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28 posts found

Cfguy
19 October 2018, 23:56

Hi Hiro,
You are terrific!! Smiling  Thanks so much for going to the effort of pre-testing your advice to me, and also for creating the special ".bat" app and then posting it to Google Drive.  I can't thank you enough for your kindness and thoughtfulness.

It is getting late here on the US east coast, but I will be sure to try your solution sometime this weekend and then get back to you on how all went with the backup/restore from external drive.

Many thanks, again!
-Cfguy

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Ham
18 October 2018, 16:40

Hi. thanx for your good app.(Clone app)
I want to tell If using it was easier it become one of best backup tools or maybe best of them all. I didn't see another app that can do this things.
I have a problem whit clone app:
after reinstalling Windows when I want to restore apps setting it doesn't work correctly. Is there any point or I Use it in wrong way. I dont know.may I ask you to put a brief guide for unpro user like me?
Best regards

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Hiro
18 October 2018, 19:06

Hello Ham,
here is full documentation:
http://www.cloneapp.de/downloads/ca_docs/manual.pdf

Cfguy
18 October 2018, 08:42

Hi Hiro,
Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly.  I like your idea about booting into Windows PE, and then assigning old hard drive to "C" and using CloneApp to backup.  Question is: will I be able to get CloneApp to run within the Windows PE environment, and how?  I don't have any experience running ".exe" applications in a Windows PE/Recovery environment- I typically just use the tools available to me to back-up or restore files or partitions.  Paragon HD Manager has a Windows PE environment disc/zip drive, but again I've never tried running an executable program in such an environment.  I feel like I am getting close to a solution- just need a bit more help from more knowledgeable, such as you.  Also, since my old Windows 7 hard drive/partition (where I will be copying the user and program settings from to later restore to the new WIndows 7 hard drive/partition) was "unbootable" in the end (which is why I preformed the restore from the July 2018 backup), are there certain Windows settings or variables I want to be sure NOT to backup and restore to my new Windows partition, so as to not make the new partition also "unbootable" post CloneApp restore?  Thanks again for all of your help and advice. Smiling -Cfguy

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Hiro
18 October 2018, 21:19

So I just realized "setx" is not available in WinPE so you can't change enviroment variables from X to C. I thought you could load up cmd in new system and run batch script to change variables for current session of cmd and then run CloneApp.exe from the same cmd which would load correct variables to external drive.

It seems CloneApp successfuly ignores global variables but new variables also don't work for some reason.

So if you really can't do it manually your best bet is to create new enviroment variables to external drive and then batch replace old vars to new vars in all plug-ins....

...So that's what I did basically, full solution is available here:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1peVT0rEWzq7N9S5iidE50JHzpFnpsxKA

0) Assign drive X to the external drive !
1) Rename your plug-ins folder to something else (plug-ins.old or whatever)
2) Unpack the zip into the root folder of CloneApp
3) Run EnvToX.bat (I've set it as user variables which should be enough, if not add "/M" at the end of each line and run the batch as administrator
4) Backup (all the plug-ins I've provided are modified to point to the new variables (on X drive)
5) ???
6) Profit

Then rename back plug-ins and restore as usual.
I think this should work? :)
- Hiro

Hiro
18 October 2018, 13:44

Hi,
have you tried running windows repair on the old system? Maybe you don't need to restore backup in the first place :) Usually when system is unbootable it can be fixed (unless you used Full Disk Encryption, then it's way harder)

CloneApp is standalone/portable, you can simply copy the whole folder on a flashdrive (either the one with WinPE (After creating it) or secondary one) and run the .exe. Now it really depends on the WinPE. Some embedded apps running in WinPE have solely the one app. A lot of them offer also CMD so you could use it to navigate to the flashdrive and run cloneapp.exe. You could also create your own WinPE or use one readily available that is "full-system-like", meaning it's just lightweight OS that can run all apps (depending on libraries and other stuff, if it's included or not) e.g. https://www.aomeitech.com/pe-builder.html
You would simply navigate to flashdrive in windows explorer and run the app. And because you are running live system, which is stored on drive Boot X: (don't know if this is a rule in WinPE) the C letter could be assigned to the external drive and then the internal.

