Introduction / Tips and Tricks

This section is devoted to tips and tricks to help you use Buddha Backup more effectively.  Buddha Backup is both a data backup program and file/folder sync program.  It uses file/folder sync logic for both backups and file/folder sync jobs.

When you start the program for the first time you will be prompted to use Simple Mode or Advanced Mode.  You can always switch between Simple Mode and Advanced Mode as needed; you are not stuck with one or the other based on your initial choice upon running the program.  Simple Mode is intended to be used for backing up data while Advanced Mode is intended to be used for running specific file/folder sync jobs with more control over the data being manipulated.  To switch between the two modes click Enable Advanced Mode in the Options menu.

When you setup a Simple Backup using the Simple Backup Wizard, it will be given the name Simple Job when you are in Advanced Mode.  You can always review and change the Simple Job settings by clicking the Simple Job in Advanced Mode and clicking Edit Job.   You can also rerun the Simple Wizard to change Simple Job settings by clicking Rerun Simple Backup Wizard in the Job menu.

To run jobs in Advanced Mode, click on a job to select or deselect it.  To select/deselect more jobs click them as well.  Pressing control is not necessary.

For a simple user interface you can always set up jobs in Advanced Mode for added control then switch to Simple Mode.  When you click Run Backup in Simple Mode it will run all backup jobs you have created including a Simple Wizard backup job and any jobs created in Advanced Mode.

The Archive Backup feature can be used to store a copy of all files ever modified or created in a specified directory.  You can then simply browse the Archive Backup directory to access any files ever backed up.  The files and given a timestamp in the file name to distinguish different versions of the same file.

If you run out of space with the Archive Backup feature on, you can free up space with either a full or partial reset.  The full reset will erase all data in the Archive Backup directory and start over from scratch by creating a copy of all files currently in the source to the archive backup directory.  A partial reset will erase all Archive Backup data before a specified time.  Access these features in the Job menu.

The Control Job feature allows you to exercise absolute control over a backup job.  You can decide what to do with all files/folders on each side of the job.  If you only want to run Control Jobs for any given backup job to avoid an automatic one-way or two-way sync from running, simply enable the Control Backups Only feature in the job edit dialog box.

You can change where Buddha Backup stores its data file containing all job data by clicking Save/Load Job List To/From New Location in the Options menu.  This way you can put the file in a location where it gets backed up for recovery at a later time if you computer crashes.

The Reverse Job feature in the Job menu can be used to restore data from a one-way backup job from destination to source.

The Recovery Mode feature in the job menu can be used to restore data from a Simple Backup job from destination to source in case of a computer crash, new Windows install, or new computer setup.

You can create backup job shortcuts to run the specified jobs in Advanced Mode by simply double-clicking the shortcut.  Select the job(s) to create  the shortcut for then click Create Job Shortcut in the Job menu.

If you want to verify program behavior and backup logic, view the verboselog.txt file in the program directory.  It will contain entries for all files copied in any backup job.

Simple Backup Wizard

Simple Backup Wizard

Specify a drive to backup all data to including the specified folders for the specified users and any additional folders specified (these specifications are configured in steps 2, 3, and 4).

Select the users you want to backup data for by checking the relevant boxes.  Users other than the current user will require administrative rights to back up; the program will automatically prompt for such rights if necessary – make sure to accept the rights prompt when starting the program manually.

Select the folders you want to back up for the selected users.  The program let you know if a folder does not exist for a user.  The program will also ask if you want to include any other folders in the simple backup in the next step.

Add any additional directories you would like to include in the simple backup.

Add any files or directories you would like to exclude from the backup to this list.  This comes in handy when you have large files that change often like email data files and you don’t want them to backup.

Archive Backup: Specify also whether to enable Archive Backup.  This feature will copy all data from the target to the archive target directory for the first run; on subsequent runs it will copy any new data from the source to the archive target directory.  Deleted files will not be deleted and modified files will not be modified.  All copied files with have their file names postfixed with the date and time of their last modification.  Simply put this option keeps a copy of all files ever created or modified in the archive directory.

Archive Exclude Files Larger Than: This option will exclude files larger than the specified size in megabytes from being backed up to the archive target directory.  This option comes in handy when dealing with large files that are modified frequently like email program data files that would quickly fill up the hard drive if used in an archive backup.

