Backup4all 5.4 released, with smart file scanning (faster backups)

After months of development, Backup4all 5.4 was released. You can download the latest version here: Download Backup4all 5.4.

This is a major version and the most important feature is the integration of a smart file scanning mode. What this basically means is that backups will perform faster in certain situations. On the technical side, when smart file scanning is enabled Backup4all will use the USN journal to get a faster detection of the modified source files. The USN Journal (Update Sequence Number Journal), or Change Journal, is a feature of NTFS which maintains a record of changes made to the volume.

Smart scan

Starting with version 5.4 this option is activated by default for all new jobs. For backup jobs that were created with an older version, this option is not activated but can be enabled manually (just go to Backup Properties->Advanced->Backup->Smart file scanning mode). The “Smart file scanning mode” won’t work in the following situations though:

  1. If the current user is not an administrator and the sources are on local drives. For standard users this option works only for external drives.
  2. The source drive is not NTFS formatted.
  3. Sources are not on local drives (ex: network drives). This option also works for local removable NTFS drives (stick, external hard drive, removable drives).
  4. Backup job has relative file date filters (ex: “older than x days”).
  5. If the file/folder filter has changes since the previous backup.
  6. The journal will not be used at first backup (all sources are newly added).
  7. The journal will not be used for full backup executions.
  8. The journal will not be used when a source is newly added to backup.
  9. The journal will not be used when the source is changed by including other subfolders/files that were previously excluded.
  10. Because parsing the NTFS journal can be slower in some cases than parsing the files, the option will not be used if there are less than 20,000 files & folders in the backup. The 20,000 count is calculated as sum of all files and all folders already present in backup catalog, before the current backup execution.

Leaving the techical aspect aside, we highly recommend updating to the latest version since the backup speed improvement (in the conditions mentioned above) are quite noticeable. Aside the smart file scanning mode feature, other improvements were included as well. Here’s an overview of all changes included in the recent version:

  • New: Smart file scanning mode (improves backup speed)
  • Update: The executed backup type is available in the email notifications
  • Update: Plugin creator works with the new version
  • Update: Best match tab of the ribbon is selected when starting the application
  • Update: Cancel/stop/pause/resume job actions from the scheduler
  • Update: Special XML characters are allowed in paths and names
  • Update: More information is available in the Installer Log
  • Update: Excluded files are listed in the log
  • Update: Integrated help for the activation section
  • Fix: Fixes for Windows Explorer context menu
  • Fix: Check for updates didn’t install the new version in some situations
  • Fix: Some keys were not removed from registry on uninstall
  • Fix: Fixed NTFS journal logging and statistics
  • Fix: Default language chosen in installer was not used when starting the app
  • Fix: Smart type wrongfully triggered a full backup in some situations
  • Fix: Problem while merging the backup

This version update is free for all users that have an existing valid license of Backup4all 5.x.

However, this version is not free for users of previous versions of Backup4all (1.x – 4.x). If you own a previous version and want to test Backup4all 5, you can install a 30 day free trial here: Download Backup4all 5.

When you’re ready to make the switch, just import the backup jobs from the older version and purchase an upgrade. Prices for upgrades vary depending on what license you currently own, but you can quickly check the pricing by entering your key here: Upgrade Backup4all