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Portable Apps Backup 1.0 Beta 2 Test Release

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John T. Haller
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Portable Apps Backup 1.0 Beta 2 Test Release

Please Note: Portable Apps Backup 1.0 RC 1 has been released, so this topic has been retired.

I've just posted a first beta of the new Portable Apps Backup utility I'd mentioned in-forum previously. This is a simple backup utility (using 7-Zip internally) that allows you to easily backup your portable drive. It's got some handy features that I think lots of users will appreciate:

  • Standard Directory Suport - It supports the standard directory layouts of the upcoming Portable Apps Suite 1.0 release (Documents directory where your documents live, PortableApps directory where the individual AppNamePortable directories live). No configuration is required. The options include:
    • Entire drive - every file in every directory
    • Portable app data - Just the app data files (within AppNamePortable\Data for each app), making it easy to just back up your configurations and profiles
    • Documents - just the documents directory
  • Zip and 7z Support - It uses Zip format by default, but you can change this to 7z if you'd like right on the options screen.
  • High Compression Support - By default, it uses the 'Normal' compression level (level 5) which is a good balance of size and speed. You can select Max Compression and have it use Ultra (level 9) on the options screen.
  • Auto File Naming - It automatically names the file with today's date as a part of the filename and the type of backup you did (drive, documents or data), making it easy to keep track of your backups.
  • Show Details - If you'd like to watch the details of the backup go by, it'll show you 7-Zip's progress in a command line window.
  • Relative Backup Paths (New in Beta 2) - If you select your desktop or My Documents folder (the default), it will be remembered relatively. So, if you move to another PC, the location will still be valid.
  • Relative Directory Structure (New in Beta 2) - Your PortableApps folders and Documents folders don't have to be in the root of the drive anymore. They just have to be where expected relative from PortableAppsBackup.exe.

Now, keep in mind that this is meant to be simple. If you'd like to do some more complex backups, I'll be releasing Abakt Portable this week as well, so you can do all sorts of fun file inclusions/exclusions, incrementals, etc.

Please give it a try and let me know what you think.

UPDATE: There was a bug in the original package. Please download Beta 1.1.

UPDATE BETA 2: I released Beta 2 which adds new relative path abilities as well as a prompt regarding an existing destination file.

Regards,
John

tanisthalon
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I will hopefully get a

I will hopefully get a chance to look at this tomorrow after I have registered my sons birth.

The NSI file has a link to PortableFirefox on line 4
;Website: http://PortableApps.com/PortableFirefox

Also the Orignal File name has a $ sign by mistake?
VIAddVersionKey OriginalFilename "$PortableAppsBackup.exe"

tanisthalon

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John T. Haller
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Typos

Yup, both typos, thanks for noticing.

Congrats on your new son!

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tanisthalon
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Thanks. Just had a quick go

Thanks. Just had a quick go and with each variation I got the message:
'The backup process failed to complete. please check your configuration.'

It might just be me as I am suffering from sleep deprivation :(.

tanisthalon

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John T. Haller
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Directories?

What directory did you place it in (full path)? Where are your other apps? What OS?

Keep in mind this is primarily for use with a Suite-style setup (hence the lack of customizations).

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Jonathan
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Can you further explain the

Can you further explain the directory layout for the Suite? I don't quite understand it and thus, I don't know how to place my apps to test.

tanisthalon
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After some sleep

Well after changing a few nappies, and getting a bit of sleep, I had another look.
It works fine on my home pc. Not back at work for another week (paternity leave - 2 weeks is not enough), so hopefully others can check moving it around and so on.

I realised what i was doing wrong last night. I forgot to put it onto my pendrive and was running it from my desktop. Silly error by me although to my defense I am barely getting 3 hrs sleep per day at the moment :).

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Jonathan
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Now all we need is that

Now all we need is that Launchpad... Wink Blum

azjerry
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Doesn't work for me

- I see a status window flash and then I get a Backup Failed: The backup process failed to complete. Please check your configuration. This is trying to do a full backup to the default location in My Documents.

- The links back to portableapps.com in help.html all give a page not found.

This is on XP and I do have a "non-standard" location: \portableapps\PortableAppsBackup

azjerry
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beta1.1 much better

I guess my directory structure was alright after all. It's backing up as I type.

I suspected the web pages weren't ready yet but thought I'd mention anyway.

On very minor bug: I orignally tried it at work. The path for the back went to My documents. When I just tried the beta 1.1 at home it was still using the document for my work which doesn't exist at home. Once I navigated to the correct location it correctly remembers that the next time.

John T. Haller
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Absolute Now, Relative Beta 2

Right now, it auto-detects your My Documents directory on first-run on the PC you're on. But it stores the full paths going forward.

In Beta 2, I'm going to add the ability for it to keep a relative path for your MyDocuments and Desktop so it will work on every PC. If you use a custom path, of course, it will just remember it and not change it.

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azjerry
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a request

How about an option to backup documents and apps data in a single backup? That way all user stuff is in a single backup.

