On Windows 8.1 for NTFS I wanna know what would be the best backup utility that properly backs up hard links (IE copies the links and doesn't create a duplicate file per link in the original drive but will copy the file location the links point to) and also supports incremental backups.

Hard links have huge advantages but right now if I backup a drive that uses them with my current backup tool, the backup uses up more space.


  • Not a programming question. Try Software Recommendations Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 8:07
  • Should it run from Windows, or should it run from a "Live CD"? And, do you want to back up the whole drive or just some directories/files?
    – Marcel
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 13:56
  • From Windows and I want to back up the whole thing.
    – Wes
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


There are different Software for that. e.g. hardlinkbackup from Lupinhos

Or check the NTFS tools of Hermann Schinagl. specially ln with the delorean option http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/ln/ln.html

We have written our own tool (called ntfs-hardlink-backup) to run ln and do some magic like notification emails, log files, Shadow Volume copy etc. https://github.com/individual-it/ntfs-hardlink-backup Its a command line tool and runs fine from a bat file or scheduled task.

  • I will check out hardlinkbackup when I return from work. By the way, does the other two tools you mentioned support incremental backups?
    – Wes
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 15:46
  • By the way it sounds like hardlinkbackup merely states it uses hardlinks as an optional means of backing up software, it doesn't say that it will properly backup hardlinks.
    – Wes
    Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 15:48
  • Decided to go with ln.exe, does an amazing job backing up hardlinks and is fast. Lacks a UI but I can live with that.
    – Wes
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 15:30
  • In the newest version of ln.exe there seems to be a bug when using delorian copy and making backups to a network share. It can happen that changed files overwrite the history and deleted files are not deleted in the destination. I've wrote to the developer and waiting for an answer. Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 6:43
  • I personally don't use the Delorean, I'm perfectly cool with Smart Mirror.
    – Wes
    Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 19:14

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