Snap Backup

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Have a burning question about Snap Backup?  This is the place to look for answers.  If your question is not answered here, feel free to use the feedback form.

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Does Snap Backup perform "incremental" backups or "full" backups?

Snap Backup performs full backups.  Incremental backups are good for many needs, like backing up an entire hard drive, but such an approach adds complexity to the backup process.  Snap Backup is intended for people who just want to backup their data files not their entire hard drives.


Does Snap Backup use the archive bit?

No.  The archive bit is not applicable to full backups, so Snap Backup ignores the archive bit and backups up files even if they have not changed since your last backup.  (Additionally, the archive bit is platform dependent, and Snap Backup is designed to work on just about every major platform.)


Does Snap Backup have a restore feature?

Eventually a restore (unzip) capability might be added to Snap Backup, but for now you'll need to use one of the numerous standard zip utilities, like gzip (gunzip), 7-Zip, The Unarchiver, or Mac's built-in Archive Utility.  Your computer probably already has the ability to open a ".zip" file by simply double clicking it.  Hopefully, you will find restoring to be an infrequent activity.


Can Snap Backup be used to backup up a hard drive?

No.  The vast majority of files on your hard drive are operating system files and application program files that do not need to be backed up.  Snap Backup is intended for frequent use in backing up just your valuable data not your entire hard drive.


Which files and folders do I need to backup on Mac OS X?

If you are a Mac user, check out this article for inforamtion on exactly which files and folders to backup: Save Mac Data with Snap Backup


Can Snap Backup save my data to a portable USB drive?

Yes.  One of the simplest external data devices you can use with Snap Backup is a portable USB drive.  Just insert the drive into one of your USB ports and specify the USB drive's location in Snap Backup's "Copy Backup To:" option.  On Mac OS X, USB drives show up in the "Volumes" folder with the name of the drive, such as "/Volumes/MyData".  On Windows, the USB Drive will show up as a drive letter, such as "E:\".


Does Snap Backup write data to CDs or DVDs?

Before burning your data to a CD or DVD, you might find it helpful to use Snap Backup to zip up all your data into a backup file and then burn the backup file to the CD or DVD.  However, Snap Backup itself does not burn files directly to CDs or DVDs.


Can Snap Backup copy files instead of compressing them into a zip file?

No.  Simply copying files instead of zipping them up into a single file is certainly useful, but that capability is better suited to a copy utility instead of a backup utility.  Additionally, Snap Backup is designed to be very easy to use, and adding a copy feature could undesirably complicate the user interface.


Does Snap Backup support multiple profiles?

Yes.  A typical use of multiple profiles is to backup your work files separately from your personal files.  On the "File" menu, go to the "Multiple Profiles" item and select "On".


Does Snap Backup have filters?

Yes.  Filters give you more control over exactly which folders and files to backup.  The filters support wildcards ("*") and can also exclude files based on their size.


Can Snap Backup schedule backups to happen automatically?

To facilitate launching backups from scripts and schedulers, Snap Backup can be run from the command-line.  Use the scheduler included with for your operating system (for example, "cron" on Linux and "Scheduled Tasks" on Windows) to automate your backups.  For instructions, see the "Command-Line Option" section in the Snap Backup User Guide.


What languages does Snap Backup support?

Snap Backup supports Albanian (Shqip), Dutch (Nederlands), English, Esperanto, German (Deutsch), Indonesian (Bahasa), Italian (Italiano), Korean (한국어), Portuguese (Português), Romanian (Română), Russian (Русский), Spanish (Español), and Slovene (Slovenščina).  Snap Backup will attempt to detect your default language and use that if available.


Why does my zip utility launch whenever I try to run Snap Backup?

On Microsoft Windows, some zip utilities take over the file association for files ending in ".jar".  The ".jar" file extension is the standard extension for a Java program (an executable Java ARchive) and indicates the file should be opened by Java — not by a zip utility.  The easiest way to fix the problem is to just reinstall Java, which automatically resets the ".jar" file association back to Java.  If that does not work, look to see if your zip utility has an option in its preferences to release the ".jar" file association.


Snap Backup freezes on me.  Why?

Snap Backup may have trouble completing the backup process if it encounters a problematic file, such as a file that is locked by another application or a file that is too huge to process.  In such a situation, it is important to pinpoint which file is causing the problem.  The last file listed in the Message Log section is likely the problematic file.

Troubleshooting Steps:

  1. Enable Snap Backup's filtering feature. →  In the File menu, choose the Backup Filters option and then select On.
  2. Create a filter to skip over the folder containing the file you believe is most likely to be the problematic file. →  Click the Edit Filter button, and in the "Skip folders matching:" field, enter the folder name.  Then click the Ok button.
  3. Save the filter. →  Click the Save Settings button.
  4. Test. →  Click the Do Backup Now button to kick off the backup.
If the backup hangs again, repeat the steps for a different folder.  Note that the Cancel button is only able to abort in between processing files (it does not abort in the middle of processing a file).  Sometimes this results in the Cancel button not being very responsive.


How big can Snap Backup files be?

The zip file technology Snap Backup relies on seems to max out at 4GB.  Future versions of the technology may support larger files sizes, and Snap Backup will attempt to adopt the new technology when it is available.


How do I upgrade to a new version of Snap Backup?

To upgrade your version of Snap Backup, simply install the new version.  The new version will cleanly replace the old version, and all your backup settings will automatically be preserved.


Is Snap Backup really free?

Yes.  Snap Backup is free as in beer and as well as free as in free speech.  Because Snap Backup is an open source project, you can look at the source code.

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