Windows User Profile Backup Tool DataGrab
DataGrab is a free tool for the Windows operating system that can be used to backup user profile data and other data from a connected drive. The portable backup software displays a list of options once you start it up on the target system.
The program supports backups from the current system or another Windows operating system installed on one of the connected and accessible drives.
Please note that DataGrab is not a conventional backup software with options to restore the data at a later point. It is more of a recovery solution in case of a damaged system.
The source drive with the Windows installation is selected under Target Drive. You can select the current operating system, or an operating system on a drive that is connected to the current OS.
DataGrab supports the two user profile locations Users and Documents. All valid user profiles found on the selected drive are displayed immediately after a drive has been selected.
It is possible to select one, multiple or all user profiles for backup. the program backs up the entire user profile folder and may back up additional folders on the drive and specific file types everywhere next to that.
When you select file types that you want to back up, either by checking boxes of preset file types or by specifying other file types, DataGrab will scan the system for any matching file and back it up as well.
The selection of file types will increase the time it takes to back up significantly.
Specific local and guest operating system data plus current user data can be added to the backup as well. The backup includes minidumps or OS information automatically in the backup. Those information may be helpful in analyzing a damaged system.
Most settings and options can be modified to create a custom user profile backup. It is for instance possible to only backup a specific user directory, and of that user directory only specific files or folders. This approach reduces the storage requirements of the backup noticeably.
Data is copied like it is to the target directory. DataGrab does not support compression or encryption options, and there is no checking for duplicate files in the target location.Â The program does not support any restoration options other than moving backed up files to their original location.
The core purpose of DataGrab is therefore not to backup the data for emergency restoration, but to have them available at a different location. This is for instance helpful when analyzing a system, or trying to recover data from a system that is damaged and no longer booting.
Take a look at the following introductory video that explains the core concepts of the backup software.
DataGrab is compatible with the client operating systems Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 (update: also Windows 8.1 and 10). The developer notes that it may also work with server operating systems.
The program can be downloaded from the developer website at Google Sites. Please note that it requires that the Visual Basic 6 Redistributable Package is installed on the system.
Update: While you can still download DataGrab from the author's website, it needs to be noted that it is not developed anymore. The developer has published a new software program that is available for $10 at the time of writing.