job is executed. Options that are marked with (*) might not be available in your edition - check Feature Matrix for detailed information on differences between editions.
On this page:
Use local catalogs (.bkc)
If this option is checked, Backup4all will keep a local copy of the backup catalog for the current backup job. Keeping a local copy of the catalog is recommended in most cases, except when using a backup rotation scheme to back up to CD, DVD or Blu-ray disc, USB or external drives.
Example: the option Use locals catalogs is unchecked and you are performing an incremental backup to DVD, but on each working day you're changing the DVD so that if one DVD fails you'll still be able to recover most of your files. So on Monday you insert DVD 1, Backup4all runs and performs a full backup. On Tuesday you insert DVD 2 (which is empty) and Backup4all performs a full backup that includes all the data that's on DVD 1 plus the data that was added in between.
Now, if the Use local catalogs option would have been checked, Backup4all would have executed on DVD 2 an incremental backup because of the full backup already executed on DVD 1.
Compress catalog in destination (available only in Backup4all 5) If this option is checked, the .bkc catalog file in destination will be compressed. This is required if you use the obfuscate option from the Compression page and it's also useful for large catalogs to save the storage space.
Keep 5 catalog versions in destination
Use this option to keep multiple versions of the catalog in destination. This is useful if for some reasons the current catalog gets corrupt, you'll have multiple previous versions of the catalog to use. You can set how many versions of the catalog to keep in destination.
Test after backup
If this option is set Backup4all will test the resulting backup for data integrity after every backup process. Only the latest backup number will be tested after the backup execution. If you wish to test other backup numbers you can do so from the Test Backup window.
If this option is selected, the files in destination are tested quickly after backup, to check if they exists and they have the correct size, without calculating the CRC for each file. It does not apply to cloud destinations and it is not as safe as the normal test.
Remove from catalog all files with errors (available only in Backup4all 5) This option is used to repair the backup catalog during the test after backup. If there are files backed up with problems and the test on those files fails, they will be removed from the backup catalog. Next time you run the backup, Backup4all will try to back up those files again.
Delete sources after successful backup
If this option is checked the backup sources will be deleted after performing the backup.
This option is disabled if the Test after backup option is not enabled.
Verify backup integrity before execution
When this option is selected, a backup test will be executed before running the backup.
Ask for backup label before execution
If this option is set a window will be shown and will prompt the user to enter the label description of the backup increment.
If you do not want to give a label to the current backup, leave the edit control empty. Check the Don't label next backups if you do not want to see this window when the current backup job is executed in the future. This feature is particularly useful for incremental backup types, when the label can be seen as a milestone for all files backed up. These labels are visible on the Versions page of the Restore Wizard and in the list of file versions in the Explore view.
Backup open files
If checked, the application will back up open files. Please note backing up open files is possible only on Windows XP or higher, if the file is stored on a local NTFS hard drive and the VSS service is running and properly configured.
Backup empty folders
If checked, the application will back up empty folders. Empty folders may result from their content being completely deleted or filtered out.
Store temporary catalog data in memory
If checked, the catalog file will be stored in RAM memory. If you receive an "Out of memory" warnings or you have a large catalog file, we recommend you to uncheck that option. If unchecked, the catalog file will be stored in a temporary file on your hard drive.
Smart file scanning mode
Backup4all can use the USN journal to get a faster detection of the modified source files. The USN Journal (Update Sequence Number Journal), or Change Journal, is a feature of NTFS which maintains a record of changes made to the volume.
Since version 5.4 of Backup4all, this option is activated by default for all new jobs. It can be activated manually for jobs created with an older version of Backup4all.
The “Smart file scanning mode” option is used in all cases with the following exceptions:
- User is not an administrator and the sources are on local drives. For standard users this option works only for external drives.
- The source drive is not NTFS formatted.
- Sources are not on local drives (ex: network drives). This option also works for local removable NTFS drives (stick, external hard drive, removable drives)
- Backup job has relative file date filters are (ex: "older than x days").
- If the file/folder filter has changes since the previous backup.
- The journal will not be used at first backup (all sources are newly added).
- The journal will not be used for full backup executions.
- The journal will not be used when a source is newly added to backup
- The journal will not be used when the source is changed by including other subfolders/files that were previously excluded
- Because parsing the NTFS journal can be slower in some cases than parsing the files, the option will not be used if there are less than 20,000 files & folders in the backup. The 20,000 count is calculated as sum of all files and all folders already present in backup catalog, before the current backup execution.
Using the slider you can set the backup execution priority compared to the rest of the running processes on your system. Setting it to Highest priority, for instance, will determine the system to allocate most of its resources for this backup execution.
Run action before backup
Check this option and select one of the predefined actions or choose a different executable file. You can either enter directly the path to the program (has to be between quotes) or click the browse button to browse for the file. Backup4all waits until the action is finished before proceeding with the actual backup process.
<Clear backup>predefined action deletes the ".bkc" file and all zip files associated with the current backup job. If this action is set, then the backup performed is a full backup, even if the backup type is set to incremental or differential . You can customize it with the following parameters (numbers can be changed as necessary):
<Clear backup d=7>- Clear backup is executed only if 7 days have passed since the first backup increment (the full backup).
<Clear backup n=10>- Clear backup is executed only if the number of file versions is 10.
<Clear backup d=7 n=10>- Clear backup is executed if 7 days have passed since the first backup increment (the full backup) or if the number of file versions is 10.
<Clear backup dw=1,2,7>- Clear backup is executed only in the first, second and seventh day of the week (Monday, Tuesday and Sunday in the given example). Valid values: 1-7 (if a parameter outside of these values is set, it will be ignored).
