What Is Block Level Backup and Why Should You Use It

Posted by @Cody

December 21, 2017

Compared with file level backup, block-level backup has many advantages. This article will show you how to create incremental block level backup with freeware.

What is block level backup?

Block-level backup is a type of backup that backup data from the block level a deeper layer than file system. A block is about server KB to server MB. By using snapshot technology, block level backup allows you to backup files that are currently in use.

Block level backup VS file level backup

File level backup is to backup data file by file, which is simply and widely used. Compared with file-level backup, block-level backup has some advantages:

It is much faster. When there are many small files need backing up, file level backup will take a very long time because it has to read data file by file. No matter how many files you have, block level backup just backup data through block layer.

Block level backup monitor block changes. If you enable incremental backup, which is to backup only modified or changed data since the previous backup, block level backup only backups the changed blocks, while file level backup will look through every file to detect if there is any change.

Windows may prevent file level backup software from access a file that is being used by other programs. In that case, block level backup is more efficient.

Block level backup consume fewer amounts of system resources than file level backup. That is to say, while performing block level backup, other running processes will be hardly affected.

However, block level backup also has some drawbacks.

It is not possible to select some files or folders to backup. Block level backup is designed to backup whole disk or volume.

For incremental backup tasks, if the full backup or one incremental backup gets corrupted, all the followed incremental backup is useless. It is recommended to perform a full backup after several incremental backups.

Block level backup software for Windows 10/8/7

AOMEI Backupper Standard is free Windows backup and restore software. It allows you to backup operating system, partitions and disks using block level backup and backup folder and files using file level backup.

Besides incremental backup, it also provides differential backup that backup changed and newly added files since the lastest full backup. each differential backup will not affect one and other. That is to say, if one or more differential backups are corrupted, the rest of the backup is still valid.

You can schedule more backup task in a day if your data is changing frequently. You can set up daily/weekly/monthly scheduled backup task with AOMEI Backupper. You can also run backup task with Task Scheduler.

How to create a block level incremental backup

AOMEI Backupper Standard comes with very user-friendly interface. You will know how it works just by looking at it. It provides many backup options that you can custom.

You can refer to the steps below to create an incremental backup with AOMEI Backupper:

Step 1: Download, install and open this freeware.

Step 2: Click “Backup", and select one type of backup based on what you want to include in the backup. Let's take system backup as an example.

System Backup

Step 3. In the next screen, you can see all the system related partitions are automatically selected in “Step 1”, so you just need to click “Step 2” to select a destination path. You can backup to external hard drive, network drive or other locations that are detected in Windows.

Step 2

Step 4. Click “Schedule” to see the scheduled backup options and specify when and how to run this backup task. The incremental backup is the default. You can change it to differntila backup or full backup under the Advanced tab.

Schedule Settings

Step 5. Click “Start Backup” to run the backup now or add it to schedule.

For any existing backup, you can manually perform a one-time incremental backup at any time. You can just locate the backup at Home screen, clcik Backup, and select Incremental Backup in the drop-down menu to perform an incremental backup.

Block Level Incremental Backup

If you are worried one incremental backup get corrupted and you do not want to manually create a full backup once in a while, you can use AOMEI Backupper Professional. It can automatically create a full backup after a certain number of incremental backup and delete the old backups, so you will not worry about backup disk full or losing the whole backup chain.

As mentioned, block level backup only takes very few computer resources, you can always run the backup during watching movies, writing papers, surfing the web, or doing other stuff. Besides image backup, you can also use AOMEI Backupper to other stuff, such as cloning hard drive to SSD, file sync, manging multiple client computers backup, and more.