BackupAssist File Archiving backs up your data into a single ZIP file. This backup solution uses multi-threaded compression and includes support for encryption, incremental backups and VSS.
The following features are unique to BackupAssist File Archiving and are not available in other third-party applications, such as WinZip:
On a multi-core or multi-processor computer, BackupAssist uses multiple threads to compress and encrypt files. This reduces the time required to perform a backup.
BackupAssist automatically determines the compression level for each type of file selected for backup. If a file is not compressible (a JPEG file, for example) BackupAssist will simply store it in the archive rather than attempt to compress it first. This reduces the backup time, as BackupAssist only compresses files that actually benefit from compression.
Open .ZIP format
Backups are stored as .ZIP files, an open file compression format supported by all Windows operating systems. Backup data stored in a .ZIP file can be accessed from any Windows machine using the built-in support for ZIP files, or with a third-party software program (if the files are not encrypted).
Unlimited backup size
The File Archiving engine compresses backups using the ZIP64 format, so there are no restrictions on the size of an individual backup, or on the number of files that can be stored in a single .ZIP archive.
Full, Differential, Incremental and Copy backups
Configure your backup jobs to run full, incremental, differential and copy backups. Every time a File Archiving job runs, BackupAssist will check the archive bit of each file selected and take the appropriate action according to the type of backup scheduled. This means you can use inbuilt rotation schemes like "Full plus incremental", or create your own personalized schedules.
Compression can compromise backup speed
If both a high level of compression and the option to encrypt the backup with a password have been selected, the speed of backups may be compromised. If your backups take a long time to complete, try lowering the compression ratio or disabling encryption in the Zip options section of the Backup tab’s Manage screen.
Spanning a File Archiving backup across multiple .ZIP files is not supported. The backup destination you choose for your backups must have enough free space to store the entire backup as a single .ZIP file.
File Archiving supports backups to tape drives if you have purchased the Tape Archiving add-on. This support includes a dedicated setup screen when you create a backup job, and a prepare media step where tapes are labeled for your tape rotation scheme.
Tape drive support does have the following limitations:
- Only standalone tape drives installed on the same machine as BackupAssist are supported (excluding Travan tape drives). Auto-loaders are not supported.
- You cannot back up to a tape drive located on another machine (i.e. remotely).
- The tape drive you use must ship with its own set of drivers, or Windows drivers must be available for download from the manufacturer’s website.
If a File Archiving backup is created using the encryption option, BackupAssist's restore tool restores the files in the same way it restores from an unencrypted File Archiving backup. However, if a backup was created with BackupAssist 10.4.2 or later, you cannot restore or unzip the encrypted backup using a third party tool like Winzip or 7-Zip. If you need to restore an encrypted File Archiving backup without BackupAssist, you will need to use our ZipRestoreFileNameMapper tool.
ZipRestoreFileNameMapper.exe tool can be downloaded from here.
This is a command line tool and uses the following parameters:
- -s, --source Required. Full path to source ZIP file.
- -d, --destination Required. Destination root directory for ZIP file extraction.
- -p, --password Password of ZIP file.
- -f, --force Force overwrite of existing files and directories.
- --help Display this help screen.
How to create a File Archiving backup job
Launch BackupAssist and follow the steps outlined below:
- Select the Backup tab
- Select Create a New Backup Job
- Select File Archiving
If this is the first time you have created a backup job, you will be asked to provide a Backup User Identity. To learn more, see Backup User Identity
This step is used to select the data and applications that you want to back up. Any VSS applications detected will be displayed here as application directory containers.
- Destination media
This step is used to select the type of media that you want to back your data up to. This step’s name will change to the media type selected, when you click Next.
- Select a media for your backup destination.
- Select and encryption type if you want to encrypt your backup.
- ZIP encryption is available for all destinations. It will encrypt and password protect your backup file using 256 bit AES encryption.
- BitLocker encryption is available on supported versions of Windows Server for External disk and RDX drive destinations. To learn more, see BitLocker Encryption guide
- Click Next.
This step is used to select when and how you want the backup job to run, and how long you would like the backup to be retained for. A selection of pre-configured schedules, called schemes, as well as a custom scheme, can be selected.
- The schemes available will depend on the type of destination media selected in step 5.
- Clicking on a scheme will display information about the schedule used.
- The scheme full plus incremental is only available when backing up to an external hard drive, but you can modify the schedule to force this type of backup, after the backup job has been created.
- Set up destination
This step is used to configure the location of the media selected in step 5. The options presented will change with the type of media selected.
- If your media is removable, selecting Eject media after preparation will eject the media after the backup job has finished.
- If you selected BitLocker encryption, enter a password and any requested encryption information into the fields provided.
- Select the Device name of your tape drive from the drop-down menu.
- If your tape drive is not listed in the drop-down menu, click Detect.
