hardBackup - Dirvish disk-based backup for Windows

hardBackup is a powerful solution for disk-based backup on windows systems. By utilizing well proven open source technologies like Dirvish, Rsync, Openssh and Cygwin, hardBackup can:

  • keep several images of backup in a rotating scheme
  • represent identical files in different images by one single physical copy
  • transfer only changes in files via secure channels

Dirvish is a fast, disk based, rotating network backup system. With dirvish you can maintain a set of complete images of your filesystems with unattended creation and expiration. A dirvish backup vault is like a time machine for your data.  Rsync uses the Rsync algorithm which provides a very fast method for bringing remote files into sync. It does this by sending just the differences in the files across the link, without requiring that both sets of files are present at one of the ends of the link beforehand. OpenSSH is a free version of the SSH protocol suite of network connectivity tools. Cygwin is a Linux-like environment for Windows. It consists of a DLL (cygwin1.dll), which emulates substantial Linux API functionality, and a collection of tools. 



Supported platforms: NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7 /10/2016 with NTFS filesystem.

hardBackup comes as a zip archive containing a Nullsoft Installer package. Unzip downloaded file and run hardBackup_x.x.x_Installer.exe :

  1. Click Next at Welcome-page
  2. View license agreement.
  3. Specify an installation location.
  4. Installation starts. By clicking 'Details' button, you can get more detailed information about installation. Check if everything seems ok.
  5. At the end of the installation, hardBackup gives you some information about usage.

You're DONE! hardBackup is installed on your machine.


You should first customize the master configuration file available from the start menu. Master configuration allows you to specify:

  • where you want to store your backups
  • naming scheme for backup images
  • how to store logs
  • how to store search indexes
  • exclude patterns
  • when backup images will expire
  • backup vaults to run

Customizable parameters in the master configuration are not limited by those listed above. Consult Dirvish Configuration from the start menu for a complete list.

You can now define your backup vaults. A vault is simply a directory within the root of the backup directory specified in the master configuration. Existence of a vault is determined by a dirvish subdirectory containing a file named default.conf. It allows you to specify:

  • target host
  • local directory/rsync module that will be backed up

Customizable parameters in the vault configuration are not limited by those listed above. You can override almost every master configuration value here. Consult Dirvish Configuration for a complete list. A vault example and vault related instructions are available from the start menu.

The third step is to activate your hardBackup environment. A batch file (hardbackup.cmd) is created for that purpose. It processes vaults according to your configuration, removes expired images and creates new ones. You can simply schedule it as a windows task.



This package contains components with following terms of licensing:

Component Version Licensing In short
Dirvish 1.2.1 Dirvish license Free to use (OSL v2) Download source
Rsync 3.0.7 Rsync license Free to use (GPL) Rsync license (GPL) Source code for Rsync is available here.
Cygwin and GNU tools 1.7.7 CYGWIN license Free to use (GPL mostly) CYGWIN license (GPL) Source code for Cygwin and GNU Tools are available here.
OpenSSH 5.6p OpenSSH license Free to use (BSD)
OpenSSL 0.9.8o OpenSSL license Free to use (BSD)
hardBackup 2.0.0 hardBackup license Free to use (BSD) Download source



This one is easy too:

  1. Make sure that no backup clients are connected.
  2. Choose Uninstall hardBackup from Start menu. Again, you can monitor uninstallation process by clicking 'Details' button.