However you should ask yourself, not only how many apps you have installed on the old system, but how many are actually customized to an extend that it's more efficient to backup & restore. A lot of apps you could simply install, start and configure again in mere seconds. When you identify apps that you have actually customized so much that it would be hard to recreate the configuration, for me that would be Firefox profile (tons of configured addons, bookmarks etc), DropIt, Bvckup2, Resillio Sync, Onetastic Macros that I've created, OneNote tags and UI that I have heavily customized , AIMP and other apps where configurations are not important but personal data stores are, like instant messengers (if you don't know any of these apps you should check them out :) ), then you could look into the Plug-ins folder and *.plg files (or in app) for the file/folder paths and backup and then restore manually. It might be way more faster than bothering with forcing cloneapp to run on different drive. I personally still backup manually untill I customize CloneApp to my liking fully (see my previous posts with suggestions, my groups solution etc). Also be sure it actually has "plug-ins" for all the apps that you care about, if not you have to find the correct files and backup them manually or create plug-in file.
Good luck :)

Mushmelo
17 October 2018, 19:20

I've tried and it delivers what it promises, btw. it looks very very nice, beautiful UI.

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Cfguy
17 October 2018, 18:47


I had an idea.  Since "CloneApp works with the Environment Variables of Windows", could I temporarily change the windows environmental variables to an external hard drive (such as "%USERPROFILE% = Y:\Users\{username}" (instead of the default "C:\Users\{username}" in order to use CloneApp to copy user and program data from that external drive "Y", and then, once finished with this process, change the windows  variables back to their default location (e.g.: "%USERPROFILE% = C:\Users\{username}" once again, and then be able to use the CloneApp backup that I just made (of the user and program settings from my external "Y" drive) and restore them to my cloned windows partition (on the same computer where the "Y" drive was once the "C" drive) and then end up with my user & programs settings from "Y" drive now being on my "C" drive?  Would this be a legitimate workaround for the problemed scenario that I described in my previous post here on the forum?  Also, when restoring the user and program settings from the backup I made (from the "Y" drive (having temporarily changed the windows environmental settings) would I need to change any additional settings in CloneApp for the restore (to the new "C" Windows partition) to work?  Thanks again. -Cfguy

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Hiro
17 October 2018, 23:47

Good thinking! I assume it could break some things tho if even possible. I think the safest way would be to boot the system on the external drive (select manually boot drive on boot up) and do backup. Then boot the new system and restore. Other option would be to boot WTG/WinPE and assign drive letter C to external hdd. Do backup and then assign drive letter C to internal (new system) HDD and restore (or just boot normally and restore as main problem is backing up)

Cfguy
17 October 2018, 16:55

Help - I used Paragon HD Manager to restore an old virtual partition "C:\" drive back to the same desktop (when the current partition got messed up).  Problem is the old virtual partition is from July 2018, so some of my user and program settings are different.  I still have old hard drive, and can mount it as a USB drive in the newly restored system (with a different letter, like "W"), but how can I get CloneApp to copy my user and program settings from old hard drive (now "W" - current up until 2 days ago when the partition/boot got messed up) to my newly restored "C" drive (which has user and program settings back from July, 2018 when I performed the virtual backup, which I just reinstalled onto a new hard drive (now "C") on the same computer, which is now functioning well, except for the three month loss of my updated user and program settings)?  Is there a way for me to do this, and get my October user & program settings (now on USB-Mounted "W" drive) back on to my newly restored hard drive (now "C") with user & program settings from July (now slightly outdated)?  Please let me know.  Thanks so much for your help, and for creating such a wonderful program! :-) -Cfguy

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Hiro
16 October 2018, 12:37


Hi Belim,

the app didn't crash. Normal behaviour was that after
confirming creation of personal app folder, folder would be created and app
would restart (to reload plug-ins). The bug was that the folder wasn't created
at all, then the app restarted to reload plug-ins (not a crash). This bug is
now solved in build 266, the folder is created.