- If the drive is not detected make sure you have installed the default Windows drivers for your device and try again.
- Select Allow eject of media after backup if you want BackupAssist to automatically eject your tape media after each backup has been completed. This will make sure the data on the tape is not overwritten the next time a backup runs.
- Block size should only be used to specify a manual block size if your tape backups are failing.
- Append backup can be checked if you want subsequent backups to be added to the existing backups on the inserted tape.
- If Append backup is disabled, BackupAssist will overwrite all existing data on the tape each time a backup is run. You should only enable append if you believe your tape has enough space to accommodate at least two full backups or if you have scheduled either differential or incremental backups.
- ZIP encryption option will be available if you selected Enable ZIP encryption during the Destination media step. Add a password if you want to use backup encryption. Once encrypted, a password is required to restore your data.
Once a backup job has completed, BackupAssist can send an email to inform selected recipients of the result. This email notification is enabled during the creation of the backup job, but you must also provide your mail server settings so that the notifications can be sent. To learn how to configure your mail server for BackupAssist, see Email server settings.Show more
To enable email notifications:
- Select Add an email report notification.
- Enter recipients into the Send reports to this email address field.
- Enter recipients into the Also send reports to this email address field. You can then use the drop down list to select the condition under which the email is sent.
- If you want to know when a backup media has been changed, select Add an email reminder notification and enter the email addresses to send the notifications to.
- Click Next.
To learn more, see Manage : Notifications
Note: After the backup job has been created, you can modify the notification's recipients, set additional notification conditions and include print and file notification types. To learn more, see Email address list
- Prepare media
If you selected BitLocker, this step will allow you to prepare the Media for BitLocker and label it. If you are not using BitLocker, but are using external drives, we recommend Editing the backup job once you have created it and using the Prepare Media option to label each drive.
- Let BackupAssist keep track of your media. Deselect this if you do not want to prepare and label your media.
- If the wrong media is inserted : Back up anyway and warn the users. This can be changed to Do not back up.
- If new or unrecognized media is inserted : Do not back up. This can be changed to Back up anyway and warn the users.
- Attach the removable drives. If you can only attach one media at a time, repeat the steps for each media.
- Change the label's description if you do not want to use the default description.
- Select the drive designation.
- Select Prepare.
- Name your backup
Provide a name for your backup job, and click Finish.
If you are using BitLocker encryption, the option will be Next.
- Next steps
This step will be available if you selected Enable BitLocker encryption. The Launch BitLocker encryption tool will be selected and it will open when you select Finish. When the tool opens, you can use it to encrypt the drives. This should be done before the backup job runs, because if an unencrypted drive is used for a BitLocker backup job, the job will fail.
An Exchange VM Detection tab will be available if you are backing up an Exchange VM guest. To learn more, see Hyper-V best practices
Select the volumes, folders, files and applications that you want to back up, and click Next.
Follow these steps to select a media:
To learn more, see Backup Schedules
Select an appropriate scheme, and click Next.
Note: It is important that you keep a copy of your password in a safe place, as we cannot retrieve passwords if they are lost or forgotten.
Destination check report
If you are using a Local media or a Local network destination, a Check destination button will be available to check your backup destination for problems. After the checks have been completed, the results can be viewed by selecting the Report link. If you are using Removable media destinations, these checks are performed when you select Prepare on the Prepare Media step.
Configure your backup destination, and click Next.
If you are configuring a tape drive, the following selections are available:
Warning: It is important that you keep a copy of your password in a safe place, as we cannot retrieve passwords if they are lost or forgotten.
If you have more than one tape drive installed and want to back up to multiple drives, you will need to create a separate backup job for each drive.
When BitLocker is enabled, these three selections are automatically selected on the Prepare media screen:
The drives listed are based on the backup schedule selected in step 6. Each drive will have a default label name based on your backup schedule, a drive designation drop-down and a Prepare button that is selectable when the media is attached.
To prepare the media:
The drives will be labeled and marked for encryption. Labeling the drive allows BackupAssist to check that it is being used on the correct day. For example, if you attach a USB drive on Tuesday but it is labeled Wednesday, BackupAssist will warn that the incorrect drive was detected. The encryption process will be initiated by the final backup job creation step. To learn more, see BitLocker Encryption guide.
Destination check report
Once the prepare process has completed, a Report link will appear next to the Prepare button. This link opens the Destination Check report, which will advise if any problems were detected with the backup media. For System Protection backups, if the Make media bootable with RecoverAssist was selected in the Set up destination screen, the report will also advise if the media can or cannot be made bootable.
Once all of the media have been prepared, select Next.
To learn about the BitLocker encryption tool, see BitLocker Encryption guide
Your File Archiving backup job has now been created.
Note: BackupAssist's reports can be used to review the results of each backup job. Backups should also so be checked by performing a test restore. Regular test restores should be part of your backup solution.