Set Schedule: Set a schedule for the simple backup if desired.  Specify a starting date and time and an interval to run the job at.

Run Missed Scheduled Jobs: Also specify whether or not to run missed jobs; this will run the backup if you start the program and it would have been run while the program was off.

Run After System Idle for: Also set an idle timer for the simple backup if desired.  The backup will run after the computer has been idle for the specified number of minutes.

Options Menu

Options Menu

Enable Advanced Mode: Turns advanced mode on or off.  Advanced mode shows all jobs on the computer with options to run/create/edit/delete the jobs.  Simple mode only has options to run/cancel all jobs without options to create/edit/delete them.

Minimize to Tray: Closes the main program window and sends it to the system tray/notification area when the user clicks the minimize button.

Close to Tray: Closes the main program window and sends it to the system tray/notification area when the user clicks the close button.

Start Minimized: Minimizes the program whenever it is started.

Start with Windows: Starts the program when Windows starts using the Windows Task Scheduler feature.

System Tray Notifications: Turns system tray/notification area notifications on or off.  These are used to communicate backup job status when the main window is not active.

Sounds: Turns program sounds on or off.  These are used to alert you to backup job status changes.

Save/Load Job List To/From New Location: Allows you to specify where the program stores its backup jobs list data.  This can be useful to put it in a backed up folder to ease migration to a new computer or a reinstall of Windows.

Job Options Menu

Job Options Menu

Reverse Backup Job: Runs a one-way job in reverse; this is useful when you migrate to a new computer, reinstall Windows, or restore your computer’s state from an image backup and want to copy the data from the previous backup to your computer’s new state.

Full Reset Archive State for Job: Resets the archive directory by deleting all data in the archive directory.  Then it copies all the current data from the target or right directory to the Archive Target directory to make sure you have copies of all current files in the archive directory.  This can be used to free up space when the archive directory becomes large or to clean up the directory if it becomes too cluttered with old files.

Partial Reset Archive State for Job: Asks for a date and time then delete all files older than that from the job archive directory.  Then copies all the current data from the target or right directory to the Archive Target directory to make sure you have copies of all current files in the archive directory.  This can be used to free up space when the archive directory becomes large or to clean up the directory if it becomes too cluttered with old files.

Rerun Simple Backup Wizard: Reruns the simple backup wizard which is helpful to set up a single backup job to backup all data on a computer from the various user directories (documents, desktop, pictures, etc.) from the various users on the computer and also any additional specified directories.

Enter Recovery Mode: Starts recovery mode.  Recovery Mode will allow you to recover data from a previous simple backup and restore it to the current Windows install.  Use this when setting up a new computer or a new Windows install to transfer data to the new setup.

Create Job Shortcut:  Allows you to create a shortcut in a specified folder than can be run and will automatically start the specified backup jobs without having to start them manually from the program interface.

View Log: Displays the program log in a separate window.  You can then see the backup history, program activity, as well as any errors that have occurred during any backups.  It is identical to the status log box but keeps a record of previous sessions’ activities as well.

Control Screen

Control Screen

Color/Font Meaning: Green means copy the file/folder to the other side, red means delete, and cyan means ignore.  In color blind mode bold means copy, italics means delete, and normal font means ignore.

Start Backup: Starts the backup and perform the requested operations.

Show Dates: Shows/hides the display of dates.

Show Sizes: Show/hides the display of sizes.

Color Blind Mode: See Color/Font Meaning above.

Get Help: Provides a description of how to use the Control Job feature.

Job Create/Edit Screen

Job Create/Edit Screen

Job Name: A name for your backup job

Source or Left: The source of a one-way file replicating/backup job or the left side of a two-way replicating job

Target or Right: The target of a one-way file replicating/backup job or the right side of a two-way replicating job

Archive Target: The location to store archive backup data (details below under section Archive Backup)

Mirror Deletions: Deletes files and folders from the Target directory that are not present in the source directory in a one-way file replicating/backup job.

Use Recycle Bin: Sends deleted data to the recycle bin instead of deleting.

Two-Way: Creates a two-way file replicating job instead of a one-way file replicating/backup job.  New files and directories and newer dated files will be copied from their side to the other.

