Good alternative to Windows File History? (backup tool for Windows that saves every version)

I’m almost recovered from the failed Seagate drive debacle (solution: buy Western Digital; send the Seagate to the nearest gun range to serve as a target). When I try to get Windows File History going again, however, it chokes on someone else’s vomit within a few minutes. There are some filenames especially within the Dropbox area of the C: drive that it doesn’t like (why can’t it back up anything that NTFS was willing to accept?). I tried excluding the entire (SSD) C: drive so that I could at least get backups of the two big hard disks, but even after “C:\” was excluded it kept trying to back up folders with the C: drive and shutting down (why skip files when you can terminate and leave the entire computer unprotected?).

Has anyone had good luck with a Windows tool that will do what Microsoft’s built-in Backup/File History is advertised as doing, i.e., saving every version of every file, presumably with hooks into NTFS’s journaling mechanism so that it runs shortly after any modification is made. I can just dedicate one disk to be the target of this third-party tool.

I’m already running the Synology Drive Client to push files out to the NAS. Maybe there is a way to tell this program to also copy everything to a local file? (If so, I haven’t found it yet.) Synology actually got stuck as well. It was in an infinite wait for some files on OneDrive that appear in the file system but aren’t actually on the disk, I think.

I’m also already running CrashPlan from Code42, which hasn’t choked on the cloud drives (Dropbox or OneDrive) as far as I know. I think it is possible to tell the Code42 app to write to both the cloud and a local destination (below, the data should go to both the CrashPlan cloud and a local drive).

How well does this work? Here’s the CrashPlan software trying to back up detritus left by the Synology software. The estimate is 1.6 years before the three local hard drives are copied to the new 16 TB internal backup drive. So, assuming a little downtime for Florida hurricanes, now I just need a letter from God promising that there won’t be any drive failures until an 82-year-old Joe Biden is celebrating his/her/zir/their reelection (we don’t know what Dr. Biden’s spouse’s gender ID will be in 2024).


  • “The best Windows backup software” (PC World) likes R-Drive Image 7 (but I don’t really want to make images of the disk!) and Acronis
  • “The Best Backup Software and Services for 2022” (PC Mag) likes ShadowProtect, which would make a full image of the disks and then store years of incrementals (I guess the 16 TB drive is big enough to hold a second full image of the three other drives on the PC so in theory I could do a full backup every couple of months and the software would throw out the obsolete one after it was complete (but maybe reading 100% of the data off these drives every two months would actually result in their premature death?))

One thought on “Good alternative to Windows File History? (backup tool for Windows that saves every version)

  1. A definite case where the world’s smartest minds in New Delhi are unwilling to create a solution. It might be necessary to pay them enough for a toilet or worse, for PhD’s from MIT to write software again.

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