The app still restarts to reload plug-ins which is
not necessary. The only thing that changes is the plug-in list which could be
refreshed with refresh call automatically or with manual refresh.

 

Hope I'll exhaust my ideas for a little while after
this :)

[Feature] Plug-in manipulation in app

Field in plug-in editor
to change title of plug-in (filename) and
button in context menu to "rename" (filename).
Option to duplicate plug-in. Again in context menu.
Option to create new empty plug-in in app
(not completely empty file but with basic
structure layout).
"Save as new Plug-in" should save the edited
Plug-in to the folder of currently visible list (e.g. My Apps or Plug-ins)
automatically with prompt to rename (or name would be changed in editor as
in "1)" and call refresh.
The current "Save as new Plug-in"
functionality should be under different button e.g. "Export as new
Plug-in"

 

[Feature] Cancel button in plug-in editor

Before, I ment "cancel" button in addition
to "Save" button, currently only option is ESC so just for the sake
of completeness and convenience

 

[Feature] Wildcards support in paths

e.g. %appdata%\*\database.db*|outputfolder

Or specific example: %appdata%\skype\*\Main.*db (this
would backup all present accounts - currently this wouldn't work because of
wildcard at the end, ideally it would create structure with multiple folders at
the end for each user and each folder would contain single Main.db file)

 

[Feature]  Stripping of illegal
characters

Strip all illegal characters in BackupFolder when
using wilcards, so user doesn't have to specify custom output folder - this
enabled previous feature to work

 

[Feature] RegEx support in addition to wildcards (with specific
parameter to enable it on each line)

 

[Feature] Option to enable automatic temporary backup before restoring
for troubleshooting

Basically normal backup to separate folder and a
button to clean it

 

[Feature] Complete backups with specific configs

Option to back up plug-in files of the backed up apps
with the backup, same with apps selected.

This way it's always possible to restore the backup
even when it's separate from the CloneApp and it's data.

 

[Feature] CMD Options

Parameter to specify file with
"apps selected"
Parameter to specify folder with plug-ins
Parameter to specify single archive, which would contain
plug-in files to determine correct restore locations (as in Complete
backups feature)

 

[Other] Groups

I have improved my groups solution.

Now each group has own container for backups and own
plug-ins (this way I  have
most-up-to-date backups nicely organised and I can sync each backup separatedly
to different location or create only archives of backups I want, e.g. I'd want
to create archive of AppConfigs but not of GameSaves because of size, so don't
want to have all backups in same folder). I can select onetime backup which
creates new backup folder (deletes any existing and CloneApp creates it) and
shows last selected group plug-ins. I can backup and switch group which prompts
me if I want to delete the onetime backup already (the text is wrong now but
it' y/n prompt), if I select NO I can backup to this folder with plug-ins from
other group (or from whole plug-ins folder). On each backup I get prompt for 7z
archival (archives are saved always to "BackupArchives" regardless of
group selected). I can leave default value which archives backup as
"CloneAppBackup %computername%_%username% %date%.7z" or I can write
name which saves archive as "CloneAppBackup - Name" or ESC/cancel
which cancels creation of archive. When I am done with onetime backup and I've
backed up everything I want from as many groups as I want I don't cancel the
prompt and create archive. Then after switching group I select YES to remove
onetime backup folder (it's displayed only when "real" folder is
present) and proper group backup folder is shown again.


It's quite seamless (app restarts automatically to
refresh), I only need to interact with one batch file to switch group and
cancel/confirm prompt to create archive after each backup. There had to be one
redundant batch to run vbs as I can't manage to run vbs directly from "7z
compression field" so I compiled it, it's just simple prompt with 7z
commands.

 

I provide full solution for demonstration and
inspiration here:


https://drive.google.com/open?id=1E4Tbusca1jQG4tvrzdUIimuv2PgD1W4U


Password is SHA-1 of build 255 executable.

