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Using Backup4all - FAQ 2

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Aug 20, 2019
Backup4all - all versions
We strive to keep our articles as accurate as possible. If you notice any inconsistencies or outdated info please let us know.
This section contains answers for questions regarding how to use Backup4all to its full potential.

On this page:

How can I create a new backup job?

Backup jobs are created by the New Backup Wizard. The wizard can be started by choosing "File" and then "New" from Backup4all's main menu or by clicking the "New (CTRL+N)" button on Backup4all's toolbar. Follow the wizard steps and click "Finish" when ready.

Zip files created by Backup4all are compatible with third party zip utilities?

Yes. If the zip file size is less than 2 gigabytes, Backup4all generates standard zip formats. This format is compatible with any zip utility available on the market. For zip files greater than 2 gigabytes, Backup4all uses zip64 technology (which allows unlimited zip file size). Zip compatibility means that your data is not at the mercy the backup application; you can access it with other third party applications also (WinZip, 7zip, PkZip).

How can I make a shortcut to an existing backup job, so that I can run it by double-clicking on a desktop shortcut?

First select the backup job you want to run. Right-click on the backup job and select "Create Shortcut" from the menu. Save the shortcut on the desktop.

Can I backup Outlook Express emails and settings?

If you are using Backup4all 3 (or higher) on Windows XP/2003 you can backup Outlook Express emails and settings if it is installed on a NTFS partition. When you define a new backup job using the New Backup Wizard, in the General window you can select Outlook Express from the Predefined Backup box.
This way Backup4all will automatically backup all your emails and settings from Outlook Express (including your account settings, rules, signatures, blocked senders list, stationary, address book). If you want to backup only your emails, in the Sources window leave marked only the <Email Folders> box.

What does *"Parameter backup_name is not a valid backup job or tag"* mean?

This message is shown when a scheduled task cannot find the backup job or backup tag that it should start. This could happen because you have manually removed the backup job or backup tag but the scheduler was still configured to run those backups.
To fix this problem you have to remove the scheduled tasks that are not valid anymore. Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Task Scheduler and delete the scheduled task(s) that is named "b4a_backup_name" ("backup_name" means the name of your backup that was deleted).

How can I hide empty folders in the Explore View when expanding all folders?

Open File -> Options, go to the "Preferences" page and check the "Hide empty folders on expand all" option. After this option is set, when clicking on the "Expand All" button, empty folders will not be shown any more.
ATTENTION: Expanding all folders can be time consuming, especially if you add the whole drive as a source of the backup. You can stop it by pressing ESC key.

How do I back up my scheduled jobs' settings?

If you scheduled several backup job using the Windows Task Scheduler (by default Backup4all uses it) you can back up those scheduled tasks so that if something happens you would be able to easily restore them.
You need to create a new backup job from File -> New, select a destination, then select "Backup4all Configuration" as backup source. Here you can back up all configurations files or only <Scheduled jobs Folder>. Select the backup type and and enter a name for that job, then run the backup.

How can I create backup versions with mirror backup?

Backup4all can copy the files to different folders each time the mirror backup is performed. This is done by customizing the destination folder name. To do this open Backup Properties and go to the Type page. Customize the subfolder names as you wish. Note that Backup4all does not keep track of all destination folder names and can restore only from the latest destination folder. However you can manually restore an older backup version made with mirror backup.

I am using incremental backup. How can I clear all backed up files and start with a fresh full backup every 7 days?

Open Backup Properties dialog for the backup job. Go to the Advanced page, check Run program/action before backup, choose <Clear backup> from the combo box and edit it to <Clear backup d=7>. This will clear the backed up files only if 7 days have passed since the first backup run. If you check the Run only once option, the <Clear backup d=7> action will be executed only once (when 7 days have passed) and after that it will be disabled.

Why can't I select a backup destination when using Backup4all OTB edition?

