Introducing WJ’s Backup

Recently I became frustrated with Cobian Backup. It was the only free software I could find that:

  1. supported incremental backups,
  2. supported Volume Shadow Copy,
  3. and didn’t install a bunch of extra, useless startup entries and services.

However, two things sucked:

  1. Incremental backups only seemed to work properly when it used the “archive” attribute. This meant that it couldn’t recover from interrupted backups properly.
  2. It didn’t provide any way of restoring files, so you had to go through the different .7z files and find the file you want to restore.

So, I decided to create my own backup program: “WJ’s Backup”. The possessive in the title is not to indicate some obsessive sense of ownership, but to emphasize the fact that the program was not developed with any other user’s perspective in mind.

Unlike most other backup programs I could find, WJ’s Backup maintains a database with file/directory metadata for each revision. It keeps file versions in a SVN-like way, but without diffs for file content (each new version is stored in full). 7-Zip compression is mandatory.

Project page at SourceForge


  1. Sounds good. Is there a way to prune old incremental versions if a newer version exists? e.g. Remove backups over 2 years old, but retain any files that have not changed since then.

    1. Yes (the “trim” command), but it’s very slow since it recreates the archive. It takes around the same time as a full backup. It also merges one revision at a time, so if you have multiple revisions that you want to delete, the time needed grows with that (2x, 3x, …).

    2. I’ve now added the ability to trim multiple revisions at a time. So it takes around the same time no matter how many revisions you’re deleting.

Leave a Reply