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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Mar 2012
    Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts

    File History how-to

    File History (FH) is the Windows 8 backup module but it seems pretty set in its ways. By default, it will only backup libraries, desktop, contacts, favorites & Skydrive. Problem is, I don't see any options: that is, no way to select the drive(s) or directories. Most of my data is elsewhere (other physical drives/partitions) since my ssd is too small. For Windows 7 I used an external drive (Seagate GoFlex) but its self-contained backup software is not Windows 8 compatible. Should I let FH "do its thing" anyway & use another app for backing up what I really need (2 physical drives with 2 partitions each). Would another, third party app co-exist peacefully? What's good out there?

  2. #2
    Administrator jwitalka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Thanked 824 Times in 739 Posts
    Include the files you want to backup in a new Library. Be aware there is a bug in File History that causes it to include several copies of files that haven't changed causing it to quickly use up backup location space. See

    There is a suggestion there that the excessive backup can be prevented if you disable Homegroups.


  3. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    California & Arizona
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    As Jerry says, your best use of FH will be through Libraries, so get to know the Libraries functions well.
    What File Backup backs up

    By default, File History automatically backs up everything in your libraries, desktop, Favorites, and contacts. That's a lot of stuff, when you consider that your libraries include several folders, even in a base install of Windows 8: My Documents, Public Documents, My Music, Public Music, My Pictures, Public Pictures, My Videos, and Public Videos.

    But File History is actually more sophisticated than that. If you make your own libraries, as some power users might, even those libraries are backed up automatically: File History backs up all libraries, not just the built-in libraries. And you can exclude folder locations if, say, you don't need this feature backing up videos or other files.

    File History can also be used as a replacement for Windows Home Server's centralized PC backup functionality, sort of. While it doesn't offer centralized image backup functionality like WHS, that feature isn't really needed in Windows 8 because the system is so easily reset with Push Button Reset. Instead, File History can advertise its location to other users and PCs in your local homegroup, creating a centralized spot for these backups. So you might use your desktop PC with its ample storage as the central location for File History-based backups for all the PCs in your homegroup.

    Using File History, Windows 8′s built-in backup tool

    Don't ever rely on only one form of backup.
    Convenience isn't everything, keep a hard copy somewhere safe at all times.
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  4. #4
    4 Star Lounger
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    Dec 2009
    Fishkill, New York, USA
    Thanked 35 Times in 31 Posts

    File History Drive Choice Problem I Had

    My external 1TB drive was not listed as a destination source but I did find a work-around. See thread below:


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