Control Backups Only: Restricts the job to only be run by using the Control Job feature.  If you run backups using the Backup All Jobs or Backup Selected Jobs buttons the job will be excluded and not run.  It will also be excluded from job shortcuts and reverse jobs.

Archive Backup: Enables the Archive Backup option for the current job.  This feature will copy all data from the target or right directory to the archive target directory for the first run; on subsequent runs it will copy any new data from either the source directory or in a two-way job both the left and right directories to the archive target directory.  Deleted files will not be deleted from the archive target directory.  Modified files will not be modified in the archive target directory but will be copied with the date of time of their last modification postfixed on the file name.  Also all newly created files with be postfixed with the date and time of their last modification on the archive target file name.

Archive Exclude Files Larger Than: Excludes files larger than the specified size in megabytes from being backed up to the archive target directory.  Comes in handy when dealing with large files that are modified frequently like email program data files that would quickly fill up the hard drive if used in an archive backup.

Use Volume Shadow Copy Service: Uses the Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service feature for the backup job.  This freezes the state of any files that are going to be copied that are currently open so if they are modified while they are being copied their state prior to the modification is preserved.  Without this feature the backed up files would be corrupted as they would consist of part of the file before modification and the rest after modification.

Set Schedule: Enables a schedule for the backup job.  Specify a starting date and time and an interval to run the job at.  The interval tells the program how much time to wait to run the backup job after the starting date and time.

Run Missed Schedules Jobs: Runs the job when the program is started if a scheduled backup is missed because the program was off during a scheduled backup.

Run After System Idle for: Enables an idle timer for the backup job.  The job will run after the computer has been idle for the specified number of minutes.

Extensions to Exclude or Include: Specifies file extensions to exclude or include.  Type the extension in the box labeled .ext and click Add Extension to add an extension.  Select an extension and click Remove Extension to remove an extension.  The exclude and include options are mutually exclusive; you can only either exclude extensions or include extensions.  The include option will only include files with the specified extensions for the backup job; files with unspecified extensions will be ignored.  The exclude option will exclude files with the specified extensions from the job.

Files and Dirs to Exclude: Specifies files and directories to exclude from the backup job.  Click Add File to open a dialog to specify a file to exclude.  Click Add Dir to open a dialog to specify a directory to exclude.  Select a file and click Remove File/Dir to remove it from the list.

Exclude Files Larger Than: Specifies a size for files to be excluded; files larger than the specified size in megabytes will be ignored from the backup.

Advanced Main Screen

Advanced Main Screen

All backup jobs are listed in the upper left white box.  Click on a job to select it.  Click on multiple jobs one after the other to select multiple jobs (you don’t have to hold control to do so).  Click a selected job to deselect it.  Buttons to add/edit/remove jobs are above the list.  Several text labels with the selected job’s information are to the right of the job list.  Buttons to run the jobs are located below the job list and above the status log.  The status log is located below the job run buttons.  It will display any events like job start/finish times and error information.  The progress meters show the progress of the current backup for the current file, folder, job, and all jobs currently being backed up.  Below the progress meters are labels for time elapsed, time remaining, current speed, and average speed.

Backup All Jobs: Will backup all jobs.

Backup Selected Jobs: Will backup only those jobs that are currently highlighted in the job list box.

Cancel Backups: Will cancel the currently running backup jobs.

Control Job: Allows the user to manually control what happens in a backup.  Scans both the source and target directories in a one-way backup and the left and right directories in a two-way backup, and then presents a window showing files/folders from one side only and files on both sides with different modified dates.  The user can then select what to do with those files/directories: copy to the other side, delete, or ignore.

Simple Main Screen

Simple Main Screen

The status log is in the upper left.  It will display any events like backup start/finish times and error information.  Buttons to run and cancel backups are below the status log.  The progress meters show the progress of the current backup for the current file, folder, job, and all jobs currently being backed up.  Below the progress meters are labels for time elapsed, time remaining, current speed, and average speed.

Run Backup: Will backup all jobs including both simple backup jobs created from the simple wizard and any jobs created in advanced mode.

Cancel Backup: Will cancel the backup of all jobs currently running.