ntbackup.exe on XP tries to put all files into a single file on the removable media, and apparently it has a 4 GB file size limit. Useless. It actually asked me to change tapes!
All the rsync builds I've worked with are limited, flawed, or have Linux-like requirements that I simply do not care to attempt in Windows.
Someone at MS noticed this vacuum, and built something to fill it: SyncToy. It is just about perfect for such a utility on this platform. Now I can finally back my laptop to a USB drive.
In Windows 7, the Backup and Restore Control Panel creates the backup as a series of zip files.
F:\mylaptop\Backup Set 2010-03-02 181457\Backup Files 2010-03-02 181457>dir Volume in drive F is BRUISER Volume Serial Number is 1A1A-1E1E Directory of F:\mylaptop\Backup Set 2010-03-02 181457\Backup Files 2010-03-02 181457 03/02/2010 06:18 PM <dir> . 03/02/2010 06:18 PM <dir> .. 03/02/2010 06:18 PM 184,773,087 Backup files 2.zip 03/02/2010 06:19 PM 55,641,178 Backup files 3.zip 03/02/2010 06:21 PM 137,063,197 Backup files 4.zip 3 File(s) 377,477,462 bytes 2 Dir(s) 8,098,111,488 bytes free
While this is nice for saving space, I cannot browse the files in Explorer. Browsing the files from within the Backup and Restore Control Panel is possible, but this is not as direct as opening an Explorer windoe.
I will continue to experiment with the Windows 7 built-in backup tool, but SyncToy has the simple straightforwardness that I am looking for.