Backup4all OTB edition is a special edition of Backup4all that is distributed with some external hard drives (enclosures). Backup4all OTB edition allows you to back up only to the external drive that it came with, so you cannot select a different destination. If you want to be able to back up to different destinations, you have to upgrade to Backup4all Professional.
If you're having other problems using Backup4all with the external hard drive, we suggest you to look over the following suggestions:
  1. Check if the device is properly connected by your PC (it should be connected via an USB cable or FireWire, so check if those are properly inserted).
  2. Check if the device is turned on (there should be a led indicating if the drive is powered on).
  3. If the drive is connected and turned on but you still can't use it, might be that it's not formatted. Open File Explorer and see if you have an extra drive letter. If you do not see it, that means that your hard disk is not formatted and you have to format the external hard drive. We recommend you to format using NTFS.

What's the difference between Backup4all's Lite, Standard and Professional editions?

The major differences between Lite, Standard and Professional editions are the supported backup types and destinations.
Professional edition implements all four backup types (see Backup Types section for a full description of backup types) and all destinations, Standard edition does not implement incremental backup type nor cloud destinations and Lite edition implements only the mirror backup type with local destinations. See the What Edition to Choose? section for a more detailed comparison.

Somehow I lost my backup job configuration. I only have the .bkc file. Can I restore the backup job?

Yes. Just double-click on the .bkc file. Backup4all will be invoked and the backup job will be recreated based on the .bkc file.

How can I split a backup across several disks?

Open Backup Properties, go to the Compression page. Under the "Split" section, you can choose a predefined split size or define a custom one. Spanning is automatically done when the removable disk is full.

How can I see only new and modified files in the Explore View? How can I see only the files inside the backup?

First you need to switch to the Explore View by clicking the"Explore (F2)" button on Backup4all's toolbar.
To show only new and modified files make sure that:
  • "Show New Files (CTRL+1)" toolbar button is pressed
  • "Show Unchanged Files (CTRL+2)" toolbar button is not pressed
  • "Show Modified Files (CTRL+3)" toolbar button is pressed
  • "Show Excluded Files (CTRL+4)" toolbar button is not pressed
  • "Show Deleted Files (CTRL+5)" toolbar button is not pressed
To show only the files inside the backup make sure that:
  • "Show New Files (CTRL+1)" toolbar button is not pressed
  • "Show Unchanged Files (CTRL+2)" toolbar button is pressed
  • "Show Modified Files (CTRL+3)" toolbar button is pressed
  • "Show Excluded Files (CTRL+4)" toolbar button is pressed
  • "Show Deleted Files (CTRL+5)" toolbar button is pressed

Is there a way to test (verify) files automatically after each backup?

Yes, there is. Open the Backup Properties window, and set the Test after backup option on the Advanced page. By default, that option is selected.

What happens when I change the backup type?

Back up type can be changed from the "Type" page of the Backup Properties window. You can change between full, incremental and differential backup types without having to start with a fresh new backup. However changing between smart, full, incremental or differential to mirror (and viceversa) will clear the backup content and will start a new backup.

Can I backup to FTP using Backup4all?

Yes, in the New Backup Wizard -> Destination window select FTP and enter your FTP connection configurations. If you have already defined a backup job and want to change the destination to FTP, right click the backup job and select Properties; in the Destination window you can select FTP. This feature is available if you are using Backup4all Professional.

What happens to excluded files? Will they be restored?

No, excluded files will not be restored. After all that is why you excluded them, you no longer need the files. However if you select a backup version where the file was not excluded yet, you can restore it from there.

How can I copy a backup job (create a new one similar to another)?

Select the backup job you want to copy. Click on "Duplicate (CTRL+L)" button on Backup4all's toolbar or right-click the job and select "Duplicate". The new backup job will have the same tags as the original one.

How can I restore my files to a different folder? How can I filter the files to be restored?

Open the Restore Wizard by clicking on the Restore button. To restore to a different folder, select the Choose another location option and enter the full path where you wish to restore the files, or browse to a folder of your choice. To filter the files that will be restored define your filters on the second page (or the third page in case of a custom restore).