<Clear backup dm=23, 30>- Clear backup is executed only in the 23rd and 30th day of the month. Valid values: 1-31 (if a parameter outside of these values is set, it will be ignored, same as using the value 31 for a month having only 30 days).
Run only once
If this option is set, the action will run only once at the next backup execution and the Run program/action option will be reset and disabled afterwards.
Abort backup when action fails
User can check this option to abort the backup if the action ran before the backup failed.
Backup4all uses the exit codes returned by the applications. If the exit code is 0 (zero), it means the action was successful. If the exit code is different than 0 (zero), the action was not successful and the backup will be aborted.
Backup4all returns exit codes after each task execution (backup, independent test or cleanup). As a general case, if the backup was successful, the exit code is 0, otherwise is different.
Here are the possible exit codes:
- if backup was successful, the exit code is 0
- if there are parameter errors or syntax errors, the exit code is 1
- if backup was aborted, the exit code is 2
- if backup was finished with warnings, the exit code is 3
- if the independent test was finished with errors, the exit code is 4
- if cleanup was finished with errors, the exit code is 5
- if B4aCmd was not correctly installed, the exit code is 6
Run action after backup
Check this option and select one of the predefined actions or choose a different executable file. You can either enter directly the path to the program (has to be between quotes) or click the browse button to browse for the file. Backup4all does not wait for the action to be finished before proceeding.
Available predefined actions:
<Stand by>- The computer will enter in the Stand by state after the backup is executed.
<Hibernate>- Computer enters in Hibernate (if available) after the backup execution.
<Log off>- Logs off current user.
<Shut down>- Shuts down the computer after the backup was executed.
Run only once
If this option is set, the action will run only once at the next backup execution and the Run program/action option will be reset and disabled.
Run program or action on
You can set conditions to run the action after the backup: on Success, on Warnings or on Errors. You can check multiple options or a single one, but at least one option must be checked.
This section contains special settings for advanced file comparison. You can set what properties of a file will be used when deciding if a file was modified or not.
There is a list of quick sets to choose for predefined comparison criteria:
- None - if this is selected, a warning window is shown asking you to confirm if you want the Date modified criteria disabled or not. If this criterion is disabled, Backup4all will only backup files that have the size changed.
- Custom - this is the default option and has several important file properties and attributes selected as comparison criteria (Size, Date modified, Date created, Archived, Hidden, System, Read-Only).
- Archive attribute only - if this is selected, a warning window is shown asking you to confirm if you want the Date modified criteria disabled or not. If this criteria is disabled, Backup4all will only backup files that have the archive attribute changed.
- FAT attributes - if this is selected, a set of File Allocation Table attributes will be used for comparison
- NTFS attributes - if this is selected, a set of NTFS (New Technology File System) attributes will be used for comparison.
Available file properties are:
- Size - file size (it is mandatory)
- Date modified - the latest date and time when the file was modified (a warning message is displayed if you uncheck it)
- Date created - the date and time when the file was created
- CRC32 - the most comprehensive criteria because it calculates a checksum based on file contents and compares it with the checksum from the backup (this slows the process)
Available file attributes are:
- Read-Only - file can be read, but not modified or deleted
- Archived (unavailable when the Clear archive bit option is checked from the Backup Properties -> Type window) - file attribute used for backup. When a file is created, the archive bit is turned on. When a backup program copies the file, it turns off the archive attribute.
- Hidden - files marked Hidden do not normally display unless the file manager option to display them is selected
- System - files marked System do not normally display unless the file manager option to display them is selected
- Compressed (only NTFS) - file that is made generally much smaller than the original size of file. Decompression occurs automatically when the file is read. The file is compressed again when it is closed or saved.
- Temporary (only NTFS) - the file is being used for temporary storage.
- Encrypted (only NTFS) - file is encrypted on a NTFS volume to protect it from unauthorized access
- Not indexed (only NTFS) - file not indexed by the content indexing service
- Offline (only NTFS) - content of the file is not immediately available. This attribute indicates that the file data has been physically moved to an offline storage.
- Reparse point (only NTFS) - reparse points are used as building blocks by Microsoft and third-parties to enhance NTFS file system behavior.
- Sparse file (only NTFS) - in a sparse file, large ranges of zeroes may not require disk allocation. Space for nonzero data will be allocated as needed as the file is written.
If you select more than one attribute, Backup4all will consider the file for backup if any of the attributes selected is changed.
Legacy (use archive bit)
If this is selected, Backup4all will determine which files will be backed up by verifying if the archive bit attribute is set. If the archive bit attribute for a file is not set, that file will be ignored (even if its size was modified for instance). Our recommendation is to use the Criteria option since it's more accurate than using the archive bit alone.
Play sounds after backup
Use this section to set sound notifications to be played when the backup is finished. There are three types of sound notifications depending on the backup status: success, warning and error.
If checked then success, warning and error sounds will be played at the end of the backup. By default this option is not checked.
It indicates the sound that will be played when the backup is finished with success. The default sound is
<Default beep sound>, but you can change it using the browse button. If you press the Play button you can hear the selected sound file. To disable this sound you can select from the drop-down box
<No success sound>.
It indicates the sound that will be played when the backup is finished with warnings. The default sound is
<Exclamation sound>, but you can change this using the browse button. If you press the Play button you can hear the selected sound file. To disable this sound you can select from the drop-down box
<No warning sound>.
It indicates the sound that will be played when the backup has failed because of an error. The default sound is
<Asterisk sound>, but you can change this using the browse button. If you press the Play button you can hear the selected sound file. To disable this sound you can select from the drop-down box
<No error sound>.
This button will open the standard Sounds and Multimedia Properties -> Sounds window of the operating system (that can also be opened from the Control Panel). You can use this to configure or troubleshoot your sounds settings.