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From backupclever

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What is BackupClever?

BackupClever is a backup utility for Windows.

It combines the benefits of incremental backups (less space) with the freedom of full backups (all files accessible). After an initial full backup, only modified files will be copied while representing the others by NTFS hard-links to previous backups.

When a backup is done all source files are compared with already existing files in previous backups. If there are changes, a new (time-stamped) backup directory is created and all modified source files are copied to it, unmodified files are integrated as NTFS hard-links to the existing files of previous backups. This allows having a complete copy of all source files and folders in each backup set, while only reserving the space of one initial backup plus the differences between each subsequent backup on the backup media. Unused backup folders (including the first full backup) may be deleted safely at any moment without impacting the integrity of the other backups.



Please consult the BackupClever Blog to stay informed about this software. It contains the lastest news, release announcements, information about planned features, etc.


As BackupClever is under continous development, its functionality may change from version to version. To get the right documentation for your software, please click on the link below that indicates your BackupClever version.

  • BackupClever 0.01
    • The first useable version (Release date: 30/03/2010)
  • BackupClever 0.02
    • Bugfix: BackupClever now does not crash anymore on Windows XP systems.
  • BackupClever 0.03
    • Long Path Support: Path lengths up to 32.000 characters are now supported.
    • Minor changes in Form1.cs: Bugfixes, About dialog and E-Mail button

Hint: The BackupClever version number may be found in the title bar of the software.


First try to look at the support pages (coming soon) on this web site to learn how to use the software or to find an answer to your question.

For all unanswered questions, feature requests and remarks, please feel free to send me a message via SourceForge. I will try to answer as soon as possible, but please keep in mind that that the development of BackupClever is only one part of my free-time activities: so please give me some time.

Of course, you always have the option to verify things yourself directly in the (well commented) source code, if you are familiar with development in C#.


Before using BackupClever verify that you have fulfilled the following prerequisites:

  • BackupClever uses the Hard-linking feature of the NTFS file system. In order to work, the backup destination must be on a volume that is formatted with the NTFS file system.
  • The program is written in C# and requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 an higher to run. Please verify that the .NET Framework is installed before trying to install BackupClever on your machine:


Please visit the project homepage on Sourceforge to download a Windows Setup package or the source code of the latest release of BackupClever.

  • Setup: For end-users it is recommended to download the installer package which allows to install and uninstall BackupClever easily.
  • Source code: For developers you may find the source code in C# programming language. I you do not have an IDE for C# development you might consider downloading the free Express edition of Microsoft Visual C# or the Open Source IDE SharpDevelop for that purpose.


  • Fix verknüpft: Article in the German IT magazine c't describing the principle of Backup Clever (in German language)
  • NTFS hard-links: Wikipedia article about hard-links in file systems
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