I have a 1 TB external hard disk and a 512 GB internal hard disk. I am looking for a backup software that:

  • Allows you to backup complete hard disk including boot records so that whole OS can be restored easily.

  • Can easily automatically update the backup itself, if files on internal hard disk change. Note: It should not create a completely new backup each time as it will take lot of time. I want to update only modified file like diff tools.

  • Should allow restoring individual files from the backup without a need to restore whole archive.

  • Allow password protection for data security.

  • Allow rest space (other than 512 GB consumed by backup for other uses).

  • Must be compatible with Windows 7 SP1 x64.

  • What is "allow rest space"?
    – user416
    Jun 25, 2014 at 10:27

3 Answers 3


You can use Acronis True Image:

  • Windows XP to 8, including Windows 7 x64 SP1 (not sure if it works without SP1).
  • incremental and differential backups
  • recover the complete system or individual files
  • the backup file can be password-protected.
  • not free

Not sure about the rest space.

  • 1
    I'm using this as well. I have used it e.g. for cloning the entire OS disk in a virtual machine when I needed to enlarge the system disk.
    – user416
    Jun 25, 2014 at 10:29

I was recently looking for a FREE backup utility and after visiting several sites that I frequent for programs I came across Cobian Backup. http://www.cobiansoft.com/cbnew.htm

Granted I've not yet had the time to sit down and read through the help and learn the program, but this is the eleventh version of the software and the NEW features listed are below. Looking through them I see several that seem to meet your criteria. I'm just not sure, yet, whether it meets all your criteria. But I'm sure it's worth a look!

** New Features for version 11*

Welcome to the new version: Cobian Backup 11, Gravity

  1. AES encryption (128, 192 and 256 bits)
  2. The directories Settings, Logs and DB can now be configured manually
  3. A task has now the Priority field
  4. A new scheduled type is added: On startup
  5. A new scheduled type was added: On first Monday, On third Tuesday, etc...
  6. Now you can limit the number of Differential backups as well
  7. Now you can select a fixed day of the week to make an incremental or differential backup Full
  8. The program can now automatically delete old files
  9. Suspend and Hibernate are now Events
  10. Sources and Destinations can now be sorted "As Explorer"
  11. Delete empty directories is now a Task property
  12. A LOT of new parameters can now be used (see the help file)
  13. The task list can now be divided and organized in groups
  14. Inclusions and Exclusions can now be arranged
  15. The Deleter can now delete multiple sources
  16. The Safe Mirror directory keeps now the original directory structure
  17. You can now link tasks as an event
  18. The installer is now improved
  19. The application can now be closed from every possible desktop
  20. Old encryption methods are now deprecated
  21. The decryptor and decompressor accept now multiple sources
  22. The decryptor and the decompressor accept command line arguments
  23. The program checks the existence of the destination file even when using the attribute method
  24. Counting files can now be paused or canceled
  25. The body of the mail is now configurable
  26. The Remote Manager is fully rewriten and can now show the progress of the remote client
  27. The Remote Manager can now get the FULL log file of the client
  28. Restart and Shutdown work now even with impersonation
  29. Missed backups don't restart or shutdown the machine now if that event is present
  • I'm using version 11 as well and it only lets me select files/folders (i.e. does not meet the requirement backup complete hard disk including boot records). There is no way to backup a disk image.
    – user416
    Jun 25, 2014 at 10:31

IMO Acronis True Image is the best non-free solution.

But if you're looking for a 'free' solution I would consider two approaches:

  1. For the complete backup use Clonezilla or Fog.
  2. For restoring individual files, use Areca Backup to define groups of important files with a nice GUI. Then you set the encryption, exclusions or type of backup for each of them. Of course you can restore individual files with the former software also but you'll have to go to the command line.

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