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Probably Not

At the moment, they can't be combined into a single action by 7-Zip, so it would have to be two independent backups. And, since they are from different base directories, they'd have to remain separate Zip files. The restore process (which I'll be releasing tomorrow) currently uses the file name (that's why it ends with -data.zip for instance) to properly restore to the correct path, as each backup type needs to be treated differently.

I'll probably work on some sort of combined method later on... perhaps combining the two zips into one. If anyone else can figure out a commandline parameter for 7-zip that will either back em both up... or let me backup one then update the archive adding in the other with the correct full path, please chime in and I'll get it into the 1.0 release.

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azjerry
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OK

It's not a biggie. Used it to back up my whole drive and it worked fine.

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Directories

Here's the expected directory layout (this is what the Suite will be by default in the new release):

\ <--- any directory you want... usually the root dir
  +\Documents
    +\Music
    +\Pictures
    +\Video
  +\PortableApps
    +\FirefoxPortable
      +\App
      +\Data
    +\GaimPortable
      +\App
      +\Data
    +\PortableAppsBackup

Obviously, the other apps would all be there and contain the'r app and data directories internally. I forgot that this would be new to some testers.

Also, the pages for the app don't exist on PortableApps.com (support, project, etc). It's labeled a beta, but it's a test release.

One other thing, unlike other apps, the PortableAppsBackup.exe CAN NOT be moved outside of the PortableAppsBackup directorty.

And, finally, there was a bug in the original package. Please grab Beta 1.1.

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Jonathan
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I tried backing up and I

I tried backing up and I have my PortableApps folder on my desktop. Anyways, it didn't back up anything, it just made the .7z but it was empty. I had it backup my Portable app data

XP Home SP2

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Only defaults

As mentioned, it only supports the default directory layout in the root of a drive. It doesn't support custom layouts or running from a desktop (well, it does, but it won't find your apps... and you probably don't want to backup your whole C drive). So, if you have it on drive C:, the options would be:

Entire Drive - C:\* - which you probably don't want
Portable Apps Data - C:\PortableApps\*\Data\* - which doesn't exist.
Documents on portable drive - C:\Documents\* - which doesn't exist.

If you'd like to test it, try creating some of those directories to watch it work.

Incidentally, if many people are running it from their desktop, etc... I could app support for that in... so the Documents and PortableApps directories don't have to be in the root.

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Jonathan
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Ah I get it now. Thanks for

Ah I get it now. Thanks for the explanation. Smile

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Want that supported?

Do you permanently run them from your desktop? If so, would you still want an easy way to back em up?

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Jonathan
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If I'm the only person using

If I'm the only person using that directory structure then I won't have you complicate your code just to support something for one person. However, if more people are, I'd appreciate it. Smile

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Try this

Try this launcher (place it in the PortableAppsBackup directory):
https://portableapps.com/downloads/PortableAppsBackupLauncher1002.exe

That should work on your Desktop. I'll package it up as a Beta 2 release later.

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Jonathan
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Thanks so much, works very

Thanks so much, works very well. Biggrin

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.

It's on now *stares at John* Wink
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twnty3svn
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Just backed up my 2gb

Worked fine, however i'm quite sure if this is a bug, but i initally cheked the "Show details" box, but then while backing up i decided to close that window. But this actually caused my backup to fail?

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Yup

It says so right on the main backup window. It'll say:

"NOTE: The backup details screen is shown. Closing it will abort your backup."

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twnty3svn
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opps, must have missed that bit.

gave the new version a go, n seems great....

I didn't realise it will even bakup the apps that i've made portable, using the portable templates. Fantastic work.

I'm really lookin forward to Abakt Portable when it is released though...

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Beta 2 Released

I just posted Beta 2 to SourceForge. It adds in new relative path abilities and refines the interface and messages a bit. Please give it a try.

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John T. Haller
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Renaming the options

Also, I think I'm going to rename the options to:

  • Complete (all files on your portable drive)
  • Data (settings, profiles, bookmarks, etc)
  • Documents (the documents directory on your drive)

Thoughts?

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tanisthalon
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Renaming

Sounds to me like that is the right way to go. Goes better with the structure you have setup for the Apps. If people are to use this with the Portable Apps from yourself, it should be clearer as to what each command is for.

Pendrive Structure:
Documents
Portable Apps

Documents Structure:
Miscellaneous Files and Apps not solely associated with PortableApps.com

Portable Apps Structure:
App
Data
Other

tanisthalon

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John T. Haller
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Working on that

I'm working on it. At the moment, it reads:

  • Complete (all files on your portable drive)
  • App Data (portable app settings, bookmarks, profiles, etc)
  • Documents (the documents directory on your portable drive)

I think this is what I'm going with. And the filenames will be appended with either Complete, AppData or Documents respectively so you know what type of backup it was.

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also I think

It should be named Apps Backup portable

no big deal but it seems to fit the rest of the naming....

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Not for this one

It makes sense for the others... Firefox Portable is really about Firefox, for instance. But this one gets its own name. And, right now, it's Portable Apps Backup. Smile

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Works Well

I Downloaded it and it works perfortley.
One suggeston: Can you make it so you can choose witch derctory you use?

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I did try it and like it.

I did try it and like it. Had a question however.

