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Old 30. May 2016, 02:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Sequential backup of specific files with option to delete oldest

I'm currently playing an early access game that seems prone to bugs which could randomly delete / destroy hours of work without warning. Being a primarily online multiplayer game with an only recently added, and somewhat poorly implemented single player mode (the game just creates a local server so you're basically playing multiplayer by yourself), there is no way to manually save the game, and, while it does autosave every 20 minutes, those saves overwrite the same file each time. The game does create a dated backup after about 3 hours of consecutive gameplay, but if you don't play for that duration, no backup is created (i.e. if you play 1 hour at a time for 10 sessions, no backup is created at all).

As a result of all of this, I want to find a third-party program that will detect when the game is running and create a new backup each time the save files change, or alternatively controlled by elapsed time while the game is running. In addition, I want the program to be able to delete the oldest backups after a specified number have been reached because the files in question are not small, so I don't want to waste disk space on my SSD gaming drive with endless backups.

I tried SyncBackFree, but it doesn't allow for program detection in the free version and doesn't provide a cleanup after a certain number of backups. I've also tried comodo backup, but that seems geared toward backing up file changes and doesn't appear to offer the ability to create new backup files, nor does it offer cleanup.

I'm out of ideas now, so I'm hoping someone here can give me some better suggestions.

Thanks.
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Old 30. May 2016, 05:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would use a file/folder synchonization program.

There are options to schedule programs to run regularly (say every 10 minutes) or to remain resident and detect changes.
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Old 30. May 2016, 05:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I forgot to add that the easiest way to detect when a program is running is to start it from a batch file that also starts the "backup" program. That also gives you control over terminating it as well.

Creating new backup files through versioning is available e.g. FreeFileSync. There are also options to delete files.
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Old 30. May 2016, 02:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Methinks you need to delve into the depths of the Windows Task Scheduler that allows you to test all sorts of conditions and run things.
I use it to schedule ERUNT to back up the registry
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Old 31. May 2016, 09:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remah View Post
I forgot to add that the easiest way to detect when a program is running is to start it from a batch file that also starts the "backup" program. That also gives you control over terminating it as well.

Creating new backup files through versioning is available e.g. FreeFileSync. There are also options to delete files.
Can you give an example of such a batch file? Thanks.
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Old 31. May 2016, 09:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Methinks you need to delve into the depths of the Windows Task Scheduler that allows you to test all sorts of conditions and run things.
I use it to schedule ERUNT to back up the registry
I tried that once before years ago... it didn't go well, though it could have been my lack of experience in working with the system.
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Old 31. May 2016, 11:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Can you give an example of such a batch file? Thanks.
There are lots of sites with help on this. Here's the first one I found when searching for "batch file to start multiple programs":
Launch Multiple Programs From A Single Shortcut Using A Batch File
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Old 31. May 2016, 02:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
I tried that once before years ago... it didn't go well, though it could have been my lack of experience in working with the system.
It is not trivial and I made sure I had a couple of hours of un-interrupted time to work it out.
I found that once you have got a handle on it, it is made more difficult than it needs to be.
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Old 31. May 2016, 09:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Remah View Post
There are lots of sites with help on this. Here's the first one I found when searching for "batch file to start multiple programs":
Launch Multiple Programs From A Single Shortcut Using A Batch File
That part is relatively easy, its the closing of multiple programs that I'm not sure how to do.

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Originally Posted by Burn-IT View Post
It is not trivial and I made sure I had a couple of hours of un-interrupted time to work it out.
I found that once you have got a handle on it, it is made more difficult than it needs to be.
Exactly why I stay away from it. I would call myself tech savvy, but admin level tools of windows have always been way more complicated than they need to be.
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Old 01. Jun 2016, 06:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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That part is relatively easy, its the closing of multiple programs that I'm not sure how to do.
You can end tasks from the command line which means you can type the same command into a batch file, e.g.
End a running task

I would avoid using batch files because it is easier to schedule the file synchronization to run every 10 or 15 minutes all the time. The scheduled tasks doesn't do much so it shouldn't be a drain on your computer.

The remaining issue is how to delete the copied files that you no longer want before they take up to much disk space. For that reason, you might be better looking at a backup program because they allow retention rules to be defined, e.g. keep four versions of a backup.

I'm going to install Macrium Reflect and see if it will work for your purposes.
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