I would like to share with readers here a really useful tool called FBackup, which does a tremendously helpful job of helping you back up your applications settings such that formatting your PC will hopefully be a painless process from now on.
At first glance, FBackup looks like a rudimentary piece of backup software. You tell it what to backup, where and how often to do so and it will chug along merrily on its way. The settings are pretty short and simple to understand and it does the job nicely.
What sets FBackup apart from the rest of the pack is the powerful plugin manager it has, allowing you to expand the capabilities beyond performing simple backups of directories.
Plugins allow you to extend FBackup to easily back up specific applications to capture all the settings and personalizations that you may have performed during the course of using an application. For example, if you use Windows Live Messenger a lot, chances are you already have a lot of emoticons saved up but when you reformat, all those settings are typically lost, unless you are computer savvy enough to know where Messenger stores all the settings and other information, usually scattered all over your hard disk in various folders.
With FBackup, you simply load the plugin for Messenger and it will instruct FBackup on exactly where and what customization files to backup in addition to the application files. You end up with an exact copy of the app complete with all the settings ready to be restored.
Mind that if you are restoring into a recently reformatted computer, you may need to reinstall the application from an installer first AND THEN restore the settings from FBackup, as FBackup only backs up the files but not the registry settings.
We are still far away from a point where you can backup all your apps and restore them back to a fresh computer complete with all your customized settings. Nevertheless, this method ensures that you have all the files and data safely backed up.
There are a host of plugins available (for free) from the creators of FBackup and they range from email clients, internet applications, audio and multimedia and others. It maybe a chore hunting down all the plugins you need, so perhaps in the future FBackup can detect installed applications and automatically downloads the required plugins.
Even without the automated procedure, FBackup is no doubt a powerful backup solution that is unique in its class. In the age where hard disk size are growing exponentially, it makes little sense to make a 1 to 1 copy of your entire hard disk and FBackup ensures you have all your important and necessary files with you at all times, with none of the bloat. This lean way of making backups makes perfect sense for those with limited hard drive space while those who don’t practice regular backups should be ready for the possibility that there may be a chance for a catastrophic data disaster event. Are you sure you are ready if that happens?