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Hiro
13 October 2018, 21:27

[BUG] Version 2.05.255, Windows 7 (x64)
When creating My Apps  folder trough the button in app, the app restarts but no folder is created.
When folder is created manually the app loads it correctly.

[Feature] Refresh button + F5 shortcut to reload Plug-ins/My Apps folder
I've come up with a workaround for the groups of app lists. I've created a batch script with options to select group. Groups are stored in Data\Groups\ e.g. Data\Groups\Group_AppConfigs.
First, the script simply removes any present "My Apps" link and after selecting option makes a symbolic link to the selected folder e.g.
@mklink /D "My Apps" "Data\Groups\Group_AppConfigs" > nul && Echo Successful

Some sample groups:
[1] Apps  - Config Files        // UI setup and other preferences
[2] Apps  - Data                    // e.g. chat history or main.db from skype
[3] Games - Config Files     // preferences e.g. keybinds etc.
[4] Games - Game Saves   // saved games and game profiles

I imagine that exactly the same procedure could be used in the app, with simple dropdown menu to change group. Text files with lists of apps from plug-ins folder would be more efficient but copying of plug-ins is ok as folder size is not really worrying.
Currently I can very efficiently switch groups but I have to restart app to reload the list. Refresh button would be very handy. (Now refresh is called only on plug-in import)

[Feature] Parameter to not include sub-folders in BackupFolder, only files in top level

[Other]
I've noticed that now it's possible to basically backup single file or more files into custom output folder (which works around the problem with overwriting single files) by including * at the end e.g. 
File1=BackupFolder|%AppData%\Skype\User1\main.db*|User1
File2=BackupFolder|%AppData%\Skype\User2\main.db*|User2
The wildcard at the end is not 100% ideal for all cases but it works and that counts.
In the same manner "BackupFile | file | CustomOutput" could be implemented in the future.
Thanks!

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Belim
15 October 2018, 16:58

Hi Hiro,

thank you very much for your suggestions.
I've included with todays build 266 the "refresh" Plug-ins feature. Your request for an dropdown menu to switch between Application categories sounds nice. I will add this on my todo list :)
Unfortunately I can not reproduce the App crash when creating an personal Apps folder on my Win10 x64-bit system. I will look into this on an Win7 x64-bit machine.

.. with best wishes from Germany.

Michal
08 October 2018, 10:54

I came across a weird situation and I don't know if I found a bug or it is supposed to be like that. When I click 'Restore' after selecting apps which I want to restore the program automatically selects all the other apps and restores them all. In my opionion it should restore only selected apps and that's why I think it is a bug. If I'm mistaken, may I ask you to consider changing it?

When this situation had happened to me I came across interesting idea. I would like to suggest a feature, which should be easy to implement, considering you have already implemented the restoring of data. It would be useful if CloneApp could reset the settings of apps. I mean deleting the files, which are listed in plugins.

Please let me know, what do you think about this :)

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Belim
08 October 2018, 17:06

Hi Michal,

1.
yes, this is correct. CloneApp saves the settings of the last full Backup (including preselected Plug-ins) and retrieves all these settings when restoring the Application data (ONLY when taking a full Backup using the Backup/Restore button on the left Navigation panel). This settings were overwritten with every new full Backup. If you just want to Backup/Restore single App data, then right-click the Application and select the context-menu "Preview - Backup or Restore".

2.
I had that idea a very long time ago and its a very good one :). I was not completely excited about it yet. I'll think about it a second time :P

Many thanks and
..regards.

Johnston
05 October 2018, 20:22

Unqiue concept. Many thanks for developing.
Smiling 

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Belim
08 October 2018, 16:53

Hi Johnston,

thank you so much :)

Regards from Germany.

Advertisement

CloneApp is a free and portable program for Microsoft Windows devices to back up preferences, settings and other data of supported applications. CloneApp is highly customizable and can a be extended via "plug-ins", plain text files which define exactly which files, folders and Registry keys the program should preserve.

It requires Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7 or Vista, including both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

 

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