How do you restore if you do not use 7-zip. With this in mind would you consider makein this backup file a self extracting one. Then if I loose my entire drive for what ever the reson I can just double click on this back up file and then copy it over to my usb drive.

FRANK D. HUBENY

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Choice

You get to choose between 7zip and Zip, so you can use any unzip program you'd like. There's a Restore piece as well, I just haven't had a chance to release it yet.

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Hello John; Thank you for

Hello John;

Thank you for your quick reply. Never thought about that. That is why I asked abouyt making the file a self extracting one. I used your beta on my entire USB drive and it worked just fine. I wanted a very simple backup tool this one works just fine.

FRANK D. HUBENY

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Directory Choice?

How do you mean? It lets you choose where to backup to. And it lets you choose some standard stuff to backup. Keep in mind this is meant to be used in conjunction with the Suite. It isn't a general purpose backup solution. I still need to release Abakt Portable for that.

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It works fine, even if I

It works fine, even if I dont have the folder structure of the PA Suite. And since I have other programs that are not from PA and other files, I just backup the whole drive. I did realize one thing though, and I think it has more to do with 7-zip: I open the 7z file (using 7zip), I tried to extract one file (a txt file, drag-n-drop to the desktop), but it took about 1 min to extract, and above the progress bar I was seeing other files being "extracted", but once it finished there where no other files except the txt file on the desktop.
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solid archive

Hi argbrulo,

this is because of the default solid archive option of 7-zip.
With the solid archive switch 7-zip doesn't compress single files but a continuous data stream. This leads among other things to improved compression ratio (and speed) but decreased decompression speed and the higher risk of losing more or all files if a part of the archive is damaged.

You can get more infos about 7-zip-switches in the 7-zip-Helpfile (7-zip.chm) under "Command Line Version / Switches / -m (Set compression Method) switch" - or just search there for "solid".

To change this you have to change the command line switch in the source code of "Portable Apps Backup" and compile it yourself.

I think changing this part of the code (Line 187+188 - adding the bold part):

;'CompileEXECString:
StrCpy $EXECSTRING `"$EXEDIR\App\7za.exe" a -ms=off -w"$TEMP"`

should stop 7-zip from making solid archives and speed up the extraction of single files Wink

Cya Ryushi

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So...

you are saying that by doing this I speed up decompression but slow down compression? Do you recommend everybody doing this (maybe set by default from PA?) or does it depend on how I plan on using the program?
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Hello John; Would you

Hello John;

Would you consider adding adding an option to encrypt the back up file. 7-zip does support this and it would would be a nice feature to have. Also I think I may ask again for you to put in the option to make the file self exteacting.

Can some of these items be added by a user manually it the settings file. if so can some one let me know how and I would be glad to try it.

Frank D. Hubeny

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Probably Not

At least in the first release. The reason is that the place you'd back all this stuff up to is your own PC... which *SHOULD* be secure already (and if it's not, you've got bigger problems). Self-extracting would be a definite no, too. The reason is that I'm trying to keep this dead simple. You can pick 7z or Zip format, so there's really no need for a self-extractor (all operating systems have Zip support built in these days). And the encryption shouldn't be necessary due to the whole "secure your own PC" situation. Unless there's some other reason.

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You are right in your reply

You are right in your reply to my post. I do like the very basic but working application. I am using it now to back up my complete USB drive. I like the ease of use and it's being a very simple app to use. I do a complete back up and delete my old back up. Which is easy to do since the file is dated. I do not have to remember what I named my last back up file.

I also realize that any options not in this application could be be used by running your 7-zip portable. The question about encryption is not just for my self but others who seem to think encrypted zip files are nesscary. I personally use a encrypted volume on my own PC to store all of my archives so this is not a real concern.

Frank D. Hubeny

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Hello John;I am trying out

Hello John;

I am trying out your latest release and had two questions about it.

First does the file you want to restore and the restore "exe" file have to reside on the USB similar to the back up feature.

Second I had to rename the two "exe" files to backup and restore. This was because autostart did not find them for some reason. I all so renamed directories to backup and restore. I put the restore "exe" into one and the backup "exe" into another. Is it alright to rename these "exe" files. The applications to start up fine. I just felt before I used the renamed files I should ask you if it was all right or would this renameing mess things up.

Frank D. Hubeny

Hello John I just realized that I put this in the wrong forum. It should go into the forum about your latest release. I am sorry and will be more carefull in the future. FRANK D. HUBENY

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Nope

You should be able to just use them as is. The PortableAppsBackupRestore.exe need to reside on the drive you wish to restore to in the right location. The ZIP you're restoring from can reside anywhere (you can browse for it). The restore function is more of a convenience thing as the ZIP contains everything you need and you can use any program you like to restore it.

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Where is the Backup

Where is the Backup application located? I searched and could not find the location of it.

**************************************
4gb flash drive to store personal data
**************************************

**************************************
4gb flash drive to store personal data
**************************************

John T. Haller
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This is the old thread

This is the old thread. You're looking for:
Portable Apps Backup 1.0 RC 1

*locking this thread to prevent further mistaken replies*

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